Chung Wai Poh (Pinyin: Zhong Huibo) 鍾惠波 (1910 – 2001)

by Andree Eng, 2013

Basic Biographical Data

Born 1910 in Dongguan 東莞, Shilong, and died 2001 in USA.

Parents: Father Zhong Lianguang 鍾連光, mother Zhao Deji 趙德基.

Marriage: He married Lu Jieying 盧傑英in 1930.

Children: Zhong Minzhen 鍾敏贞 (Joyce Wang), Zhong Enji 鍾恩基 (David Chung), Zhong Enquang 鍾恩光 (Alfred Chung), Zhong Enxi 鍾恩禧 (Tom Chung), Zhong Meizhen 鍾美贞 (Andree Eng), Zhong Bizhen 鍾碧贞 (Emily Eng), and Zhong Youzhen 鍾幼贞 (Kathy Yu)

Highlights of services: Began as literature evangelist. Chung Wai Poh was responsible for opening many new churches and schools in Southern China. His pioneering work in Hainan, Kowloon Boundary Street, Yuen Lang, Macau, and Tai Po, are particularly worthy of mention.

Figure 1: Pastor Chung Wai Poh (Pinyin Zhong Huebo) ca 1984.

Family Background

Pastor Chung Wai Poh鍾惠波 (Pinyin Zhong Huibo) was born on March 3, 1910 in Dongguan東莞, Shilong石龍. His father Zhong Lianguang 鍾連光 was a medical doctor in the military. His mother Zhao Deji 趙德基 was a nurse. He and his wife, Lu Jieying 盧傑英 had three sons and four daughters. From the eldest to the youngest, their names are:

Zhong Minzhen 鍾敏贞 (Joyce Wang),

Zhong Enji 鍾恩基 (David Chung),

Zhong Enquang 鍾恩光 (Alfred Chung),

Zhong Enxi 鍾恩禧 (Tom Chung),

Zhong Meizhen 鍾美贞 (Andree Eng),

Zhong Bizhen 鍾碧贞 (Emily Eng), and

Zhong Youzhen 鍾幼贞 (Kathy Yu).

All seven children were married and had their own families. He had sixteen grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren at the time of writing.

Due to his parents’ work commitments, as a child Chung Wai Poh stayed with his maternal grandmother. In youth, Chung had the opportunity of meeting up with another Adventist by the name of Sui Huichuan 蘇慧川, who was canvassing in the area. Sui Huichuen encouraged Chung Wai Poh to go to study at the Adventist School in Dongshan, Guangzhou. At that time, a student may support him/herself by working and studying half-time. In fact, Sui Huichuen personally accompanied Chung Wai Poh to the Dongshan School. Chung Wai Poh supported his own schooling by working part-time until graduation. After graduation, he went with fellow graduate, Lu Jieying, to teach in the school in Zhaoqing 肇慶.

Entry to Ministry

Three years later, Chung Wai Por returned to Dongshan to work. He married Lu Jieying in 1930. After their wedding, he moved to his hometown, Dongguan, to become a literature evangelist there. After the birth of their eldest daughter, the family moved to Hong Kong. One year later, he moved back to Guangzhou, and became the Director of Literatures Evangelism. In 1935, he was sent to Hainan Island, and became the minister of the church at Wing Lok 永樂 Street. While there he also took on the role of the principal of the school. (Do you know the name of the school?) In the beginning he faced many challenges, having to put up posters to advertise the school to attract students. He was pleasantly surprised by the large number of young people who wanted to enroll as students in the school. Furthermore the membership of the Wing Lok Street Church in which he ministered also continued to increase. At a time when both the School and the Church were experiencing tremendous growth, a call came from Dr. Loh Big Wah 劳碧華 (pinyin Luo Bihua) for him to go to Hong Kong, as there was a shortage of ministers in the Hong Kong mission. He remained in Hong Kong till 1941 when World War II broke out. He then returned to Wai Chow 惠卅 (pinyin Huizhou), an inland city in southern China, and stayed at the home of Dr. Sui Huichuan 蘇慧川, who was now his brother-in-law. When Wai Chow fell to the Japanese army, Chung Wai Poh took his family to Qujiang 曲江. Because it was during the war years, he rented a broken down house as a place of worship.

At the end of the Sino-Japanese War in 1945, he moved to Xiguan 西関 (West Gate) at Canton, to pastor a church there. But only after a few months, the landlord wanted that premises back. So he had to move once more, this time to Nanguan 南関 (South Gate). During that time, grandmother got to know the mother of Samuel Young, and asked Chung Wai Poh to visit the Youngs, and have Bible study with them, which he did. He also assisted Samuel Young to attend our church school. As a result, the whole Young family was baptized. It was in this year, 1945, that Chung Wai Poh was ordained into the ministry.

The Work in Hong Kong

Two years later, the Mission in Hong Kong was in need of a pastor to take care of the local church there. Several elders, Shen Cansheng 沈燦生, Tan Decheng 譚德成, and He Jianer何健兒 petitioned the then president of the South China Mission, Elder J.P. Anderson, to have a full-time pastor. In 1948, Chung Wai Poh arrived in Hong Kong to take up the position. The church was initially located at 21 Tong Tsai Street 通菜街, Mongkok, Kowloon. With the blessings of the Holy Spirit, church membership continued to increase and outgrew the room available at that address. It was reported that, chairs had to be placed in the outside veranda for the audience to sit during the church services. Members decided to raise funds to build a church that can accommodate the additional new members and also allow for growth. With prayers and God’s leading they found the property at 52 Boundary Street, Mongkok, and decided to build the church there. (Boundary Street was so named, because the south of that street was permanently ceded to UK, while the north of it, called the New Territory, is only on a 99-year loan to Britain. Thus that street marks the "boundary" between the two sections of the Hong Kong City) This later became the Kowloon Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of the major churches in Hong Kong. In addition to the church, he also started a class to teach the youth in that area. Both the parents and the students were really happy with what he did and called him, “The teacher from across the water”, because he had to travel from the Hong Kong Island by ferry across the Victoria Harbor to get to Kowloon.

More and more students wanted to attend the school. So they needed to expand the school. Chung Wai Poh, led out in the building of additional classrooms for the school, which eventually developed into the Kowloon Sam Yuk Middle School, one of the major mission schools in Hong Kong. The school and the church were located side by side at the same address, and Chung Wai Poh became the first foundation pastor of the Kowloon Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In 1951, the mission wanted to develop the work in Macau, a city on the west of Hong Kong, on the other side of the mouth of the Pearl River. The mission approached Chung Wai Poh to pioneer the work in Macau. Reluctantly, the Kowloon Church members said farewell to Pastor Chung, who proceeded to move to Macau. While there, he not only developed the church, but also opened up the educational work in that city. As a matter of fact, Macau Sam Yuk School was initially registered with his name as the principal. I was only four year old at that time. I still remembered he really put his soul into his work with the school and the church. So many people in the educational and political circle were quite willing to help him to overcome whatever challenge they faced at the setting up of the school. It was during that time that many new members were baptized who later became well known church employees. They include Pastor and Mrs. Guan Jiaosheng 闗覺生, Ms Fo Lanfong, and Ms Leung Yimhua. Within a few years, both the church and the school were well established.

In 1954, the Mission wanted to open the work at Yuan Lang 元朗, New Territory, Hong Kong. So once again they approached this ”Pioneer” worker. Chung Wai Poh was sent to a country area to open up the church work there. At that time, one could only find cows and rice fields in Yuan Lang. There were hardly any buildings in the village. The entire Chung family had to cram into a small cottage. The roof tiles were made of cotton. In the summer it was hot beyond description, while in the winter, it was so cold that no one could sleep. Every day, Pastor and Mrs Chung had to carry their umbrella and walk along the narrow ridges of the rice field, to visit church members and/or potential members. Sometime, Chung Wai Poh had to ride bicycle to visit members who were far away. I can remember one time, father was involved in an bicycle accident. He came home with blood all over him. My mother was really upset.

Chung Wai Poh not only labored tirelessly for the church, he also put a lot of effort into the education work of the church. He put the needs of the church above his own. To save the church money, he would take up the work of building classrooms. Once, he fell and nails were all over his body. When the classrooms were finished, he employed a number of teachers to teach in the school. One of the teachers was Li Youjiang李佑强. The school was doing well, and the church members were very faithful and got along with each other well. The county government and the local elders in the village also respected the dedication of Chung Wai Poh.

In 1967, Chung Wai Poh was moved to Tai Po Church. After working there for one year, he decided to retired. After retirement, he actually opened up a Kindergarten. In 1972, Chung migrated to the United States.

A Daughter Remembering Her Father

Since our childhood, our Father had been pretty strict to us all-his children. He taught us a lot about the love for learning, and also prepared us to face the world. But he always had our welfare in mind even when he disciplined us.

Throughout his life, he served the Lord with all his heart. He never expressed any complains. Even he only received a small wage, he always tried to help the poorer among the church members, but never expected any returns. He never forgot to faithfully pay his tithe to the Lord. My mother and my grandmother always supported him. So credits must also go to these two ladies.

Figure 2: Chung Wai Poh with Pastor Li Daming, Dr. Loh Big Wah, and young daughter Andree in 1950.

Figure 3: The Kowloon SDA Church at 52 Boundary Street, Mongkok ca 1950

Figure 4 : Chung Wai Poh in 1951 with eldest son David and daughter Andree.

Figure 5: A Tent Meeting near Yuenlang ca 1951

Figure 6 Evangelistic Meeting at Yuenlang Church ca 1954

Figure 7: Chung Wai Poh was registered as the first principal of the Macao Sam Yuk School. This photo of Pastor Chung and the school staff was taken in 1953.

Figure 8: Bethlehem Kingdergarten, Tai Po, which Chung Wai Poh opened in 1969 after his retirement.

Experienced the hardship of the war and endured the challenges of pioneer church work, my father lived a life of simplicity even in his sunset years. When he was in the nursing home and did not receive appropriate care, he did not utter a word of complain. He always thought of other first before thinking about himself.

In January of 2001, his health deteriorated and was called to rest in the Lord. I think many people may have forgotten about him, but we believe that the Lord will remember His hardworking servant, who had dedicated his entire life in God’s service.

Figure 9: Pastor Chung Wai Poh with granddaughter, Wendy Chung, in 1986, who won the 45th Westinghouse Science Talent Search in the US. Here is the congratulatory letter from US President R. Regan.

Figure 10: Chung Wai Poh with R.M.Milne, a veteran missionary to China. Taken in 1987 in the US.

Figure 11: 1987 With former colleagues during a banquet. Seated from left to right are: Phillip Tang, Handel Luke, Chung Wai Poh, Mrs Chung; standing at back: Mrs. & Mr. Kwan Kwok San.

Figure 12: Pastor & Mrs. Chung Wai Poh on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 1990, with their children in the United States: from left to right: Kathy, Emily, Alfred, David, Tom, Joyce, & Andree.