1898  — 1975

Wang Zai

Leland Wang

Chinese evangelist and founder of Chinese Foreign Missionary Union, referred to as the "Moody of China".

Born in Fuzhou, China, he was led to Christ by his wife in 1920. Obedient to the Bible and sensing a call to ministry, Wang left his Navy career as a gunboat officer in 1921. He rented a hall in his native Fuzhou and began ringing a handbell to draw a crowd.

In 1928 he formed the Chinese Foreign Missionary Union, committed to the task of evangelism and mission endeavor to the scattered Chinese in the South Seas of Asia. From the 1940s to the 1960s Wang extended his preaching ministry to the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. He evangelized the Chinese diaspora and stirred Western Christians in holy living and ardent outreach to Asia. Wang received the Doctor of Divinity degree from Wheaton College in recognition of his labors on behalf of Christ.

His mission board, consisting at one time of twenty-six Chinese nationals working in thirteen mission stations and countries, was the first of its kind. Its breadth was amazing; its focus on church planting and pastoral training was unique at the time.

Wang, often referred to as the Moody of China, established his life and mission on the Scriptures. He lived by a self-imposed rule, “No Bible, no breakfast.” He read the Old Testament through once a year, the New Testament twice a year, and the Psalms and Proverbs once a month.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, copyright © 2000 by A. Scott Moreau, Baker Books, a division of Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Hoover Wong

Senior Associate Professor of Chinese Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, California, USA