Suzhou St. John Church
2013-11-05 17:07:00

(Photo source: Jiangsu Ethnic Religions)

Address: No 18 Shizi Street, eat of the ancient city of Suzhou

Neighboring the Suzhou University, the Suzhou St. John Church contains 4 buildings, including the church and the missionary buildings, covering an area of 2,500 square meters. In 1881, Lan Bo (James William Lambuth) and Pan Shenwen (Alvin Pierson Parker), missionaries of the US Methodist Episcopal Church, purchased the land here to construct a church, called the First Church, the predecessor of the St. John Church, which could accommodate 400 people for gathering. Seeing the church members multiplied, the Methodist Episcopal Church tore down the First Church and rebuilt the new St. John Church with a construction area of 1,855 square meters to accommodate 800-plus people for services. It became the 10 major architectures of Suzhou. Rev. Li Zhongtan (1970? - 1936), grandfather of Tsung-dao Lee (1926 -) the Nobel laureate in 1957, was the first Chinese senior pastor of the church from 1910 on. Under the management by Chinese pastoral staff, the St. John Church underwent the reform of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement in 1950. Due to long years of no repairs, the roof of the church collapsed In July of 1995. Under the government's assistances, the restoration project of the St. John Church started in October of 1996 and was completed in May of 1998. The St. John Church began to serve as the location of the Suzhou CCC/TSPM and the South Suzhou volunteer workers training center for the CCC of Jiangsu province. In November of 2005, the St. John Church was formally opened to the public.

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