Chinese Fellowship growing, connecting
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- The Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the U.S. and Canada will work to connect its members and churches with Southern Baptist life by hosting a booth and a fellowship dinner in conjunction with this year's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
The group of nearly 300 churches looks forward to the networking and fellowshipping the annual meeting affords, said fellowship church planting specialist Ted Lam, founding pastor of Tulsa International Baptist Church and a former Baptist Convention of Oklahoma executive.
The group's purpose in Columbus is twofold, Lam said.
"One is for our own people to get connected in their own Chinese Baptist church. The second is we also want the convention to recognize this is a big family. It's all ethnic churches, all fellowships, we are all joined together. The Chinese fellowship is part of that too," Lam said. "We'll bring church planters, new pastors, encourage them to attend the convention. Many of them, they've never been to convention before."
The Columbus dinner is set for Tuesday, June 16, with selection of the location pending, for the couple of dozen Chinese Fellowship attendees Lam anticipates will attend.
The fellowship has planted about 60 churches within the past two years across the U.S. and Canada, Lam said, with many in the South, including four in Tennessee, and about eight in southern California. Most of these church members are new converts, many of them from mainland China, and are baptized by the church plants, Lam said.
Through a partnership with the North American Mission Board, the fellowship gains demographic information alerting them to areas where Chinese are living, including international students, Chinese scholars and new immigrants.
The fellowship conducts its business at biennial meetings, the next one set for 2016 in Vancouver, British Colombia, Lam said.
The group elected officers at its 2014 meeting in Houston. Serving through 2016 are president Abraham Chiu, pastor of Crosspoint Church of Silicon Valley, with campuses in Milpitas and Pleasanton, Calif.; vice presidents Benny Wong who pastors First Chinese Baptist Church in Los Angeles, pastor Alan Chan of Mandarin Baptist Church in Alhambra, Calif., and Chinese ministry pastor Peter Liu of First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss.; secretary (Chinese) Andrew Ho, an adjunct professor at Truth Theological Seminary in Arcadia, Calif.; secretary (English) Andrew Wu, senior pastor of San Bruno Chinese Church, San Bruno, Calif.; treasurer Jady Lo; and financial secretary Howard Li, pastor of Trust In God Chinese Baptist Church of New York.