The Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC) was started in June 1961 by a group of 18 founders led by Pastor James Tan. This group shared a common vision for reaching the Cantonese-speaking Chinese in Boston with the gospel. The first worship service was held in a home and later moved to rented spaces around Chinatown. Finally, the church, with about 150 adult members, was able to build its own facility at 249 Harrison Avenue in 1979 at the cost of about $470,000. Also that year, Pastor Jacob Fung became the senior pastor, in place of Pastor James Tan who was retiring.
The Lord continued to bless the church with growth. Because the bilingual worship service was full at 250 people, an English worship service was started in 1983. As the church continued to grow, a branch church was planted in 1985 in Allston. In 1989, a third service held in Mandarin and Cantonese was added. In 1993, the Annex (237 Harrison Avenue) was obtained and renovated. In 1999, a separate Mandarin service was started. Pastor Steven Chin became the senior pastor after Pastor Jacob Fung's retirement. In 2003, BCEC bought the Newton campus and started English and Cantonese congregations there. The Josiah Quincy Elementary School became available for Sunday rental that same year. The Chinatown English service moved there and then the Cantonese Contemporary service began meeting there in 2007.
In June of 2007, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Board voted unanimously to grant to BCEC tentative designation to swap its 249 Harrison Avenue property for a rectangular lot of equal size along Washington Street on which to build a new church building. The following year, Pastor James Tan went to be with the Lord. In March of 2009, BCEC launched the Building a Blessing Capital Stewardship Campaign. Over 600 giving units pledged $8.4 million with a three-year fulfillment period to the Expansion Fund. The Expansion Committee is actively working on a detailed building plan to meet current and future ministry needs.
Currently, over 1200 adults and children attend BCEC each week. They speak Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. They include Chinese and non-Chinese, who come from Chinatown, local colleges, the surrounding suburbs of Boston, and even out of state. The congregation consists of all ages: infants, preschool, elementary, junior high, senior high, college, young adults, married couples, and the elderly. In the past 50 years, BCEC has served our community with various outreach activities such as community English class, citizenship class, Project Destiny summer camp, and afterschool program. We witness God's love with deeds. We thank the Lord that He has used BCEC to impact the lives of many people over the years through its many ministries.