11118 Dessau Road, Austin, TX 78754
At Austin Chinese Church, we have a tradition of naming our church buildings after people who dedicated their lives to sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Chinese people. Click on one of our church buildings below to learn more about the people we choose to honor in this way.
Biography of Ming Dao (1900–1991)
Ming Dao Wang was born in the foreign legation quarter of Beijing while it was under siege of the Boxers. He grew up in extreme poverty and later said this had been something of a spiritual advantage because there were many sins that took money to commit. He later converted to Christianity at the age of 14 and at that time, he believed “all kinds of sinful practices in society had their exact counterpart in the church”; he decided then that the church “needed a revolution” and that God entrusted him with that mission.
Ming Dao did much personal Bible study of his own but still felt he was immature in his understanding of the Bible, so when he was 23 years old, he decided to understand more of the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith. He began holding religious meetings in his home in Beijing, which eventually led to creation of the Christian Tabernacle; the capacity of this church could fit several hundred and was one of the largest evangelical churches in China during the 1940s. His ministry stretched all over China – into 24 of 28 provinces and into 39 different denominations!
When the Japanese invaded and occupied Beijing during World War II, they insisted all churches join a Japanese-organized federation of churches; Wang refused on multiple occasions. Yet, despite threats of various kinds, he wasn’t arrested and continued to hold services. Wang initially believed Communists might allow them religious freedom, but when the Korean War broke out communists pressured churches into denouncing Western imperialism. Later in August of 1955, he was arrested for refusing to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement. Wang, along with his wife and 18 others were imprisoned. After making a humiliating confession in which he pleaded for mercy with those he previously denounced “false prophets”, he was released.
After Wang’s prison release, foreigners from Europe, North America, and Asia came to see him. When the Three-Self Church sent him a donation, Wang remained unapologetic and returned it. These incidences took a toll on Mr. Wang and his physical and mental abilities noticeably declined. But Wang has remained an “unrivaled symbol of uncompromising faith until his death.”This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wang Ming-Dao", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
Biography of John Sung (1901–1944)
One of the most unique prophetic men of the 20th Century was revivalist John Sung, a key contributor to the Chinese revival of 1927-1937. Some called him the “John Wesley of China,” while other called him the “Apostle of Revival”.
John Shang-Jeh Sung was born 1901 in Hinghwa of Fukien province. The son of a respected Methodist minister, he was converted at the age of nine. However, when he went to study in America for college, the intensity of his studies took a great toll on his spiritual life. After a few years here, he found himself backslidden and doubting everything that his father had taught him.
John Sung recommitted his life to Christ in 1927. He repented of his sins and, filled with inexpressible joy, immediately began preaching to all his classmates and professors. After a few months of time in the Word and prayer, John boarded a ship in October 1927, bound for Shanghai. In spite of all the opportunities his education afforded him, John Sung was determined to go home and preach to his countrymen. He realized that what China needed most was not more science teachers but preachers of the gospel. God used him mightily to spread the fires of revival all over China as he went forth with other Christians to preach the gospel.
When preaching, John was fervent and intense. He emphasized repentance and the need for complete restitution when possible. Yet he also moved audiences with the message of Christ's tender and unfailing love, like few others could. Everywhere he went, he also urged people to give themselves to prayer. Prayer for John Sung was like a battle. He prayed until the sweat poured down from his face. It was said of Sung, “He talked least, preached more, and prayed most.” Having the anointing of God upon him, John Sung’s various ministries have left a lasting impact upon many in China and Southeast Asia.Information provided by: http://www.evanwiggs.com/revival/portrait/sung.html
Biography of James Hudson Taylor (1832–1905)
James Hudson Taylor was born on May 21, 1832 into a family that prayed together and spoke often of other countries that had not heard the word of God. Yet when he was 17, he chose not to follow the God that his family knew. As stated in his books, “I had many opportunities in early years of learning the value of prayer and of the word of God… but in spite of [my parents’] helpful examples and precepts, my heart was unchanged.” Nevertheless, his mother and sister were determined to pray for him daily. A month later in June 1849, he had a change of heart after reading a small tract. It changed both the understanding that God brings and completion of His purpose through Christ; it was then he professed his faith in Christ and committed to going to China as a missionary.
Going to China was not easy as he faced poor health, financial difficulties and landed in China when in the midst of the civil war. Together with his coworkers, Hudson Taylor began speaking and preaching, distributing literature in the surrounding areas. He even followed the example of Dr. Charles Gutzlaff, nicknamed the “grandfather of the China Inland Mission” and chose to wear clothes and adopt the culture and languages of the common Chinese people. Taylor wanted to reach the Chinese in the inland and rural areas of the country. He was deeply troubled by the burden of the new mission but realized it wasn’t his responsibility: it was God’s!
By the time he passed at 73, Taylor had preached in several varieties of Chinese, including Mandarin, Chaozhou, and the Wu dialects of Shanghai and Ningbo. He knew the languages well enough to prepare a colloquial edition of the New Testament. He had founded China Inland Mission, now known as OMF International, which was established through his example and urgent requests for people to pray and go to missions.
James Hudson Taylor was a man of prayer and faith. May all of us continue to uphold the word and our God: living, preaching and praying wherever we go.Information provided by: https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://omf.org&source=gmail&ust=1483473944480000&usg=AFQjCNGdnX_cyMQcjuzsX5deGJ46l2uP6A
Biography of William Carey (1761–1834)
“Shoemaker by trade, but scholar, linguist and missionary by God’s training.”
Carey was born in a small cottage in 1761 in England, of a weaver’s family. In his early 20s, Carey heard the missionary call. He said, “My attention to missions was first awakened… by reading the book Last Voyage of Capitan Cook.” To many, this book was an adventure story, but to Carey it revealed the great need to share the gospel to all people. He concluded: “If it be the duty of all men to believe the Gospel… then it be the duty of those who are entrusted with the Gospel to endeavor to make it known among all nations.” And Carey sobbed out, “Here am I, send me!”
But getting to the field was difficult. Carey persisted. And he prayed. And he preached – especially his powerful message, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” The Baptist Missionary Society was formed the fall of 1792. In 1793, Carey volunteered to be sent to India. There were years of discouragement (no Indian converts for seven years), debt, disease, and death, but by the grace of God, Carey continued on for Christ. By the time he died at 73, he had helped translate the Scriptures into forty languages. He had taught as a professor and had founded a college at Serampore. He had seen India open its doors to missionaries, seen brutal laws reversed, and seen many come to know the Lord. Carey left a legacy that re-ignited and re-vitalized missions around the world.Information provided by: http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/bcarey1.html
Biography of John Wycliffe (1331–1384)
Born in Yorkshire, England, John Wycliffe was a preacher, writer, and bible translator. He has been called “the morning star of the Reformation” because his particular ministry and teaching shed such a great light for Christ amidst a time of vast spiritual darkness.
He preached and wrote against various doctrines and practices of the Church of Rome, translated the Bible into English, and sent itinerant preachers (later called the Lollards) throughout England to bring to the common people the word of God and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Wycliffe deeply believed in the importance of the word of God, which was to him a beacon and a shining light in a world of gross spiritual darkness. In his personal life, as soon as he grasped a truth, he declared it and acted upon it.
Wycliffe also believed that the translation of the Bible into everyday language was absolutely essential. People had to be able to read God’s word in a language they could understand. He believed that the scriptures were inspired by God and that every part was to be accepted without reserve.
John Wycliffe was a man truly used by God to impact not only his own generation but also beyond. His ministry influenced much of how the Reformation in later years took shape in England and Scotland. As a result, Wycliffe's work continues to be a tremendous blessing to many who lived long after him.Information provided by: http://www.epc.org.au/historical/john-wycliffe.html
Biography of Robert Morrison (1782–1834)
Morrison was born in Buller’s Green, England to James Morrison and Hannah Nicholson who raised him and his seven older siblings in the Presbyterian Christian faith. At 12yrs of age, he recited the entire psalm. He worked for his father’s business often working 12-14 hour days, yet he hardly ever skipped on devoting 1-2 hours a day for prayer and reading. He also kept a detailed diary in which he noted his shortcomings. In 1802 he decided he wanted to become a missionary and started learning Latin, Greek Hebrew and well as systematic theology and shorthand from Rev. W. Laidler, but his parents were opposed to his new vocation. During this time, Robert spent his free time in the gardens in prayer and meditation. At work, while his hands were busy, Morrison would have Matthew Henry’s Bible commentaries open, would regularly attend church on Sundays, visit the sick with the “Friendless, Poor and Sick Society” and instructed poor children. He continually shared his faith in Christ with another young apprentice and to a sailor, showing deep concern for the conversion of friends and family. Morrison had always wanted to go abroad but promised his mother he wouldn’t go as long as she lived and was present to care for her during her last illness; it was then he got her blessing to proceed with missionary work – and he went.
After his mother’s death in 1804, Morrison joined the London Missionary Society and was accepted almost immediately. The following year he had a decision to make – go to China or Timbuktu; he prayed “that God would station [me] in that part of the missionary field where the difficulties were greatest and all to human appearances the most insurmountable.” He married Mary Morton Macao in 1809 and on the same day, appointed translator to the East India Company (EIC), which gave him legal footing for remaining on Chinese soil. His time in China was marked by constant tension with a government that discouraged people from contact with outsiders.
In 1813, he completed a translation of the New Testament into Chinese; it was published the following year. Chinese officials reacted with hostility and alarmed the EIC, which retained Morrison. In recognition of his work as lexicographer and translator, the University of Glasgow conferred its D.D. degree on him in 1817. Soon after arriving in China, Morrison proposed establishing a base on Prince of Wales Island for training missionaries in Asia. He envisaged a triennial missionary conference. With colleague William Milne, he founded the Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca in 1818. Together they completed the translation of the entire bible in 1819. Morrison’s first wife died in 1821, and he returned to Great Britain in 1823 with a collection of several thousand Chinese books, which were eventually deposited with University College, London.
In 1824 he became a fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and helped establish the short-lived Language Institution in London. In 1826 the Morrisons returned to Canton, where Robert died eight years later. He regarded his translation of the Bible as only a first step, a work that would be superseded by others in the future. His most important work was his three-volume Chinese-English dictionary (1815-1823). In addition, he wrote Chinese grammar and several treatises on language. He also translated hymns and a prayer book into Chinese and wrote various tracts and articles. The hardships he endured, blessings he received and how he always put God first before everything else is a good example of how we can live out our faith today.Information provided by: http://www.bu.edu/missiology/missionary-biography/l-m/morrison-robert-1782-1834/