AROur Church in IndonesiaFind out how the True Jesus Church in Indonesia flourishes under the guidance and blessings of God.The first True Jesus Church in Indonesia was formally established with blessings from God. Currently in Indonesia, there are 14 churches and 17 prayer houses. In 1997, the membership was about 5400; there are currently 17 full-time preachers and 25 ordained elders, deacons, and deaconesses. There is also a Christian School of the True Jesus Church, which is a major milestone in the church's history-for this was the first time the church had established an educational institution. Before this in 1982, the General Assembly of Indonesia started a three-year theological education system. Since its inception, a total of 22 students have graduated and 17 are now serving as full-time preachers in Indonesia.
Establishment of the First Church
In 1920, Lao Hoan Tek from Phutian, China, immigrated to Indonesia and settled in Mukasa (now Jung Pandang), South Sulawesi. Twelve years later, he returned to China to get married. Three months after his wedding, a fever kept him bed-ridden for six months. All efforts to cure him were unsuccessful. His mother visited temple after temple, praying to numerous idols, but to no avail. Then one day, his aunt visited him. She encouraged him to believe in Jesus and to attend services at the True Jesus Church. Jao agreed and was carried to the church on a stretcher for prayers. Thank God, after staying and praying in the church for 28 days, he recovered. He and his mother accepted Christ and received baptism. Towards the end of 1932, he returned to Mukasa.
In January 1936, Jao visited China again. Stephan Siauw, the preacher who had baptized him, asked him to apply for a license from the Indonesian government to preach in Indonesia, but the license was granted only in 1939. By then Jao was already working in Jakarta and had met up with an elder, Tan Chauw Sin, also from mainland China. Elder Tan offered his house as a place of worship. Thus on 1 February 1941, the first True Jesus Church in Indonesia was formally established.
Development of the Churches
The Lord continued to work in Indonesia and over the years, churches and prayer houses in different parts of the country were established:
Year Church Location
1941 Jakarta Church Jakarta
1943 Bandung Church West Java
1947 Cianjur Church West Java
1950 Pontianak Church West Kalimantan
1951 Banjarmasin Church South Kalimantan
1956 Tasikmalaya Church West Java
1959 Tangerang Church West Java
1969 Solo Church Central Java
1974 Salatiga Church Central Java
1976 Siantan-Pontianak* West Kalimantan
1980 Lasem Church Central Java
1984 Sukabumi* West Java
1985 Sendangcoyo Church Sewan-Tangerang* Central JavaWest Java
1987 Surabaya Church East Java
1988 Cilacap Church Tewah* Central JavaCentral Kalimantan
1989 Sandung Tambun*Malang* Central KalimantanEast Java
1990 Nusa Indah-Cilacap*Layur-Cilacap* Central JavaCentral Java
1991 Bekasi* West Java
1992 Bogor*Perum Nelayan-Cilacap* West JavaCentral Java
1993 Purwokerto*Semarang* Central JavaCentral Java
1994 Palangka Raya* Central Kalimantan
1995 Bonang-Tangerang* West Java
1995 Ujung Pandang* South Sulawesi
1996 Kopo-Bandung* West Java
1997 Sunter Church Jakarta
Based on our records, the growth has been as follows:
The Kanaan Christian School (KCS)
On 15 January 1970, KCS in Jakarta was established, offering kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school education to the general public. This was a major milestone in the history of the True Jesus Church, not only in Indonesia, but also internationally, for this was the first time the church had established an educational institution.
KCS is a formal educational institution recognized by the Indonesian government. It has full private status and does not receive any government subsidy. It follows the national education curriculum of Indonesia. Today, there are also branches in Tangerang (from 1986), Cianjur (from 1991), and Banjarmasin (from 1992). The total student population from kindergarten to senior high number some 3,000.
Unique features of KCS are that teachers and students are required to attend Sabbath services, and students in the elementary and high schools receive two hours of religious education every week by teachers from the Indonesian General Assembly (GA).
In 1984, the GA started a three-year theological education system to train members for full-time ministry. Lecturers are invited from other general assemblies, such as Taiwan's. Amidst the peaceful surroundings of Cibodas, students devote themselves to the study of the word of God, striving to attain deeper spiritual communion with Him. Since its inception, a total of 22 students have graduated and 17 are now serving as full-time preachers in Indonesia, while the rest are religious education teachers in
The True Jesus Church Marches On
No one knows when our Lord Jesus will come again. But one thing is certain: His second coming is imminent. Therefore, it must be with a sense of urgency that the church fulfils her mission of saving souls and prepares her members to be guiding lamps which lead people to peace and salvation. Looking ahead, many things need to be done. Externally, we have to be known and reach out to those who do not believe. We also need to understand the social, economic, as well as technological developments taking place in our increasingly complex world. Internally, we have to strengthen our members' faith against the increasing tides of materialism and false teachings. We must have effective and progressive church organization, and more importantly, spiritually mature workers with the correct mindset to serve God.
Under the Lord's gracious guidance, our membership in Indonesia has grown in recent years and the Lord has led many to return to His fold. But in a country that spans over 76 miles and has a population of over 200 million, it is clear that there is still a lot of work to do. We pray that the Lord will continue to guide and direct us so that the True Jesus Church in Indonesia will become a dynamic, progressive church that can confidently and boldly accomplish the commission to propagate the complete gospel throughout the 17,000 islands in Indonesia.