Pasir Panjang TMC celebrates her 95th anniversary

It is wonderful to be 95 years old and still be full of life! On 12 June 2022, Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church celebrated her 95 years with Bishop Dr Gordon Wong, who reminded us through his inspiring sermon, “Love God By Loving Our Neighbour Today & Together”, that the purpose of our living is to fulfil the two greatest commandments of all.

We also celebrated by tapping the fond reminiscences of the wise elderly among us who remember our church at a very different time in history.

Mr T. Jeevanantham, 85, started his ministry with the church when he arrived in Singapore at the age of 16. He remembers how he found his calling to serve God when he was asked by the Rev J. Daniel to speak at a mid-week church gathering. Full of zeal after that, he attended many leadership training conferences and camps organised by Wesley Methodist Church and the Singapore Malaysia Youth Annual Conference to better equip himself to serve.

The church’s Sunday School, Youth Ministry, Men’s Fellowship, Choir Ministry—Mr T. Jeevanantham found joy in his service within all of them. His involvement in these areas not only enriched his own spiritual life, but it can be said to have been instrumental to the growth of our church in her early years. Under his leadership, the church choir even performed regularly over Radio Singapore (Tamil Section) at festivals like Christmas and Easter.

In addition, he and other church leaders banded together to start tuition classes, particularly for the children of lower-income families in the neighbourhood of Pasir Panjang who struggled with subjects such as Math and English.

To this day, he strongly maintains that mentoring and discipling the young is the key for the future of the Church. The Church, he says, must find ways to encourage and strengthen the spiritual life of our youth, building their stamina to love God by serving their neighbours.

Mrs Mary Daniel keeps a precious memory of her father, Mr A. Samuel, from the early fifties when they would be the first ones to arrive at church, which was then a small wooden building along Pasir Panjang Road. There they would kneel and pray while waiting for the rest of the congregation. The Christmas service used to start at 4.30 a.m. and she still remembers the feeling of walking up the candle-lit pathway leading to the church in the quiet of that pre-dawn hour. “It felt awesome,” she said.

She supported her husband, Rev J. Daniel, in his ministry and also held roles in the Sunday School, Women’s Society of Christian Service and the Choir Ministry of the church. Her knowledge in music was particularly useful in the latter.

When asked how we can love our neighbours, she replied thoughtfully, “Psalm 136:23 says that God remembered us in our lowly state, so we too must remember—by helping and serving—our neighbours who are in need. Also, we should never forget Ephesians 1:4, that God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his presence.”

Long may our church continue to endeavour to “love God by loving our neighbours today and together”, in gratitude to him whose goodness, grace and mercy have carried us through the past 95 years!

Mrs Gnanamany Philip worships at Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church (PPTMC) and is married to Rev Philip Abraham. / Photos courtesy of PPTMC