THE WELL-BEING OF THE TAMIL-SPEAKING community in Singapore was the core focus of the Tamil Methodist Church (TMC) from the very beginning, beyond worship and sharing God’s word.
This was the Rev William F. Oldham’s very intention, when he partnered two Tamil church workers to set up TMC to evangelise and serve the Tamil community in the Middle and Selegie Road areas in 1887, just two years after he brought Methodism to our shores.
And it was in this very church that Ms Sophia Blackmore started classes for nine Tamil girls, marking the early beginnings of the Methodist Girls’ School.
As Singapore’s second oldest Methodist church and a member of the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC), TMC today continues with its core mission – reaching out to the community, including migrant workers, through evangelism and social concerns. It has widened its tent through providing the necessary leadership to seven other ETAC churches in their formative years.
Since 1997, it has also reached out to the Telugu expatriates here, and the Telugu Methodist Church was constituted in 2008.
Sharing the Word and our social concerns ministry keeps us connected with the Indian and Tamil-speaking community in the vicinity of Little India. This evangelistic and outreach programme continues to be our key ministry. The Tamil Evening Fellowship is an active ministry started in 1992 for Indian migrant workers and other Indian nationals. Dedicated church members and friends organise regular Sunday worship service at 6.30 pm, special celebration functions and an annual sports day held on Labour Day.
Our goal is to see a growth in Worship-Word-Witness at TMC. Our mission is to be a community that exists to worship God, live His Word and make His glory known. TMC is a caring and loving church, welcoming one and all into its family.
We have an English-language worship service at 8.45 am, followed by a Tamil-language service at 10.30 am. There is another Tamil worship service at 6.30 pm for Indian nationals. Sunday School classes for children of all age groups are run both in the morning and evening. We have Bible study programmes, and the Youth and Women’s Society of Christian Service activities are on a bi-weekly basis.
Building each other up
The Bethel Home Fellowship draws church-member family groups with their neighbours for a time of worship and fellowship. This programme has strengthened ties amongst persons of different age groups and given them a better understanding of the church.
Strategically positioned for ministry
TMC has a potential ministry amongst the students of the various educational institutions and hostels sited in the Middle Road to Selegie Road areas. With God’s guidance and passionate workers for witnessing, we will be able to reach out to many of these young adults.
Migrant workers getting ready for a sack race as part of this year’s Labour Day sports event by TMC, which featured a telematch.
Understanding and working together
We are constantly challenged as we try to engage our worshippers who are 18 years old and above. They tend to lose interest in corporate worship and are seldom active in the church and its ministries. These youth and young adults are our assets. We have to build a strong bond with them from a younger age when they show interest and participate keenly in the ministries. It is the responsibility of the mature members to motivate, encourage and spur them on to be disciples of Christ and so be a part of this church.
Pictures by Tamil Methodist Church
Tamil Methodist Church (Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference)
8 Short Street
Sunday services: 8.45 am (English), 10.30 am and 6.30 pm (Tamil)
Contact: 6336-6148 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Veronica Poore, Chairman of the Board of Presidency of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference, is a member of Tamil Methodist Church