Chinese Baptist Church

Mission Statement

To bring people to Jesus and membership in his family, develop them to a Christ-like maturity, and equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name.

OCBC Milestones

1991/92 : The team of Chinese Christian Mission (CCM) from Vancouver started to do their mission in the area of Prince George, Vernon, and Kelowna.

1994: With no Chinese church established anywhere in the Okanagan Valley, Rev. Paul Chan from Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church(VCBC) saw and felt the spiritual needs of the Chinese people residing in the valley. He began leading Short Term Mission Teams from Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church to come to the Okanagan Region, pursuing a God-honouring vision to spread the Good News to Chinese families from Penticton to Kelowna to Vernon. The monthly mission trips included drives to Vernon where monthly Sunday afternoon worship services with Chinese people were held at the Faith Baptist Church, located at 3908 27A St., Vernon. In Kelowna, a monthly Saturday night potluck dinner and Bible study commenced at the Spring Valley Baptist Church, located at 515 Gerstmar Rd.

1995: A core group called Kelowna Chinese Christian Fellowship (KCCF) formed around these meetings. It included existing Kelowna residents and newly relocated Chinese from other cities. KCCF began weekly prayer meetings at one of their homes in Kelowna. They also began monthly outdoor activities and picnics among the youth, which grew to include not just youth, but also families and children. The numbers grew and the thirst for God increased.

1996: Recognizing the growing needs for a home church, Rev. Paul Chan worked with the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists (In July 2008, it renamed to Canadian National Baptist Convention) and the Spring Valley Baptist Church to arrange funding to hire a Pastor to lead these Chinese Christians in the Okanagan region. In January 1996, Pastor Mark Suen arrived in Kelowna as the first Pastor of the Okanagan Chinese Baptist Church (OCBC) — a ministry of SpringValley Baptist Church. Chinese Christians in the Okanagan region started weekly worship services every Sunday afternoon. The preaching was in the language of Cantonese into English. The ministries at OCBC adopted the model of VCBC, offering Sunday School, Women’s Bible Study which was led by Ms. J. W. Li, Children Dancing Team which was led by Mrs. Hsu, Vacation Bible School (VBS), Family Fun Camp.

1997: On July 9, 1997, Pastor Suen was formally ordained by the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists as Reverend.

1999: When the Spring Valley Baptist Church announced their intention to sell their church property, the OCBC congregation had some decisions to make. The church council set aside a day for fasting and prayer to seek God’s will. When the OCBC concluded that it was God’s will for them to pursue the purchase of the church property, great faith was required — because they had almost no funds in the bank to make such a purchase.

2000: After much prayer and fund-raising, OCBC was able to make the 10% deposit of the purchase price on September 1, 2000, and eventually fully completed the purchase of the property. OCBC was then able to purchase a 900 sqft. portable classroom from the Ministry of Education and relocate it from the Glenmore School grounds to the OCBC property with the help of Mr. And Mrs. Chow to repaint it. The portable classroom provided additional Sunday School class space for youth and teens.

2002: On April, OCBC was able to purchase a larger church property at 1025 Rutland Road North with bigger sanctuary, more classrooms and office space. With the help of Elders Mr. and Mrs. Li, OCBC secured loan funding from a sponsor in Hong Kong to purchase the new Rutland property (formerly Kelowna Evangelical Free Church). OCBC then sold the Gerstmar Road property below market value to a newly established, but cash-strapped Spanish church that had begun meeting at OCBC on Sunday afternoons. On May 20th, OCBC completed it’s independence being incorporated as a society with its own newly established OCBC Constitution and By-laws. The OCBC Constitution Ceremony was held with Rev. Jim Graham from the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptist speaking.

2004 : OCBC had extra funds left due to the foreign currency exchange rates when it paid off the loan to the Hong Kong lender. OCBC Dedication Ceremony was held.

2006: In 2006, OCBC made application to the City to formally rezone the church property from Agricultural 1 zone (with the grand-fathered existing use-permit for a church) to the proper P2-Education and minor Institution zone. OCBC celebrated the support received in City Council readings (initial reading Feb 27) right through to the April 4 public hearing which led to rezoning and variance approvals. The rezoning and variance permits also enabled the church to purchase a portable classroom for children and youth Sunday School facilities at the Rutland site with again the help of Mr. And Mrs. Chow to repaint it. The church property value increased significantly with the various improvements completed.

2010 : After many years of faithful service, Rev. Mark Suen and his wife Lavinia relocated back to Hong Kong. Pastor Paul Wong from Burnaby Christ Church came to OCBC as Minister of Mission and Evangelism since August 1st.

2011 to present : Start from January 1st, Pastor Paul Wong has been the minister of OCBC. The ministries had expanded over the years to include both Cantonese and Mandarin speaking members and events. The preaching is in the language of Cantonese into Mandarin. Children programs is in the language of English.