Loma Linda Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church
Bruce W. Lo, 2017
Basic Demographic Information
Official Name: Loma Linda Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church
Church Administrative Unit: Southern Californian Conference, North American Division
Date Officially Formed: June 4, 1977
Founding Minister: Edward Ho
Church Website: http://llc.adventistfaith.org/
Current Address: 25665 Van Leuven Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354
Date on which Current Sanctuary was Dedicated: June 12, 1982
Current Membership: 323 in March 2015
In the fall 1973, several Chinese Adventist residents of the Loma Linda area: Charles Lee, Fred and Shirley Lam, Sharon Tan, Stanley Tan, and Philip Law, met and came up with the idea of starting a Chinese speaking Sabbath School class. On January 5, 1974, the Chinese Sabbath School held its first meeting in the amphitheater of Mortensen Hall, Loma Linda University, with 24 people present. Hymns were sung from duplicated copies of handwritten Chinese verses, and a limited copies of Chinese quarterly lessons were shared among the members.
Six months later, in July 1974, through the courtesy of the Loma Linda University Dean of Women, the group moved to the beautiful chapel of Kate Lindsay Hall with the music of the piano and organ. By that time, the regular weekly Sabbath School attendance had reached over 50, and classes were conducted in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.
Beginning in the summer of 1975, besides the Sabbath School classes, Chinese Divine worship services were held once a month. the membership of group continued to grow, and on June 4, 1977, the Loma Linda Chinese Adventist Company was officially organized, with regular weekly Chinese Church worship services and Sabbath School programs conducted. As the weekly attendance reaching 150, the company moved the meeting venue from Linday Hall into the larger Cutler Hall, through the courtesy of Dr. Charles Winters, Chairperson of LLU Department of Microbiology, who had served as a missionary to China. With perfect timing, Pastors L.C. Tsao, and Philip Tan, retired ministers from Hong Kong and Sandakan respectively, guided the Chinese Company during those early years.
Plans were initiated to organize a full church body and to build a house of worship. Led by Bert Chow and Elsie Chan, Building Committee Co-Chairpersons, and Dr. Charles Loo, Fund Raising Committee Chairperson, land was purchased in the Winter of 1977. In 1978, an invitation was sent to Pastor Edward Ho, who was completing his doctoral studies at Andrews University at that time, to join the new Loma Linda Chinese Church as its foundation pastor.
In the mean time, every member was actively involved in raising funds and volunteering to help in every way toward the building of the church. Dr. Chan Shun, generously donated 50% of the building costs. Well-known architect, James O'Young of Sydney, volunteered his time to draw up an innovative architectural plan for the new church. Ground breaking was held in May 1980, and construction of the buildings was started later that same year. The young people, under the leadership of Jin-Long Koh, cleared the land and prepared for the building ground. Eighteen months later the sanctuary and the Sabbath School rooms were completed.
On June 12, 1982, the newly built Loma Linda Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church was opened and dedicated. The dedication service was attended by elder Mostert, President of the southeastern California Conference, Elder Bietz, Treasurer of the Pacific Union Conference, Elder Hunter, General conference Representative, Mayor Digneo of Loma Linda city, and Dr. and Mrs Chan Shun. In nine years, what began as a Chinese Sabbath School class had metamorphosed into a full-fledged church congregation.
The church continued to grow in the following years. In 1983, the Pathfinder Club was launched. In 1984, the Fellowship Hall was completed. In 1985, the first Chinese Language Class was started by Dr. Charles and Lilian Lee. In 1993, the Adventure Club was formed. The congregation was blessed, as they had never forgotten the reasons for their existence, which may be summed up bythe goals they set themselves from the beginning:
To foster better unity among the Chinese Seventh-day Adventist members through Christian fellowship and proper pastoral care.
To involved fellow Chinese Seventh-day Adventists for evangelism among Chinese from overseas who now live in southeastern California.
To involve fellow Christian Seventh-day Adventists in overseas missionary activities.
To tap local talents for helping th Seventh-day Adventist church fulfill its Gospel Commission.
The ministers who had served (or are serving) at the Loma Linda Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church are :
1. Young, Samuel, An Overview of Gospel Wok Among Chinese in North America, in Chinese SDA History, 2002, Chinese Union Mission: Hong Kong.
2. Loma Linda Chinese Seventh-day Adventist Church, 25th Anniversary Commemoration Booklet, 2008.