Chan Woo Shang (Pinyin Chen Husheng) 陳湖生 (1920 - 1991)

by Henry Chan and Joyce Chan, 2013

Basic Biographical Data

Born April 10, 1920, died March 4, 1991.

Parentage: Father Chan Chuk Ping, mother Ng Wai Chun.

Siblings: He was the second of six brothers and one sister. The names of the 7 children in the Chan family are: Chan Lim Shang (Lawrence), Chan Woo Shang (Wallace), Chang Ying Shang, Chang Yung Shang, Chan Chum Shang (Stanley), Chan Ping Shang, and Chan Man Ying.

Spouse: Chan Woo Shang married Sinn Lai Wah (Minnie) on September 24, 1944.

Children: He has three children: Alice Lam, Henry Chan, and Joyce Chan.

Summary of Service: Bible teacher in China, pastor of Boundary Street SDA Church in Kowloon, foundation pastor of the Los Angeles Chinese SDA Church, pastor of the San Francisco Chinese SDA Church.

Figure 1: Pastor Chan Woo Shang

Family background

My father, Pastor Chan Woo Shang 陳湖生, also known as Wallace, was born in China on April 10, 1920 and passed away on March 4, 1991 in Loma Linda, CA, USA. His father, Pastor Chan Chuk Ping (陳竹平), was the first Chinese national ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Guangxi Province, China, and his mother, Madam Ng Wai Chun (吳慰珍), was a Bible worker at that time. He was the second of six brothers and one sister, in that family. The names of the seven children in my grandparents' family are, from eldest to youngest: Lim Shang (廉生), Lawrence; Woo Shang (湖生), Wallace; Ying Shang (瀛生); Yung Shang (邕生); Chum Shang (潯生), Stanley; Ping Shang (平生); and Man Ying (文英) (daughter). The biography of his elder brother, Chan Lim Shang, also appears elsewhere on this website.

Pastor Chan Woo Shang married Sinn Lai Wah (Minnie) on September 24, 1944. They were blessed with 3 children: the late Alice Lam (she was a nurse), Henry Chan (a dentist in Fresno, CA), and Joyce Chan (Real Estate Manager for the Port of San Francisco).

His ministry

In the early days, my father was a Bible teacher in China. He then became a minister and pastored the Boundary Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kowloon, Hong Kong in 1952. He remained in that position for 6 years. Under his leadership, that church continued to grow in membership, and became known simply as the Kowloon Church, as it had the largest membership among all Adventist churches in that city.

In 1958, he was elected to be a representative for the China Division to the General Conference Session in the United States. After the Session was over, he was invited to hold an evangelistic series in San Francisco, CA. At around that time, November 1959, his wife, Minnie and their 3 children flew over from Hong Kong as immigrants to join him in San Francisco. The Evangelistic Meetings were a big success. As a result, he was invited to go to Los Angeles to start a new Seventh-day Adventist Church for the Chinese people in that city. At that time, San Francisco Chinese Church was the only Chinese SDA Church in North America.

Figure 2: Pastor Chan Woo Shang, wife Sin Lai Wah with their three children Alice, Henry and Joyce, in 1953

On May 21, 1960, Pastor Chan Woo Shang gathered some 80 Chinese Adventists in Los Angeles at the Chinese School Auditorium in Chinatown and launched an evangelistic effort. A number of his helpers came each weekend from 60 to 120 miles away to assist him. At the end, eleven from the initial 200 listeners were baptized.When the town school needed their auditorium back, the White Memorial church opened the Oliver Chapel to the group so they could use it for 2-3 hours on a Sabbath afternoon. In February 1961, the company was formed and moved to an old auditorium on North Broadway. Here they organized their Sabbath School, worship service, Bible studies and mission rallies. On November 4, 1961, Elder Sanderfur of the Southern California Conference came and granted them an "Organized Church" Charter, member numbered 24 with their families and visitors 60 to 100 met here from Sabbath to Sabbath.

After about 18 months, my dad and Pastor Leong Wai Chow of the San Francisco Chinese Church exchanged dioceses. He pastored the San Francisco Chinese SDA Church until he formally retired from pastoral work in 1975.


After his retirement from pastoral work, he went to work for the Pacific Press which was located in Mountain View, CA. He worked with a machine that printed the Sabbath School Quarterlies. When the Press moved out of Mountain View, he retired a second time in 1986 and moved to live in Loma Linda, CA until his death on March 4, 1991.

A memorial scholarship fund was established in his honor at the North American San Yuk Alumni Association for the support of worthy students in SDA schools.

Chan Woo Shang was survived by the following family members:

  • His wife, Minnie Lai-Wah Chan of Fresno, CA.

  • His oldest daughter, Alice Lam, a nurse, and her husband, Dr. Harry Lam, a retired Electrical Engineer of Torrance, CA.

  • His second child, Dr. Henry Chan, a Dentist and his wife, Jennifer, a Nurse of Fresno, CA.

  • His third child, Joyce Chan, a Real Estate Manager with the Port of San Francisco and her husband, Jack Davidson, a retired Real Estate Manager with the United States Postal Service of Foster City, CA.

  • His seven Grandchildren: Stefanie Lam, Jason Lam (wife, Annie), Justin Lam, Brian Chan (wife, Beverly), Randy Chan, Matthew Davidson and Nathan Davidson.

  • His five Great Grandchildren: Alyssa Lam, Brandon Lam, Blake Lam, Solomon Chan, and Isaac Chan.

Figure 3: Chan Woo Shang's family with elder brother Chan Lim Shang's family, together with their mother, and younger brother, Chan Chum Shang and his wife, Lomina in 1954.

Figure 4: Chang Woo Shang's family in front of Kowloon SDA Church at Boundary Street ca 1957

Figure 5: Chan Woo Shang's family with friends at the Los Angeles Chinese SDA Church in 1960

Figure 6: Pastor and Mrs Chan Woo Shang with their three children in Los Angeles in 1963

Figure 7: Pastor Wallace and Mrs. Minnie Chan in 1986

Figure 8: A Chinese gospel booklet, Jesus Christ, written by Chan Woo Shang

last updated by Terrence Chan & Bruce Lo, November 1, 2013