By Stan Friedman
TAIPEI, TAIWAN (October 17, 2012) – Four thousand people filled the sports arena at National Taiwan University earlier this month to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Covenant Church of Taiwan.
The celebration took place October 5-6 and centered on the theme, “The Future and Prospect of the 21st Century.”
The conference opened with a procession of flag-bearers representing each of the 45 congregations connected to the Taiwan denomination. High-spirited worship music was provided by a variety of groups including an Aborigine dance group, a combined Covenant choir, and praise teams from several Chinese Covenant churches.
Friday night was a time to look back and remember missionaries and Chinese coworkers from the past who served during the early days of the Covenant Church. Special recognition was given to the Dwight family, who have ministered to the Chinese for three generations beginning with Albert and Elna Dwight. They served with the Covenant Missionary Society of China.
The Chinese name of the Covenant Church of Taiwan is the “Doers of the Word Church.” Gary Walter, president of the Evangelical Covenant Church, shared from Galatians 2. He exhorted the audience to proclaim God’s unconditional love, take the gospel to all people, and remember the poor.
Peter Chow, president of China Evangelical Seminary, spoke on Matthew 24:4-13, reminding everyone to finish the great commission and be prepared for the second coming of Jesus.
Among the attendees were Pastor Frank Tuan from the South Africa Chinese Covenant Church, who was accompanied by members from his church in Johannesburg. Tuan and his wife, Ana, were sent by the Taiwan Covenant Church to start the South African work in 1995 among the growing Chinese population.
Curt Peterson, executive minister of the Department of World Mission, presented a workshop on cross-cultural mission. Additional workshops were on youth ministry, China mission, and media mission.
The denomination has shown a strong commitment to evangelism, said Dave Dolan, former regional coordinator with the Department of World Mission. “The church has doubled in the last 10 years,” he noted.
“We praise God for the dramatic growth of the church in Taiwan,” said Dolan. He and his wife, Judy, worked with the Taiwanese for 23 years.