by Kam Khaw Thang (Yangon)
The Chin Christian Centenary of the first Converts among the Chins (CCCC) namely Thuam Hang and wife, Pau Suan and wife of Khuasak village, Tedim, Chin State who were converted in 1904 by the preaching of American Baptist Missionaries and baptized on May 11, 1905 by Dr. East is to be celebrated in a grand scale at Khuasak village by the Zomi Baptist Convention during March 20-21, 2004.
The Centenary Magazine Committee asked me to contribute an article for the magazine. I was born on October 17, 1927 and baptized on September 11,1938. I began my Christian activity after the Second World War by attending the first Baptist General Meeting of the Tedim Subdivision at Keizang village in 1945.
Attending the Tedim Bible School opened by the Nelsons during 1947-1950 I was paid a generous full-time pay by the Nelsons from March 1949 at the beginning of my third year to do office work for them in addition to my studies. Since that time I became a full-time worker up to now and my participation in Baptist work is over half a century. Therefore I decided to write on the History of the Chin Baptists as I might be the lone person living to participate over half a century in the Chin Baptist work. To write a full story will require a big book, but what I am writing will be mostly in what I have had participated in the progress and problems of the Chin Baptists.
The Chin Baptist History could be divided into four periods on account of important incidents in the History
I. 1899-1948 – CHIN HILLS BAPTIST ASSOCIATION:
From the arrival of the Carsons in March 1899 to March 1948 the Chin Baptists were solely under the guidance of the Missionaries stationed at Hakha and Tedim The Missionaries called us Baptists in Tedim, Falam, and Hakha Subdivisions by the name of Chin Hills Baptist Association
The manner of administration is like that of a local church in modern time, all collections were sent to one place and disbursed from that one place.
II. 1948-1952 THREE ASSOCIATIONS FORMED OUT OF CHIN HILLS BAPTIST ASSOCIATION:
There arose disagreement in the use of the Chin Hills Baptist Association Fund. Hakha people wanted to use the fund for a High School at Farawn The Falam and Tedim people objected the plan while there was a great need of money for preachers in their area The problem became more acute and in March 1948 at the meeting at Satawm village, they decided each area to run their own business and Tedim, Falam, and Hakha formed their own organization. March 1948 was the beginning of Tedim Baptist Association, Falam Baptist Association, and Hakha Baptist Association.
The three Associations had a fund called General Fund for evangelistic work in the Southern Chin Hills.
III 1953-1995 ZOMI BAPTIST CONVENTION (ZBC):
This period might be the most important period in the Chin Baptist History where the national people carried on the work though the Missionaries were still in the Chin Hills. It was the time when the ZBC was the second or third biggest Convention within the Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC). The ZBC was in her zenith stage where there was a lot of progress and problems in the Convention. That turning point of reorganization was happened by the wise guidance of the American Baptist Missionaries.
A. Mission Secretary Revd. E. E. Soward’s Survey Trip to the Chin Hills.
He paid a survey trip to Chin Hills in February-March 1952 which was a turning point of the Chin Baptist organization. In those days the Johnsons of Hakha and the Nelsons of Tedim were still in USA for their furlough Revd. ST. Hau Go was the in charge for the Chin Baptist work during their absence. <Continue Reading Next Page>