John Sung Shang Chieh
; traditional Chinese
: Sòng Shàng-Jíe
: Sung4 Shang4-Chieh2
) a.k.a. John Sung (29 September 1901 – 18 August 1944) was a renowned Chinese Christian evangelist
who played an instrumental role in the revival movement among the Chinese in Mainland China
, and Southeast Asia
during the 1920s and 1930s.
Sung was born in Hinghwa (now Putian), Fujian, China.
He grew up with a Christian upbringing. His father was a pastor of the local American Wesleyan Methodist Church. Sung also helped his father in church duties. On certain evenings when his father was either too busy or was too ill, Sung would have to lead the sermons as a substitute instead. Because of his early contributions to the church work, many church members referred to him as “Little Pastor”.
However, it took Sung some years of testing before he became the influential evangelist that many knew. In 1920 he was sent to America for his higher education. He studied at Wesleyan University of Ohio and Ohio State University. A brilliant student, he earned a doctorate in chemistry in five years. His chemistry essays and research documents can still be seen in the University library today.
Despite the array of career opportunities in front of him, Sung believed that he was called by God to commit himself to work for Jesus Christ. In 1926 he went to Union Theological Seminary in New York for theological studies.
During his period at the seminary (more specifically, on 10 February 1927) John Sung claimed to have received the gift of the Holy Spirit during a time of prayer. He once exclaimed, “This my spiritual birthday! Although I already believed in Jesus since my early childhood days, this new experience is a life changing one for me ”. John Sung described that “The Holy Spirit poured onto me, just like water, on top of my head”, then “The Holy Spirit continuously poured onto me wave after wave”.