23
MAY
2014

The First Chinese Pastor of the Anglican Church of Canada: George Lim Yuen

The First Chinese Pastor of the Anglican Church of Canada: George Lim Yuen (Lin Ran) (1882-1967)

George Lim Yuen was born in 1882 in Xinhui County, Guangdong, China. He arrived in Victoria, BC, on March 9, 1897, where he first worked at a salmon cannery on Lulu Island and later as a houseboy for an English teacher.

Lim came to the Christian faith around 1905 and was baptized by Dr. Tucker. He was considering opening a restaurant with a friend, when he was approached by the Church of England in Canada, Diocese of New Westminster, to serve the church. Subsequently, in 1907, he began to teach Bible classes in Vancouver’s Chinatown and served as a Chinese catechist under the Christ Church vestry. He was hired as a Catechist with a salary of $300 for 10 months.

Lim received a solid theological education at the Anglican Latimer Hall from 1911-1915. He was described as being a “genuine Christian, perfect gentleman, finest disposition, enthusiastic temperament, hard worker” (Latimer Hall Record of Progress) Latimer Hall was incorporated in 1911 with a strong evangelical orientation, paralleling that of Wycliffe College in Toronto. It was clearly stated that the college should be “inspired and guided by missionary motives and ideals,” for the training of candidates for ministry, including native pastors of Indian, Chinese, and Japanese origins, and to promote missionary interest and effort. (Bishop Latimer College 1909-1910; Correspondence)

Lim was presented to the Bishop of New Westminster for ordination to the diaconate, as the Superintendent of the Chinese mission, on Trinity Sunday (Synod Journal, 1914). Enormously successful, an average of 55 men attended evening classes and 40 attended the Wednesday weekly prayer meeting. (Appendix K, “Report of the Chinese Mission,” Synod Journal, 1914) He was ordained to the priesthood May 13, 1920.

The Chinese Mission of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver, was led by Lim from 1914-1920. During that period, he taught evening Bible classes, led worship services, did street preaching, planned Christmas outreach functions, and made visitations. In the summer months, he regularly met with Chinese workers at the canneries.

From 1924, the Church sent Lim to Vernon, BC, to redevelop the Anglican Good Angel Mission and to work with Chinese farm labourers in the surrounding district. In 1943, he moved to Victoria to be a missionary priest at the Mission of Good Hope and he spent his retirement years as an honourary priest at Christ Church of China, Vancouver. Lim went to be with the Lord on May 7, 1967.

Reference Sources/ Contributor:

Bishop Latimer College, 1909-1910; Correspondences and Student Record Book. Anglican Church Archives at Vancouver School of Theology.

Journal of the 29th to 36th Session of the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster, 1911-1919. Anglican Church Archives at Vancouver School of Theology.

Lin, Paul T.K. with Eileen Chen Lin. In the Eye of the China Storm: A Life Between East and West (McGill Queens University Press, 2011, Montreal)

Correspondence of Lin, Paul T.K. (1946-48), Archives of the Chinese Students’ Christian Association in North America, Box 2, folder 25, at Yale Divinity School.

McLean, Cynthia, China church /missions historian, Narrative Editor for Paul T. K. Lin’s memoir In the Eye of the China Storm: A Life Between East & West.


林佐然 (1882-1967): 加拿大聖公會首位華人牧師 [中譯文]

林佐然於一八八二年生於中國廣東省新會縣。一八九七年三月九日,他抵達卑詩省域多利市,先在露露島一家鮭魚罐頭食品廠打工,後復在一英語教師家當雜工。

林於一九零五年左右歸信基督教,並由Tucker博士施洗。林氏本想與友人合合資開餐館,但被加拿大聖公會二埠教區邀請他到教會事奉。一九零七年,他開始在溫哥華市唐人街教聖經班,並獲聖公會教區會委任為中文傳道,為期十個月,薪資三百元。

一九一一年至一五年間,林佐然在聖公會神學院Latimer堂接受了紮實的神學訓練。他被形容為是個「真誠的基督徒、完美的紳士,人品極佳,積極熱情,工作勤奮。」。

鑒於加拿大西部急需訓練神職人員,所以聖公會創辦了Latimer堂,取向以福音派為主導,近似多倫多市的威克理夫神學院。神學院明確宣稱要「以宣教動機與理想的啟發和導引」去訓練學員――包括印第安裔、華裔及日本裔的本土牧師,並推廣對宣教的興趣及嘗試。

一九一四年聖三一主日,林佐然獲二埠主教委以會吏之職,任華人事工監督。林佐然由一九一四年至一九二零年領導溫哥華市的牧愛堂基址,成績斐然;平均有五十五個男士來讀夜校、四十人參加逢星期三舉行的祈禱會。林佐然任教晚間聖經課程,帶領崇拜聚會,做街頭佈道,策劃聖誕節傳福音活動,以及探訪教友。而在夏季期間,他定期與罐頭食品廠員工聚會。

林佐然於一九二零年五月十三日獲按立聖職。一九二四年,教會派他到卑詩省維農市,重新規劃聖公會好天使基址,並向周邊地區的華裔農場工人傳道。一九四三年,林牧師搬到域多利市,出任善望基址宣教牧師;退休後任溫哥華中華基督教會榮譽牧師。林牧師於一九六七年五月七日辭世。


geoge_lim_001Students and Staff at Latimer Hall, about 1912-13. Used by permission, courtesy of Anglican Church of Canada Archives.
Latimer堂學生與職員合照,約一九一二至一三年
加拿大聖公會珍藏圖書館提供並允准使用

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