The exhibit opens Sunday, March 6, and will run until 2023. “Watchman Nee” explores the life and legacy of Watchman Nee, including first-hand video accounts from his cellmate, photos and personal letters.
“For 20 years, Watchman Nee was held in captivity in three different locations,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, chief curatorial officer for Museum of the Bible. “This exhibit includes a biographical presentation of the incredible life of Watchman Nee — including never before seen artifacts — and shares the story of how he used the Bible to impact people around the world.”
Watchman Nee founded the “Local Church” movement in China, the first native Christian movement in the country. This gathering remains the largest indigenous Christian church movement in China, with an estimated two million people tracing their beliefs back to Watchman Nee.
On July 30, 2009, Watchman Nee was recognized by the United States Congress for his contributions to Christianity in China. Today, an estimated 3,000 churches outside of China follow his teachings.
The museum store will provide visitors to the exhibit complimentary copies of Watchman Nee’s classic book, “The Normal Christian Life.” Chinese-speaking visitors will receive a free copy of the Chinese “Recovery Version” of the Bible.
About Watchman Nee
Watchman Nee was born on November 4, 1903. Named Ni Shu-Tsu or Henry, he later changed his name after conversion to “Ni Tuo-Sheng,” which means the sound of a watchman’s rattle. Watchman studied at St. Mark’s High School (later called Anglo-Chinese School, affiliated with Trinity College, Foochow) and later graduated from St. Mark’s College (Trinity College, Dublin).
Through spoken gospel messages, conferences, training seminars, and publications, Watchman Nee was instrumental in spreading the Christian faith and establishing the indigenous Christian Church not only throughout China but also throughout the entire world.
On April 10, 1952, Watchman Nee was arrested on a train and labeled as a “reactionary” by agents of the Chinese Communist Party. He spent 20 years in prison, where he endured harsh conditions and was denied nearly all contact with his family and access to the Bible. He died on May 30, 1972, at a labor camp in Anhui Province.
Learn more about the “Watchman Nee” exhibit here.