The Well’s pastor: Dean Coonradt. Pastor Dean began to serve here in 2015 after ministering for almost 24 years in the United States. He is joined by his wife, Alice. Dean and Alice have four adult children and four grandchildren.
THE WELL is an unaffiliated English speaking Protestant church serving Ho Chi Minh City’s expatriate community. As early as February 2008 foreign Christians within Vietnam were carrying on discussions about establishing an International Church in Ho Chi Minh City. Several years later Pastor Nelson Annan, a Canadian, came to Ho Chi Minh City to bring the process forward. During his tenure Pastor Nelson initiated the process whereby an application for the establishment of an International Church was submitted to the Religion Committee of the Vietnam Government. A key aspect of this application process involved support of the Hoi Thanh Tin Lanh (The Evangelical Church). This 100 year old evangelical denomination with roots in the Christian & Missionary Alliance provided invaluable assistance in sponsoring Pastor Nelson’s application with the government.
The original submission proposed that the site for the church would be the Saigon Church on Tran Hung Dao Street, District 1. When this site did not materialize the application was resubmitted requesting that the church be located at 98 Le Quoc Hung Street, District 4. In April, 2012 the formation of the church at this location was approved by the Religion Committee of the Vietnamese Government. Although Pastor Nelson had moved on he was able to be present at the church’s inaugural service on Sept 2, 2012.
In the weeks prior to the inaugural service the church was named “THE WELL”. Although organizationally independent, THE WELL has warm ties with its sponsoring body, The Hoi Thanh Tin Lanh, Vietnam. The church gives room for this great diversity without losing sight of historic Protestant Christianity’s foundational principles. These foundational principles can be found in two ancient creeds: The Apostles Creed (see below) and The Nicene Creed (see below). Theologically the church borrows what’s good and beneficial from these creeds and traditions to develop forms and freedoms that suit its situation.Christians throughout the world express their allegiance to God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit according to a variety of denominational creeds and traditions.
The following Statement of Faith captures the essence of the THE WELL’S understanding.
Statement of Faith
- We believe God has revealed Himself to us in His creation, in the Bible, and in His son, Jesus Christ. God is to be worshipped, obeyed and enjoyed as the source and Lord of all life. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s unique Son, sent to the world as God in the flesh. He came to reveal God to us, and provide the only way for us to know God personally, to have eternal life, and to show us how to live a life pleasing to God.
- We believe that God’s Holy Spirit gives new and eternal spiritual life to all who receive Jesus Christ by faith. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer, providing power for service and enabling a joyful, holy lifestyle.
- We believe the Bible to be the inspired, trustworthy Word of God. It is our only standard of faith and practice. The Bible is to be read, taught and preached, and its truth applied to everyday life.
- We believe that People were originally created innocent and pure, but that the first of these fell through the sin of disobedience. All people are therefore originally sinful by nature, are potentially eternally separated from God, and are in need of reconciliation.
- We believe that God has graciously provided Salvation through Jesus Christ, who died on the cross as the substitutionary atonement for sin, and rose again from the dead to open the way to new life. All who repent of sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ are saved from their fallen condition into eternal life with God by His grace alone, apart from works or merit.
- We believe that the one, holy, universal Church is the Body of Christ and is composed of the communities of Christ’s people.
- We believe Water Baptism is symbolic of the Christian’s spiritual union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). According to the Biblical pattern, a new Christian is to be baptized after conversion as an expression of personal faith in Christ and membership in the Church.
- We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sign by which the church thankfully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established by his death. In this communion meal the church renews its covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until he comes. Participation in the Lord’s Supper is open to all who profess faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.
- We believe in the Great Commission: Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
- The institution of Marriage was ordained by God and is “honorable in all;” it is the mutual union of one man and one woman for fellowship, helpfulness, and propagation of the human race.
- We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls the church to live in faithful Stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us. God has established a system of giving that acknowledges His ownership and human stewardship. To this end all his children faithfully tithe and present offerings for the support of the gospel.
- We believe that the Kingdom of God has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ on earth and that he will return to earth to complete the establishment of God’s eternal reign over all creation.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic (universal) and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.