Prelude: 1964: I was hired from Hong Kong to be the minister of the First Chinese Presbyterian church in New York. Thank God for helping me through thirteen years of hard work, sacrifice and service. The church's evangelical ministry and community service developed very rapidly.
1978: Sunday services at the First Chinese Presbyterian Church had regular attendance of approximately 450 people. At the time, most of the earlier Chinese immigrants preferred to stay around Chinatown and the new Chinese immigrants preferred to live in Queens. So, I had a vision: to start a new church in Queens. After many years of prayer and planning, I finally had the Presbytery's consent and the support of the session of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church of NYc. On May 10, 1977, the session formally submitted a letter to the Presbytery for the approval of the new church project. In November, the Presbytery granted its approval. We formed three committees to carry out this project - Mission Design Team, Task Force, and Steering and Planning Committee. The Presbytery sent Rev. Carl B. Nelson who was the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church's assistant minister, to be the chairman. Elder Daniel Lam, Elder Cho Lun Yeung, myself and ten other church members served on the planning committee. We selected Calvary Presbyterian Church which was located at 53- 71 nd Place, Maspeth, NY 11378, as a temporary worship location.
1979: In March, I resigned from my position as minister of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church of NYc.
In April, I became the minister of the new Chinese Presbyterian Church Development in Queens. The new church had its first service on April 29, 1979 with 150 attendances.
In order to attract Mandarin-speaking members, in December we began Mandarin translation in our Sunday service. To maximize and facilitate evangelical ministry, starting November we began an evangelical radio program aired every Friday night until 1987.
From 1980 to 1984, we also had a I5-minute cable TV program on channel M every Sunday afternoon.
Easter Sunday of 1980, our church had its first baptism: 3 adult baptisms, 1 youth confirmation and 4 child-baptism.
In the transition from a church development to a church establishment, a planning committee was formed for this purpose.
On November 25, 1981 the Presbytery recognized us as a church that Sunday. There were three important events:
1.) I was installed as the new church pastor.
2.) 65 people were transferred as the new church members.
3.) 5 Elders were newly ordained - Nora Wong, Linda Chan, James Leung, Kam Har Mui and Ho Yuen Mak.
Amongst the guests of honor from the presbytery were: Rev. Carl B. Nelson, Rev. Russell S. Williams, Rev. Philip Park, Elder Paul Alexander, Elder Jack Mackeller and Elder Daniel Lam. The ceremony lasted 2 hours but our memory lasts for long time.
March 18, 1982: The NYS Government recognized our church as a non-profit organization.
In the general meeting.,of 1982, the session's proposal of acquiring a church building was approved. On September 20, 1982, 12 members were selected to form a committee for this project. On October 3, 1982, fundraising was officially launched 1983: Through the efforts of the church members, we had reached our goal for acquiring our own property for $125,000. After a few months of renovations and furnishings, our first Sunday service took place on October 2, 1983. It was the grace of God.
February 1985: the church had experienced financial hardship. In March, we became short on the mortgage payments. In April, the church could not pay the pastor and I voluntarily accepted a 20% pay cut.
1987: I reached the age of retirement. Due to the deterioration of my health, I decided to retire. December 27, 1987 (Sunday), the church held a farewell ceremony for my honorable retirement.
Conclusion: In 2004, after 17 years of retirement, I was appointed as the Moderator of the Session. For the benefit of the church, I accepted. Hopefully we shall have a fulltime pastor in the near future to develop new ministries and make this church a blessing to the community. May His name be glorified! AMEN.
E S. According to Presbyterian rules, a retired pastor should not be involved in any kind of work at the church he/she previously served. Thus, the church history written above is up to 1987, the year of my retirement.
May 10, 1977
The session of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church submitted a proposal to the Presbytery of New York City about the establishment of a new Chinese (Cantonese speaking) church in the borough of Queens, New York City.
Sept. 19, 1977
Rev. James Spear called a special meeting at the Calvary Presbyterian Church to study the possibility of starting a new Chinese congregation sharing the Calvary Presbyterian Church facilities.
Dec. 13, 1977
NYC Presbytery approved the recommendation to set up a Task Force to start a new Chinese church in Queens, NYc.
The Task Force members were:
Rev. Carl B Nelson, Strategy Committe
Rev. Carol Lipscomb, Ministerial Relations Committee
Rev .. Donald Wilson, Member At-Large
Rev .. Eson Tse, Pastor of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church Elder Daniel Lam, First Chinese Presbyterian Church
Elder Cho Lun Yeung, First Chinese Presbyterian Church
Elder Jack Mackollar, Calvary Presbyterian Church
Elder Jeanette Ritchie, Calvary Presbyterian Church
Rev. Philip Park, General Assembly
Rev. James G. Speer, Presbytery staff
The Task Force met at the Calvary Presbyterian Church. Rev. Nelson was elected as Chairman and the Calvary Presbyterian Church agreed in principle to share its building with the new Chinese congregation. ReV. Speer began to prepare a budget and funding sources for the new congregation. Rev. Tse also began to prepare the job description for the new founding pastor.
May 9, 1978
Presbytery approved the Task Force proposal of a Cantonese speaking Chinese church development for its preliminary mission design and a five years income budget, as follow:
1979 1980 1981 19821983 General Assembly 10,390.20 7,995.33 5,996.50 3,148.16 1,322.23 Synod of the Northeast 10,390.20 7,995.33 5,996.50 3,148.16 1,322.23 Presbytery of NYC 10,390.20 7,995.33 5,998.50 3,148.16 1,322.23 Local Church 3,463.40 10,279.71 17,989.50 28,333.46 35,760.17 Total 34,634.00 34,265.70 35,979.00 37,777.95 39,666.86
Presbytery approved the recommendation of the Ministerial Relation Committee for calling Rev. Eson Tse as the Organizing Pastor for the new Chinese congregation pending the dissolution of his pastoral relationship with the First Chinese Presbyterian Church.
Feb. 11, 1979
The congregation of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church accepted Rev. Eson Tse's resignation, effective March Ist, 1979. Rev. Tse took up his new job as the Organizing Pastor of the Queens Chinese Presbyterian Church Development immediately.
March 12, 1979
Rev. Tse set up his office officially at the location of the Calvary Presbyterian Church.
April 29, 1979
First Sunday service was held at 1:30pm with a full sanctuary (approx. 150 in attendance). The Steering and Planning Committee was formed. Rev. Tse appointed the following members to serve:
Mr. Allen Leung Mr.C.K.Tam Mr. James Leung Mrs. Hilda Leung Mr. Yee Wah TseMrs. Linda ChanMrs. Yuk Yee Tse Mrs. Jean Mak Mrs. Lai Chen Tse Mrs. Peter T se Mr. Andrew Wong Miss Hing Yuen Mrs. Nora Wong Mrs. Kam Har Moy Mrs. Y.K. Law
Oct. 25, 1981
Program of the opening ceremony for the Church Development as follow:
1) Installation of the Rev. Eson Tse as the Church Pastor.
2) Ordination of the ruling elders:
Elder George H.Y. Mak; Elder James Leung; Elder Linda Chan
Elder Kam Har Moy; and Elder Nora Wong
3) Official name of the church is "Queens Chinese Presbyterian Church".
Mar. 18, 1982
New York State government approved the church as a non-profit organization. Both the Session and the congregation agreed to begin planning for the purchase of our own church building. A committee was formed in order to carry out our goal of raising $40,000.00 for the down: payment. Our campaign was a great success, thus enabling us to own our current building.
First Sunday Worship held at 98-54 Horace Harding Expressway, Rego Park, New York 11374 (our current address).
We became self-sufficient as all financial supports had concluded at the end of 1983.
Jan. 1, 1988
Rev. Eson Tse retired. Rev. Matthew Lui, pastor of the First Chinese Presbyterian Church was appointed by the Presbytery to be our Moderator.
Rev. Samuel Chan, Rev. Peter Lam, Rev. Lun Wan, Rev. Rocky Cheung and Rev. Y.K. Hue were invited by Rev. Marthew Lui, our moderator, to handle certain pastoral roles on short-term basis.
1992 - 1998
Mortgage for the church was refinanced through loans from individual members and the First Chinese Presbyterian Church. Entire debt was repaid by the end of 1998.
Rev. Alfred Chan was our mentor, Rev. Matthew Lui (Liu) served as our Moderator.
1995 - 1996
Rev. Alfred Chan was ordained as a Presbytery pastor. He later left us for personal reasons.
1996 - 1997
Rev. Matthew Lui resumed to be our Moderator, continued to guide us through numerous difficulties.
1997 - 2003
Mr. c.K. Ho was our Christian Educator under Rev. Lui's supervision.
April 24, 1999
Celebration of 20th Anniversary - Thanksgiving worship, spiritual revival service and banquet.
Rev. Matthew Lui retired.
Mr. c.K. Ho continues to be our Christian Educator while Rev. Eson Tse was appointed as our moderator.
April 24, 2004
Celebration of 25th Anniversary - Thanksgiving worship and buffet dinner. About 150 people attended.