The Vietnam Mennonite Mission began its witness in 1957 when James and Arlene Krupp Stauffer and Everett and Margaret Glick Metzler went to Saigon under the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (Mennonite Church). The first baptism occurred in 1961. A large student center was developed in Saigon, and a fellowship group met there. As missionary personnel increased, witness was begun in Gia Dinh (1964) and Can Tho (1970). A congregation emerged in 1965 in Gia Dinh, the provincial capital adjoining Saigon (which was incorporated with Saigon into Ho Chi Minh City in 1975). The Gia Dinh community center offered extensive educational, social, and medical services, supported partially by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). After the destructive 1968 street fighting, several hundred families were helped in rebuilding their homes. Tran Xuan Quang was ordained pastor in March 1969 and a new church center dedicated in 1973. Many members were active in social ministries at the center and in the community.
The church became autonomous in 1973 with the formation of Giáo-Hội Tin Lành (Hệphái Mệnô-nít) (Evangelical Church [Mennonite Branch]). Total church membership in 1975 was 152. The Giáo Hội Tin Lành Mennonite Viêt Nam, as it was called in 2003 had 26 congregations with 1100 members.
All the missionary personnel left Vietnam during the revolutionary military activity in April 1975. Pastor Quang had gone to Lancaster, PA to attend a mission conference in March, and stayed in the United States. James Klassen (MCC) encouraged the Saigon and Gia Dinh congregations until he left in April 1976. All the Mennonite Church properties were confiscated. Some members left the country; others returned to the countryside. After the revolution the Mennonite congregation in Gia Dinh joined with other churches in Tin Lành Thông Nhút (United Evangelicals), but little was heard about this movement after its leader died in 1976. In 1988 a Mennonite leader, Nguyen Quang Trung, reported 30 Mennonite families. They had been active in congregations of the Hội Thánh Tin Lành Viêt-Nam (Evangelical Church of Vietnam) and were planning to resume their own meetings for Bible study, fellowship, and worship.
Former members of the Mennonite church in Vietnam were (1987) giving leadership to Vietnamese churches in Philadelphia, Sacramento, and Honolulu.
Klassen, James R. Jimshoes in Vietnam. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1986.
Martin, Luke S. "An Evaluation of a Generation of Mennonite Mission, Service, and Peacemaking in Vietnam, 1954-1976.' a Vietnam Study Project commissioned by MCC, MCC Peace Section, and EMBMC, 1977.
Metzler, James E. From Saigon to Shalom. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1985.
Mennonite World Conference. "MWC - 2003 Asia/Pacific Mennonite & Brethren in Christ Churches:" Accessed 27 January 2006. <http://www.mwc-cmm.org/Directory/asiapacific.html>.
|Author(s)||Luke S Martin|
Cite This Article
Martin, Luke S. "Giáo Hội Tin Lành (Hệphái Mệnô-nít), Vietnam." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 24 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gi%C3%A1o_H%E1%BB%99i_Tin_L%C3%A0nh_(H%E1%BB%87ph%C3%A1i_M%E1%BB%87n%C3%B4-n%C3%ADt),_Vietnam&oldid=91922.
Martin, Luke S. (1987). Giáo Hội Tin Lành (Hệphái Mệnô-nít), Vietnam. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gi%C3%A1o_H%E1%BB%99i_Tin_L%C3%A0nh_(H%E1%BB%87ph%C3%A1i_M%E1%BB%87n%C3%B4-n%C3%ADt),_Vietnam&oldid=91922.
Herald Press website.
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