Vietnam Church Celebrates 100 Years

vietnam-picThe Tin Lanh (“Good News”) Church of Vietnam celebrates 100 years of ministry this month. The festivities are scheduled for June 14-16 in Da Nang City, Vietnam. U.S. C&MA President Dr. Gary Benedict will speak at the event. Dr. Tom Stebbins, a former international worker to Vietnam—whose sister Ruth Thompson and her husband, Ed, were killed in the Tet Offensive—also has been asked to speak.

In 1911, a team of three Alliance international workers, led by Robert A. Jaffray, entered Vietnam, then known as French Indochina, with the purpose of establishing the country’s first evangelical church. This church was formed in 1927 and by 1940 was comprised of 100 self-supporting churches.

In 1968, Communist forces invaded the Banmethuot Leprosy Center, killing five Alliance workers and a volunteer layman. When Vietnam fell to Communist control in 1975, The Alliance had established a national church with a membership of 53,000. At that time, the Vietnamese government took possession of the buildings and land belonging to the Tourane Bible School/seminary. For the next 28 years, believers were not permitted to train for ministry.

Yet God continued to multiply and build His church, sustaining it supernaturally. Alliance workers, Vietnamese nationals, and laypeople who gave up their lives for the gospel during the 1960s did not die in vain. Because of their sacrifice, the church in Vietnam has grown to more than 800,000 believers.

In April 2001, the government of Vietnam officially recognized the Tin Lanh Church as a legal entity. Today, the Tin Lanh Church is the largest Alliance-related Body in the world.

Learn More

Watch Dr. Thomas Stebbins’ account of the Thompsons’ ultimate sacrifice as international workers in Vietnam. [duration: 05:24]

Read about the courageous believers who gave their lives for the gospel in Vietnam.


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