FMC 10th anniversary celebration “Magnifying God’s Glory”
Dr. Yao Sik Chi (Lay Leader)
The tenth anniversary celebration on the 24th April 2005 began with a combined Mandarin and English Sunday Service in the morning.
The theme of this celebration was “Magnifying God’s Glory”. Reverend Dr. Tie King Tai, who initiated the establishment of this church, was invited to deliver the sermon during the combined Sunday service. He reminded the congregation to be the salt and light of the world and to intensify evangelistic efforts to bring more people into the church.
During this worship service, there were presentations of songs by a combined children and adults’ choir, and a newly formed All Men singing group, LCD presentation of the history of the church, poetry recital by Sunday school children, and dance by children from Lundu Preaching Centre.
In the evening of 24th April 2005, about 410 people including about 100 children gathered together for an anniversary celebration fellowship dinner at Thian Court of Crown square. Reverend Henry Chieng, the District Superintendent and his wife were invited to this dinner.
During the dinner, there were cutting of an anniversary cake, LCD presentation of comments by Reverend Philip Ang, the current pastor of the church and other leaders of the church, singing by the All Men singing group and singing of English Christian karaoke songs by various cell groups and church members.
History of FMC
Hui Sing Methodist Preaching Point
In 1995, a “Hui Sing Preaching Point” was established by Reverend Dr. tie King Tai, who was then the pastor of Trinity Methodist church. Initially one shoplot was rented at Hui Sing commercial centre. Subsequently, two shoplots with two floors each were rented for this preaching point.
Initially there were about 75 people attending this preaching point. At first there was only English service, but subsequently in 1998 Mandarin service was also introduced. In 1997 this preaching point became Faith Methodist Church (FMC).
Lundu Methodist Preaching Point
In November 1997 this church established a preaching point at Lundu, initially borrowing the use of a kindergarten premises. But in July 1999, a small church building was built at Lundu for the preaching point there.
The new Hup Kee Premises
A new church building, costing RM1,006,266 for land and RM 2,348,884 for construction, furnishing and equipping, was completed in December 2002.
The first Sunday service was held in this new church building on 26 January 2003. The dedication service for this new church building was held on 14 June 2003 and was officiated at by Reverend Ting Daik Choung, the immediate past President of the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference.
FMC is purchasing a semi-detached house, presently under construction next to the church compound, to be a new parsonage. The future plan is to renovate the existing parsonage in the church building to become additional class rooms for Sunday schools.
Sri Aman Long house Church
This year, the church has provided building materials to an eighteen-door long house at Selanjan Angkong Jalon, situated about 142 km from Kuching city, to help the people there to build a church building.
Lundu Preaching Point
The church is also planning to build quarters for visiting pastor and full-time staff at Lundu Preaching Centre.
Congregation size at FMC
The size of the congregation of this church has increased from 75 in 1995 to about 440 (excluding children) in April 2005, of which about 230 attend English Sunday service at 10.30 am and about 210 attend the Mandarin Sunday service at 8.00 a.m. This increase is however due to the transfer of Christians from other churches.
There are about 82 children attending the English Sunday school and about 68 children attending the Mandarin Sunday school. The children choir, about 60-strong, is practicing hard for a Bronze Level Choral Assessment, which will be conducted by Trinity College of London in June 2005.
The pastors who had served in this church were Reverend Dr. Tie King Tai (1995 to 1996), Reverend Lee Wen Chieh (1997), Reverend Law Hui Seng (1998 to 2001). Reverend Philip Ang has been serving this church since January 2002.
Examples of evangelistic effots by church members were Boys’ Brigade, Vacation Bible School, training in discipleship and Evangelism Explosion, Alpha Course, and Cili Padi Drama Group.
Some of the church members had been given training in discipleship and Evangelism Explosion. Three Alpha courses had been conducted at the homes of two church members. Eight non-Christians who had attended these courses are now attending the church.
The meeting was held at SMK DPHA Gapor, Stampin. At present there are 5 officers with 22 junior boys and 355 senior boys.
Many of these Boys are from non-Christian families. some of them have become Christians. Five church members are helping to give Christian education to these Boys.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School for children of 5 to 12 years old has been conducted yearly at the end of the year since 2003. About 240 children attended this Bible school in 2004 and many of them are from non-Christian families. The highlight was the “Fun Night” held on the last day at night. Cili Padi drama group was always a thrilling attraction in this “Fun Night”.
As for fellowship, there are 19 cell groups (12 in English section and 7 in Mandarin section) with total membership about 200.
The Methodist Junior Youth Fellowship (English) was started in 1997. It caters for those 11 to 21 years old. It has about 35 regular members now.
The Methodist Youth Fellowship (Mandarin), which was started in 2002 and which caters for those 10 to 18 years old, has about 20 members now.
A mentoring class for new believers was started by Sister Grace Kong in 2004. The first batch consisted of 22 mentorees and 17 mentors. The classes were held on Sunday afternoons from July 2004 to January 2005.
Deeper Life Convention had been jointly organized with Trinity Methodist Church yearly since 2003. Reverend Dr. Hwa Yung was the invited speaker in 2003 while Reverend Ezra Kok was the speaker in 2004.
An exposition of the book of revelation was given by Reverend Dr. Tie King Tai over six weekends in 2004 and this year (2005) he will be giving an exposition on the book of Daniel in four Saturdays.
The church library has now 1,200 books, 130 cassettes and 50 VCDs. The borrowing system is being revamped and borrowing and returns will be done via a computer very soon.
In social concern, financial assistance has been given to a few needy families. Church members made visitations to Rajah Charles Brooke Memorial(leprosy) Hospital, Sentosa(Psychiatric) Hospital, Rumah Kenangan (Old Folks’ Home) and Hun Nan Siang T’ng (Old folks Home) during Christmas time, and also to the Blind Centre in Kuching.
Several church members gave their blood voluntarily at the Blood Bank at Sarawak General Hospital regularly. A few cell groups had also set up food stalls in charity sale of charitable organizations.
Thanks be to God
Thanks be to our Almighty God for leading and guiding the establishment and growth of Faith Methodist Church in the past 10 years, as well as the establishment of Lundu Preaching Centre, and providing the necessary finance to build the new church building and other physical projects and for the yearly operating budget.
May brothers and sisters in this church strive to encourage one another to love God more dearly and to bring more people into this church.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
This article was taken from Faith Journey 2005 June edition (Page 20-23).