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The Hong Kong Council

The predecessor of The Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China was the Sixth District Association of the Guangdong Synod of the Church of Christ in China. Because of the political situation in China in the late 40s', the Sixth District Association was unable to maintain a normal relationship with the Guangdong Synod. As a result The Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China was organized in 1953 in order to carry out its work independently. The governance was changed to a two-tier system, the council and the local churches, which membership included the churches, schools, and agencies of the Sixth District Association in Hong Kong, Kowloon, the New Territories and Macau. Also included in it were some new churches of the same background. However, these churches operated independently. The Council itself and some of the churches in the New Territories had to depend on the financial assistance of foreign missions. In 1955, subsidized by the mission boards, the Council was able to purchase an apartment in Carnarvan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, as its headquarters. Many programs were still run by missionaries and financially supported by foreign missions.


Morrison Memorial Centre


The Council went through some fundamental restructuring in 1957. This included rewriting its constitution, strengthening the roles of its executive committee and employing more staff. In 1958, in order to expand its work, the Council was incorporated and registered as a non-profit making charity organization with the Hong Kong Government. In 1960, the new headquarters at 191 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon, was built. This allowed the Council to further strengthen its operation. Between 1960 and 1965 the Council launched two "million-dollar fund raising" campaigns to help to build more churches and schools. In 1964, the Executive Committee passed a resolution to have the Council become self-supporting in 10 years' time. In 1966, the Council called for a plan of "Consolidation and Renewal in Four Years, and Strengthening Development in Ten Years." The Council became totally self-supporting in 1974, and the constitution was amended accordingly. In 1980, the Council formally announced herself a "three-self church" which means the church is now a self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating church. During this period of time the Council became a member of the World Council of Churches, the East Asian Christian Council (now the Christian Conference of Asia), and the Hong Kong Christian Council. In 1977 the Council also joined the Council for World Mission (formerly the London Missionary Society), sharing financial resources and manpower and participating in missionary work around the world. By virtue of its historical affiliation, the Council is a member of the World Methodist Council and the World Alliance Reformed Church, and continues to maintain a close relations with a number of other founding churches.
 

Due to the need for development, the constitution that was adopted in 1957 was amended in 1974 and again in 1997. The second amendment clearly defines three categories of membership: congregation, clergy and agencies, with detail outline of the responsibilities of each. The Annual General Assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the Council, consists of all the ministers in office, representatives from the local congregations, directors of the Council's agencies, school principals and delegates from affiliated organizations. Most members, together with 12 representatives elected during the Annual General Meeting, formed the Executive Committee and manage the Council when the Assembly is not in session. The Executive Committee is organized into six departments: the Church Administration Department, the Social Services Department, the Lay Training Department, the Mission Department, the Theological and Ministerial Department, and the Education (School Management Committee) Department. Chairpersons of these departments together with the Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Assistant Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Internal Auditor of the Executive Committee formed the Standing Committee that plan all Council's business. The Council also employs a General Secretary, an Associate General Secretary, and several Executive Secretaries to execute assignments from the Executive Committee and Departments.

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