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“Chinese Congregation Growing in Metro Jackson”

By Jennifer Hooks

It’s no surprise that different cultures and ethnicities are now calling Mississippi home, so when First Baptist Church of Jackson saw a need for ministry among the Chinese, they jumped on it.

FBC Jackson had a Chinese ministry for about twenty years prior to 2006, but it had been somewhat inconsistent. In August of 2006, they called Peter Liu to become the full-time pastor of their Chinese congregation, and the Chinese Christian Church of Greater Jackson was born.

“We never thought the impact of a new church could be so great. Most students in our church are single children, and their parents see a change in their child’s life and want to know what has happened. That’s when we have the opportunity to tell their parents about Jesus,” Liu said.

CCCGJ, commonly referred to as the Chinese Church of First Baptist Jackson, meets regularly at the downtown FBC Jackson campus, and they have weekly fellowships across the metro area. Liu, who has faithfully served as their pastor for the past three years, said that he has seen tremendous growth in the lives of individuals ever since he first arrived.

“Overall, the greatest joy is to look back and see how they’ve grown. They are so young, yet so mature in their faith,” he said.

Members of their congregation gather for Bible study at six different locations throughout the Jackson area on a weekly basis.

“We have expanded from four to six Friday night fellowships,” Liu said.

These fellowships are held at Jackson State University, University Medical Center, First Baptist Clinton, First Baptist Madison, and at Liberty Baptist Church. The final group meets at an apartment complex and is focused toward reaching restaurant workers.

“One brother is very committed to restaurant business and also knows their dialect. While fellowship is important, we need to have vision and show them that the church is more than just fellowship. We want to focus on what God’s vision is for their life,” Liu said.

After Sunday school meets each Sunday, the entire congregation meets together at 10:30 a.m. in the FBC Jackson chapel for worship and concludes with a church-wide luncheon. Not only does CCCGJ emphasize Bible study and fellowship, but they also have a school to teach children the Chinese language, and about 30 children attend regularly.

Leadership has also developed at each of the different locations where fellowships are held. CCCGJ recently ordained three deacons, and they also have three Chinese individuals that are currently enrolled in seminary.

“One of ours who is in seminary now has plans to go back to China, and desires to start a training center there,” Liu said.

There are various aspects of Chinese culture that cause Liu and CCCGJ to take a different approach to ministry than one’s typical Southern Baptist church might expect.

“We teach them about basic American culture, and also teach them about the Christian foundations on which our country was founded,” Liu said. They celebrate the Chinese moon festival, and at every fellowship or event, someone will give their testimony.

“We focus on discipleship and dealing with baggage, and how to live a holy life. Those who attend are pushed to live out their faith and to bring friends with them,” he added.

Even this year, CCCGJ has seen progress and a rise in their attendance. In August, CCCGJ hosted a Welcome Back Party, and more than 100 students attended. More recently, they had 200 in attendance for their Thanksgiving meal.

“I am so proud of pastor Peter Liu and the Chinese congregation. They have been wonderful partners in ministry, evangelism and helping to start more new churches at home and abroad. They are truly fulfilling the Great Commission and making in impact in our world,” said Ed Deuschle, director of the Church Planting department at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

As the Church Planting department helps finance their four year plan through the funds of the Margaret Lackey State Missions offering, needs are continually being met not only in Jackson, but for Chinese families across the world. For more information, contact the church planting department at 601-292-3224 or dmichel@mbcb.org.