Elder Fu Xianwei, the leader of China’s protestant Christians has died. He headed the Three Self Patriotic Movement (which united the protestant denominations in China into one church) from 2008 to 2018.
Elder Fu went home to be with the Lord in the early morning of August 20, 2018. He was 74.
He was key in promoting the production and distribution of Bibles in China.
“We thank God that under Elder Fu’s leadership, the Church in China printed and distributed more than 36.9 million copies of the Bible in Mainland China over the past ten years, bringing the total number of Bibles distributed since the late 1980s to 80 million copies of the Bible,” the United Bible Societies China Partnership said on news of his death.
“Elder Fu was totally committed to ensuring that all Chinese Christians would have a copy of the Bible, especially those from the poorer rural areas and the ethnic minority groups who live in the mountainous regions of China. He passionately pleaded for more Bibles to be printed and provided for the poor and the needy.”
More recently Elder Fu oversaw the translation of the ESV study notes into Chinese. This enabled the production of the China Study Bible in 2017, a major milestone for the Chinese church.
He was interviewed in 2010 and gave his testimony: “From the time I was 5 years old, my parents would bring me to church every week. I grew up in Sunday school. One creative method our teachers used to encourage our attendance and to impart Bible knowledge was to give out little scriptural cards to those present each week. I could still remember vividly what a scriptural card looked like: on its front was a Bible story with illustrations while turning to its back one could find the relevant Bible verses. If a child were to collect 52 of them consecutively without a week’s break, the teacher would give him a prize. The children were motivated to go week after week for Sunday school to collect a complete set of these cards.
“I continued to grow in Church as a youth, serving in the choir and in the youth fellowship. The fellowship I had in church strengthened my Christian faith and promoted my spiritual growth. I was baptized in 1957.
“During my teenage years, I had a strange dream: I saw light from heaven and heard Jesus calling my name. I was so scared that I hid under the table. When I woke up, I was amazed. I thought to myself, ‘If Jesus is calling me; perhaps He wants to use me.’ I decided to surrender everything to God and trust that He will direct my path.”