In October of 2015, Rev. Thomas Thao, Pastor of Milwaukee Albright and New Hope UMC, was approached by Chuck Steinbach, who wanted to find a host church for the Daii community. He indicated that he looked up United Methodist Churches in the Milwaukee area and found that Albright UMC was the closest church to the Daai community. In Myanmar (Burma) the Daai belong to the British Methodist faith. That is why they prefer to be part of the United Methodist Church.

The group from Myanmar was meeting for Bible study and worship in someone’s house, but had maxed out of the space. Pastor Thomas and few of the current Daai members discussed the possibility of the Daai meeting for worship and Bible study at Albright.

Pastor Thomas Thao then brought the opportunity of starting a ministry for the Daai under Albright United Methodist Church to the church council. The council unanimously decided to support the new church start. Pastor Thomas also brought this initiative to the South East District Strategy Team; and the members wholeheartedly supported starting the Daai ministry at Albright.

At the end of 2015, Albright renovated an area in the education wing for the Daai congregation to gather for worship and Bible study. On October 16, 2017 the South East District Strategy Team voted to recommend this ministry to the Conference Strategy Board to become a new church start. The Board decided to support the Daai Christian Fellowship as a new ministry of the United Methodist Church in the Wisconsin Conference, effective January 1, 2018.

The Daai Christian Fellowship worship in the Burmese language because many of them don’t read or write their own language. This is, however, a blessing because they are able to draw in other Burmese ethnic immigrants who understand Burmese, such as the Karen and Chin. Coincidentally, the Chin people are from Chin State in Myanmar, the same state as the Daai. Although the Daai are very few in number in the U.S. at the present time, many will likely be coming to resettle in the U.S.; and with an established Daai UMC in Milwaukee, there is a great potential that many Daai will come to Milwaukee to be part of this new church start.

Thung Hong, a lay person who has been instrumental in organizing the Daai Christian Fellowship, has responded to the call to become a local Pastor. He is already in the candidacy process.

View photos from the Daai Christian Fellowship Celebration