The Second Coming Christ Controversy
But according to several sources with experience in Jang-associated organizations and communities, many members of the movement believed that the key event in Jang's early missionary endeavors is not in his résumé—nor, indeed, in any written source. It was believed, these sources said, that in or around 1992, early follower Borah Lin told Jang that she believed he was the "Second Coming Christ"—not Jesus Christ himself, but rather a new messianic figure that would complete Jesus' earthly mission. According to several former members, Lin became an important spiritual figure in Jang's closest circles.
Documents from teaching sessions indicate that Jang and his followers look to October 30, 1992—Jang's 43rd birthday—as the precise date of the start of their own movement. Beyond that, affiliated groups including Apostolos Campus Ministries and Olivet University look to 1992 as the year of their founding.
The years that followed were busy, as Jang recruited followers and commissioned missionaries to work on college campuses throughout Asia. The first missionaries to China arrived in 1996 and formed the core of the Young Disciples of Jesus. The Christian Post and Christian Today have dated their founding to 2000 (on its website, The Christian Post recently changed the founding date to 2004). The Gospel Herald and the American body of the Evangelical Assembly of Presbyterian Churches (EAPC) launched in 2004, and the International Business Times in 2006. By 2002, Jang had recruited adherents in key cities throughout China, Japan, and Korea, and had begun expanding into the United States.
In a paper written for the Evangelical Missiological Society in 2008, Olivet University president William Wagner wrote, "[M]inistries created by the Olivet movement occupy four of the top-ten ranked Christian websites in the United States—including the position of number one … . [M]arkedly successful websites produced by Olivet College of Journalism affiliate ministries have been developed in over 40 languages around the world … . In almost every case, these websites are top-ranked in their countries of origin." In addition to the businesses and ministries listed above, Wagner included organizations such as Crossmap, Verecom, IB Spot, Deographics, Jubilee Mission, BREATHEcast, Good News Line, Bible Portal, and the World Evangelical Theological Institute Association as "affiliate ministries" of Olivet University.
In a May 2008 interview with Christianity Today, Wagner said Jang worked with college students to "target top universities"—especially those in the University of California system—to build the student body at Olivet through transfers. Wagner said Apostolos Campus Ministries (since renamed Apostolos Missions) at the time had more than 30,000 students in 120 countries. That number didn't include another 10,000 students in China, where the organization is known as Young Disciples of Jesus.
These campus ministries would approach students who seemed to be interested in Bible studies and encourage them to take a course of 40 private "history lessons." (Wagner characterized them as intensive courses in discipleship and leadership.) Former members say that it was generally believed that these lessons had originated with Jang himself.