Nestled in the hilly beachside suburb of Hallett Cove, Hallett Cove Baptist Church has seen growth beyond expectation. With an influx of new church members and the addition of a Chinese congregation, Pastor David Chambers believes they have been ‘carried by a movement of God’.
Perhaps this particular movement began in 2018, when John and Regina, a Chinese couple at the church, had the vision to share the gospel with over eighty Chinese families who they had met through their travel agency.
Excitement spread and by September, John and Regina hosted a Chinese Moon Cake Festival at the church. 270 people flocked to the event, which included singing, traditional food served by church members, and the gospel message, preached in Mandarin by Pastor Paul Chuang.
The event was a success, and highlighted a real need for a Chinese congregation in the area. Soon after the festival, the Hallett Cove Baptist Church Chinese Congregation was born.
Of course, COVID-19 had a part to play, and the regular weekly services ceased during 2020, eventually resuming in February 2021. Pastor Paul connected with families through online prayer meetings, Bible studies, and sermons. When Sunday services resumed, a Sunday School taught in Mandarin began, and English classes began on Thursdays.
“We are integrated together as the HCBC family. The congregations share fellowship events and come together a few times a year for combined Chinese/ English services.” David says.
In November 2021, the congregations celebrated together as they baptised six new believers*; three from each congregation. David sees these six people as ‘the first fruits of a fresh movement of God’s Spirit through both congregations’.
During the service, two people shared that their journey to faith began with hearing the Gospel in their own language at the Moon Cake Festival. The generosity and love they experienced from the Christians they met had piqued their curiosity to know more.
“We give praise and glory to God for all that we have seen Him do in Christ among us in recent years, and we acknowledge the faithful service of the people of God at HCBC.” David says.
*Yu Ping Ping, Wu Xian Hong and Xiong Gui Ming were baptised at the church by Pastor Paul Chuang, while three others; Carole Benson, Kieran Curtis and Emlyn Hughes, were baptised at Brighton Beach by Pastor David Chambers.