The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. is honoring the life of influential Chinese church leader Watchman Nee in an upcoming exhibit as part of the 50th anniversary of his death.
According to CBN News, the showcase will explore the life and martyrdom of Nee as part of its "Personal Stories" exhibit on March 6. Nee is best known as the founder of the "Local Church" movement in China, which is considered the first native Christian church movement in the Communist country.
The gathering continues to run today and is the largest indigenous Christian movement in China, with an estimated 2 million people who have been influenced by Nee. Moreover, approximately 3,000 churches outside of China follow his teachings today.
Nee Shu-tsu, which in English means Henry Nee, was born on November 4, 1903, to second-generation Christian parents in Foochow, China. His paternal grandfather served as a pastor in northern Fukien province.
Despite his Christian upbringing, Nee didn't convert to Christianity until he was 17 years old.
"From the evening I was saved, I began to live a new life, for the life of the eternal God had entered into me," the late church leader testified.
Following his conversion, Nee changed his name to "Ni Tuo-Sheng," which means the sounds of a watchman's rattle. Watchman later conducted ministry from 1922 and 1950 as he taught the Bible, preached the Gospel, and produced publications.
His works have been compiled into 62 volumes titled, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee.
In 1952, the Chinese Communist Party arrested Nee and sentenced him to 20 years in prison after labeling him a "reactionary." He remained in prison until his death on May 30, 1972.
"For 20 years, Watchman Nee was held in captivity in three different locations," Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, chief curatorial officer for the Museum of the Bible, explained. "This exhibit includes a biographical presentation of the incredible life of Watchman Nee – including never before seen artifacts – and shares the story of how he used the Bible to impact people around the world."
Nee was also recognized by the U.S. Congress on July 30, 2009, for his contributions to Christianity in China.
Visitors to Nee's exhibit at the Museum of the Bible will be given a copy of his best-known work, The Normal Christian Life, which features life principles from the book of Romans. The exhibit opens on March 6 and will run until February 28, 2023.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.