Stephen Tong : biography
Tong personally designed the Messiah Cathedral (), whose proposal took 15 years to approve. Opening ceremonies took place on September 18–20, 2008, including a classical music concert and a dedication service. The building has of space, and two auditoriums that seat up to 8,000 people. The building is also home to the Reformed Millennium Center of Indonesia (RMCI), which holds some of Tong’s other projects and organizations.
Tong’s ( LRII) seminary has since been named Reformed Evangelical Seminary ( STTRII). Yakub Susabda serves as its president and a teacher. The seminary offers an undergraduate degree in Theology, and Master’s degrees in Christian ministry, divinity, theology, and counseling. In 2008, STTRII moved to the Reformed Millennial Center (RMCI) in Jakarta. It has a strong relationship with Westminster Theological Seminary.
In 1996, he founded the Reformed Institute for Christianity and 21st Century in Washington DC. Its purpose is "to equip Christians for global evangelization in the 21st Century by training them in the areas of reformed theology, apologetics, evangelism, and the critical study of Eastern and Western cultures". It was renamed to the Reformed Institute of North America (RINA) in 2007, with locations throughout the United States and Canada.
in 1998, he established the Reformed Institute Jakarta (). The school is headed by GRII pastor Benyamin Intan, and offers undergraduate degrees in Theology and Ecclesiastical Music, and Master’s degrees in Divinity, Evangelism, and Christian studies. Its Reformed Ecclesiastical Faculty of Music was established in 2002; its goal is "to return all the glory to God through music at its best."
In 2000, Tong attended the inaugural meeting of the World Reformed Fellowship, whose purpose is to formalize the Reformed Confession of Faith in the 21st Century. In 2006, they created the statement of faith and appointed members for their Commission of Theology. Tong joined reform theologians Gerald Bray, A.T.B. McGowan, Peter Jones, and Samuel Logan as members.GRII pastor Benyamin Intan also serves on the Board of Directors for the World Reformed Fellowship.
In 2006, Tong and Intan co-founded the think tank group, Reformed Center for Religion and Society ( RCRS); its purpose is to promote the cultural mandate.
Honors and Awards
In 1985, Tong was awarded an honorary Doctor of Leadership in Christian Evangelism (DLCE) degree from the La Madrid International Academy of Leadership in Manila, The Philippines.
In 1992, pastor Philip Teng called him the "Billy Graham of the East" for his large-scale ministries in Southeast Asia.Dr. Stephen Tong & co, Serving My Times: Pictoral Story & Ministries, limited edition (Jakarta: STEMI, 1992), p. 4 or for newest print Dr. Stephen Tong & co, In Step with The Holy Spirit: Pictoral Story & Ministries (Jakarta: STEMI, 2007), p. 4 the quote of Philip Teng was taken in year 1992 for his salutation to himDr. Stephen Tong & co, 70 years of Blessing 1940–2010: Life and Ministries, limited edition (Jakarta: STEMI, 2010), p. 4, endorsed by Prof. Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. Schaeffer is an American missionary who served in L’Abri, Switzerland. —>
In 2007, STEMI published the book God’s Fiery Challenge for Our Time: Festschrift in Honor of Stephen Tong, the Founder and the Master Planner of Reformed Evangelical Movement: 50 Year Preaching the Word of God to regard him as "the True Evangelist of this Age". ISBN 978-9791620314
In May 2008, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity (DD) degree from the Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Westminster Theological Seminary created an endowment for the Stephen Tong Chair of Reformed Theology. The professorship was given to Jeffry K. Jue, an associate professor in church history.
Music and Arts
Tong has composed music in Indonesian, Mandarin, and English.Kidung Pujian Gereja Reformed Injili Indonesia (Surabaya: Momentum, 2000) He occasionally conducts choirs and orchestras, and gives church talks about the appreciation of sacred music. He founded the Jakarta Oratorio Society, a choir that specializes in worship music. During the development of the Messiah Cathedral, he contributed to the design of the Reformed Millennium Center of Indonesia (RMCI) and helped design some of other church buildings in Indonesia. In 2009, he opened the Aula Simfonia Jakarta concert hall in the RMCI; it holds 1,200 seats. He served as the music director for the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra, along with artistic consultant Jahja Ling. In 2011, he opened the Sofilia Fine Art Center in the RMCI to display some of his antiques.
Tong married Sulfie Lalujawati, who goes by Alice. They live in Jakarta, Indonesia. They have one son and three daughters. He enjoys classical music, especially from the Baroque period. His hobby is collecting watches and antiques. His son, David Tong is an evangelist in the MRII in Philadelphia, United States. His daughter Eunice Tong-Holden now has 2 beautiful girls and works as the Music Director for Aula Simfonia Jakarta. His youngest daughter Rebecca, is a conductor and also a music director for their very own Aula Simfonia Jakarta.