Methodism was introduced into China in 1847 by Judson Dwight Collins and Moses Clark White in Foochow with the purpose of preaching the gospel in China. Actually, the True God Church was established in Foochow in 1856, then in 1937 combined with the United Methodist Church. In 1947 the Methodist Church in the Republic of China celebrated its centennial. The Methodist group grew slowly but steadily, membership increased to 100,000 and the number of ministers was over 500. Educational, medical and social services were provided widely and had great achievement.
In 1949, the Methodist Church in the Republic of China moved to Taiwan with the government. On June 21, 1953, the Taipei Methodist Church was erected, then local churches and chapels with a baptized membership numbering over 2,500. Various types of educational, medical and social services are provided, including Tung-Hai University and Wesley’s Girls High School and several kindergartens. In 1972 the Methodist Church in the Republic of China became autonomous and the first bishop installed in 1986.
Evangelism came to Taiwan in 1624 when the Dutch occupied southern Taiwan. The first person to win souls in Taiwan for the Reformed Church of Holland was George Candidins. Christianity in Taiwan developed in a new direction following Taiwan’s retrocession to the Republic of China, particularly after the mainland fell to the communists in 1949. Churches of numerous de nominations flocked to Taiwan, and the number of Christians and clergy multiplied accordingly.
In 1996 Bishop Philip Tseng was installed. Local preachers and church leaders play active and vital roles in pastoral work and in the formulation of church policy. The church’s commitment to the future is evident in its response to the call for mission and broadening its services to the community. The Methodist Church in the Republic of China is open to the Lord’s calling to stand obediently with the majority and commit to God’s mission of building a just and peaceful society.
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