You may not know the name Samuel Lamb, but he was a hero of the Christian faith for millions of believers inside and outside of China.
The Chinese pastor known as Samuel "Lamb" died Aug. 3. He was 88.
Throughout his ministry Lamb was targeted by the government because he refused to merge his illegal house church into the state-led Protestant Church.
Samuel Lamb did not necessarily see persecution as a bad thing. CBN News Sr. International Reporter Gary Lane, who met Lamb, explains why, on Chrsitian Wold News, Aug. 9.
Watch more below from CBN Newswatch, Aug. 6.
The government forbade Christian leaders from preaching about the second coming of Christ or teaching minors the Gospel. China's government church evolved around the state and not around God.
But Lamb was determined to preach an unadulterated Gospel.
Consequently, he was arrested for his Christian faith in the 1950s during one of the first waves of persecution in Mao's Communist China, and spent 20 years of his life in Chinese labor camps.
After his release, Lamb formed a house church and became one of the most influential leaders of China's underground church movement.
Today his church has more than 4,000 attendees with four services.
Those who remember him well said that one of his favorite themes was what he called the "holy principle" of "more persecution, more growth."
"I can understand Job's victories and Job's defeats," he often said. "It taught me that grumbling does not help. Not against God and not against those who persecuted me."
"My dear wife died while I was in prison. I was not allowed to attend her funeral," he said. "It was like an arrow of the Almighty, until I understood that God allows the pain, the loss, the torture; but we must grow through it."
For three decades Lam served as a reliable partner for Open Doors' ministry. More than 200,000 pieces of Christian literature were distributed to Chinese believers through Lam's network.
"The death of Samuel Lamb leaves a hole in the Chinese Church," an Open Doors spokesperson said. "He symbolized the brave faith of a Church that grew at an unprecedented speed in world history. Long after his passing it will be said in many churches that more persecution only has one outcome: more growth."