70th Anniversary and dedication of new church building
SEMBAWANG Tamil Methodist Church (STMC) had a double celebration in August. It celebrated its 70th Anniversary and held the Dedication of its new church building at 3 Yishun Street 11on Aug 29.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon delivered the message and officiated at the dedication, which was attended by about 250 church members and guests. He challenged the congregation to reach out to the residents in Yishun, which has a fairly large Indian community.
Among the guests were the Rev Dr Vinson Samuel, President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC), the Rev R. Prabhu, the Rev Ebinezar Mohan, the Rev James Nagulan (all ETAC pastors), and Pastor Tay Kay Leong of Paya Lebar Methodist Church.
The church choir, Youth Choir, WSCS Choir and the Sunday School Choir presented special song items at the service.
The dedication was followed by the unveiling of the plaque and a ribbon dance performance by the youth.
The celebrations ended with a time of fellowship over a buffet dinner.
Looking back at the history of STMC, one stands in awe and marvel at the wondrous works of our Lord. The pioneering works of this church started as early as 1928 in a house of a worker at Seletar Naval Base. Migrants came from India and were employed at the base. The ministry started to grow rapidly. Finally the church was instituted in 1934.
In 1940, through the efforts of the pastors, a school building was erected at 150, Jalan Sembawang Kechil. The naval base workers and others started to worship there from 1948 to 1970. After some time, there was a significant change of name – from “Seletar Naval Base” to “Sembawang Naval Base”.
Later the church moved from place to place for worship – St Andrew’s Church at Admiralty Road in Sembawang, then back to the old school building. It was at this time that the Housing and Development Board acquired the old church and substituted it with a new plot of land at Yishun Street 11 in a joint allocation basis in 1992.
The church moved out from the old place to the new site and started to worship temporarily in a nine-metre container from Jan 1, 1996. The construction of the new church began to take shape. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on May 17, 1997. Later the container was not able to hold the crowd and was converted into a structure at the same place.
Because of construction work, the church moved out from the structure to the Boys’ Brigade site at Sembawang Road and worshipped there for some time before the new church could be used. Finally, STMC moved to its “New Promised Land” at Yishun Street 11 on Aug 1, 1999.
The church is located in a prime area where opportunities are plentiful. Church members are geared towards being a “Torch” for Christ and to be equipped for the harvest, especially among the Indians.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. – Zech 4:6.
The Rev Philip Abraham is the Pastor-in-Charge of Sembawang Tamil Methodist Church.