By Kayla Rinker
SPRINGFIELD – The planned launch date for a Chinese Baptist church plant here could not be more fitting.
In the Chinese number system, the number 10 is represented by a cross symbol. The church plant’s scheduled launch date, Oct. 10, 2010 or 10/10/10, is written in Chinese as three crosses.
“I thought that was kind of neat,” said Ken McCune, multiethnic church planting director for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
He said the church plant started as a home Bible study led by Wenping and Lisa Qiu and Philip and Anita Wong.
Wenping Qiu is a research professor of agriculture at Missouri State University, a university that has more than 800 Chinese students enrolled.
“They have a heart for reaching Chinese students,” McCune said. “As their Bible study got too big for their house, they decided they would go ahead and plant.”
Both the Qius and the Wongs are members at Second Baptist Church here, a church body McCune said is stepping up to the role as sponsor church for the young church plant. He said Second Baptist hosted a support meeting recently where John Marshall, lead pastor at Second; Bob Roberts, minister of Springfield missions at Second; Mike Haynes, director of missions for the Greene County Baptist Association; and several other local church representatives were present.
“We discussed how all of us would partner in at different levels,” McCune said. “We are all working together to see this new start become a reality and to see it grow and become strong.”
Because it is such a new church plant and many of the details are still being worked out (including the new church’s name), McCune said many people are praying on behalf of the young Chinese church start.
“We are praying for clarity for them,” he said. “Clarity as they are launching to become a church and also that they can make the Gospel message very clear to the Chinese students and other Chinese that may attend and understand God’s message of love and salvation in their own heart language.”