Faithful Luke, standing third from the left, with Watchman Nee and visitors from the Plymouth Brethren
Faithful Luke (Liok, or Lu Zhong-xing 陆忠信) of Gutian, was a close co-worker with Watchman Nee all his Christian life. Attending the same high school, they met the Lord around a year or two apart. Faithful was quickly brought into the gospel band. Upon his graduation from high school in 1923, Luke decided to get baptized. His uncle quickly realized the implications and was furiou, as getting re-baptized as a believer meant that Faithful was forsaking his Anglican baptism and jeopardizing his ability to receive a grant to attend St. John’s University. Describing the magnitude of the decision, Angus Kinnear writes
Even his principal thought Luke was out of his mind when he made his intention known. After all, Trinity College was a doorway to state or mission employment and its students often went on to positions of great influence. “Do you mean, then, that you will not go on to further study?” he asked. “No,” was the impetuous answer, “I am going to preach the gospel.” The missionary was sincerely troubled. Watchman, he feared, was becoming a disruptive influence in the student community. “Go and pray,” he said, “and come back to me after three nights.” But on his return Luke’s mind was unchanged. “I have decided,” he said, “to serve the Lord Jesus only.” And through life he never went back on this decision. 1
Graduating one year earlier than Nee, Faithful consecrated himself further to the Lord’s work and moved to White Teeth Rock to serve the Lord full-time in M. E. Barber’s work. It appears that this was a major example among the young Christians. After the older Leland Wang, Luke was the first of this younger group to take such a stand. Several more would follow. M. E. Barber had had some sister co-workers, but finally, after years of prayer, the Lord was raising up young leaders from among the Chinese people to follow Christ on Christ’s terms alone. Luke rejected any security from a missionary career and became a servant of the Lord alone. He remained at White Teeth Rock for six years.
In 1926, Miss Barber wrote to D. M. Panton that, “Faithful is splendid with personal work & this work among the men.” Yet she was concerned for both Nee and Luke that they “have a mental apprehension of God’s Truth which unless lived out will be their peril.”
Eventually, Luke felt called to make Malay and Indonesia his field of service, spending much time in Singapore as well.
Even as late as 1951, Luke is mentioned as being in close fellowship with Nee in Shanghai. Updates from the mission field from Faithful Luke were featured in D. M. Panton’s magazine The Dawn often. Angus Kinner mentions that Faithful Luke contributed personally to the revised edition of his biography of Watchman Nee Against the Tide. Not only is this one of the only records of Nee’s life, it features much detail about the early years in Fuzhou (1920-1930.) Many of these details and anecdotes may have come personally from Faithful Luke.
1 - Kinnear, Angus. Against the Tide: The Unforgettable Story of Watchman Nee (pp. 61-62). CLC Publications. Kindle Edition.