April 24, 2014
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Chinese Baptist church launches in W.Va.
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Members and guests of the new West Virginia Chinese Baptist Church in Scott Depot mark the occasion of the constituting of the church and ordination of deacons. The front row includes (left to right) Pastor Paul Noh; Tiang Baozhong, newly elected deacon; Pastor Kenny Stidham of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Scott Depot, the sponsoring church; Eddie Henson, helper and adviser to the group; Tony Inmon, state church planting catalyst; Terry Harper, executive director of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists; Wang Nan and Tu Guoqiang, both newly elected deacons.  Submitted photo.
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Terry Harper, executive director of the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists, leads in prayer during the ordination of three deacons for the new West Virginia Chinese Baptist Church in Scott Depot.  Submitted photo.
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Sung Chuen (Paul) Noh, pastor of the new West Virginia Chinese Baptist Church in Scott Depot, leads in the ordination of three deacons -- (from left) Tian Bao Zhong, Wang Nan and Tu Guoqiang -- during a special service when the congregation was constituted Aug. 11. Liu Jianqing (far left) translated the entire service.  Submitted photo.
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Posted on Sep 27, 2013 | by Staff

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SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. (BP) -- A new Chinese congregation will join the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists this fall.

The West Virginia Chinese Baptist Church was constituted in a special service Aug. 11 at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Scott Depot, W.Va.

"We are thrilled to have these sweet Christians as part of our fellowship," Terry Harper, the convention's executive director, said. "We have long prayed for and looked forward to this day, and we rejoice to see it come to fruition."

Eddie and Mary Henson had a vision for a Chinese ministry 20 years ago when he was serving as associational missionary for the Huntington Baptist Association and the couple began a Chinese Bible study at Highlawn Baptist Church in Huntington.

Over the years, the group continued to meet, often calling a Southern Baptist Theological Seminary student to preach each week through a translator.

In 2010, the Chinese Bible study group called Sung Chuen (Paul) Noh and his wife YuJin to help lead them. The Nohs are native Koreans but were called to work with the Chinese, and the couple speaks fluent Mandarin.

The Huntington group began talking with a Chinese group meeting in Charleston, and they soon formed as a church plant meeting midway at Good Shepherd Baptist in Scott Depot.

Highlawn Baptist in Huntington hosted a sending service Aug. 11, expressing support for the Chinese members merging with the Charleston congregation, and Good Shepherd Baptist hosted a receiving service.

The Chinese congregation, now an autonomous church meeting at Good Shepherd Baptist, feels indebted to Highlawn Baptist for their sacrifice and diligence to share their facilities for many years, Harper said.

"They are also grateful to the Good Shepherd congregation for now providing facilities in which to meet. They also expressed appreciation to the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists and the North American Mission Board for their financial support during their fledgling years," Harper said.

During the constituting service, Henson recounted the Chinese congregation's history, and Harper preached. Tony Inmon, a church planting catalyst with NAMB and the West Virginia convention, gave a word of blessing. The service also included the ordination of three deacons to serve the new congregation.

"In a state that is 95 percent Anglo, we rejoice to have this group join our convention," Harper said. "We currently have one congregation that is predominantly African American, and now to have one Chinese church thrills us beyond measure. Our hope is to involve these folks in the life of our convention."
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Based on a report from the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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