Founded in 1885, The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) is the largest Protestant denomination in Singapore. With 46 churches, 15 schools, missions and welfare agencies, MCS seeks to share the love of God and serve Him by reaching out to people in the different stages of their lives, who may speak different languages and have different needs. Since its founding, MCS has contributed significantly to nation building especially in the areas of education and community work.
The MCS Vision
Love God by Loving our Neigbour
If you’re part of a local Methodist church, you are automatically a part of The Methodist Church in Singapore. This is connectionalism. We are all connected to each other as Methodists in Singapore. We are together as one, in spirit and purpose.
MCS derives its beginnings from a missionary initiative of the South India Conference led by Dr James Thoburn in 1885. Its early foundations were laid by the Rev William F Oldham, who established the Methodist Mission and its first English language boys’ school in 1886. Together with two girls’ schools begun in 1887 and 1888, the Mission developed ministries in nearly all the local vernaculars, a medical clinic, and school hostels for foreign boys and homeless girls.
Thereafter, the Mission rapidly spread to the main towns of the Malayan Peninsula and Sarawak, where churches and the schools that were twinned with them provided a base for missionary outreach in English and the vernacular languages. Like most other missions, the Methodist Mission in Singapore and Malaya expanded and matured – first becoming a Conference, then Conferences spanning South-east Asia, and the establishment of the South-east Asian Central Conference in 1950. The Malaysian and Singapore components became autonomous in 1968, and thus became an Asian church with a Bishop who was elected from amongst its ministers. In 1976, the process was repeated when it was restructured into The Methodist Church in Singapore and The Methodist Church in Malaysia.
Reflecting Singapore’s multi-ethnic groups, MCS comprises the Chinese Annual Conference, Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference and Trinity Annual Conference. It is headed by a Bishop, elected at its General Conference. Each of the Annual Conferences is headed by a President.
Methodist churches, numbering 46 local churches with a membership of more than 44,000, represent one of the largest Protestant denominations and cater to all the languages used in the Republic: Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Foochow, Hakka, Hinghwa, Teochew and Cantonese, as well as Bahasa, Tagalog, Mandarin, Tamil and English. Click here for a chart of MCS’s structure.
A Minority Faith
As one of the major Protestant denominations in a society where Christians form a minority, the MCS mission as a 21st century Asian church can best be appreciated by noting its programme of outreach within the community and across the seas. It includes the Educational, Social, Missionary and an ongoing Ecumenical commitment.
The Methodist schools represent the major educational thrust of the MCS. There are 15 primary and secondary schools and a junior college, as well as a School of Music. For more than a century, they have played an important role in the human resource development of Singapore, and their efforts have been acknowledged within and outside the island Republic. Click here for links to the Methodist schools.
Social and Missionary Outreach
In recent years, the most notable development, after education, has been in social and missionary outreach. This outreach has encompassed the care of the needy, the sick and the suffering not only in Singapore, but also in the region. The Methodist Welfare Services administers 20 service hubs for the elderly, families and children. These include two Nursing Homes (for the chronically ill and frail), a Welfare Home (MWS Christalite Methodist Home for the destitute) and one Girls’ Residence.
Many social outreach programmes and institutions have also been established by local Methodist churches.
Alongside the social outreach programmes are initiatives in sending missionaries to work locally and internationally – like the Antioch of old. Many churches send missionaries throughout the world. The Methodist Missions Society coordinates missionary efforts in at least seven countries in the region.
MCS recognises the importance of working with other Christian denominations in as many ways as possible, in strengthening Christian witness in a multi-racial and multi-religious society. It is a member of the National Council of Churches of Singapore. MCS is linked to the World Methodist Council as well as several other international Methodist bodies. An expression of MCS’s continued commitment to this vision is the support it gives to Trinity Theological College – a major theological seminary serving the region since 1948.
The Methodist Church holds much in common with other Christians: the primacy of Scripture, the necessity of salvation by grace through faith, and the sovereign care of the Triune God for the created world. Its particular emphases can be understood in reference to John Wesley, an 18th century priest and reformer in the Church of England who became known as the father of Methodism. He developed a distinctive “method” for personal and social holiness. Click here for links to important doctrinal statements.
About Our Bishop
Dr Gordon Wong
REV DR GORDON WONG, was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore at the 12th Session of the General Conference on 7 September 2020.
Rev Dr Wong took office as Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) at the Episcopal Consecration Service held on 4 December 2020 at Wesley Methodist Church. With his consecration, he takes on the role to oversee MCS’s 46 churches, provide counsel to 15 Methodist schools, and offer support for MCS’s social welfare arm Methodist Welfare Services (MWS), which runs 20 community-based care centres and programmes. He is also the Presiding Bishop of the five Agencies supporting the Provisional Annual Conference of The Methodist Church in Cambodia and provides episcopal leadership for the Methodist Church in Nepal and Thailand.
Bishop Dr Wong encourages the Methodist community to continue caring for those in need.
Loving our neighbour is not about grand gestures or plans. It is a Christian duty that can become a daily delight. To love our neighbour during difficult days means to groan with them, offer hope with them, and work with God to bring whatever good we can out of the bad that is all around.
Bishop Dr Wong holds a BA (Honours) from the London School of Theology and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Since 1986, he has served as Pastor-in-Charge of Cairnhill Methodist Church, Christ Methodist Church and Covenant Community Methodist Church, and pastor of Fairfield Methodist Church and Barker Road Methodist Church. In 2012, he was elected President of the Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), a connection of the three language-based groupings of churches under MCS, and had served two terms in the role. He was also the Bishop William F. Oldham Professor of Old Testament at Trinity Theological College where he lectured on the Old Testament, Hebrew and Homiletics for 17 years.
Bishop Dr Wong succeeds Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, whose term ended in December 2020. Bishop Dr Chong has retired after serving as Bishop for a term of four years, and has been accorded the title of Bishop Emeritus by the General Conference.
The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) logo focuses on a Spirit-empowered, loving and caring community growing qualitatively and numerically by God’s grace.
The concept is twofold:
Firstly, a stylised, abstract graphic of a pair of uplifted hands forming the letter ‘M’ (Methodist) in the shape of a heart, signifying loving and caring. The centre of focus is the Cross of Calvary. (Colour: Pantone Blue 286 C | Hex Code: #0033A0)
Secondly, the red flame speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:3) and the ‘tongues of fire’ suggests that the church is energised by the Holy Spirit. The merging of the two images therefore suggests the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (tongues of fire) in a loving and caring church. (Colour: Pantone Warm Red C | Hex Code: #F9423A)
Guidelines for Use
- The Council on Communications is authorised by the General Conference to supervise the use of the MCS logo, as provided for in our Book of Discipline.
- The logo may be used by official MCS churches and agencies to identify and promote MCS work, programmes and materials, such as on letterheads, posters and websites.
- Please contact MCS Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to use the logo.
- The following are the guidelines for acceptable use:
- The MCS logo should be clearly visible.
- The proportions of the MCS logo should be preserved.
- The MCS logo and the entity’s own logo may be used together, as long as they do not overlap and are balanced in size and prominence.
- Prohibited use includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Commercial use (such as placement of the logo on product packaging).
- An individual’s use of the logo for personal purposes.
- Use of logo outside of scope described above.
Third Party Use
- For third parties who wish to use our logo (such as news organisations), please obtain permission first by contacting us at email@example.com. Your use of our logo implies acceptance of, and agreement with, the terms stated above.