Remembering the Legacy of ‘China Partner’ Founder Dr. Werner Burklin

Photo courtesy of China Partner.

On July 6, Dr. Werner Burklin, founder of China Partner, passed away.

Dr. Burklin was born in China and raised by missionaries. His parents served in China from 1925 to 1950. Werner attended a boarding school in Shanghai, then another school in Germany. It was this second experience that drew him back to Germany in 1949, where he became the regional director for Germany’s branch of Youth of Christ. Later, he became the director for all of Youth of Christ’s work in Europe.

In the 80s, Werner connected with the Billy Graham Association and worked directly with Graham to plan conferences in Amsterdam. It was this project that first sparked a new area of ministry for Werner: leadership training. The conferences he held with Billy Graham specifically focused on preparing and equipping effective Gospel teachers. It wasn’t just about preaching; it was about teaching others to preach, too.

But his eyes were always on China. When China opened its doors to foreign visitors in 1980, Werner immediately began planning a trip. Back in China, he had a chance to revisit some of the cities and regions where his parents conducted their work. According to his son Erik, the current President of China Partner, “That ignited a new love and a new desire to maybe do something more back in China – his birth country, he always called it.”

Initially, his plan was to preach in China. However, restrictions enforced by the Chinese government made most public preaching illegal. Plus, the more he connected with local believers, the more he realized there was a different need; the Church in China needed leaders.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt


  • Pray for the Burklin family as they honor Werner’s legacy.
  • Ask God to continue using the groundwork laid by Werner’s legacy to have an impact of hope in China.
  • Thank Him for the work and passion of Werner Burklin.