Ang Tau Kiet or Hong Jizie 洪子杰 (1864 - 1936)
by Bruce W. Lo, 2012
Ang Tau Kiet or Hong Jizie (Pinyin ),洪子杰 , was born in 1864 in his native village of Peh-tah (白塔 Baita). Before being converted to Christianity, he was a county official near Shantao (汕头 Swatow) in the province of Guangdong. In his early days, he joined the Baptists church and became an ordained elder in charge of an independent Baptist congregation in the town of Chiao-on.
Through his contact with Guo Ziying (郭子颖), the first Chinese national SDA minister, Hong Jizie became interested in the Adventist message. According to Hong Jizie's family, Guo Ziying found out about the Sabbath truth from Timothy Zheng, another Adventist from Singapore, Guo himself decided to travel to Guangzhou to consult J.N. Anderson to find out more about the Sabbath issue. When his boat took a stop at Shantao, Guo Ziying went ashore to have a look around. Hong and Guo met and started talking about the Sabbath problem. Hong Jizie was not interested initially, as being a Baptist elder, he thought that Sunday was the Sabbath and that he will be able to prove this from the Bible. To much of his surprise, he was not able to find any Biblical reference to Sunday being the Sabbath. When he consulted his mentor in the Baptist Church, his mentor could not find it either. After considerable research, Hong Jizie decided to accept that Saturday is indeed the Sabbath of the Bible. He resigned from his county post, gave up a good income and decided to begin observing the Sabbath as he understood it. When he announced his decision to his congregation, many of them decided to follow Hong to accept the Sabbath belief also. It was interesting to note that when they made that decision, the Chinese New Year Day fell on a Saturday in that year. So his church building became the first property owned by the Shantao SDA Mission.
In addition to giving up his lucrative county position, he also sold many of his properties and houses, and distributed part of the proceeds to the poor, and used the others to build a school. But loosing a job is not a simple thing if you have a family to support. Only half of his six (6) children decided to follow him to the Adventist faith, while the others remained with the Baptist Church.
As an enthusiastic leader, he immediately began to spread the Adventist message through out that part of the Guangdong province. His friendliness, sincerity, and generosity won many followers to Christ. He opened new stations, distributed publications, and even employed others at his own expense to preach the gospel before the SDA mission provided financial aid for his work. He labored for about 25 years, opening schools and establishing churches in 7 out of the 12 districts in the Shantao Mission. In 1915 he became the second Chinese national to be ordained into the SDA ministry.
It was reported that, Dr. Harry Miller, the famed China Doctor, once asked Hong Jizie how he (Miller) may become a true "Chinese". Hong replied, "You have to wear Chinese mandarin robe, wear cloth shoes, eat rice and soy bean. Then your eyes will be transformed into the small Chinese eyes." Hong then gave Miller a small Chinese black hat with a "pig-tail" hair attached. Dr. Miller played along with the joke and decide to give his fellow expatriates a surprise by putting on the hat with the long black hair "pig-tail". But that was a very windy day. When someone opened the door, the wind blew the hat and the hair "pig-tail" to the ground, and Dr. Miller regained his occidental look. Everyone in the office had a great laugh.
In 1928 Hong's health failed and he became paralyzed on his right side. Hong Jizie died in 1936 and was buried in his native village of Peh-Tah.
Pastor and Mrs Hong Jizie
Family photo of Pastor and Mrs Hong Jizie seated at center front.
Standing third at back from right was daughter Hong Zhengqing, next future son-in-law Chen Qingwenk, and standing fourth from right was son, Dr. Hong Shaozi
First on left seated: J.N. Anderson, and seated second from left: Hong Jizie
Last photo of Hong Jizie (Ang Tau Kiet) before his death
Van Dolson, B.J & Van Dolson, L.R. Editors (1996) "Ang, Tau Kiet.", Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Vol A-L, Second Revised Edition,Commentary Reference Series, Vol. 10, Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Press.
Khng (Kang in pinyin), K.T. (1938) "The spirit of the pioneers", in The China Division Reporter, Vol. 8, No. 3, p.6, March 1, 1938. accessed 5/12/2012, http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/CDR/CDR19380301-V08-03__B.pdf; accessed again 7/1/2016, https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-341163/china-division-reporter-march-1-1938?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=e766dfb9fb3258adfd20&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=1&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=7.
Young, Samuel (2002), Editor, Entry on "Ang Tau Kiet", Chinese SDA History, Hong Kong: Chinese Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists.
Last update 10/16/2012 by B. Lo