KO Chùn-Bêng bok-su
Rev. Dr. C. M Kao 高俊明
A third generation Christian KO Chùn-Bêng (Rev. Dr. C. M. Kao) was born 6 June 1929 in Tainan, Taiwan, the twelfth of thirteen children. Following early education in both Japan and Taiwan, C. M. Kao felt called to the Christian ministry and entered Tainan Theological College and Seminary. After graduation in 1953 he served as Evangelist and Itinerant Preacher among indigenous communities/churches in Taiwan.
His passion for indigenous ministries continued and shortly after his ordination to the Christian ministry in 1957 Rev. Kao was appointed as teacher and Principal of Yushan Theological College and Seminary until 1970 when he was elected as the General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan - a positon he held until his retirement in 1989.
During his years in Yushan he married Ms LI Le-Tin 李麗珍 (Mrs. Ruth Kao) and they were blessed with three children - two daughters and one son.
Throughout his term as PCT General Secretary and following Dr. Kao travelled extensively both home and overseas. Highly respected and esteemed, he gained wide ecumenical experience and knowledge having served on committees and participated in numerous international meetings as delegate, preacher and Bible Study leader over the years.
During the critical period in Taiwan in the 1970s, when he was General Secretary, the PCT issued its prophetic statements (three) which Rev. Kao signed based on his deep faith conviction. Later, in 1980 Rev. C. M. Kao was arrested and imprisoned and tried by a military court accused and subsequently charged, for his sympathy and alleged help in harbouring an escaping dissident and Human Rights Movement's leader. The original sentence was for seven years but in 1984 Dr. Kao was given early release, on parole for one year, and returned to his duties as General Secretary of PCT.
During the four years, three months and twenty-one days  of his imprisonment C. M. Kao along with the PCT received much prayer and moral support from churches, organizations and individuals worldwide as well as being adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Many church leaders visited him in prison and the international support and protest to the government undoubtedly played a significant part in his early release. Throughout this period his family and home were under twenty-four-hours police surveillance.
A man of prayer and vision, Rev. Kao saw the mission task of the church as twofold where evangelism and social justice/welfare ran parallel. This was reflected in his unrelenting sincere efforts to preach the good news among all peoples; at the same time his commitment to peace and justice issues never wavered. Throughout his life C. M. Kao served tirelessly and humbly for his church and country Taiwan, inspired and strengthened by his living faith and belief in Jesus Christ his Saviour.
A poet and Chinese calligrapher (and once an ardent table-tennis player), over the years Dr. Kao wrote and published poems, hymns, and sermons in Taiwanese, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and English languages – some of which he wrote from his prison cell. Although formally retired in 1989 C. M. Kao continued active and went on to pioneer the PCT ministry and university for senior citizens; and was in constant demand as a preacher and speaker for almost three more decades! Along with his wife Ruth he retreated to live in their native home town Tainan for quieter days of reflection and time with their family.
After a time of devotion reading the Bible and praying with his wife and family, C. M. Kao fell asleep and in the afternoon went home to the Lord peacefully on Thursday, 14 February 2019 in Tainan, Taiwan – it was the day of C M and Ruth’s 61st wedding anniversary!
Rev. C. M. Kao has conveyed in an open letter (in Chinese) his sincere will and desire that his funeral should be very simple to give honour and glory to the Lord he loved and served - his family and PCT are respecting his request.
15 February 2019
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)