Leong Kung Fa
- ( 1787-1853 )early Chinese Protestant convert and evangelistLeong Kung Fa was born in a poor rural family near Canton (now Guangzhou), China.As a printer, he was invited in 1815 by William Milne (1785-1822), from the Protestant mission in Canton, to accompany him to Melaka, Malaysia, where he wanted to found a college. Milne baptized Leong that same year, and together they began publishing the Monthly Chinese Magazine.in 1819, Leong returned to China, where he began to distribute Christian literature in Chinese, leading to his arrest and beating. Robert Morrison of the mission managed to free Leong, who rejoined Milne in Melaka. After Milne's death in 1822, Leong returned to China and helped Morrison print the Chinese Bible. in 1823, the London Missionary Society commissioned Leong as a lay evangelist. Morrison ordained him a minister in 1827, the first Chinese to receive clergy status as a Protestant. He developed an active ministry throughout Kwangtung Province.Leong frequently ran afoul of Chinese laws against conversion to Christianity and distributing Christian literature. In 1834, a number of his associates in ministry were arrested, and Leong had to flee to Singapore. He returned in 1839. When Christianity gained legal status, he settled in Canton and pastored a small Chinese congregation.Further reading:■ Brian Harrison, Waiting for China: The Anglo-Chinese College at Malacca, 1818-1843, and Early Nineteenth-Century Missions (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1979)■ Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society 1795-1895, 2 vols. (London: Henry Frowde, 1899)■ Scott W. Sun-quist, ed., A Dictionary of Asian Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2001).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.
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