In 1993, the Chinese Christian Union Church purchased the former On Leong Merchant Association Building from the federal government. This 30, 000 square foot building is Chinatown’s only historical landmark. In addition to using the building for its youth and Mandarin language ministry, the church created the Pui Tak Center. In Chinese, “pui tak” means to build character or cultivate virtue.
Since its founding in 1915, CCUC has had a deep commitment to serving the spiritual needs of the community. But it was also concerned about serving the needs of new immigrants. At various times in history, it offered English classes for adults, sponsored homework tutoring and Chinese language classes for children and opened up its gym to the community.
The church started the community’s first preschool in 1953. In the 1960′s and 1970′s, the church hosted a monthly volunteer medical clinic during a time in which there were few physicians in Chinatown.
The Puitak Center started offering programs out of the church’s building in 1994 and moved into the Pui Tak Building in November 1995 after it was renovated. the grand opening received a lot of publicity including an article in the Chicago Sun-Times titled “Chinese Church Gives Landmark a Rebuilt Image.”
The Pui Tak Center’s programs are based on following the example of Jesus. Our theme verse is Mark 10:45: “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”