Saturday, 1 September 2007

Sitiawan Roadshow - The Legacy of John Sung 5

The church that became our gathering point during our Sitiawan Roadshow a couple of weeks ago (for earlier posts, see parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) was the Pioneer Chinese Methodist Church. This is an historical site not only for the Christians but also for the founding of the city of Sitiawan.

In 1903, about more than 350 Christian Foochows arrived Sitiawan from China. Led by Rev Ling Ching Mi, this group that arrived was the Chinese Colonial Government’s second population transplant experiment in the Malay peninsula, following the success of a similar scheme in Sibu, Sarawak in 1901.

Rev Ling became the first pastor of the Pioneer Methodist Church. Today, Pioneer Methodist Church is a majestic building built in the shape of a cross. Originally built in 1904, the church was burnt down in 1906 and rebuilt in 1907. Near the church is the grave of Rev Ling.

The church also experienced a mighty revival as a result of the preaching and visits of John Sung in the 1930s. If one were to talk to the elderly church members, many would still fondly remember John Sung and the revival that took place then. There were many interesting testimonies of conversions and transformed lives. (photo to the left: The team from STM that visited Sitiawan, standing in front of Pioneer Chinese Methodist Church).

Countless Chinese in Sitiawan were converted and revived through the ministry of John Sung and they subsequently played a significant role in the growth of Christianity in Sitiawan and beyond the city. This is perhaps the biggest legacy of John Sung in Sitiawan.

Where is the John Sung of today? Where is he?

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