Holy Cross Church, Wanzhou

Holy Cross Church (traditional Chinese: 聖十字堂; simplified Chinese: 圣十字堂; pinyin: Shèngshízì táng; Wade–Giles: Shêng4-shih2-tzu4 tʽang2) is a Protestant church situated on Tianlong Road in Wanzhou District, Chongqing. It was founded in 1923 by the American Lutheran missionary Rev George Oliver Lillegard (Chinese name: 黎立德; 1888–1965).[2][3]

Holy Cross Church, Wanzhou
Location181 Tianlong Road, Wanzhou District, Chongqing
DenominationSichuanese Protestant
Previous denominationLutheran
Founder(s)George Oliver Lillegard
DedicationHoly Cross
Functional statusActive
StyleGothic Revival
Pastor(s)Liu Xiaolin[1]


In 1923, when George Oliver Lillegard—an Iowa-born pastor sent by the Missouri Evangelical Lutheran Mission[4]—arrived in Wanzhou (then known as Wanhsien [Wan County], was part of Sichuan Province) to set up a small mission station in the Robert Dollar Building, Protestantism had already been introduced to the region by Anglican missionaries in the late 19th century. The Anglican Gospel Church was built in 1901.[1]

In 1925, part of Lillegard's residence at Gaosuntang Residential District, was converted into a chapel named Holy Cross Church.[1] The church became one of the county's main venues for Protestant worship the next year, after its relocation to Banbian Street.[2] Lillegard served in the church until 1927, when the Wanhsien incident forced all Americans out of Sichuan and Hubei.[5] Kwang Wan-yi, a local missionary, had laboured for the congregation since then.[2]

The congregation had over 100 members by 1939, the number had decreased drastically after the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945). By the time of the communists' takeover of Sichuan in late 1949, there were only more than 10 Lutherans in the entire county.[6]

After the communist takeover of China in 1949, Christian Churches in China were forced to sever their ties with respective overseas Churches, which has thus led to the merging of Holy Cross Church into the communist-established Three-Self Patriotic Church.

In 2005, in order to support Three Gorges Project, the church was moved to its present location and rebuilt in neo-Gothic style.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "圣爱堂摄影团契第八期教堂专题摄影——万州区基督教圣十字堂" [Churches—Thematic Photography by Photography Fellowship of Holy Love Church at Chongqing: Holy Cross Church at Wanzhou District]. cqagape.com (in Simplified Chinese). 19 December 2020. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Dai, Yuetan (28 September 2016). "重庆市万州区基督教圣十字堂的百年历史" [A Centenary History of the Holy Cross Church in Wanzhou District, Chongqing]. gospeltimes.cn (in Simplified Chinese). Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  3. ^ "'The Thirteen': George Oliver Lillegard" (PDF). Oak Leaves. Mankato, MN: Evangelical Lutheran Synod Historical Society. 2004. pp. 7–8. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  4. ^ Tiedemann, R. G. (1 July 2016). Reference Guide to Christian Missionary Societies in China: From the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century. Milton Park: Routledge. ISBN 9781315497310.
  5. ^ Blumer, Deborah (2013). Called According to His Purpose: Missionary Letters From China. Lulu Press. p. 480. ISBN 978-0-578-01454-8.
  6. ^ Qin, Heping; Shen, Xiaohu, eds. (2008). 四川基督教资料辑要 [A Collection of Historical Documents on Christianity in Sichuan] (in Simplified Chinese). Chengdu: Bashu Publishing House. p. 498. ISBN 978-7-80752-226-3.

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