Features, Highlights

Christalite Methodist Chapel is 19th TRAC church

The Methodist Church in Singapore now has 42 churches

CHRISTALITE METHODIST CHAPEL has become the 19th church of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC). This means The Methodist Church in Singapore now has 42 churches.

Christalite achieved Local Conference status on July 31, 2005 when a Church Constituting Conference was held at its premises at Geylang Methodist Primary School. This was presided by the Rev Dr Jonathan Seet, the District Superintendent (East). The church was constituted with 152 founding members.

A Thanksgiving Service then followed. The Rev Wee Boon Hup, President of TRAC, delivered the sermon entitled “A Church for the Future”.

It was in 1996 that Christ Methodist Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, moved to plant a preaching point at Geylang Methodist Secondary School. We are grateful to the School Management Committee and the principal, Mrs Doreen Chan, for giving us this opportunity of ministry.

In September 1996, a small team led by our pioneer pastor, the Rev Vincent Goh, began this ministry, worshipping at Wesley Hall. In a way, Christ Methodist Church was going back to its roots, having worshipped at borrowed premises at the Geylang Chinese Methodist Church at Aljunid Road till its move to the present East Coast Road location in 1960. The Rev Alvin Chan was the preaching point’s interim pastor in 1998 for several months until our current pastor, the Rev Nga Mee Hee, was appointed.

The mission of the preaching point is simple — to lead students, their families and the community to Jesus Christ. We were clear in our minds that we would add value to the schools, providing spiritual and prayer support, financial and pastoral care for the students, and generally enriching school life. We would assist the schools foster a Christian community, helping mould children not just to become good citizens of Singapore, but also good citizens of the Kingdom of God.

It was for this purpose that Kidz-in-Praise, a programme for the primary school students was started, initially on Saturday afternoons. In ministering to the children, the team members were blessed with new avenues of service and lessons in long-term commitment.

Other programmes like Teens Alive for upper primary children (run mainly by teachers from the Primary School), and the Drop-In Centre at the Secondary School were initiated.

To foster and deepen relationships with parents, several programmes were organised. For example, hanyu pinyin classes were over-enrolled, and two consecutive classes had to be organised. Parenting skills classes organised in Mandarin were so well received that there were requests that similar classes be taught in English.

The Chapel currently provides bursaries to needy students and has made significant financial contributions to the schools. We run a tuition programme on Sundays where 48 students are assisted in their academic subjects. As God blesses us with church growth, we will be able to contribute much more to the school community life and finances.

It was in 1998 that the name Christalite Methodist Chapel was adopted by the congregation. Our logo is a lighthouse – this represents the Chapel bringing the Light of the World to the community in Geylang. The five rays of light issuing from the lighthouse to represent our Core Values of “WORDS”: W (Worship): Honouring God

through our worship, O (Outreach): Sharing the Gospel message, R (Relationship): Loving and caring for one another, D (Discipleship): Becoming like Jesus in every way, and S (Service): Serving God and the community.

Initial ministry during the early years was difficult as we lacked numbers, programmes and facilities. Many came to visit, but not to stay. We worked hard, we prayed, we fasted until in early 2002, we felt in the spirit that God had broken the ground for us. The same year in December, we moved premises to the newly-completed Christalite Auditorium at the refurbished Primary School.

We want to gratefully acknowledge the roles of the School Management Committee and in particular, Miss Mabel Wee, Principal of the Primary School, for their unfailing support and encouragement.

We already had a Mandarin Worship at 11.30 am on Sundays, then added a Traditional Service at 8 am to complement our 9.30 am Contemporary Service. Our numbers at Sunday worship increased to about 100 in 2004 and we believed that the time was ripe for us to become a Local Conference.

However, at the General Conference in November 2004, the Constitution was amended so that instead of the required 25 members, a mandatory figure of 120 members was required to form a Local Conference. The Lord gave us faith to believe that this could be achieved and even surpassed.

Our faith target was to have 150 founder members. The final impetus to reach this figure was our church-wide study of the Purpose Driven Life conducted in April and May this year. Many friends were invited to join the study and some have since become baptised Christians and members of the Chapel. We want to give God the glory that our faith figure was been achieved.

Currently, most of our members belong to cell groups. We have 16 groups which meet fortnightly.

We are especially blessed with the Chrysalis, our vibrant youth group whose dedicated leaders keenly disciple their charges. This is the engine of our church growth, and we thank God for them.

We will, at the Chapel, continue to seek God’s face and be instant and obedient to do His will, bearing fruit that will remain for Him and giving Him all the glory. We will continue to build close links with the schools. The 21st & 21st J Company Boys’ Brigade and the 2nd & 2nd J Company Girls’ Brigade are already affiliated to the Chapel.

We invite you to visit us soon. We especially invite Methodists who live in the vicinity to worship God with us. You will be assured of our love and welcome.

Dr Raymond Teo is the Chairman of the Local Church Executive Committee of Christalite Methodist Chapel.