Largest Christian Church in Jimei: Houxi Christian Church

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Xiamen was the first city to introduce Christianity to southern Fujian over 150 years ago. Houxi Christian Church, built in 1926, was the largest Christian church in Jimei District.

The selection of the Houxi Church site reflects the ancient history of Christian mission in Houxi. Before the church was built, the Reformed Church in America had sent missionaries to rent a private house in Jielu from Houxi, and the Guankou Church of London Missionary Society also preached in Xiadian. At that time, the propagation of the “three denominations” (Reformed Church in America, Missionary Society of London, and Presbyterian Church) was based in Xiamen. The “three denominations” divided the division of labor and cooperation and spread to all parts of southern and western Fujian. A small church was formed when there were about ten believers. As the number of believers increased, it was imperative to build the church. The two churches of Jielu and Xiadian were spread over the site. After that, three representatives from the Reformed Church in America, the London Missionary Society, and the local church each formed a site selection group and divided the preaching area. At first, it was planned to divide the mission area by the mountain, but later it was decided to divide it by the river, and then build the Houxi Chapel in Jielu, which was reported to the Xiamen District Council for approval. From 1924 to 1925, two elders (Yang Jinlian and Yang Qianli) traveled to Yangon, Myanmar to collect over $7,000 in silver from overseas Chinese. Xu Chuncao and Yang Jiushi donated 200 silver dollars and purchased 40 deck chairs with backrests and a platform, which are still preserved today.

Houxi (Old) Church is located in Jielu of Houxi, covering an area of ​​731 square meters, with a total construction area of ​​441 square meters.

The Houxi Church was actually an amalgamation of the Reformed Church in America and the London Missionary Society.

After the liberation, the Christians of the Houxi Church actively participated in the “Patriotic Three-Self Movement” (self-governance, self-sufficiency and self-propagation). Between the Great Leap Forward of 1958 and the Cultural Revolution, the church was occupied, clerics were criticized and denounced, and all religious activities were stopped. After 1979, the new religious policy was implemented and Christian activities gradually returned to normal. In 1995, the church was registered as a place of religious activities.

Houxi Church (the old church), built in 1926, had a solid brick and wooden structure. Affected by the Cultural Revolution, the church was used as a warehouse by the central station of Houxi Water Conservancy. Because it was close to the stream, the foundation collapsed, the wall cracked, and the beams in the main hall were eroded by ants, making it a dangerous building. The Houxi Church therefore decided to rebuild it and acquired 2586 square meters of building land located in Houxi. With a total investment of over 4.3 million yuan, the church complex, pastor’s building, bell tower, large chapel, etc. were built. On October 23, 2004, the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Houxi Church was held. On October 27, 2012, the new Houxi Church with a capacity of over 1,000 people was completed.

Xiamen Houxi Christian Church currently has one pastor, one unordained pastor and one officer, 380 members and aspirants.

9Reference: Proceedings of the Great Conference of Chinese Christianity in Southern Fujian

– Translated by Nicolas Cao

厦门岛外最大的基督教堂——后溪基督教堂

Largest Christian Church in Jimei: Houxi Christian Church

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