Billy Graham Center

Interview with John C. Chin - Collection 206

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Table of Contents

Brief Description of This Collection

Title Page and Restrictions

Biography of John C. Chin

An Essay on the Contents of the Collection (Scope and Content)

List of Audio Tapes in This Collection (Location Records)

Brief Description.
One taped interview with Chin in which he discusses his childhood in China, medical training, and the Chinese Christian church; the work of China Inland Mission in Honan, Szechwan and Yunnan provinces; the Japanese occupation; Nationalist and Communist parties. Also discussed is his founding of the Lutheran Seminary, Taiwan; the contemporary status of Chinese Christians, and communicating the gospel to Chinese. This tape is part of the Missionary Sources Collection.

Collection 206 [March 23, 2000]
Chin, John C.; 1911-
Interview: 1982

Audio Tape


There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


John Chin was born April 6, 1911, in Kaifeng, Honan Province, China, and given the name Chin Chung-An, later anglicized to John. His father's name was Chin Yung-hao and his mother's was Yin Shin-yi. Both parents had been converted to Christianity. John attended China Inland Mission church and Sunday school during his youth, and was in public schools during the period of the Nationalists' rule in China. After completing high school, he entered medical school in the 1930s.

While at Honan University, he was chairman of a Christian group on the campus. In 1936, while in medical school, Chin began work in the CIM hospital in Kaifeng. His studies were interrupted in his third year by the war with Japan and the family moved first to Chungking and then to Yunnan province, where Chin transferred to Canton University in that province and finished his training there in 1940. After his graduation from Canton University, he spent two years in a Presbyterian hospital which closed when the Japanese occupied Yunnan province.

In 1942, Chin married Wang Ming-hsun, a mission nurse, and he and his wife had one daughter, Chin Wei-ying (Virginia). After the end of World War II, Chin moved his family to Sian (now Xian) in Shensi province to set up a private clinic. While in Sian, he helped to start a Lutheran church and became a licensed pastor to fill in whenever he was not practicing medicine. He continued in these occupations in Sian for two years. Because of Communist activity, the family moved first to Canton and then to Hong Kong after the Communist takeover in China in 1949. In the spring of 1950, the Chins left for Taiwan.

In Taiwan, Dr. Chin became the physician for a government factory and started a church. Several of the members of the church in Sian had come out of China with him, and by 1951 the group was enlarged by seventy-five new baptisms; it became the first Lutheran church in Taiwan. In 1982 this group had spread to include forty new congregations. It was also his hope to begin a seminary to train Chinese-speaking pastors and missionaries and, after a letter-writing campaign, he began a training center for Chinese-speaking persons which became the first Lutheran seminary in Taiwan. He also helped to organize the Hong Kong Lutheran church in 1955. The same year, he left Taiwan and traveled to India and then to Europe, ending his trip by enrolling in the Lutheran seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Chin returned to Taiwan in 1959, where he worked as a teacher in the Seminary, practiced medicine, and spent several years as a preacher. He retired in 1975 and came to live in the United States where his family had settled.

Scope and Content

Dr. Chin was interviewed by Galen R. Wilson on March 3, 1982, at the Billy Graham Center. Time elapsed in minutes and seconds is recorded to the left of the topics discussed in the interview. The index is keyed to the cassette copy and not to the reel-to-reel original.

T1 - side 1
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Introduction
00:45 Birth date and parents
02:00 Parents' conversion; family members
03:30 Reason for his western name, John
04:45 Education and church affiliation with China Inland Mission
05:00 Schooling in Kaifeng under Nationalist regime
06:45 Chinese attitudes toward Christianity as a western religion
08:45 Churches in Honan province; CIM policy and geographical spread
10:15 Other denominations working in Honan province
10:45 Types of mission stations and work
11:45 Schooling
12:00 Contacts with Watchman Nee in medical school
17:30 Nee's preaching
18:00 Movement begun by Nee and its organization
20:30 Nee's conversion; emphasis on Chinese comprehension of Biblical teaching, indigenous church
24:00 "Little Flock" and its difference from churches
25:00 Similarity to other groups at its inception; later divergence
25:30 Chin's last contact with Nee
26:15 Nee's subsequent career
29:45 Nee's arrest; subsequent development of the "Little Flock"
33:00 Reminiscences of uprising in 1927 and hostility toward Christians, missionaries
36:04 Early development of indigenous church (ca. 1922); few Christian Chinese intellectuals
37:45 Need to "translate" Christian principles for Chinese mind
39:45 Chinese difficulty in comprehending western philosophical framework often used to convey Christian truths
41:15 Pioneer missionaries, the effectiveness of concerned interaction with the people; episode of man and his bed offered to Chinese visitor; contempt toward first Chinese Christians
48:00 End of side 1

T1 - side 2
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Overlap from side 1
03:00 Tape interference
03:30 Missionaries and their varying methods of contact wit Chinese nationals
04:00 Chin's relationship with CIM workers; missionaries in Hong Kong center as refuge from Communists; difficulty of finding space for all families
07:00 Attendance at public schools, medical school; transfer to Canton to complete training in 1940
08:15 Opposition to Christianity and its political and western roots rather than spiritual differences
09:45 Japanese treatment of Christians, churches
10:30 Family move to Szechwan province
11:15 Move of Canton University to Yunan province; graduation from Canton
12:30 Tribal peoples and CIM's work there
13:15 Learning English in middle school
13:30 Work for CIM hospital, 1936, in Kaifeng; move to Yunan; work in Presbyterian Hospital; hospital staff and loss of male doctors
18:00 Mary Stone, founder of Bethel Hospital
18:30 Closing of Presbyterian Hospital after Japanese invasion
19:15 Return to Kaifeng until Communist takeover in China
19:45 Departure from China, 1950, to Taiwan; remaining family
21:00 Marriage to Wang Ming-hsun, 1942
22:00 Circumstances of meeting, wife's profession as nurse and Christian background
23:00 Discussion of political situation with Japanese, Nationalist regime, Communists' rise to power; Russian influences
28:00 Refusal of Communists to allow any rival forces in China
29:00 Christian sister's situation in contemporary China; letters
31:45 Circumstances of leaving China because of knowledge of what Communist rule would bring; Canton, Hong Kong, Taiwan
33:45 Employment in Taiwan; beginning of church; church begun while in Sian after the war
34:45 Building a congregation
37:00 Sian church before and after Communism
37:45 Progress of church in Taiwan
39:15 Process of establishing a seminary in Taiwan; response
41:45 Need for revival in Taiwan
42:45 Difficulties of establishing union seminaries, costs, students
45:15 Lutheran church role in Taiwan; travels to India, Europe, St. Paul, Minnesota, for seminary training; return to Taiwan, 1959; practicing medicine, preaching
47:00 End of side 2

T1 - side 3
00:00 Beginning of tape
00:05 Overlap from side 2
02:15 Retirement to United States, 1975; return visit to Taiwan, 1981
03:00 Meeting Billy Graham in India, 1956
04:00 Necessity to "translate" gospel for comprehension by Chinese
06:45 Attitudes of Last term missionaries
08:00 Interdenominational basis for China Inland Mission work in China; Chin's affiliation with Lutherans
09:45 Discussion of Jesus People in China
13:30 Communist attitude toward Jesus People
14:45 Antagonism of Communists toward any other groups
16:15 Leland Wang, evangelist; attitudes toward the Bible in western countries and in China
19:45 Christian College Foundation in China and visiting scholars; arguments about creation
21:00 End of tape


This tape was given to the Center in March, 1982.

Location: Tape File
Accession 82-33
August 14, 1985
Frances L. Brocker
J. Nasgowitz

Accession 82 - 33
Type of Material: Audio Tapes

The following items are located in the AUDIO TAPE FILE:

T1 - Reel-to-reel, 3-3/4 speed, ca. 111 minutes. Two sides. Interview with John Chin by Galen Wilson, March 4, 1982. Discussion of Chin's youth and medical education in China, the Japanese occupation, and China Inland Mission, work in CIM and Presbyterian hospitals, war conditions and relocation in Taiwan, founding of a Lutheran Seminary and churches, and other topics.

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Last Revised: 9/05/02
Expiration: indefinite