Immanuel Little Rock Chinese Baptist Church has seen a year of growth, unity and answered prayers.
In November of 2021, after more than two decades, the members of the former Chinese Mission of Immanuel Baptist in Little Rock, Arkansas, realized their dream and vision of becoming an autonomous church. A year later, the church moved from its home of 23 years and officially began its journey as the Immanuel Little Rock Chinese Baptist Church.
As it continues to grow, the church — which currently meets in the building of the Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries, the former Markham Street Baptist Church building — is on the search for its own space.
“We’re looking for a place to meet of our own. We love it here, they are very good to us, but we need to be where we have more rooms for our classes,” pastor Chunhai Li said. He noted they have increased the number of classes they offer and in addition to Sunday, have also begun meeting every Friday, striving to reach students, professionals, youth and children.
One of the many answered prayers occurred in June. Hosting Vacation Bible School for the first time, the church prayed for at least 30 children.
Li said they were a little nervous as the date got closer and no one registered. They didn’t know if people would come and prayed even more.
“The Lord answered our prayer,” Li said. They had exactly 30 children attend VBS.
In preparation for Bible school, Li said their staff and volunteers attended training provided by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). He said it was very helpful. They also received assistance from Immanuel Baptist Church, Pulaski Baptist Association and Associational Missionary Don Chancellor, and Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro that drove multiple hours to provide additional VBS supplies.
“It was teamwork, how God blessed us with this opportunity to share the Gospel with kids,” Li said, noting their youth volunteers were also helpful in supporting the ministry.
Li was inspired to host the Vacation Bible School after visiting a small Missionary Baptist church. The church only had 10 to 15 children but put all their energy into hosting the event.
“I was amazed at how they were so faithful to do that,” he said. “That inspired me that we also could do it.”
During the four-day event they had four children come to faith in Christ and one has since been baptized.
‘One in Jesus’
In addition to hosting its first VBS the church has been blessed with the addition of several other Chinese believers in Little Rock who were seeking a church with strong Biblical teaching.
“We are one in Jesus. We are united,” Li said. “On Easter Day, we celebrated the addition of these new members strong in faith and the brothers and sisters from Little Rock Chinese Christian Church because of their faithfulness and willingness to be a part of God’s great ministry with us in doing evangelism together.”
Li said they give all glory to the Heavenly Father. He referenced John 17:30. As the Lord Jesus prayed, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Emeritus SBC Missionary Ron West, who serves with the church, touted the unity of the church. He said, “We are excited to be joined together in one spirit with those who have recently been added to our church to reach the Chinese community in Little Rock with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
According to West, they have been looking for a new location to meet for more than a year but just haven’t found the right situation.
“Right now, we’re just looking for where God leads us. We are asking our convention churches to pray with us and for us in our search.” West said, noting the goal is to stay in west Little Rock in a location where they can grow and eventually establish work in other areas of central Arkansas and eventually the world.