23 August 1964 |
Kong Hee (Chinese: 康希; pinyin: Kāng Xī; born 23 August 1964) is the founder, honorary and volunteer senior pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore. He is married to Sun Ho, an aspiring pop music singer.
Kong is a Christian in the Charismatic Movement, with a philosophy of ministry that emphasises the Great Commandment, Great Commission, and Cultural Mandate. City Harvest Church has an average of 23,256 attendees as of December 2010. It also has 47 affiliate "Harvest" churches. There are 29 affiliate churches and 6 Bible schools in Asia, namely, in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. Another 18 affiliate churches in the East and West Malaysia are under the Malaysian Harvest Fellowship which Kong Hee has co-founded. Kong has also co-founded an education center, a performing arts school, a publishing house, a missions agency, a ministerial fellowship and a magazine. Kong is a "motivational speaker" and was the director of a fashion apparel business, Skin Couture, which he ran with his wife.
Kong is the fifth child of Kong Leng, a professional engineer, and Toh Poh-Eng, a diamond trader. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore in 1988. In May 2008, Kong was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from Hansei University in Seoul, Korea.
From 1975 to 1988, Kong was a member of Marine Parade Christian Centre, an Anglican church located in eastern Singapore. During his university years, he worked part-time for the Chapel of the Resurrection under the oversight of Anglican vicar, Reverend Dr. Canon James Wong. During that tenure, he helped Canon Wong set up a new congregation, Orchard Christian Centre. Upon graduation from the university, Kong worked a short stint in a local publishing house as a programmer.
In 1989, Kong was a staff evangelist with "Christ For Asia", a missions organisation in the Philippines led by Assemblies of God minister, Reverend Randy Sing. At that same time, there was an opportunity for Kong to pioneer a new church in Singapore. With the support and encouragement of some senior pastors in the city, Kong decided to relocate back to Singapore and helped set up a new congregation with 20 youths. On 7 May 1989, City Harvest Church was founded as a department (known as "Ekklesia Ministry") of Bethany Christian Centre (Assemblies of God).
Since 1997, Kong is the executive director of the Festival of Praise, an annual event that brings together churches for united prayer and worship.
Kong is a board member of Dr. David Yonggi Cho's Church Growth International (South Korea) and Dr. Luis Bush's Transform World (Indonesia). He and his wife Ho Yeow Sun own two companies, International Harvest, which is a provider of corporate training services and motivational courses, and a fashion company called Skin Couture. They have a son, Dayan Kong.
Kong's weekly 30-minute television program "Harvest Time" is broadcast on 8 Cable Television Networks and satellites.
On 31 May 2010, the Office of the Commissioner of Charities and the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police began investigating more than 18 individuals linked to the City Harvest Church, including church founder Pastor Kong Hee and his wife, Sun Ho, after receiving complaints alleging the misuse of church funds. The police were looking into financial transactions involving the possible falsification of accounts and criminal breach of trust amounting to millions of dollars which dated back a number of years. The authorities said that regular church activities and services for the congregation need not be disrupted during ongoing investigations, which is expected to take several months.
In June 2012, Kong Hee and four other members of the church were arrested by the CAD. All five face multiple charges of criminal breach of trust, while three (not including Kong Hee) face multiple charges of falsifying accounts of the church. They were released on $500,000 bail each, and set to return to court on 25 July. Each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust he faces has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment plus fine.
On the same day as the initial arrests, the COC released a press statement detailing the results of its inquiry. It stated that there were misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity. There were irregularities of at least $23 million in the charity's funds, which were used to finance Sun Ho's secular music career. There was also a concerted effort to conceal this movement of funds from stakeholders. Eight members were suspended from their duties with the charity. The eight included the five arrested, Sun Ho and two others. The COC is considering further course of action under the Charities Act.
The judge in the case has denied an appeal by the defence, who had claimed that there is no case to answer. In his ruling, the judge stated that the six had been dishonest in the use of the money. The trial will resume in July 2014.
In March 2010, a blogger identified plagiarism on Kong Hee's 'Daily Devotionals' as they were similar to writings to another publication, "The Leadership Bible" which was published 10 years ago. The copied text were published as physical copies into two books, "Renewing Your Spiritual Energy in 90 Days" without accreditation to the original authors.
Kong Hee's daily devotionals were originally compiled from his personal reading notes and printed as supplementary reading for his members, free of charge. Some years later, due to popular demand overseas, a local publisher compiled and released foreign language translations of the devotional for sale.
Kong Hee posted a note on his website and explained that the devotion was "originally meant only for internal circulation among the members of my church. As such, there was an oversight in not quoting the sources of some portions that borrow from the writings of other Christian authors." There was also an apology for the oversight.
The publisher of "Renewal" has since made amendments to the soft copies to include accreditation. The publisher who is also a member of City Harvest Church, acknowledged that at the time of publication, both himself and Mr Kong were aware that certain portions of the content were not original.
Educational Qualifications and Awards
- Raffles Institution (1977–1980)
- Raffles Junior College (1981–1982)
- National University of Singapore, Bachelor of Science (Computer & Information Sciences) (1985–1988)
- Hansei University, Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration (2008)
- Bethany Christian Centre (Singapore): 6 January 1991
- City Harvest Church (1989)
- School Of Theology (formerly known as City Harvest Bible Training Center) (1994)
- Harvest Times (quarterly magazine) (1999)
- Harvest School of Ministry (2001)
- Malaysian Harvest Christian Fellowship (2003)
- President and pastor of City Harvest Church (Singapore): 1992–present
- Executive Director, Festival of Praise (Singapore): 1997–2001, 2005–present
- President, Word of Life (Singapore): 1997–present
- Board of References, Transform World (Indonesia): 2005–present
- committee member, National Council of Churches (Singapore): 1999–2004
- Board of Advisors, Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International (Singapore): 1996–2000
- "Kong Hee's Profile". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
- "CHC Story". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- "Why Isn't the American church growing?". Charisma Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Speakers". City City Church. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
- "Kong Hee's Profile". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 5 June 2007.[dead link]
- "History of the Church". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 5 June 2007.[dead link]
- "Kong Hee's Biography". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Kong Hee's Profile". City Harvest Church. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Every Member is a Minister' at Singapore Megachurch". Church & Ministry. 10 February 2004.
- "CAD arrests 5 City Harvest Church members, including Pastor Kong Hee". Channel NewsAsia. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "City Harvest case: Allegedly total of $50m misused". The Straits Times. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "City Harvest's founder Kong Hee, four others charged". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
- "Commissioner of Charities suspends 8 members of City Harvest board". Today. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "Inquiry found misconduct and mismanagement in the City Harvest Church". 26 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "6th City Harvest member charged; cases adjourned for 5 weeks". Today. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "City Harvest Church case adjourned to Oct 4". The Straits Times. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "Kong Hee Devotion". Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Kong Hee 'plagiarised' book , The Straits Times, 12 June 2010
- City Harvest founder now accused of plagiarism, The Straits Times, 12 June 2010, pg A3
- Ministries Today Magazine (December 2003).