In the 1980s, a small group of believers met fortnightly in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richards in Kajang for Bible Study. The Richards were members of TMC Kuala Lumpur. Rev. John Kovilpillai was the Pastor of the TMC Kuala Lumpur and Rev. Victor Vethamani was the Assistant Pastor. Mr. Robert Ananthan was the Evangelism Chairman and Mr. and Mrs. E.V. Nesaratnam were the coordinators for this Outreach. Mr. Cecil Victor, the Lay Leader, was also involved in this ministry. The fulltime worker, Ms. Shanti Victoria, was a great help in the ministry in Kajang, Bangi and Semenyih together with Mr. Matthew.
From Kajang, the ministry extended to Bangi and the estates around Semenyih. Every third Tuesday of the month, ministry was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richards in Kajang. Every Friday Bible Study and worship service was conducted. Communion was also served. Every third Sunday of the month – the meeting was held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Samuel. Soon, these house to house meetings extended to Mr. and Mrs. Ignas Krishnan’s house in Bangi. Later, the venue was moved to Connimara Estate. Worship services were held at the estate’s crèche and Holy Communion was also served.
Blessed with own Building
From 1984 till 1994, Mr. and Mrs. G.M.M. Mutu were assigned as the coordinators of this ministry. The ministry extended from Bangi to Broome Estate in Bangi. For a short period, a small group from Seremban came with Rev. Peter Devadason to minister. Mr. and Mrs. I. Ponnudurai took charge of the ministry in 1994. With the kind help of Dr. and Mrs. Peter Richards, a building on the third floor of his clinic was given rental -free for this ministry in 1996. As the ministry grew, the leadership of the Mother Church, TMC Kuala Lumpur decided by faith to purchase a property for this ministry even though it was still an Outreach. This is the present building located at No. 4454, Taman Tan Sri Manickavasagam, Semenyih which was bought for RM350,000. The building was dedicated by the TAC President Rev. P. Tevaraji on 19 May 2003.
The Formation of the Local Conference
In the same year of 2003, at the Second Local Conference of TMC KL on 25 September and the Central District Conference on the 28 September, the proposal to make Semenyih Outreach a Local Conference was moved and accepted. This proposal was then brought by the District Superintendent, Rev. Victor Vethamani to the 28th Session of the Tamil Annual Conference and it was accepted. The Tamil Methodist Church Semenyih was organised as a Local Conference by the TAC President Rev. P. Tevaraji on 3 January 2004. Rev. Dennis Raj was appointed the first Pastor. Mr. Sinnapan was elected the Lay Leader and Mr. Samuel Raj the LCEC Chairperson.
The Early Years as a Local Church
From 2004 till September 2006, Rev. Dennis Raj was the Pastor. In January 2004, the Full Membership was 65 and in June of the same year it was 73. The Full Membership in 2004 was 76. The Worship services were held on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. The Church School had 24 children with 4 teachers. They met on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. The MYF had a membership of 25. Their weekly programme emphasis was on doctrine and Biblical teaching. The MW had a membership of 25 and met once a month. They actively participated in all District and Conference programmes. Household provisions were collected every week and distributed to the poor. The women visited three families and an Old Folks Home. They not only saw to their needs but also gave to outside causes. In 2005, Mr. John Simson ministered as the Weekend Seminary Student. The Full Membership was 83. Area Fellowship was conducted every Wednesday at 8 pm. Efforts were taken to start an Outreach by visiting needy homes. The church adopted a ‘Dalit’ student in India under Operation Mobilization and gave RM900 that year.
From October 2006 Rev. David Rasahpandy was the Pastor. The Full Membership was 86. Rev. Gnanaraja from India spoke about the Seven Churches from the Book of Revelation for 3 days and Rev. Victor Vethamani taught on the Biblical Covenant for 3 days. In 2007 the Pastor in charge was Rev. Timothy Krishnan and Pastor Edwin Rajamoney was the Assistant Pastor. The Full Membership was 101. Small group ministry was initiated in five areas. Two people attended training on Small Group leadership. Tuition classes were conducted to help needy students. There were 18 students. This ministry was started in April. The church bought a new computer. The church grew financially but had yet to settle the outstanding loan of RM180,000 to TMC KL. The repayment of the loan was ongoing.
From 2008 to 2009, Rev. Edwin Rajamoney was the Pastor. In 2008, the Full Membership was 105. Two leaders were sent for a short term mission trip to Komering in Indonesia. The building grant matter was actively pursued by the Trustees with the help of KL Church and Mr. Steven Solomon. Soon this matter was resolved and the grant is now with TMC Semenyih. In 2009 the Full Membership was 109. There were 4 cell group meetings. The church reached out to people living in Kajang, Bangi and Pajam .
From 2010 – 2013, Rev. John Mathuni was the Pastor. The Full Membership in 2010 was 109. A new Outreach was started in Kajang (Sg. Chua) with 10 people. Contact was made with Lagenda College lecturers. The church received RM10,000 from the Selangor State Government. This was for the repairs and renovation of the church building and also for the installation of grilles for the church.
In 2011 the Full Membership grew from 109 to 117. They hosted the District MSF gathering for about 100 seniors. The outreach work in Kajang continued and about 3 or more families attended. The church launched a van project and appealed to other churches and individuals for help. In 2012 the Full Membership grew to 120. The church bought a new NISSAN URVAN van which was very useful for the ministry. In 2013 the Full Membership was 124. Discipleship was done through Bible Studies conducted by Mr. S. Selvaraj. About 20-30 people attended the Prayer Cell every Friday. Evangelism was actively done in Rinching, Dusun and Bunga. A VBS for Hindu children was held and 18 children started attending Church School. Kajang was identified as a joint outreach to be worked together and developed by the Semenyih, Cheras and Serdang churches. A Provisional Committee was set up and 10 – 20 people, apart from the Semenyih members, regularly attended. Rev. John Mathuni, the local church pastor, persevered under very trying circumstances, having suffered the loss of his wife during this time.
From 2014 onwards Rev. M. Joseph has been the Pastor. In 2014, the Full Membership was 117. A banquet dinner was organized on 19 June by the Kajang Businessmen Fellowship where six new believers committed their lives to Jesus and were added to the church. A short term mission trip was organized for 10 members to South Thailand (Teach Centre) to experience faith sharing. Indonesian and Myanmar services were conducted regularly every Sunday. The Selangor Government gave the church RM10, 000 for their building fund. The church has plans to buy a parsonage for the church.
In 2015 the Full Membership was 130. The church sent relief funds for the flood victims in Kelantan and the Nepal earthquake victims. There were six active cell groups in the church. The church requested for a piece of land at Eco Majestic from the Selangor State Government. One of the youths, Mr. Joshua Raj, committed himself for the full time pastoral ministry.
In 2016 the Full Membership was 138. The Kajang Outreach had regular services every Sunday at 6.30 pm and about 20 - 25 church members attended. A social awareness talk entitled “Crime in Malaysia” was organized for members. The Speaker was an Affiliate Member of the church, Mr. Joenathan, an ASP from Sentul IPD. The church school had 44 children and 7 teachers. A VBS was organized in September and 150 children attended, 40 of them were non- believers. Under a reward program, students who do well in their UPSR, PT3 and SPM were given cash prizes.
In 2017 the Full Membership was 140. The church received the approval letter from the Selangor State Government for their land application and was given a two-year time period to build. TMC KL presented them with RM 5,000 as a donation. The church hired a Project Management Consultancy called “Vinsi & Ventures” and started their church building Project.
In 2018 the Full Membership was 140. They organized a fund raising dinner for their building project and managed to collect RM83,410 through the sale of dinner tickets. They also raised another RM12,050 through donations, brick card and hamper sales.
In 2019, TMC Semenyih is 15 years old. Rev. M. Joseph is the pastor for the sixth year. The Lay Leader is Mr. Francis and the LCEC Chairperson is Mr Balasundaram. The Full Membership is 147. The membership in the Agencies is as follows: MYF (28), MYAF (43), MSF (28) and MW (39). There are 30 children and 4 teachers in the Church School. The church is settling their building loan from TMC KL by paying RM300 monthly. The Fund Raising Project for their proposed new building is progressing well.
Conclusion: TMC Semenyih is now 15 years old. It has come a long way since becoming a local church in 2004. At the time of the formation as a Local Conference in 2004, the Full Membership was 65. This year the church has grown to a Full Membership of 147. The church has several opportunities for ministry all around her. The challenge is to use the potential God has given to minster. With prayer and commitment, the church can rise to greater heights for the glory of God.