Christianity in China from the Eighteenth Century to the Present

The Assembly Hall (Juhuichu or Juhuisuo) or "Little Flock" (Xiao-qun), was organized in the mid-1920s and led before 1937 by Ni Tuosheng (Watchman Nee, 1903—72). Ni’s name is familiar to many Christians around the world because several of his talks and a few of his writings have been translated and published abroad since the 1930s; many are still available, and widely read, today. From the mid-1920s onward Ni, strongly influenced by Brethren ideas (especially premillennialism) but also by a stress on the Holy Spirit derived from the Holiness tradition, was an inspiring and compelling teacher. His evangelistic meetings were not usually large and were often held in homes. But he had a gift of revealing the importance in the Christian life of a deeper spirituality; this, and his eloquence, drew many followers. Antagonism toward missions and foreign Christians often characterized his ministry. Seldom invited by or working within established congregations, his followers usually formed themselves into strongly proselytizing new groups, in effect forming a new nationwide denomination with headquarters in Shanghai. Like the True Jesus Church, the Assembly Hall was dispersed in the 1950’s, and Ni was jailed as a counterrevolutionary; he died in prison in 1972….

Bays, Daniel H., ed. Christianity in China from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996: 311-312.