Singapore Telugu MC: A community touching lives for Christ

Evangelistic events organised on public holidays are one of the ways that the Singapore Telugu
Methodist Church offers community to its Telugu friends.

The Telugu-speaking community is tightly knit, much like friends, and they come from the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states in Southeast India. The Telugu community in Singapore started when work opportunities in Singapore opened up for them over the years.

Our Telugu-speaking Christian friends have been worshipping with Tamil-speaking congregations since two decades ago. But they always felt that a Telugu service in their own language for them would be beneficial as they would naturally feel more at home. So, as the number of Telugus increased, with much prayer they sought the help of the Rev R. Prabhu, who is currently the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference President and was then Pastor at Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street) among other churches.

He welcomed the Telugu community and conducted a service in the year 2000, sharing God’s word and praying for the community’s various needs. A congregation was formed in the year 2008, and this year the church celebrates our 7th anniversary.

The Telugu people are community-oriented, and when worshipping as a community, they enjoy sharing Biblical and cultural values and feel a sense of belonging. This is the vision of church: to share Christ’s love with others, win them over with love, build their faith and engage them through fellowship to give them hope for their future.

There has been some transition in the ministry over the years. In the beginning many singles joined, and it was years later that families came in to worship. As we sought to accommodate their needs, God initiated Family Prayer Fellowship, where families come together to fellowship, pray, meditate on God’s word and discuss relevant issues that currently affect Christians. Church women play a significant role in this fellowship and children who attend with their parents are drawn into Sunday School ministry.

The strength of the Telugu ministry lies in personal evangelism and discipleship, as well as outreach and social service.

Hundreds of people came to know the Lord through evangelism. Personal evangelism allows the church to befriend the people, care for them and connect with them, and our 10 cell groups in various localities in Singapore help bind the people together through weekly prayer and fellowship.

As most of them come from a non-Christian background, there is a need to teach them how to worship God, the joy of following Christ and the goodness of being led by His Spirit.

Through outreach and social service, the church makes avenues to reach out to precious friends who are away from their home country, be with them and meet their varied needs. The tagline ‘Be there when people need you’ reminds us of Christ’s ministry, and drives us to make a significant impact in people’s lives by granting them hope, allowing them to see Christ’s love in action and have the opportunity to seek and follow Christ.

We worked with the Methodist Welfare Services to embark on a new ministry initiative, SEVA (which means service to everyone), to reach out and give hope to the precious friends at Westlite Dorm at Mandai Estate through care and counselling services.

Harvest is plentiful as hundreds of Telugus come to this beautiful country of opportunity to make their living. We envision starting worship centres in Jurong and Sengkang or Punggol to win many people for Christ.

We continue our series of profiling local churches from our three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore. As we come to have a better understanding of each other’s history and ministry, we may discover more opportunities to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.

Photos courtesy of Singapore Telugu Methodist Church

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The Rev Anil Samuel is Pastor-in-Charge of Singapore Telugu Methodist Church.