Chinese Church Voices

The Last China Inland Mission Pastor

Chinese Church Voices is a weekly column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

It is easy to think of the China Inland Mission era as being in the distant past. This article, translated from the mainland site Christian Times reminds us that it is not as far away as we thought.

Paying Tribute to the Last CIM Pastor
Pastor Gao Jianguo of Wenzhou passed away at the age of 95.

(Pastor and Mrs. Gao on the left; Pastor Gao (second from left) with colleagues in 1957 on the right. Christian Times

Pastor Gao Jianguo, aged 95, went home to be with the Lord on August 7, 2015 at 9:43AM.

Pastor Gao was a former director of the China Inland Mission, and later served as the president of the Wenzhou Christian Association. He was the last pastor of the China Inland Mission.

Several pastors in Wenzhou used social media to share the news and offer condolences.

Pastor Gao Jianguo was born in Chenliu county of Kaifeng City in Henan Province in 1921.

In 1937 he began studying at a Bible training school set up by the Kaifeng Methodist Church. In 1941 he entered the famous North China Seminary to begin advanced studies. In 1948 North China Seminary set up a campus in Wuhu, in Jiangsu. Pastor Gao went there to continue his studies. In 1950, after he graduated, he began serving in Wenzhou.

When locals talked about Pastor Gao, one impression they mentioned was that he was a Henan dialect-speaking pastor in Wenzhou. "Even after decades of living in Wenzhou, he could not speak Wenzhou dialect."

But another local pastor shared: "I communicated with Pastor Gao and his wife for decades and that even if the could not speak Wenzhou dialect, after a few decades, their hearts were deeply rooted in Wenzhou." I must say that Pastor Gao [and his wife], even with their Henan accents, lived lives of saints here in Wenzhou.

Deng Leguo, a fellow pastor in Wenzhou and author of "CIM's Last Pastor: Gao Jianquo" expressed his condolences. He said: "In the 1950's Pastor Gao was sent to Wenzhou by the China Inland Mission.

In the early years, through the gracious preaching of Dr. Song, he received the call to the ministry and went to North China Theological Seminary to pursue theological studies. Pastor Gao was often invited to speak in Zhejiang and around the country. He also served as a lecturer at Jingling Theological Seminary. He was also a prolific writer, publishing numerous articles and eight books.

Pastor Gao served in Wenzhou for sixty years.

Original article: 悼念内地会最后一位牧师:温州高建国牧师安息主怀享年95岁 (Christian Times)

Image credit: by Tim Green, via Flickr
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