A Narrative History of Taipei International Church (TIC)
A Short History of Taipei International Church
Taipei International Church (TIC) is now 65 years old, but we’re too young to retire!
It was the summer of 1957, just eight years after Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his Republic of China government and military retreated from Mainland China to take up a position of exile in Taiwan. There was a small expatriate English-speaking community in Taipei made up of American Protestant missionaries, some diplomatic and military personnel, a few English-speaking Chinese and a small number of expatriate business persons.
In October of that year Pastor Edward Knettler, an American missionary with the Methodist Church Mission in Taiwan, organized a small group of expats to meet for worship services in Wesley Methodist Church in downtown Taipei. This was the beginning of what later became known as Taipei International Church.
TIC has sponsored a variety of ministry and outreach programs over the past decades. Gateway served the community for 25 years with a variety of programs for women. There were also Yokefellows and Men’s Prayer Breakfast, a variety of weekly Bible studies, Growth Groups, and a rich tapestry of small group ministries and activities. We hosted the AWANA Program for children for many years. We helped launch and lead Lighthouse Prison Ministry to foreign citizen prison inmates in Taiwan. TIC also brought Tres Dias to Taiwan, Marriage Encounter for couples, and the YAYA Fellowship. Beyond Taiwan our church has supported ministries in Cambodia, Philippines, India, China and Indonesia, in addition to social welfare, music, and educational ministries here in Taiwan.
In the 1990s under the leadership of Paul Ko, Fred Voigtmann and Nate Showalter we launched a fellowship for Filipinos living in Taipei. This Tagalog Fellowship has grown to provide creative and compassionate outreach in Taipei and other cities of Taiwan through Sunday fellowship and worship, Bible studies, correspondence courses and through Kaibigan Magazine aimed at the more than 150,000 overseas contract workers in Taiwan. Recently the Tagalog Fellowship helped plant a new church in the Philippines.
During these 65 years of faithful witness in Taiwan, TIC has grown and contracted, has moved from one meeting place to another, and has evolved its organization, vision and values. In addition to its pastors, TIC has been greatly blessed by gifted lay leaders, musicians, missionaries, entrepreneurs, teachers–and all kinds of people with spiritual gifts in abundance. This great cloud of witnesses and leaders is too numberable to name, but includes attorney Fred Voightmann and his wife Paula of Christian Salvation Services, missionary doctor Sam & Lucy Noordhoff of the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, Doris Brougham of ORTV, TAS music teacher Shirley Carlton, Tom & Mary Dedricks, John & Sheila Kroonblawd, Dave & Debbie Heidel, banker and elder RuuTian Lawrence, Brad & Amy Challberg, Peter Yeh and Eric & Thea Lin. These and many, many others have enthusiastically shared their lives and gifts to bring huge blessings to TIC and the expatriate community.
1967-72 Became Taipei International Methodist Church
1972-77 Became Taipei International Church
1985-90 Moved with TAS to Tianmu in 1989
1993-2013 Founding Pastor Tagalog Fellowship
2014-present Pastor of Tagalog Fellowship
2016-22 Moved to Dazhi in 2021
2022 Interim pastor
2023 Appointed to begin in January 2023
A variety of pastors have served TIC over the past decades:
Most of all, and most importantly, TIC has for two-thirds of a century been a place where the love of Jesus Christ has been shared personally with friends, family members and colleagues, every hour of every day throughout every year.
To God be the glory, great things he has done!