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Inauguration of the Nanjing Seventh-day Adventist Church
December 04, 2013

Nanjing Seventh-day Adventist Church is located on a busy thoroughfare in one of China’s vibrant, modern cities. It was inaugurated with a special series of events October 22-24, 2013. The congregation used the celebration of the opening of the new building to also reflect back 169 years to October 1844 when the Seventh-day Adventist movement was begun. The inauguration events were attended by 800 members and friends. And many pastors from across the country gathered to share in this time of celebration.


Not unlike the early pioneers of the church, members in Nanjing have faced times of disappointment when it appeared that their dream to build a church at the current central location would be blocked. Their earnest prayer and perseverance overcame many obstacles. Led by Pastor Lin, Qing Kuan, a young, energetic pastor from Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in faith they embarked on this ambitious building project.


The building is designed like a diamond or gem with multiple facets. This unique architecture has attracted the attention of thousands of Nanjing residents who have passed by the church during its construction. The floor space of the modern facility is 4,000 square meters and was constructed at a cost of 3.5 million US dollars. Given that many Seventh-day Adventist congregations in China must rent their church facilities, this church building is a source of inspiration for what can take place with God’s blessing when a congregation moves forward guided by a strong vision.


Another special feature of the church is its newly installed German pipe organ. It took skilled technicians a full month to install the beautiful instrument. As part of the inauguration ceremony, the church’s 100-voice choir was accompanied by the pipe organ in singing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” This was the first time of most of the congregation had ever heard a pipe organ played. It is hoped that future concerts focused on praise to God will become a strong outreach ministry.


One opening event on the evening of October 22 featured various musical groups including children, college students, soloists, and the church’s choir. Every seat in the sanctuary was occupied as those that attended were treated to a sacred musical program in honor of God and His goodness. This was followed by an inspirational message presented by Elder Robert Folkenberg, Jr. who spoke in Mandarin. He reminded his hearers, “From the beginning we have been people of hope,” and then challenged them, “We want to see Jesus face to face. I pray that all of you have this hope in Jesus.”


October 23 marked the main program to open the new worship facility. NSD President, Dr. Jairyong Lee, delivered the inaugural address in which he appealed for a rededication to God by all of the participants. He said, “When we dedicate this church to the Lord, my brothers and sisters, let us rededicate our lives to Him. This is the dedication of Nanjing Seventh-day Adventist church today! It will be the dedication of each and everyone of us today!”



The newly built Nanjing Tiancheng Seventh-day Adventist Church



The Nanjing Church Choir sings "Hallelujah" with the tune of Pipe Organ


 


The newly built sactuary is packed with pastors and members



Chinese Sanyu Alumni Members



Church Deaconesses smiles while they attend the people for the event



A Praise Team members dressed in their Traditional Costumes



College Students praised God with their beautiful voice



The Church Choir entering through the hall way to sing the praises



Robert Folkenberg. Jr., CHUM president speaks to the participants



About 800 Adventist pastors and members attended the event



Dr. Jairyong Lee(Left), NSD president gives Congratulatory Remarks



Mongolian Descendants Singers praises God at the Nanjing Church


Following the dedication worship service, an inauguration ceremony of the church building took place that included government officials from the Bureau of Religious Affairs for Jiangsu province as well as officers of the Three-Self Movement for Nanjing City. The program included musical pieces from the church’s choir, congratulatory speeches from the invited dignitaries, and an official ribbon cutting.


In the afternoon several special features were presented including a congratulatory message from Elder Ted N.C. Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In his video message, Elder Wilson stated, “I want to give you wonderful greetings from your brothers and sisters around the world and congratulate you in the Name of the Lord and thank God for the dedication of your church.”


The 50 ordained pastors who were present for the celebration were invited to the platform to participate in a service of “Church Mission Proclamation.” Each pastor wore a red scarf and joined in the reading of the church “Mission Statement.” An Alumni Association was established for individuals who studied at the Sanyu China Training Institute in Nanjing. Of the 13 alumni who were present most were in their 80’s or 90’s.


At the conclusion of the main day’s events, a two-hour concert featured talent from Nanjing and other parts of China. The dress, musical pieces, and traditional folk dances reflected the ethnic beauty of various parts of the country. The “Descendants” a music ministry group from Mongolian were featured participants.


Thursday morning October 24 marked the closing of the three-day celebration. NSD Treasurer, Ken Osborn, challenged the still nearly full church to remember that unless the church is built with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone (I Peter 2: 6) it, like many other institutions and even civilizations, will crumble and disappear.


Through this time of celebration for the new church in Nanjing, China many hearts were encouraged to praise God. His leading was apparent as the story of how His people have been led was recounted. There was a shared sense of thanksgiving for how God has guided His people.They have seen their dream come to realitythrough the building of a beautiful sanctuary for His presence.


We each are invited to rededicate ourselves to the mission of spreading the gospel, we too have the assurance that God will bless our efforts enabling us to achieve great things for Him.