Kachin Baptist Convention
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Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) is a Myanmar Baptist denominational body whose members practice the Baptist faith. 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 15 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 2010. It is stated that KBC has 400,000 baptized and non-baptized members in 2010 [Ref. 7]. It has 449 ordained ministers and 790 un-ordained ministers according to 2000 statistic report from MBC [Ref: 2].
In 1813 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 in India the English Baptists persuaded him and his wife to become Baptists. He labored in southern Burma for 38 years.
After seven years a person was converted to his religion. 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 site—Aungbinlae—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 wrote a letter to the American Baptist mission society to send the missionary to Kachin Land.
In 1878, Rev. J. Lyon and his wife first came to Bhamaw as missionaries, but Lyon contracted malaria within a week, and died within a month. 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 preached the gospel to the Kachin people, created Kachin writings, and translated the Bible into Kachin. He handed the Bible to the Kachin people in 1927, in the time of Golden Jubilee celebration of mission work.
The first seven Kachin converts were baptised on March 19, 1882, and the Kachin church was founded in that year. Kachin literature was accepted and used by the British government in 1895. Kachin Baptist churches organization, today the Kachin Baptist Convention, was founded in 1890. KBC had a centennial Jubilee Celebration in 1977 where about 100,000 Christians gathered in Jaw Bum (Centennial Mountain) in Myitkyina. 6,214 believers were baptized in this Jubilee Celebration. Kachin Literature Centennial Jubilee was celebrated in 1995 Aung Pin Le, Mandalay [personal interview, reference: 3].
The 15 associations are as follows:
- Sam Mung
- Hka Hku
- Htingnai (1973) [reference: 4]
- Putao (1966) [reference: 4]
- Wai Maw
- Nog Mung
- Lawu Ga
- Mung Mau
- URu Seng Maw
- Chihpwi (Become an association in April 2007, separate from Wai Maw Association) [Reference: 6]
- Kutkai (Become an association in March 2009, separate from SAM Mung Association)[Reference: 3]
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].
Term for leaders
Leaderships in the organization are for a four-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)
- First Kachin Baptized, 125 years old The KachinState.com
- KBC Nseng Journal Vo. 3 (June, 2007; PDF version)