Posted on March 13, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature David KH Wong

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries

Rev. David Kwok Hung Wong

International Ministries Special Assistant for China Relation


My family in Mainland China came to know Christ and received education opportunity through the assistance of American Baptist missionaries. My father did business between Guangdong Province and the nearby city of Hong Kong. I was born in Hong Kong on August 27, 1938. Because of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, our entire family returned to our ancestral home in Queshi, Mainland China. I attended the Queshi Primary School which was established by International Ministries (IM), then known as American Baptist Mission Foreign Society.

I returned to Hong Kong in 1956 and joined the Shamshuipo Swatow Baptist Church. I attended the youth fellowship and was a member of the choir. In 1960, I served as a half-time church officer at Shamshuipo Swatow Baptist Church. In 1963, upon the encouragement of IM missionary Rev. Loren Noren and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I enrolled in Chung Chi College Theological Seminary and graduated in 1968. After graduation, for three years I was involved in the planning and operation of the Chek Lap Kok Youth Camp run by IM missionaries. In 1971, I received a scholarship from IM to study at the American Baptist Seminary of the West. Returning to Hong Kong in 1973 I resumed my work at the Chek Lap Kok Youth Camp as camp director. I was also the youth minister at Kowloon City Swatow Baptist Church and the Director of Wang Tau Hom Evangelical Church. In 1977, Rev. Noren recommended me to the Los Angeles City Baptist Mission Society to explore Chinese ministries in the Eagle Rock area, and thus began the ministries of Chinese Zion Baptist Church.

My wife and I started the Chinese Zion Baptist Church with no church building and no members. We borrowed a meeting hall from Glassell Park Baptist Church to begin our children ministry. The after school program for Chinese children commenced on January 2, 1977. On every school day, we picked up children from different neighboring schools at 2 pm and dropped them off at the After School Center. Tutoring services were provided before they were allowed to engage in games and activities. The children were then delivered to their individual homes at 6 pm. The first Sunday worship began on Easter Sunday four months after the After School Center had started. In the first ten years, most of the attendees were children and youth and very little offerings were collected. The major source of income was from my wife Kathy’s garment factory. Not until 1990, when the church congregation grew, did Kathy stop the factory operation.

The Chinese Zion Baptist Church purchased the old Glassell Park Post Office in 1984. After renovation, it became the current church site. Before I retired in 2003, I performed baptisms for 114 brothers and sisters. Most of them were grown children from the After School Center, their parents and grandparents. Even a family with four generations had all been baptized and joined the church family.  In 1995 God expanded the tent of the Chinese Zion Baptist Church. A neighboring 16,190 square feet lot was purchased and added to the church property. A total of over 25,000 square feet property housed both Chinese and English services, classrooms, game rooms and parking spaces. From Monday to Friday, the classrooms were rented out to the Los Angeles School District where adult English classes were held. We glorify God through our faithful community services.

I retired from the Chinese Zion Baptist Church in 2004. Before my retirement, I travelled to Mainland China many times to visit friends and families as well as sight-seeing. I understood the predicaments of the impoverished village ministers. The Holy Spirit moved me and let me recognize the blessings needed for oversea churches and ministers. Before I retired in 2004, I established the F/2 International Foundation and registered the Foundation with the IRS. The F/2 Foundation also partners with IM in various areas. In the first two years, living expenses and medical subsidies were provided to needy ministers in Chaoshan and Meizhou areas of South China. A US$10,000.00 grant was also provided to village churches which needed rebuilding each year. Later on, the ministers living expense subsidies were expanded to Hubei, Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, Yunnan, Guangxi, Gansu, Anhui, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Ningxia and Qinghai etc. – a total of thirteen provinces. The church rebuilding fund was increased to RMB 100,000 (about US$14,000) per year. We thank God for His Grace that in the past twenty years we have provided assistances and relieves to at least a few hundred ministers. Twenty village churches benefited from our church building fund including many church remodeling projects. We also invited the Shantou City Christian Council and Guangdong Province Christian Council for a tour of the American Baptist Churches headquarters and seminaries, IM office, and Chinese churches and retirement homes in different localities. This was a very meaningful opportunity for them to experience and learn about church and community ministries in the US.

By God’s grace, the F/2 International Foundation will continue its ministries in China in the next five years. The previous model of three years sponsorships will be changed to a once a year format. A lump sum of RMB 10,000 (about US$1,400) will be granted to each needy minister per year. Our goal is to assist 100 ministers per year, and help churches with the RMB 100,000 (about US$140,000) church building fund. We will continue our partnership with the American Baptist churches and IM. We ask for God’s guidance and providence to complete this mission so that His name will be glorified. Please continue to pray for us and our ministries.

*Ben Chan: Special thanks to Cathy Holmes for proof-reading the article