In July 2019, Covenant Community Methodist Church (CCMC) began to mark the milestone of its 25th anniversary by embarking on a Community Clay Covenant Project, which serves as a reminder that God is our Potter and we are clay formed by His hands. This project was a physical manifestation of the community life at CCMC where people across the generations come and find a place to worship God, to discover Jesus and fellowship with one another in the love of the Holy Spirit.
Young and old came together at the school canteen after Sunday worship services to make clay tablets depicting what CCMC means to them. These tablets were subsequently glazed, fired and assembled to make a mural that was installed in front of the church office a week ahead of the Combined Anniversary Service on the 8 Sep 2019.
Today, CCMC has about 900 baptised and confirmed members worshipping across three English services and one Korean service on Sundays. Children attend the concurrent Covenant Kids’ Ministry, and youths gather for their One Community Youth Worship Service.
During weekdays, the church continues to be a hive of activity, with ukulele classes, women’s and men’s fellowship meetings, Disciple Bible study classes, as well as Korean, Japanese and Chinese Bible study classes, Alpha runs and prayer meetings. Annual church camps in June are a time for bonding and year-end Vacation Bible School camps a opportunity for community outreach.
Most CCMC activities are conducted on the premises of Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) at 11 Blackmore Drive. We are a church located within the school. The outline of the façade of MGS stands prominently within the seal that is the logo of CCMC, representing the partnership that the church has had with the school for service and ministry to students, teachers and alumnae of MGS.
CCMC was envisioned before the relocation of MGS to Blackmore Drive from its former site at Mount Sophia in 1992. Mrs Anna Tham, who was then principal of MGS, had decided to have a chapel within the premises of the new school building. It was to be a place of solace, for girls to gather in prayer, to be in the presence of God and even for MGS alumnae to return to and get married in!
Upon hearing of the proposed chapel at the new premise of MGS, the Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, who was then chaplain of MGS and also pastor-in-charge of Barker Road Methodist Church (BRMC), mooted the idea to Mrs Tham of starting a church within the school, to which she readily agreed.
Within a year of MGS moving to their present location, the Rev Ngoei, together with the Rev Lawrence T. C. Chua from BRMC, and the Rev Kang Ho Soon and the Rev Noel Goh from Wesley Methodist Church (WMC), met at the annual TRAC Pastor’s Retreat in Phuket in April 1993. They decided it was time to start ground level planning for a Preaching Point at MGS.
An official proposal was made to MGS on 28 Apr 1993, and by 16 Sep 1993, the four pastors met again and decided that the Rev Chua would be chairperson, with BRMC responsible for the finance of the Preaching Point and the liaison with MGS. The Rev Goh would be co-chairperson, with WMC tasked with providing administrative support and publicity.
The inaugural service at the Preaching Point of MGS was held on the 10 Oct 1993 at the MGS Chapel. Guests included a strong presence from MGS, BRMC, WMC as well as The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS), such as Mrs Margaret Goh (then chairperson of the MGS Management Board), Mrs Tham (then principal of MGS), Miss Kon Mei Lin (then vice-principal of MGS), Mrs Fang Ai Lian (then president of the MGS Alumnae Association), the Rev Dr Isaac Lim (then TRAC president) and Mr G. D. Balakrishnan (then TRAC vice-president).
Over the next year, the Rev Chua spent much time shouldering the responsibility of establishing the Preaching Point and heading the working committee until July 1994, when he left for studies overseas. The Rev Goh then assumed the responsibility of the MGS Preaching Point and was given the honour of being the “midwife” when, on the 11 Sep 1994, the Preaching Point became a Local Conference—the 16th church to enter the Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC)—and was renamed Covenant Community Methodist Church.
The Rev Ngoei, who had first mooted the idea of the preaching point to Mrs Tham, became the first pastor-in-charge of CCMC on 1 Jan 1995. He believed then that this church would be God’s mission to MGS and those in the vicinity of Upper Bukit Timah Road. Today, this vision continues with the present pastor-in-charge of CCMC, the Rev Malcolm T. H. Tan, who believes in emphasising the CCMC motto: “To know God deeply and to make Him known widely”.
The Rev Tan, along with the LCEC, which is under the leadership of BG (Ret) David Koh, believes that CCMC is to be a Great Commission church, a soul-winning church, a disciple-making church and a church in service to the larger community. Together as a church, we celebrate and give thanks to God for the birth and growth of CCMC over the last 25 years, and pray for many more years of glorious service to the glory of God!
Sammi Si-Hoe is a member of Covenant Community Methodist Church.
Photos courtesy of Covenant Community Methodist Church