The late Rev Dr Jesudian Daniel (1924–2017) will be affectionately remembered as a pastor who displayed genuine love and respect for all people. Graciousness and humility were the hallmarks of his personality.
Above all, he will be remembered as a man of prayer – praying for all things and never losing an opportunity to pray for any person, regardless of race or culture.
As a 17-year-old, he received God’s call: “Daniel, you are a good person, and you are to go overseas to serve the Lord. God will lead you and guide you in all that you do.”
Since that early beginning until the day he was called home to be with the Lord on 2 July 2017, the Rev Dr Daniel stood on God’s promises and served the only God whom he knew and worshipped, holding fast to God’s leading.
He spent the bulk of his working years tending to the Lord’s vineyard in Singapore. His career began in the early 1940s at Tamil Methodist Church (TMC) in Short Street, and continued in 1955 at the Preaching Point at Alexandra Brickworks, which congregation would later be constituted as Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church (PPTMC). He went on to serve there for more than four decades before passing on the baton in 1996.
During those years of pastoral service in both TMC and PPTMC, the Rev Dr Daniel served two churches, as was often the case for Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) ministers.
In September 1972, when the congregation was no longer able to worship at Alexandra Brickworks, the Rev Dr Daniel and his wife, Mary, opened their home for worship services and Bible study classes.
His abode was the birthplace of the ETAC Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF), the plans for which were laid out upon their kitchen table.
The Rev Dr Daniel also served on the Tamil Work Committee, Singapore and the Tamil Provisional Annual Conference (TPAC), during which time ETAC was formed. Subsequently, he was elected ETAC President and served in that office from 1984 to 1988.
As a minister, he prayed fervently that God would raise young men to enter the Ministry. His persistence and faith paid off and God answered his prayers: both Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon and the Rev Philip Abraham were members of PPTMC when they surrendered their lives to the Ministry.
Despite having retired from active ministry in 2002, the Rev Dr Daniel continued to serve as an honorary pastor and provided his wise counsel in the ETAC Board on the Ministry (BOM). He and Mary also went on to minister through the ‘Jesus Calls’ Prayer Ministry.
Foremost in his mind was always consideration for Tamil ministry, reaching out more effectively to the Tamil youths, promoting forgiveness and reconciliation, and solidifying the spirit of unity within the various congregations, especially that amongst the Tamil Methodist churches. His heart beat for both God and the people.
The late Rev Dr Daniel’s ministry will be remembered as one that was built on a solid faith in God and a lifelong awe of His love; he was a true servant of God.
Veronica Poore –
is Chairperson of the Board on Presidency of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference. She worships at the Tamil Methodist Church in Short Street.