Happenings

Aldersgate Methodist Church: Celebrating God’s Faithfulness and Goodness

Jul 2019    
The congregation and leaders of AMC, along with guests, at the anniversary service.

On 5 May, Aldersgate Methodist Church (AMC) celebrated its 40th anniversary. The bilingual anniversary service saw the church sanctuary filled to capacity—and overflowing.

In her greetings, a beaming Pastor-in-Charge, the Rev Dr Lynette Sathiasingam, gave glory and thanks to God for His faithfulness and goodness over the past four decades. She also paid tribute to the pioneers of AMC, a number of whom are still with the church, for their dedicated service.

For the first time, more than one bishop, an Annual Conference president and three guest pastors were present at our anniversary service. Reflecting the close relationship between our church and the schools, the principals of Fairfield Methodist School, both Primary and Secondary—Mdm Law Li Mei and Ms Audrey Chen respectively—joined the celebration service too.

God’s purpose for the Church

In his sermon, “God’s Faithfulness and Purpose for the Church”, Bishop Emeritus (BE) Dr Robert Solomon emphasised that the Church exists—first and foremost—for the glory and praise of God (Phil 1:11). He said: “The Church does not belong to us. It belongs to God. It is for His glory that we must live and serve.

“We glorify God by being pure and blameless and being filled with the fruit of righteousness. […] The focus is on our inner character, the kind of people we become. The inner character has to do with Jesus. He has to dwell in us and through His cross and indwelling Spirit, we are transformed into Christlikeness.”

BE Dr Solomon exhorted the congregation: “We must know Jesus. Then only can we become Christlike.” In short, we need to grow in knowledge and maturity through God’s written word (the Bible) and the living Word (Jesus).

The official anniversary programme ended with a lunch reception. The joyous celebrations continued, however, as guests and church members exchanged stories and reminisced about AMC’s 40-year journey with a faithful God.

Peter Teo is a member of the Archives Committee of Aldersgate Methodist Church and a former Editor of Methodist Message.

A tale of three miracles
Peter Chen is a member of AMC’s Archives Committee.

Evidence of God’s faithfulness is seen in AMC’s arduous journey of faith from its beginnings as a “Pioneer Project” in 1978, when it first worshipped in the former American School in Ulu Pandan. Thus began a nomadic existence for our worship services, even after we became a Local Conference in 1979.
In 1984, we found ourselves worshipping in the school hall of Fairfield Primary School—on the understanding that it was to be on a temporary basis, until we had our own land and building.
God answered our prayers for a permanent home with three miracles.

The first miracle
In 1985, Dover Road was re-aligned. As a result, a piece of vacant land was miraculously created right in front of Fairfield Primary School. But would the school allow us to build a church on it?

The second miracle
The school had previously shown reluctance in allowing us the use of its school hall, even temporarily. By God’s grace, the school invited us to build a permanent chapel on the newly-created vacant land!

The third miracle
We then discovered numerous power cables and gas lines under the site. It would be too costly or even impossible to build on it. Once again, God provided the answer. The school agreed to exchange its carpark for the site earmarked for our church.

In December 1994, Aldersgate Chapel was completed. We finally had a permanent home.

What AMC means to us

“We belong to the Body of Christ at AMC, where we have worshipped since January 1978, when the inaugural service was held. AMC has given us many ministries to serve in, which has helped us grow deeper in faith and in trust in our Lord Jesus. To us, the church is not a building, but is made up of God’s people, the Body of Christ.”
—Pioneer members Adrian Ho and his wife Cecilia Tan

“AMC has been home to me since I married Joseph Gan 18 years ago. It is here that I encountered deep valleys as well as lofty mountains amidst God’s abiding presence. It is in this community that I weathered the transition to adulthood, with its attendant struggles of working, parenting and serving in lay ministry. It is also where I heard and responded to God’s call to fostering and the pastoral ministry.”
Tay Li Ping

 

“A friend introduced me to AMC two decades ago, when I was in Secondary One. In my formative years, God has blessed me with countless mentors from the church. AMC is also where I have been blessed with opportunities to serve, during which I have grown in so many ways: from a croaky back-up singer to a worship leader; writing and translating for the church magazine Liveline; leading the Youth Camp; and serving on mission trips.

In God’s divine plan, my husband and I got married in AMC and our son is growing up surrounded by this warm, loving community.”
Grace Ho

The specially-assembled children’s choir, part of a combined praise offering of songs and music, along with the adult choir, youths and the church angklung group.
Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung and BE Dr Robert Solomon unveiling a plaque listing AMC’s 10 Pastors-in-Charge, beginning with our pioneer missionary pastor, the late Rev William Denver Stone.
Special guests at our anniversary service: (standing) Methodist Missions Society Executive Director the Rev Derrick Lau (centre), flanked by two former Pastors-in-Charge, the Rev Dr Chiang Ming Shun (left) and the Rev Paul Nga; (seated, from left) TRAC President the Rev Dr Gordon Wong, Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung and BE Dr Robert Solomon.

Photos courtesy of Aldersgate Methodist Church

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