Our History

1930 - 1950

  • In 1930, Dr. Werner Bürklin, the founder of China Partner, is born in Wuhu, China to German parents who serve as missionaries with the China Inland Mission, now known as OMF International.
  • In 1949, the church in China grows to approximately 700,000 members.
  • In 1950, following the establishment of China’s communist government, all foreigners are forced to leave China, including Werner’s family who return back to their home-country Germany.

1951 - 1980

  • All ministry activities by missionaries outside China are discontinued.
  • The Three Self Patriotic Movement is founded and later the China Christian Council gives leadership and oversight to the registered church in China.
  • During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), pressure is placed upon Chinese Christians, all churches are closed, and Christians are forced “underground.”

1981 - 1990

  • In 1981, after China reopens its borders to foreigners, Werner returns to China to see what could be done to help the church in China.
  • Over many trips to China, Werner is able to win the trust and confidence of government and Christian leaders by assuring them that his only goal is to help and serve China and the Chinese church.
  • During repeated meetings with key pastors and Christian leaders in China, Werner learns that training and equipping of pastors is the most important need in the Chinese church.

1991 - 2000

  • In 1991, Bishop Ting, the president of the TSPM/CCC and principal of the Union Theological Seminary, invites Werner, together with an international teaching team, to Nanjing to conduct China Partner’s very first Pastoral Training Seminar. Afterwards, CP is invited to return to China to conduct further training seminars all over the country.
  • CP expands its ministry to other Chinese cities; the training seminars take place in different official seminaries and Bible schools.
  • CP helps with the construction of the Jiangxi Bible School in Nanchang.

2001 - 2010

  • In 2001, Werner steps down as president and the board appoints his son, Erik, to take over the leadership of the CP ministry as president.
  • CP focuses on equipping lay pastors who minister in the countryside helping with practical ministry tools.
  • In 2010, Werner retired from CP ministry. He enjoys writing and reading in his South Florida home.

2011 - Current

  • Linda Pervenecki, Werner’s youngest daughter, joins CP as Director of YouthServe, a new ministry initiative to reach the next generation in China. 
  • To date, China Partner has held over 133 Pastoral Training Seminars in over 40 locations, training more than 11,600 Christian leaders, and has distributed over 62,000 theological study books.