The Secretary of the Trustees for the new quadrennium
Guan Yeow Kwang was appointed to the office of Secretary of the Trustees (SOT) of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) with effect from 24 May 2021. He was elected at the 12th General Session General Conference in September 2020 for the quadrennium 2021–24.
But what exactly does the SOT of MCS do? While it is not a role with much public exposure, it is an extremely important one. The SOT acts as the sole legal person for MCS. He is the one who can sue and be sued on behalf of MCS, its agencies and local churches. As Yeow Kwang explained: “Functionally, the SOT plays the role of a goalkeeper in protecting the assets of MCS. Administratively, the SOT is the person that executes all legal contracts on behalf of all Methodist churches, schools and agencies in Singapore.”
A history of service
Yeow Kwang’s parents sent him to a Methodist school when he was young, even though they were then not Christians. He accepted the Lord during a school Religious Emphasis Week when he was in Secondary Four, and has been attending Foochow Methodist Church for the last 48 years.
He has served for many years in the Church. When he and Rev Dr Gregory Goh Nai Lat assumed the roles of Vice-President and President respectively of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in 2016, they shared the common belief that central pooling was critical to the future of CAC. “Without it,” he elaborated, “churches that have less financial means may not be able to afford the pastoral resources they need in order to grow their ministries. We believe central pooling is biblical as it binds the 17 local churches together in resource sharing and support of one another.”
As they engaged the leadership of all the local churches, a consensus soon emerged that CAC was in need of a transformation. This led to three specific initiatives: to strengthen discipleship across all CAC churches; to develop a new generation of pastoral and lay leaders; and to promote resource sharing, especially in the area of church administration, across the churches.
God’s faithfulness in his work and life
Yeow Kwang’s day job is as the Executive Officer and CEO of Mizuho Bank Ltd in Singapore. His work in the finance industry for the last 40 years stands him in good stead to serve as SOT.
“Looking back, I see nothing but God’s faithfulness, which enabled me to discharge my professional responsibilities and Christian commitments at the same time. I have always had wonderful colleagues and supportive bosses. God has also kept me productive at work by opening doors for me in incredible ways and helped me find favours with those whose paths I crossed.
“Amazingly, although I had a host of health challenges since young, God gave me the strength to carry on working and serving Him. In sum, I simply did my best and let God do the rest,” Yeow Kwang recalls.
A man of principle
Yeow Kwang lives by two simple principles: “Firstly, in ministry, I serve by the mercy of God (2 Cor 4:1). This means I do not choose where to serve but leave it to God to direct me, through His Church. Secondly, at work, I endeavour do everything as unto the Lord (Col 3:23). That means I give of my best under all circumstances.
As for his role of SOT, he said, “I assume my new role with utmost gratitude to God for this privilege of serving Him and to my predecessor, Kim Seah, for nominating me to be his successor.
“But I also step into this role with trepidation and full awareness that my feet are too small for the huge shoes I am putting on. However, I am strengthened by the knowledge that God’s grace will be sufficient for me as I look towards my brothers and sisters in the MCS Family for support, guidance and cooperation.”
Sheri Goh is the Editor of Methodist Message. / Photo courtesy of Guan Yeow Kwang