Feng joined the army when he was a youth. In his early years, he was very critical of Christianity. In 1905, while he was under treatment in a Peking (Beijing) mission hospital, Feng began to show friendliness toward the church. He was baptized in Peking in 1912 and from then on promoted Christianity in the army, using Christian doctrines in his disciplinary measures and recruiting chaplains for the soldiers.
In 1914, Feng was appointed shizhang by the government of the North. He later swung his army over to the national government and appointed himself commander-in-chief.
In 1922, Feng started prayer meetings among political figures and was nicknamed the “Christian General.” He consistently criticized foreign powers, however, for using Christianity as a pretext to invade China and once fired a chaplain.
In 1927, Feng was the National Revolution Army Second Camp’s commander-in-chief. In 1933, he organized the anti-Japanese Alliance Army and was its commander-in-chief as well. In 1936, he became deputy chairman of the Central Army Committee and throughout his term opposed Chiang Kai-shek’s dictatorship. In 1946, Feng visited the United States and strongly criticized Chiang for starting the civil war in China. In 1947, the Chinese in America Peace and Democratic Alliance was formed in the USA, and Feng became its chairman. In 1948, while Feng was on his way back to China, his ship caught fire, and he died.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright © 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.