Do you recall the evangelistic rallies popular in Singapore in the 1970s and 1980s?
The most well-known was of course the Singapore Billy Graham Crusade in 1978, but did you know that Jurong Tamil Methodist Church (JTMC) was also right in the thick of the action then?
JTMC was itself started by Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church in a member’s home at Taman Jurong, in 1975. A large number of migrant workers from Malaysia and India resided in the surrounding areas during that period of time, while they were working at the Jurong Industrial Estate.
In order to reach them, the fledging church held a number of evangelistic rallies where many were saved and baptised. Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street) came forward to support the new church, and with the appointment of supply pastor Mr JCD Pandian (later ordained as a pastor), the outreach ministry grew and the church was constituted in January 1977.
It was also during this period of vibrant evangelism that a youth from JTMC, then known as Philip Abraham, pledged himself to full-time ministry. It is significant then that things have come full circle, with the Rev Philip Abraham appointed back to JTMC as Pastor-in-Charge since 2013. This will be his 25th year of serving as a pastor. All Glory to God for raising workers for His harvest!
The church’s evangelistic strength continues even till today. Our Evangelism Committee is involved in “friendship evangelism”, visiting residents in nearby blocks and distributing tracts in the past few years. We are also gearing up for evangelistic rallies which will be held at our venue at Jurong Christian Church on August 1 and 2 this year, organised by the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference Board of Evangelism.
The Social Concerns Committee is actively involved in seeking those who are in need and helping them in the community. One of the main ministries of JTMC is our monthly visits to Christalite Methodist Home, which have been going on for the past few years. We engage the residents by sharing stories of Christ’s life and inviting them to share with us their needs for prayer.
JTMC currently has a membership of 83. The church has moved location four times in our history of 37 years. Now, we thank God that Jurong Christian Church has offered us a space to lease long-term for worship in their new re-building project, expected to start in January 2015 and to be completed in December 2016.
Raising funds for our contribution to this project is a great challenge. We have planned a fund-raising carnival to be held at Jurong Christian Church on August 23, where we aim to raise $30,000. Do support our fund-raising efforts, and kindly uphold us in your prayers.
SUPPORT * Jurong Tamil Methodist Church’s fund-raising efforts u Attend their carnival on August 23, 10 am to 5 pm, at Jurong Christian Church, 2 Tah Ching Road.
PRAY * for the upcoming evangelistic rallies in August u for JTMC as it continues to reach out to and rally pre-believers in the Jurong area.
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 Jurong Tamil Methodist Church
The Rev Philip Selvan Abraham is the Pastor-in-Charge of Jurong Tamil Methodist Church (JTMC). Pastor T. Jeevanantham, who co-wrote this article, is supply pastor at JTMC.