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A memorable 120th Anniversary service

ALDERSGATE DAY and the 120th anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) were memorably celebrated by Singapore Methodists at a powerful and colourful service of worship and thanksgiving at the joint premises of Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church on May 24.

It was attended by more than 1,000 worshippers, including 120 Methodist ministers who formally processed into the sanctuary. It was led by Methodist Church officials carrying the cross, an open Bible, banners identifying the MCS, the Annual Conferences and the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (GC-WSCS).

Following them were the pastors from all the three Annual Conferences, the President of the GC-WSCS, Mrs Laureen Ong, Conference Presidents, the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot of the Chinese Annual Conference, the Rev James Nagulan (Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference), and the Rev Wee Boon Hup (Trinity Annual Conference), and Bishop Dr Robert Solomon.

Musical offerings were made by a Combined Methodist Orchestra (conductor, Mr Jusuf Kam), the Voices of Praise Choir (conductor, Mr Goh Say Meng), and piano (Dr Emilia Wong) and keyboard (Mrs Suzanna Kam). Needless to say, the quality of choral and congregational singing was in the best of Wesleyan tradition – “lustily and with a good courage … modestly … and spiritually”.

An interesting and tuneful musical interlude using an Asian medium was performed by the Paya Lebar Methodist Primary School Angklung Ensemble.

The other Asian item was a much appreciated Tamil lyric sung by the Ang Mo Kio Tamil Methodist Church Choir. All in all, the evening’s musical gift befitted the occasion.

The congregation which packed the sanctuary was made up of a whole spectrum of age-groups, young, middle-aged and senior citizens, and their linguistic needs catered to through a tri-lingual order and content of service in Mandarin and Tamil from English and vice versa. Some continuity was naturally lost, but many more could follow intelligently.

Long Service Awards – Bibles, mono and bi-lingual – were presented to serving and retired pastors with 25 years or more of service: Pastors in full connexion with 25 years of service: The Rev Tan Lye Keng, the Rev Dr Lorna Khoo Lock Nah, the Rev Dr Daniel Lee Kok Pheng, the Rev Dr Francis Ngoi Ngie Huat, and the Rev David Wee Cheng Swee.

Retired Pastors who had 25 years or more of service: The Rev Dr Jesudian Daniel, the Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao, the Rev A. J. Williamson, the Rev Hong Chong Shit, the Rev Dr George Wan Tian Soo, the Rev Dr Prabhu Das Roberts, the Rev Dr E. J. Thoraisingam, and the Rev Nga Tieng Chieng. The sermon, “What Do You See?”

preached by Bishop Dr Solomon, was based on the same scripture text – Zechariah 4:6 – that the Rev James Thoburn used 120 years ago at the first evangelistic meeting held at the Town Hall on Feb 8, 1885.