When Fred and Joyce Davis boarded a plane en-route to Taipei in 1972, they were not carrying a return ticket. They were confident that God wanted them in Taiwan and were prepared to spend the rest of their lives there. For seventeen years, they worked to proclaim the Gospel, train leaders, and establish local churches.
When a serious health condition finally forced them to leave Taiwan, they were faced with the difficult task of determining what to do next. Because of Fred and Joyce's special background and love for the Chinese people, under God's leadership they decided to continue their work in Vancouver, BC with a special aim at reaching the Chinese immigrant community. Chinese Tabernacle Baptist Church is the result.
Today, although CTBC continues to be a special place for Chinese speaking families to grow in the grace of Christ, we are not exclusively Chinese; our mission is to be the salt and light of the earth and our desire is to minister to the whole community. As a result, our church family represents a diversity of backgrounds and ethnicities. No matter where you are from, you will feel welcome here.
The word tabernacle (from the Latin tabernaculum) means dwelling place.
After a dramatic escape from slavery in Egypt, the people of Israel continued their journey across the desert for another forty years before arriving in Canaan. During this time, God instructed them to make a tabernacle so that he may "dwell among the children of Israel and [...] be their God." The tabernacle that God instructed them to build resembled a large tent. It was built for mobility as they moved from place to place.
The tabernacle was later replaced by the temple built in Jerusalem through which God continued to "dwell among" his people. In the gospels, God dwelt (literally "tabernacled") among us through the person of his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And before his crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples that although they would no longer see him, he would never leave them. He would continue to dwell with them, and in them, through the Holy Spirit.
The use of tabernacle in our name and logo is a reminder of this promise. It serves to remind us that as a church, we are the tabernacle of God. Christ dwells in us and wants to be revealed to the world through us. We are to be the expression of Christ in our community.
The inclusion of the word Baptist helps to identify our core beliefs. Baptists historically believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures. The word of God is the foundation for what we believe and how we operate as a church.
Baptism is also important. Baptists through the ages have insisted that faith is a personal decision, therefore, we do not baptize infants. Instead, we practice "believer's baptism," which means that once someone has made a personal decision to believe in Jesus Christ, they can identify with Christ and His church by being publicly baptized (immersed) in water.
Another important distinction about a Baptist church is its autonomy. Our church is led by its own pastors and leaders, not by a denomination or some other authority or figurehead. This means the decisions of our church leadership will always reflect the unique needs of our own church family as we strive to honor Christ (the true head of the church) in all that we do.
You can download our complete statement of faith here.
The building at 804 East 14th Ave is not Chinese Tabernacle Baptist Church. It is where Chinese Tabernacle Baptist Church meets! We are community of people who have joined together in Christ to worship God and grow in his grace.
If you are interested in being a part of such a church family, or if you would like to come to hear more about this Jesus whom we serve, we invite you to join us this Sunday at 10:00 a.m. for our Mandarin/English Service or at 11:30 a.m. for our English Service!