A BRIEF OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE VIETNAMESE ALLIANCE CHURCH, LANCASTER, PA
The Vietnamese Alliance Church of Lancaster, Pennsylvania officially form on January 25, 1976 took place at the Christian and Missionary Alliance church located on Wabank Street, Lancaster, from a small group of believers with the help of Rev. Missionary Franklin Irwin at the refugee camp in Indiantown Gap. Rev. Nguyễn Anh Tài, was the first Pastor of this congregation. The first worship was only 17 people, included Rev. Tai and his family.
With the help of God and the serving heart of Rev. Tai, in building the life of the congregation, the number of the attended member was up to 120 people in 1979. With the growing number of believers, the congregation trusted in God to buy a church building located at the corner of Marshall and Burrow Street, with 200 seats and 7 rooms for Sunday school classes and other fellowship activities.
More than that, God especially blesses in the ministry of Visitation and Evangelism of the church in the task of expanding the Kingdom of God. Each week, on Saturday afternoon, men & women together with the Pastor spent times in prayers, then afterward they went out to visitation and witnesses. God blesses from 1976 until 1980 there were 250 people prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their savior. From that point on God used the church to begin a family camp for all the Vietnamese churches in Northeastern of U.S.A. This take place over the Labor’s day weekend at the Summit Grove camp located in the County of York, Pennsylvania.
God also called young people in the church to enter into the Bible School and Seminary training for the future ministry. To name a few are: Mr. Huỳnh Văn Linh, Mr. Nguyễn Quang, Mr. Trần Thanh Phong, Mr. Trần Thiện Minh, Mr. Tạ Ngọc Điệp, Miss Huỳnh Thanh Châu, Miss Huỳnh Bích Thủy, Mr. Huỳnh Linh Ý, Mrs. Lê Thị Hồng Ân, Mr. & Mrs. Lê Anh Dũng, Mrs. Huỳnh An-Ninh .. …..
On May 1982, with the guiding of God, the Church together with Mr. Vũ Văn Thanh and his family begin a sister church in Harrisburg.
On July 1988, at the Vietnamese Alliance District conference, Rev. Tài was elected to be the Vietnamese District Superintendent. After Rev. Tài move on to the new position in California, Rev. Nguyễn Xuân Tín was invited to preach each Sunday. Pastor Nguyễn Như Bằng Hữu, was asked to be assistant for the Youth and children ministry.
Until March 1990 Rev. Huỳnh Văn Linh from New York City was invited to serves as Senior Pastor in replace for Rev. Tín, who went back to New York to pursuit his Doctor degree.
The need of develop the Christian Education program for the church, in May 1992 Pator Nguyễn Hữu Cường was assigned by the District to serve as the Assistant Pastor and to work with the youth and children ministry in the church.
May 8, 1993 was an important day in the history of the church, on that day the church had a special thanksgiving service to God, because with the help of God the church had paid off all the mortgage debts 4 years earlier than the expected date.
In the summer 1993, the church continuances support Mr. Tạ Ngọc Điệp and Missionary Pamila Croston to planted another sister church in the city of York, Pennslyvania.
On April 1996 God called Mr. Huỳnh Linh Ý, from our congregation into Budapest, Hungary to serve as a missionary to the Northern Vietnamese people. The church fully support with prayers and financial for this ministry.
July 1998, Pastor Nguyễn Hữu Cường was assigned from the District to serve at Senior pastor for a church in Union, New Jersey.
In October 1998, Mr. Lê Anh Dũng and Mrs. Trần Bích Thủy was officially invited from the church and assigned from the District to served as Youth minister and Children minister.
From 1998, realized the power of prayers, beside the weekly prayer meeting, the church begin to hold several prayers conference that would last 4 hours, on the 4th Friday of the month to pray for the Vietnamese community in Lancaster, pray for personal needs, and other ministry within the church. God had answered a lot of prayers, performed miracles that the number of students attended Sunday School was up to 130 people, the offering for the Great commission fund each year from $29,000 up to $32,000. The offering for the New Church building in the past 5 years had past the $300 thousand dollar mark. Funding for the church in Vietnam helped support some of the need for the servants of God and some of the church member in Vietnam had established a good relationship with the member in our congregation. The numbers of people who was accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour from 1997 to this day is 64 people. Among these people there are friends who from difference Ethnic background like Laotian, Spanish, and American.
In 1996, the church prayed for a new building, because the current building was getting small. Plus, there was not enough space for Sunday School classrooms. After many unsuccessful attempts at purchasing church buildings up
for sale, the church decided that we would buy a lot of land, and build one. During the time period 1996-2000, the congregation prayed that God would direct the congregation as to where to buy the land and that the funds would be there to purchase it. The church was able to purchase a lot of land in
East Hempfield Township, admidst some opposition by residents of the area, and plans are forthcoming.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new church was performed on May of 2005 on the new lot of land in East Hampfield Township. The old church on the Marshall Street was sold to the Spanish church and we continue to share this facility with the Spanish church to worship the Lord until moving into the new facility. On May 01, 2006, approximately one year later, by the grace of God, we finally moved into this new facility.
We thank our God so much for his love and gift to our congregation. Please pray for us so that God will lead us to use this new facility wisely and continue to grow