Faith in Action
The Presbyterian Church in Chinatown had its origins in an immigrant community greatly marginalized by the broader American society and, from its very beginnings, defined itself through its response to profound social needs in the surrounding world. The Rev. Dr. William Speer, the church's founding minister, opened a dispensary and a school at the church; published The Oriental, the first English/Chinese bilingual newspaper in the United States; and fought for the repeal of an anti-Chinese mining tax. True to this original emphasis on prophetic faith at work in society, the church has established a long tradition of supporting social services, including education, low-income housing, health services, and youth programs. Its century-old partnership with Donaldina Cameron House (Christian social services and youth programs) and its quarter-century role as the sponsor of the Mei Lun Yuen housing project are only two of many examples of the type of social action at the center of the church's mission. 150 years after its founding, the church has committed to a major remodeling and expansion of its 96-year-old landmark building to increase its ability to partner with and minister to the local community.