Kratkaja Istorija Duxonvyx Missij v Kitae, (c. 1915-16)
English trans. by Jeremias Norman. Original posting: 54)


"Fengkou is a trading village which is about 150 versts from Hankou, in the valley between the Yangtze and Han rivers. Several inhabitants from the village of Fengkou approached the Orthodox priest in Hankou in 1898, inquiring about the worship and customs of the Orthodox Church; they revealed a desire to accept Orthodoxy and requested that a chapel and school be opened in their village and that a preacher be sent to them. A priest visited the village and opened a school there, but since there was no teaching familiar with Orthodox doctrine, the school failed. Soon inhabitants of other villages began to request that preachers be sent to receive them into Orthodoxy, but there was no one to send. A few of the more zealous of them began to prepare themselves using Orthodox books.

In November, 1902, his Grace, the superior of the Mission visited Fengkou. The Chinese who desired to receive Orthodoxy met him with extraordinary joy and exultation. At that time three people from Fengkou were accepted into the Shanghai school for study; among them was Ivan Gao. The Fengkou Christians continued the mission on their own, organizing a community from the surrounding villages to assemble on Sundays for prayer and reading the word of God. In 1904, Deacon Sergei Chang was sent to Fengkou and in the following year Christians were already assembling at the home of Ivan Gao where gradually a small school was formed and the community gathered around Ivan Gao. Altogether there are 64 [Orthodox] Christians in Fengkou.