Early Western forms of Pentecostalism embraced Holiness teaching and combined it with the emphases of baptism in the Holy Spirit evidenced by tongues. The Hong Kong Pentecostal Mission (previously Apostolic Faith Mission) grew out of the Congregationalist tradition and the Latter Rain message of the Azusa Street Revival, which was brought to Hong Kong by zealous missionaries. It was then developed by Chinese elites and local Pentecostal believers. Chinese leaders welcomed foreign missionaries but formed solid independent governance systems. The Hong Kong Pentecostal Mission distributed its Pentecostal Truths publications widely in Hong Kong, China and the broader diaspora. Although some members spread the Pentecostal message to Heungshan, they did not impose a dominant role in the development of the two local churches, but allowed the local people to self-govern and self-support the church, and to self-propagate the gospel message to the country people. It did not hold a hostile nationalistic attitude towards western missionaries, but continued to welcome any collaborations as long as they genuinely wanted to serve.
This chapter examines how the distance between the elite and the poor was bridged through the missions of the early Pentecostals in Hong Kong. The movement was launched by a group of Chinese elites who left their wealthy church to start mission works for the poor. They provided education for women, fought for tenants who were oppressed by high rents, and launched missions in remote villages. They also published a Chinese Pentecostal newspaper, Pentecostal Truths 五旬節真理報, in simple Chinese language for the benefit of illiterates. Although the church was started by elites, it was for the poor and of the poor. The Pentecostal elites and Pentecostal poor were in communion, and they collaborated for the common good of underprivileged members of society.