1909  — 1995

Huang Wutong

Hwang Wu-tong, Ngg Bu-Tong

Taiwanese Presbyterian Christian leader.

Adopted by the Ngg family, Hwang studied the Confucian classics in Hoklo-Taiwanese during his childhood. The Nggs converted to Christianity in 1915 and dedicated Hwang to serve in church ministry after he suffered a serious illness. He studied at the Presbyterian Middle School and Theological College, both in Tainan, where he received a Western dimension to his education. During his college years, he was once expelled because of impoliteness to teachers caused by his precocity.

Immediately after his theological education, Hwang married Lyim Lann-giokk and was sent in 1932 as a local missionary to serve a remote island church in the Pescadores. He was ordained as a Taulakk pastor in 1937, the year in which there was a full-scale Japanese invasion of China. From that time on, he had to face the difficult issues of the relationship between church and state in Asia. In 1944, he was transferred to the city to become pastor of the Kagi Church, where he went through the severe bombing of the Pacific War.

In 1951, as moderator of the Southern Synod (founded by the English Presbyterian Church), Hwang joined with Northern Synod (of the Canadian Presbyterian Church) to initiate the formation of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT). Hwang served as the first assembly moderator. Then, together with Shoki Coe, principal of Tainan Theological College, he helped to move this denominational island-church into a truly ecumenical church. In the early 1950s, the PCT joined the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), the World Council of Churches (WCC), and the East Asia Christian Council/Christian Council of Asia (EACC/CCA).

From 1951 to 1953, Hwang studied in England. While overseas, he encouraged the PCT to request the New York-based United Board for Higher Education in China to establish a Christian university (Tunghai) in Taiwan. Later, the PCT became the co-founder of this university. In 1954, he presented a paper titled “Taiwan Missions” and initiated the Doubling Movement (PKU) in celebration of the centenary of Protestant missions on the island. At the Centenary Thanksgiving in 1965, the church consecrated its almost doubled congregations and members. The Kuomintang, realizing the influence of the PCT, often requested that the church preach an anti-communism message, but Hwang always turned down the requests. He believed that evangelization itself was the best tactic against atheistic communism. He retired from the PCT in 1966.

From 1967 to 1972, Hwang was director of the interdenominational Taiwan Christian Service. In1973, while exiled in New York, he and Shoki Coe in London initiated the Taiwanese Self-Determination Movement in response to his home church’s “Statement on Our Nation’s Fate.” He received an honorary degree in 1987 from his alma mater, Tainan Theological College and Seminary. During his last years, he continued to labor and established the Taiwan Church Archives. He died in his sleep and was buried with a PCT assembly funeral.


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.


Hwang, W. T., Taiwanese Customs and Legends (1955). Hwang, W. T., and C. H. Hsu, Chronology of the PCT (1959). Hwang, W. T., and C. H. Hsu, Memoir (1985). Hwang, C. H. (C. H. Ngg), Joint Action for Mission in Formosa (1968). Tin, J. J., Dr. Ngg, Bu-tong and His Time (1994).

About the Author

Jon Jyi-Giokk Tin

Christian Institute for Social Transformation, Taiwan