After a three-and-a half-year wait, Christ Methodist Church’s (CMC) new building has finally been unveiled. It officially opened on June 1 this year, and excitement was palpable in the first few weeks as worshippers explored our technologically advanced, purpose-built church. For the 1,500 worshippers – many of whom live in the East Coast, Frankel, Telok Kurau, Marine Parade and Katong communities – thanksgiving ran deeper than just appreciation for the new facade. God had provided several miracles during the rebuilding process.
This included a timely change in the plot-ratio stipulation, allowing us to build higher than originally planned and accommodate greater capacity. We badly needed this because our ministries, worship services and staff had been expanding over the years and could no longer fit into the old premises. In the interim, God had also graciously provided Saint Patrick’s Secondary School just across the road as an alternative worship venue. A big “thank you” to sister churches who have supported our rebuilding effort!
CMC also celebrates its 84th anniversary this year. Originally born as the Geylang Methodist Church English congregation, we shared a building along Aljunied Road together with two other congregations – the Geylang Chinese Methodist Church and the Geylang Straits Chinese Methodist Church – for almost 30 years. As God blessed each congregation and numbers grew, the English congregation leadership decided to bid for our current piece of land at an auction, and won it. CMC was officially opened by Bishop Hobart B. Amstutz on 9 December 1960, and has stood at its present location for over 50 years now.
With 60 adult care groups, eight youth care groups, four Mandarin-speaking groups and a growing domestic helpers’ fellowship, CMC’s strong small-group culture is in line with her vision of Intentional Discipleship. In recent years, CMC has undertaken an annual church-wide ‘campaign’ where all groups are encouraged, for several weeks, to focus on a particular aspect of Christian discipleship and respond creatively. This August, their ‘Hands & Feet: Let’s Make a Difference’ campaign encouraged them to connect with communities outside the church, especially through acts of kindness and extraordinary giving. The kind acts which followed and new friendships forged have been a great inspiration to all.
Current Pastor-in-Charge, the Rev Edmund de Souza, has held the fort since 2000, his second appointment there. Pastors who have helmed this church since the 1930s include the Rev E.S. Lau, the Rev Ong Chaik Ghee, and the Rev Dr George Wan. Moving forward, the Rev de Souza senses that the church needs to not only intentionally make disciples but also develop a healthy dependence on God, who alone “gives the growth”. He would like to see a spirit of worship, prayer and seeking after God sweep over the 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, there may be opportunity to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.
Pictures courtesy of Christ Methodist Church and K2LD Architects
Elena May Gudgeon grew up in Christ Methodist Church and now works as the youth ministry staff there. She fosters intimacy with God by tramping about in the wilderness.