iSurprise Vinton Church

A stunning building with a complicated past

The Karen loved and venerated Vinton and would later even refer to him as ‘the man who saved our lives’.

American missionaries

A testimony to Justus and Calista Vinton, two American Baptist missionaries who sailed to Burma in the early 19th century. The Vinton’s were committed soulwinners, so determined that even before the set foot on Burmese soil, they already converted the majority of their ship’s crew to the Christian faith, including the captain.

The Vintons and the Karen

The Vintons - fluent in the Karen language - went from village to village preaching and singing the word of God. They quickly became a popular sight and ended up working in Karen communities for decades. During the rainy seasons, when jungle travel was difficult, they preached to British soldiers and translated the Bible into Burmese.

The Vintons in Rangoon

The Vintons lived in Mawlamyine, in East Burma. When they moved to Yangon to help with relief work following the Anglo-Burmese wars, they settled in the Ahlone neighbourhood. Rev. Vinton bought some land from the East India Company and set up a church, school and hospital. Part of the church was completely destroyed during cyclone Nargis and rebuilt in 2011.

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