On Christmas Eve 2010, Bethel Hui passed away after succumbing to pancreatic cancer. Bethel had been the voluntary pastor of Epsom Baptist Church’s Saturday night Chinese/English congregation since planting it in 2005.
His death has been a shock not only to all of us at Epsom Baptist Church, but also to the wider Chinese community. Bethel is survived by his wife Willa and children Jasmine and Jacob.
Bethel Hui was born in Hong Kong in 1955. From the age of 8 he began attending various church activities. At some point he was deeply touched by the gospel message and made a commitment to following Jesus. The behavioural change observed in him added effectiveness to his passionate gospel witness.
While in secondary school Bethel had a visionary experience that called him to be an evangelist. The call was repeated following university graduation, and so theological study was commenced, culminating in attending Hong Kong Theological Seminary from 1979.
In 1981 Bethel married Willa Wong, another tireless worker for the gospel cause. After graduation from seminary, Bethel pastored Causeway Bay Swatow Baptist Chapel and then Tsin Sha Tsui Baptist Church.
In 1986, Causeway Bay Baptist Church (a different church to that already mentioned) commissioned and sent the Huis to the Philippines as missionaries, where they served for 14 years. While in the Philippines Bethel was minister of Baguio Chinese Baptist Church, and later volunteered as minister at Tarlac Baptist Church, as well as planting churches. These included La Union Baptist Church and La Trinidad Baptist Church, the planting of which Bethel considered to be his main ministry achievements.
The Huis emigrated to New Zealand in 2001. Bethel initially ministered at Auckland Chinese Evangelical Church, and then planted Epsom Baptist Church’s Chinese Congregation.
Bethel was hard working and serious about professional development. In the Philippines he completed an M.Div, a D. Min, and a Clinical Pastoral Education Course. Bethel was passionate about pastoral care, counselling, and visitation.
He took a special interest in helping newly arrived Chinese migrants. Not just a man of words, Bethel was also a man of action. Not so worried about the outcome of the situations in which he was involved, Bethel trusted God to be involved in all his dealings for the benefit of the Kingdom.
We will miss this dynamic, passionate messenger of God’s love and grace.
– Jeff Whittaker (pastor, Epsom Baptist Church), Willa Hui and Anson Sia (pastor, Epsom Baptist Church)