Toa Payoh Methodist Church (TPMC) was birthed when Wesley Methodist Church and St Andrew’s Cathedral came together for a combined missions outreach project in 1968. We started off as a free clinic at Block 109, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, providing opportunities to share the Gospel with those who came seeking medical treatment. Shortly after, in 1969, the Rev Michael Wong conducted our first worship service with 12 nonChristian patients.
The Lord’s hand was evident and we became a Local Conference in 1977. Today, TPMC has a membership of almost 1,000 and we find worshippers in either of the two adult services (traditional or contemporary), the youth service, or the Filipino service which run on Sundays. Children’s programmes are also offered for our precious little ones.
The church’s vision for 2015 is to be a God-Partnered, SpiritEmpowered, Christ-Centred Home. In line with this, TPMC has three tenets – ‘Look Up, Go Deep and Reach Out’. These tenets aim to guide our strategies and activities in our journey of faith as well as in our responsibility to reach the community.
All ministries at TPMC are important as everyone relies on each other to fulfil our mission in the Toa Payoh community. However, two ministries stand out as being rather unique in nature.
The Gardening Ministry, which meets regularly on Saturday mornings to work on our gardens, won the National Parks Board’s ‘Community in Bloom’ Silver Award last year.
The other ministry’s claim to uniqueness would be due to the ‘oldfashioned’ nature of how it goes about its ministry of reaching people – Street Evangelism. In this day and age, this might appear to be an ineffective approach. However, what we’ve discovered is that while this is neither convenient nor effortless, it does bear fruit. Simply going out into the streets, offering to pray for people and showing a genuine interest in them, does make a difference in terms of the harvest; sometimes people might just need a little ‘old-fashioned’ touch.
In our attempts to reach the community, we realise that at times we face difficulties conversing with people in the many different dialects and even in Mandarin. We give thanks for those who respond, and we refer them to Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church (which shares our church building) for follow-up.
I have worshipped at TPMC since 1973 until I received my first pastoral posting. Hence, when I was appointed Pastor-in-Charge here in January 2013, it was practically a home-coming for me.
I believe what God is saying about TPMC has not changed drastically over the years – it is to reach Toa Payoh. That’s why we were planted and that is what we ought to continue to be faithful to.
PRAY for Toa Payoh MC
- to continue bearing fruit in its various ministries.
- to continue reaching out to the community in Toa Payoh.
Photos courtesy of Toa Payoh Methodist Church
We continue our series of profiling local churches from our three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore. As we come to have a better understanding of each other’s history and ministry, we may discover more opportunities to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.
The Gardening Ministry contributes uniquely to Toa Payoh Methodist Church through its care for the church’s gardens.
The Rev Reuben Ng is Pastor-in-Charge of Toa Payoh Methodist Church.