English Ministry Mission Statement
Our mission is to motivate disciples of Christ to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to enable, empower, equip and encourage believers towards good works for the purpose of advancing His Kingdom on this earth.
The New York Summer Conference is a 4-day East-coast Christian conference that is held during the 4th of July weekend every year. Though our target group is primarily Chinese and Chinese American, it is not limited those groups. We welcome everyone.
It is a family conference, which began in 1970 as the result of the need to deepen the spiritual lives of Chinese Christian immigrants. The English Ministry eventually grew out of the need for ministry to the teens of parents attending the conference.
Most are English speaking American born and/ or raised Chinese. There are 2 groups, Youth (ranging from 12 years old through 12th grade) and College & Career. In recent years, we’ve averaged about 400 Youths and 200 C&C. Nearly all the C&C are Christians, but approximately 10% of the Youth in attendance are non-Christian.
The NY Summer Retreat (original name) began in 1970 by a group of 20+ Chinese immigrant Christians who were meeting in homes. About 110 attended this first retreat. It was open to any Christian who wanted to join this July 4th long weekend getaway and the focus was to help Chinese brothers and sisters in North America to grow deeper in their spiritual walk with the Lord.
The year following the first retreat, a group of about 40 Chinese Christians began to meet as “Christian Testimony” in the basement of a three family house on Case Street in Elmhurst, Queens. Dr. Robert Hsu was the lay preacher. Many of the children of this new church family were only toddlers at the time.
In 1971, Christian Testimony invited Brother Bellman Lin to shepherd the church. He brought his wife and 9 out of 10 children ranging in age from 6 to 18 years old. As other immigrants with older kids joined the church, a youth group quickly became a necessity.
In 1972, during the energy crisis, gasoline prices skyrocketed and provided the motivation to start a “sister” church in New Jersey. Since then, Christian Testimony has expanded to seven in total: 5 in New Jersey, one in Queens, and one in Long Island.
In 1974 the decision was made for the Summer Retreat to begin its first parallel English retreat to minister to the kids of participants. About 25 English-speaking youths joined the first English retreat. By 1978, over 250 people were attending the English retreat, mainly children of participants in the Chinese-speaking retreat.
Although many of the main coworkers come from Christian Testimony churches, the conference’s desire is to extend the invitation to all and any Christian who shares the same vision to serve in the conference.
In 1993, the name was changed from New York Summer Retreat to the New York Summer Conference to better communicate its mission.