Stephen Tong

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Stephen Tong : biography

1940 –

Works Cited

Ministry

While he was a teacher at SABS, Tong worked as an evangelist at T.H.K.T.K.H (Fu jian dialect: Tiong Hoa Kie Tok Kauw Hwee [中花基督教会])() or can be translated literally "Christ, the Lord Church",Arie de Kuiper, Mulai Dari Musa Dan Segala Nabi (Jakarta: BPK Gunung Mulia, 1996), pp. 82) and traveled weekly between Malang and Surabaya.The distance between Malang and Surabaya is . Tong made weekly trips from 1964 to 1979.

In 1979, he established Stephen Tong Evangelistic Ministries International (STEMI). One of its goals is to equip people for full-time ministry.Dr. Stephen Tong, In Step with The Holy Spirit, limited edition (Jakarta: STEMI, 2007), pp. 4–6. He preaches at cities across Southeast Asia. In 2009, Ric Cannada, Chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary, noted in his school’s newsletter that Tong’s weekly preaching schedule included "two Sunday services in Jakarta; every Sunday evening at two services in a church in Singapore; every Monday evening at a church in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; every Tuesday night at a church in Hong Kong; and every Wednesday night at a church in Taipei, Taiwan."

His services have extended to many major cities in Indonesia, including Surabaya, Medan, Malang, Bandung. He also holds large-scale rallies annually during the Christmas and Easter seasons. To maintain contact with the cities outside Jakarta, he established STEMI branch offices in each of the areas. He added offices in the United States and the European Union.

In 1982, he received his ordination as pastor. He served at GKT ( "Christ, the Lord Church"), then ministered in GKA ( "Servant Christian Church"). He has conducted services in Mandarin and Indonesian, but some of his speaking engagements have been in Fujian and English.

According to his profile on STEMI, he "emphasizes on the importance of the Bible as the sole word of God and actively encourages evangelism", and believes that churches should follow the cultural mandate. His preaching style is influenced by George Whitfield and Charles Spurgeon.

He has guest lectured at the China Graduate School of Theology (Hong Kong), China Evangelical Seminary (Taiwan), Trinity Theological College (Singapore), Regent College (Canada), and universities in the United States, including: Westminster Theological Seminary, MIT, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Cornell University.

Reformed Evangelical Movement

Tong observed that many churches have been influenced by worldly philosophy, and ones that were loyal to the genuine teaching of the Bible were rare. In 1984, he started the Reformed Evangelical Movement with the purpose of restoring the understanding of theology based on God’s revelation in the Scripture and igniting people with zeal for evangelism. The movement is "aimed at meeting the challenge of the Charismatic movement as well as liberalism." He conducted theological seminars such as the Christian Faith Development Seminar ( SPIK), to introduce Reformed theology to the people in Jakarta. His first seminar, "Faith and Religion", was attended by about 1,200 people. He would later adapt the seminars into books and multimedia, which he publishes in-house. The SPIK seminars have become the source material for the Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Institution ( LRII), a seminary which Tong co-founded with pastors Caleb Tong and Yakub Susabda in 1986.

In 1986, Tong started the Evangelical Reformed High School for laymen in Surabaya. In 1987, he started a similar high school in Jakarta, and in 1990, he started one in Malang. The goal is to encourage Christian congregations from all denominations to study Reformed theology. He has served as a rector for these schools.

Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia

Messiah Cathedral, captured from Kemayoran Street. Stephen Tong founded the Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia in 1989 to establish a church based on Reformed theology and congregations that are committed to evangelism. He is currently the Head of Synod. Although the church subscribes to the Reformed confessions, it also has its specific confessions of faith. In 2004, GRII had congregations in five Indonesian cities and has expanded to branch churches around the world in Asia, Australia, Germany, and North America.