Chinese Christian Church

Chinese Christian Church, 1984
Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies

Prior to World War II, Christian churches offered religious services to Chinese and there were sporadic mission efforts in Chinatown. The Chinese Christian Church and Center, established in 1941, was the first interdenominational Christian organization in Chinatown. Formed by a group of Chinese pastors and church lay workers, the Center operated for over 10 years before accumulating sufficient funds for a church building in 1952. The mission continued to expand, operating a community center and building a playground on small pieces of land purchased by the church over the years.

In addition to religious services, the Chinese Christian Church and Center has long offered important services to the Chinatown community. In the Center's kindergarten class, young Chinese Americans learn to communicate in English and Chinese, receive lessons in American civics, and celebrate American holidays such as Thanksgiving. This class prepares them for first grade in the American school system. The Center also offers ESL and English enrichment courses, an after-school program and citizenship services, all aimed at helping immigrants acquire skills that help them make their own way in a new society.

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