The Dorcas Ministries evolved from the Dorcas Fellowship which came into being with the love of God in the hearts of the late Mr. and Mrs. Yu Man Wan. The Godly couple started making use of the lunch break in a garment factory in Chinatown in NYC to reach out to the workers. They taught the workers basic English vocabulary as well as introduced them to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They cared not only the workers but also their family members. In 1990 the torch was passed onto Grace Mo from the Long Island Abundant Life Church and in 1994 Rebecca Lee from the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland joined the ministry. By the grace of God, they had opportunities to serve in ten factories in different format and the number of believing workers gradually rose. Both sisters Mo and Lee saw the need to plant a church for these believers.
The spring of 1997 was the beginning of the Sunday worship service of the Dorcas Fellowship at the Chinese Christian Herald Crusade building in Chinatown. Not only the believers came but their children, too. Soon it became apparent that there was not enough room for this ministry. One year later, through an American missionary, the two sisters were introduced to the pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Brooklyn and found that the church wished to start a Chinese ministry. Afterwards, in 1999, with the support of both the FEFC and the Association of North American Chinese Evangelical Free Churches, the Sunday worship meeting place of the Dorcas Fellowship moved to the building of the FEFC. With a pastor and a missionary taking care of the church, the two sisters continued their ministries at the factories.
In 2000, with the abolition of the quota for the import of textiles from China, the garment business went downhill and many factories closed, affecting most severely those factories in Chinatown, NYC. It was hard for the new immigrants to find a job in the factories and even those who were working there had to change to other trades. Seeing this group of nomads in the city, sisters Mo and Lee wished very much to find a place in the crowded, busy city to be a haven for these grassroots laborers, a place where they can stop by, take a rest, talk, be listened to and to be served
In 2004 God moved in the heart of a brother from the FEFC to sell his three storied building in Brooklyn to the Evangelical Free Church of America at a price significantly lower than the market price for the use of urban gospel ministries. The Dorcas Fellowship rents from them the storefront for the purpose of a community service center and eventually purchase all three floors of the building. In August 2005 the Dorcas Fellowship was incorporated in the state of New York under the name of Dorcas Ministries. It is an entity under the EFCA with a 501(3)c tax-exempt status. The Board of Directors, while coming from different walks of life and from different churches, shares the same vision from God. The financial support comes from brothers and sisters who are concerned with evangelism among the Chinese immigrants.
New York City is one of the largest cities in the world, and is considered by many the financial capital of the world. As a landing point for new immigrants, it is a place of incredible diversity and change. As you arrive, be prepared for a great variety of sights, sounds, and smells that you haven't experienced before.
Brooklyn is the largest of the five boroughs that comprise New York City. Even if it were separated from the rest of NYC, it would still be one of the largest cities in the United States! Within Brooklyn are communities that are based on religious and ethnic commonality. Hispanic, Jewish, African American, Arabic, Polish, Italian and Chinese communities give you the opportunity to “travel the world” without leaving Brooklyn. The close quarters within which these communities exist do create difficulties, however. People of all cultures struggle to make sense of the change and diversity surrounding them.
Dorcas Ministries is located between Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. These are two sections located in lower Brooklyn. Bay Ridge is a formerly Scandinavian community that in the last twenty years has become largely Arabic. Sunset Park, with a 300,000 Chinese population, is a predominantly Chinese and Hispanic community, separated from Bay Ridge by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Today Dorcas Ministries continues its mission of showing the love of Jesus Christ and spreading the Good News of the Gospel through providing important social services to the community like ESL classes, music lessons for teens, Counseling, immigration classes and walk in mail translation services that are vital to the community.