Happenings, News


Missionary with many talents

homepage10-Dec 2005-feature

FOR 36 years, the Rev Andrew Jack Williamson, who passed away on Oct 4 in Illinois, the United States, after a long illness, served as a missionary with the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC).

He first came to Singapore in 1952 accompanied by his wife, Judy, who was a missionary in Hong Kong.

Starting as a teacher at Anglo-Chinese School he served till 1955 when he left for a Master’s at Scarritt, and spent a year at Yale to study Mandarin.

Returning to Malaysia in 1958, he joined the Chinese Annual Conference working in the New Village schools while helping out with church choirs until 1962. He was ordained elder in 1960 and returned to the United States for an M. Div at Vanderbilt.

From 1965 to 1967, he pastored Port Dickson Methodist Church and served as Chairman of the CAC Commission on Christian Education.

In 1968, he briefly acted as Principal of the Methodist Theological School in Sibu, and returned to serve as Pastor of the Seremban Church and Ampang Church from 1970 to 1976. This was followed by appointments to the Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church and Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church between 1977 and 1987.

A man of many talents, the Rev Williamson is remembered for singing in the church choir at Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church conducted by his wife, and occasionally playing the piano, and for the impressive way that he conducted baptism and membership classes.

He also prepared and typed the church bulletin in Chinese, and translated the Membership Manual from English to Chinese.

Needless to say, he was fluent in Mandarin, a gift which he used with good effect, and remembered by his associates even after he retired from active service in 1988.

The Rev Williamson, who also spoke Malay, had been ill for several years. He died at 12.15 am on Oct 4.

There was a Service of Death and Resurrection for him on Oct 8 at Grace United Methodist Church in Milan, Illinois.