Early Beginnings ~ 1982 to 1983
Pastor Gideon left Hong Kong with a desire to be a man after God's own heart as in Acts 13:22. Like David's cry in Psalm 132, he was seeking a resting-place for The Lord. There was a longing to see The Lord restore His Glory through a dwelling place, where the material would be prepared for the Solomon generation that was to come. (Heb.6: 2-3)
The Name “Zion”
While Pastor Gideon and others were part of a small Bible Study group in Glad Tidings, the Lord birthed the vision of a new fellowship called “Zion.” Many scriptures confirmed the name and by January 1983, the church officially started with Cantonese services attended by about 20 people.
On April 24, 1983, Pastor Kirk Duncan prophesied during Pastor Gideon's ordination, saying, “… I will require of you, saith the Lord, a zeal. You shall not sit complacently in your little meeting and say ‘isn't it wonderful what God has done for us,' but you shall get a vision for the thousands of Chinese people especially that are throughout this mainland, and you shall go visiting, and you shall knock on doors, and you shall have times that you shall invite them for tea, and you shall get involved in their lives; for I shall cause you to be a handful of seed that I will scatter in the midst of this great harvest.”
“The Lord has established Zion, and in her, His afflicted people will find refuge” (Isaiah 14:32). The prayer of the church at that time was that the Lord would only send faithful ones who have the same spirit and the same heart. This holds true to this day and it is evident that God has been faithful to answer this prayer.
God confirmed in a presbytery in Glad Tidings that Pastors Gideon & May Chiu and Danny & Lucy Cheung were His natural, perfectly-fitted-together leadership team. In 1985, Pastor Dave Hubert prophesied over the four, saying, “…I see God has already lined the four of you together in a very, very unique way and it's not just for a short term thing; it's a yoking together for a lengthy period of time…” Thus the quartet ministry was born.
Since 1996, Dr. Rev. Albert & Janet Zehr have been an integral part of pastoral leadership in Zion.
The first bilingual services began in 1985 when the number of members had grown to about 70. Keith Hazel spoke a word in 1986 during the Zion summer camp just before English-speaking people first started coming to Zion:
He said, “Behold, says the Lord, there is a new wind of My Spirit. That wind begins to blow upon My people. Surely even as the wind does fill the sails of a boat to propel it forward, so My wind also begins to propel you forward, My sons and My daughters. You have been rowing hard and it seems as though you were rowing against the tides, but I will say to you that My wind will begin to fill out the sails. I will begin to add to you in a way that you have not yet dreamed of, says the Lord. There are those that have stood by to watch you, but they have watched, they have wondered. But from this time onward, they shall not wonder anymore. Even now, I cause My wind to begin to blow upon them. The same wind that fills their sails will fill your sails. They shall be the joining together and the coming together. There shall be a coming together of two people as one, says the Lord. There will be people that are hungry for the wind of My spirit, for they have seen the wind in your sails and they shall be drawn to you. They will say, “Can we come and join you?” You should join hearts and hands together. Then the wind shall catch the sails. You shall move forward in victory. I will cause an impact where there has been names attached, for even I would blow upon you, says the Lord.”
The Horama Senior Society was formed in 1985, and has ministered to hundreds of Chinese elders over the years.
From September 1985 to June 1987, Zion operated the Vancouver International High School under the leadership of Richard Dodding as principal. Many of these students came to Christ while in this school.
"Church of Zion - Hong Kong" was formed in 1986 but has gone through many trials. We pray for the restoration of God's plan & purpose for this body.
Joel 2:15 was the inspiration behind early morning prayer meetings which began in 1986, and were held Monday to Friday, from 6:30 to 7:30 AM. The shofar started being blown then. During the early ‘90's, the Lord led us to meet from 5:00 to 7:00 AM, seven mornings a week. The entire church entered into a 40-day fast in 1996, agreeing with God that His manifest presence would be established in our land. Heaven will reveal what God birthed through the prayers and fasting of the faithful in that old prayer room in Glad Tidings.
For over 23 years, a weekly radio broadcast called “Trumpet of Zion” ministered to the wider body of Christ. Our vision continues to grow for an expanded ministry in the audio/visual field as God opens doors. Pastor Daniel and his team are quietly preparing a studio to be prepared when God's kairos time comes for this to go forth.
Zion's first presbytery meetings were held in 1986 and in 1989. During the presbytery in 1986, Keith Hazel gave a word to Zion saying, “…I will make this people to be seed to the nations, says the Lord. I will give you the nations as an inheritance, says the Lord, for there is precious seed in this place in which I invest My power. There is a people here that I will move through, says the Lord, and there will come a time when many of you will be scattered amongst the nations. Many of you will be in dark and lonely places, says the Lord. When you do find yourself in dark and lonely places, remember this day, says the Lord. Therefore, I will scatter some of you amongst the nations as seed. I will also build a base in this place, says the Lord, for this shall be a base where people shall be sent and to which people shall come. I will make it to be a house, a house of preparation. There shall be arms of relationship and ministry that shall go out from here and minister to many churches. Many churches, which have been founded from here and there, shall be a New Testament church that goes out into the Asian world from this place. I have spoken it and I will cause it to come to pass. Rejoice, says the Lord.”
The church hosted the 5th Annual World Chinese Full Gospel Conference, which paved the way for important connections with Chinese Christian leaders.
New members flowed in to Zion as the Father's heart poured out in what is known as the Toronto Blessing, bringing refreshment to many. At the October 1, 1994 “Why Encounter” event, which joined key cities across Canada through a satellite network, Pastor Gideon, was invited to pray for China. The Lion of Judah “roared” through him against the dragon of China, and by God's design, this day coincided with the day known as China's National Day. Months earlier, when God touched Pastor Gideon so deeply in Toronto and he began to roar, what he witnessed in the spirit was Almighty God making a decree to Satan, saying, “Let My people go.” He knew then that many things in God's divine plan were about to unfold.
Enlarging the Tent
The Church of Zion is honoured to provide spiritual covering for a number of churches and ministries both in Canada and abroad. These include: Branches Fellowship in Los Angeles, CA, pastored by Daniel & Lily Kwok; Father's House of Glory pastored by Joy-Lynn Li; Dorcas Family Ministries; Faith and Grace Church in Hong Kong, pastored by Daniel & Lydia Lam; missionary work among the poor children of Cairo, Egypt; Day Spring Church in Taiwan, pastored by Johannes & Wei Chao Kuehhorn; Old Summit Fellowship in Prince George, B.C., co-pastored by Peter & John Zeimer and their wives Beth & Elaine; Steward & Joan Gould, presently ministering in Malawi, Africa; Heavenly Bridge, pastored by Jason Tong; and a number of church leaders in Taiwan and Malaysia. Church of Zion is also privileged to offer spiritual covering to our dear Amish friends in Montana, Idaho and Michigan; and Peter & Donna Jordan, Directors of YWAM Associates.
Zion Training Centre
In 1997, Church of Zion purchased office space in Richmond, BC for the purposes of developing a Training Centre. Weekly Prayer Meetings are held here as well as youth meetings and outreach to the Chinese community. Numerous meetings have been held here for national networks of ministries.
To be continued by God's grace…