- Kachin Baptist Convention
Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) is a Myanmar Baptist denominational body whose members practice the
Baptistfaith. It is an evangelical organization which approaches holistic mission. It is located in Myanmar throughout the country which bases its headquarters in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar. It has 14 associations and over 300 churches and is still growing [Reference: 6] . Most of the members in KBC are Kachin, but some are not. Some believers within KBC are the fruits of labor from mission works to other tribes and races. According to 2000 census, KBC has 141,952 baptized members and 153,913 non-baptized members [from 2000 Myanmar Baptist Convention Statistic Report, reference: 2] . It will be more than that by 2007. It has 449 ordained ministers and 790 un-ordained ministers according to 2000 statistic report from MBC [Ref: 2] .
In 1812 Adoniram Judson arrived in Rangoon as the first missionary ever sent overseas by the Christians of North America. He set sail as a Congregationalist but while he was on the boat the Scriptures persuaded him to become a Baptist. He labored in southern Burma for 38 years.
It was seven years before he saw his first convert. He translated the Scriptures into Burmese and traveled as far north as Mandalay where he presented the Scriptures to the King of Burma who refused to give him an audience. He was imprisoned in Mandalay on the very site where this Centennial Celebration of Kachin Literacy was being held.
But no missionaries targeted the Kachin people until 1877. The first Kachin converts were baptized in 1882. Eight years later, Ola and Minnie Hanson arrived. Though the Hansons did not grow up at Bethlehem they became members during Ola's seminary years. He was ordained to the gospel ministry at Bethlehem and, with his wife, was commissioned by Bethlehem in 1890.
When the early missionaries approached the King of Burma to ask permission to teach the Kachin, the king laughed and pointed to his dog and said that they would have more success teaching his dog than teaching the Kachins. They were the wild men of Burma, illiterate animists, who sacrificed cows and chickens to appease the spirits.
Rev. Kincaid, an American missionary in Pyay (lower Myanmar), went up to the Kachin land (upper Myanmar) in 1837 and met Kachin people in Bhamaw and Mogaung regions. He was convinced that the American Baptist Churches needed to send missionaries to the Kachin people to preach the gospel to them. Therefore, he wrote a letter to the American Baptist mission society to send the missionary to Kachin Land.
In 1877, Rev. J. Lyon and his wife first came to Bhamaw as missionaries, but died in one year with malaria. Rev. Roberts came to Bhamaw in 1878, and started opening the mission work among the Kachin people. Rev. Dr. Ola Hanson came to Bhamaw in 1890. He not only preached the gospel to the Kachin people, but he created Kachin writings and translated the Holy Bible into Kachin. He handed the Holy Bible to the Kachin people in 1927, in the time of Golden Jubilee celebration of mission work.
The first seven Kachin converts took their baptism on March 19, 1882. So the Kachin church was founded in that year. Kachin literature was accepted and used by the British government in 1895. Kachin Baptist churches organization was founded in 1890 which we call today the Kachin Baptist Convention. KBC had a centennial Jubilee Celebration in 1977 where about one hundred thousand Christians gathered in Jaw Bum (Centennial Mountain) in Myitkyina. 6214 believers were baptized in this Jubilee Celebration. Kachin Literature Centennial Jubilee was celebrated in 1995 Aung Pin Le, Mandalay [personal interview, reference: 3] .
The 14 associations are as follows:
#Hting Nai (1973) [reference: 4]
#Putao (1966) [reference: 4]
#URu Seng Maw
#Chihpwi (became an association in April 2007, separate from Wai Maw Association) [Reference: 6]
KBC has 18 Departments and Committee.
KBC is doing mission works not only in Kachin but also to other tribes and races. Some mission works are among Rakhine people, Wa people, Shan, Palaung, Kadu, Ganan people, Gaw-ra-hka people, Kayah people and Kachin people in China [reference 1] .
KBC also works with NGO for development programs. Shalom Foundation is one of the departments under KBC for peace process.
Term for leaders
Leaderships in the organization are for a three-year term and can only be re-elected for one more term.
Colleges and schools
*2 Theological Colleges (Kachin Theological College and Kutkai Campus) and planting more colleges throughout the country.
*One Christian Educational Leadership Training School at Nawng Nang and many vocational schools.
KBC maintains one press called the Hanson Press. [reference: 1]
#KBC Nsen Journal (March, 2000, Print Version).
#Myanmar Baptist Convention 2000 Statistical Report [copy from MBC]
#Personal interview with former KBC General Secretary.
#KBC Nsen Journal Vo. 2 (December, 2006; PDF version)
# [http://www.kachinstate.com/news180307n.html First Kachin Baptized, 125 years old] The KachinState.com
#KBC Nseng Journal Vo. 3 (June, 2007; PDF version)
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