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The following information on the Protestant churches of China comes from Towery's book The Churches of China, 3rd edition. The caligraphy of the Chinese names of the provinces and municipalities are the work of Professor Xu Rulei, church history professor at the Nanjing Theoloigical Seminary, Nanjing, China.

Selected Beijing area church addresses:

Beijing Christian Church, Chongwenmen District, #2 Ho Gou Hutong.

Gangwashi Church, Xicheng District, #57 Xisi Nan Da Jie (This was the church into which the famous writer, Lao She, was baptized and taught Sunday school for a short time before going to England to teach Chinese language and culture.)

The capital city of the People's Republic of China sits on the same latitude as Philadelphia (USA). Called "Peking" by foreigners, the city has been Beijing (Northern Capital) to the Chinese for centuries except for a brief time in the early years of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1421) and the days of the Republic of China (1912-1949).

There are more than a dozen Protestant churches open for worship and "too many to count" Home Meeting Points (often mistakenly called "House Churches").

Beijing Hai Ding Church

Beijing Xisi Church, Nanda Jie #57

The Beijing Theological Seminary has been open since the spring of 1983 and is celebrating 20 years of growth this year (2003). I visited the seminary soon after it opened and visited at length with the pastor-teachers. It has since moved from the heart of the city to a completely new campus. It carries on in the tradition that began a 100 years ago with the founding of Qing Hua University.


Shanghai area Protestant churches have more than tripled in the last few years. Selected church addresses:

Guoji Libaitang (Former Community Church), 53 Heng Shan Road. A great loss to this church was Bishop Shen Yifan, who died of a heart attack in August, 1994.

Huai En (Grace Church, former Baptist church), 375 Shaan Xi North Road.

Mu'en Church (Former Methodist Church), 316 Xizang Middle Road. This was the first Shanghai church to re-open after the Cultural Revolution, September 2, 1979.

Shanghai is the most western-appearing city in China. It has always been a center of trade and commerce and a trend-setter.

The city has been a mecca for Christian ministry for most of the past 158 years. Baptists first came to Shanghai in 1847 when Matthew T. Yates and wife Lizzie and widower J. Lewis Shuck began a church just outside the old Chinese city. The first buildings weathered the Taiping Revolution years. It was called the North Gate Church as it was just outside the city's north gate. The officials would not allow foreigners to buy or rent land inside the city. Now the Chinese city is a southern suburb of the main city. The church's present building was built in 1920. This five-storied church was untouched by the Red Guards of the 1960s and has served as a primary school since 1958. In Southern Baptist mission history, it had the longest continuous existence of any Baptist church in China --111 years.

Many old churches have been re-opened and given back to the Christians but this one for some reason was not returned.

Huadong (Shanghai) Seminary opened on September 11, 1985. I was there for the opening ceremonies and if I had the money would put some of the video I shot that day on these web pages. The late Bishop Sun Yanli was the first principal and Dr. "Charlie Che" (Qi Qingcai) was the first chairman of the board. He was also pastor of the Grace Church where the seminary first opened its doors. Now it has a new campus, #71 Wu Yuan Road.


This industrial giant of North China sits on a latitude close to that of Washington, D.C. in the United States. The city extends along the Hai River, two hours by train from Beijing. With a population of more than eight million it is second to Shanghai in having an "old Western look."

It is the home of one of my favorite eating place in China: The Goubuli Baozi Restaurant. "Gou bu li" literally means, "Even the dogs will not have it!" It was a nickname given to the owner of this restaurant when he was a small boy. Years later he went into business making and selling baozi, steamed bread wrapped around minced meant and vegetables, he used his nick-name for the restaurant.

His baozi are beautiful to look at, have a terrific aroma and are wonderful to eat. The restaurant was located on Shandong Street when I ate there, just a block from a Christian church.

Tianjin University claims to be the oldest western-style university in China. Christian foreign missionaries began the school in 1895.

Nankai College is in Tianjin. Premier Zhou Enlai studied in Tianjin. The first principal was Chang Po-ling. When Chang became a Christian he resigned as principal. He said he could no longer bow to the Confucian Tablets. Beijing officials told him to "be a secret Christian" and stay on. Chang said no. But he was re-instated. Harvard University President Eliot called Chang "China's greatest educator."

Lao She taught at Nankai for a time. He remained close to both Professor Chang and Premier Zhou throughout his life.

A church address: Tianjin Church of Heping District on 237 Binjiang Road.


Anhui is still something of a backward province for Central China.It is rich in coal and iron ore. Ma'an Shan, on the great Yangtze River, is the largest industrial center of the province. The northern part is covered in wheat fields and rice paddies. The capital city of Hefei is 18 hours south of Beijing by train. The most famous artifact there is the 2,000 year old jade burial suit that is stitched with silver thread. That kind of handicraft is a lost art I'm afraid.

In 1984, I visited the city of Wuhu where friend Vi Marie Taylor was teaching English at the university along with long-time Baptist leader C.K. Chang (Zhang Chunjiang). C.K. was the last chaplain of Shanghai University in 1950.

Back in the 1950s his cousin, Y. K. Chang was a co-worker of mine and teacher in the Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary in Taipei.

Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) is one of China's five sacred mountains was one I wanted to climb but never made it. It is said that, as you walk up the mountains, you pass through all four seasons of the year.

According to some estimates, Anhui province is possibly fourth in the total number of Christian believers, close to a million. Only Henan, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces have more.

Hefe, the capital, had a church on #68 Suzhou Lane back in the 1980s. Huang Shan City also has one as do all the larger cities.


China Churches and Seminaries:

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