TMC Serdang began as an Outreach of TMC Kuala Lumpur. It was initially known as Sungei Besi/Serdang. This ministry was started in 1987 when Rev. John Kovilpillai was the pastor. The coordinators included Mr. and Mrs. G.M.M. Mutu, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ananthan and Mr. and Mrs. I. Ponnuthurai. They became a Local Conference on 7 January 1995.
The Early Years
In 1995, Rev. P. Tevaraji was the pastor-in-charge and Rev. M. Thanaraj the Associate Pastor of TMC Kuala Lumpur. They were also appointed the Pastor- in-charge and Associate Pastor of this newly formed TMC Serdang. The seminary student Mr. James Ravindaren was assigned to assist during the weekends. Worship service was in the evening with plans to shift to the morning. For the first year, the Kuala Lumpur Church supported them by paying the rent for the premise for worship.
Reaching out to the University Students
In 1996, Rev. P. Tevaraji as well as Rev. M. Thana Raj continued as pastors and Supply Pastor Segaran helped to give pastoral leadership. Worship services were held on Sundays at 9 a.m. The average attendance was about 70-100 people. The Full Membership in 1995 was 63 and rose to 70 in 1996. The 10% increase was primarily due to transfers from other churches. Since the Supply Pastor Segaran was in training on weekdays, no concerted effort was made to evangelize. However, the Committee on Evangelism reached out to the students in the nearby UPM. A few of the university students started to attend the church. The Church School met on Sundays at 8 a.m. There were eight teachers. A successful VBS was conducted for the children by Mr. Selwyn and his wife Alice.
Reaching the Children through Church School
Through the efforts of the Church School Superintendent Mrs. Hannah Jacob, children from non- Christian families in the Rumah Panjang Balakong area attended the VBS. One of the Hindu students even received the best student award. There were 22 MYF members. The church embarked on a project to raise funds to purchase a van for the ongoing ministries of the church. A Fund Raising Dinner event was held in UPM.
In 1997, Rev. Segaran was the Pastor. The Full Membership dropped to 59. This was due to the following reasons: withdrawals – 6, transferred out – 3, and removed by Local Conference action was -2. The Church School comprising about 40 children was served by 5 teachers. A training session was held for teachers. New books were bought for the children. They met on Saturdays at 4 p.m. The church bought a new 15-seater van for the ongoing ministries of the church. The van was used to fetch the children for the Church School ministry and members for the Sunday worship service. Members took turns and drove the van with dedication and commitment.
Serious Financial Challenge
In 1998, the Pastor-in-charge was Rev. Emanuel Rajahser who was serving with Supply Pastor Segaran. The attendance at the Sunday worship was not very encouraging. The Full Membership further dropped to 52. There were 5 withdrawals and 2 transfers. In 1999, the Pastor-in-charge was Rev. James Solamadan. He was assisted by ministerial student, Mr. Jonathan Jesusdas. Worship services were on Sundays, at 10 a.m. The Full Membership further dropped to 49. The Church School met on Sundays at 8.30a.m. There were 26 Students and 6 teachers. There were 9 members in the MYF. The Church faced serious financial crisis and was grateful to the Conference and TMC Kuala Lumpur for giving a monthly subsidy. This situation arose due to the renting of a shop lot, which incurred the church difficulty in paying the rent. The church needed a resident pastor. There were great opportunities for outreach ministries especially among the university students. Rev. Solamadan tried his best to cope, but the demands were just too much for him, being the pastor of Sentul as well.
Plan for Purchasing a Building
Between 2000 and 2001, the Pastor-in-charge was Rev. N. Rajan. Worship services were held at 10 a.m. on Sundays. Average attendance was 35. In 2000, the Full Membership was 64. Finance was tight and the church struggled to make ends meet. One of the causes for this was that the church was situated in an expensive locality, but they managed. In an effort to purchase their current building, the Building Committee had a fund raising dinner on 7 October 2000. With the intention of starting an outreach point, worship services were started at Kajang Utama/Bangi. Worship services were conducted three times a month on Sunday evenings and three families from this area attended. The church embarked on the purchase of a building (3 storeys) that cost about RM500, 000. The church considered relocating to the outskirts of Serdang to get a cheaper place. They were unable to service loans. Even paying the rental for the present building was a struggle.
No Church Building or Parsonage
From 2002 to 2003, Rev. Joseph Yesupatham, the pastor of TMC Ulu Klang, was the Pastor-in-charge. From the time of its formation, the church struggled with finance. The church did have RM16,000 in the Building Fund. The ministry continued and there were 20 children and 4 teachers in the Church School. In 2002, the Full Membership was 58. The worship service was held on Sundays at 8 a.m. with an average attendance of about 50, including children. There was RM32,498.86 in the Building Fund as of 24 April 2002. The church received a monthly subsidy of RM400 from TMC KL and RM500 from the TAC. The Church School met on Saturdays at 6p.m. with 25 children and 3 teachers. The church did not have a resident pastor, a place of worship or their own parsonage. RM1,400 was paid as rental for the place of worship. They were unable to cope with the cost incurred.
From Morning to Evening Worship
In 2003, the Full Membership was 58. The worship time changed from the morning to evening at 5p.m. This change brought a positive response from the people. About 70 people including the children attended the services. The Church School met on Sundays at 3p.m. There were 25 children with 3 teachers. There were 16 members in the MYF.
A Building for Worship of Their Own
From January 2004 to September 2006, Rev. Dennis Raj, the pastor of TMC Semenyih, gave Pastoral leadership. In 2004, the Full Membership was 52. The church did not tap on the resources of the surrounding Tamil people and the university students. In 2005, the Full Membership was 64 and two new converts were added to the church. Church School had 10 students, 3 teachers and 2 helpers. The church bought a building for the purpose of conducting worship services. It was dedicated by Rev. P. Tevaraji on 9 January 2005. They were prompt in paying for the building. There was a great need to have a pastor of their own but they had a financial constraint. In 2006, the Full Membership was 76. The Church School ministry had really grown, having 40 children, 7 teachers and 7 helpers. There were 20 members in the MYF. It was noted that the church had a good Lay Preaching Team.
Cost of Frequent Change of Pastors
From October 2006 to April 2007 Rev. Elijah Balasubramiam, the pastor of Ulu Klang, was the Pastor. He was unable to continue due to ill health. From May to September 2007, Rev. Victor Vethamani was the Pastor and from October to December in the same year, Rev. Dennis Raj, who returned from his studies, was the Pastor. The Full Membership was 66. The church just maintained its ministries due to the frequent change of pastors. The Lay leader, Mr. Steven Arumugam, did well to keep the ministry going. The giving needed to improve especially in the area of tithing. A youth, Samuel Jacob Manokaran came forward for fulltime pastoral ministry.
Increase in Membership and Finance
From 2008 to 2011, Rev. Samy Dass, the pastor of Ulu Klang, was the Pastor- in-charge. In 2008, the Full Membership increased from 5 to 72 in September. There was also an increase of 40% and 11% in tithes and offering respectively. In 2009, the worship service was changed from 5p.m. to 10a.m. on Sundays. The Full Membership grew to 93. There was also an increase in the tithes as well as the offering. They also had RM7,000 in the fixed deposit. The change in the worship service time brought better attendance and the finances improved. The Church School was re-organized and progressed well. The seminary student John Sunder was vibrant and passionate and he was a great blessing. With the support of Rev. Samy Dass, the church progressed. The church sent another individual, Mr. Steven Arumugam, for the pastoral ministry. He was assigned to TMC Mentakab.
Medical Camp Helping the Poor
In 2010, the Full Membership was 90. The church finance improved and the fixed deposit amount increased to RM 12,950.32. The highlight for the year was the local church Social Concerns’ Committee programme held on 31 August. The TAC Social Concern Task Force, with the Conference President, Mrs. Jasmine Adaikalam and Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria as Consultants were present. There was a Medical Camp with doctors in attendance. About 100 non-Christians attended. People were registered under the E-Kasih programme and hand-outs were given to about 70 poor people. In 2011, the Full Membership was 111. The Church School had 27 Students and 7 teachers.
Adjoining Shop-Lot Purchased
In 2012, Rev. Edwin Rajamoney, the Associate Pastor of TMC Kuala Lumpur, was the Pastor-in-charge. The Full Membership was 112. The finances continued to improve and they purchased the adjoining shop-lot for RM190,000. The Annual Conference gave RM25,000 as a grant and RM25,000 as a loan.
Church Administration Re-Organised
From 2013 to 2014, Rev. Timothy Krishnan was appointed the Pastor in charge. In 2013, the full membership was 97. The Church School had 30 students and 4 teachers. Pastor P. P. Abraham, who was assigned as Part-time Lay Pastor, re- organised the church administration and guided the LCEC to function effectively. He facilitated good financial practices. 11 adults were baptized through the Sg. Besi cell group. The Sg. Besi Cell group was converted into an Outreach with 7 new families. They met on Mondays (about 25-30 people). This was an exciting development. Of the RM150,000 taken from the Conference as an emergency loan, they paid back RM67,000. In 2014, the Full Membership was 96. The Church School had 30 students and 4 teachers. Special meetings were held on Mondays with invited speakers. Many new believers came to hear God’s word. Regular monthly support was given for one family and needy families were supported with cash when the need arose.
From 2015 to 2017, Rev. Devarakam John (Herbert), was the Pastor-in-charge. Rev. Devarakam was also pastor of TMC Ulu Klang from 2013 – 2016. He was Associate Pastor in TMC KL in 2017. In 2015, the Full Membership was 86 as at June. The Church School had 20 Students and 5 teachers. MYF had 15 members. The church started Children’s Ministry at Equine Park. New families were visited and the Word of God was shared in those homes. 10 non-Christian children attended the Church School. The church resolved to change its name from TMC SG.BESI/SERDANG to TMC SERDANG from 2016. They did this because there was no more ministry carried out in Sg, Besi. Also, the church building was located in Selangor.
Taking in New Identity
From 2016 the church was known as TMC SERDANG. The Full Membership was 80 in June. The Church School had 30 students and 6 teachers. Regular home visits were made to the homes of the 25 non-Christian children attending the Church School. In 2017, the Full Membership was 77 in June. The church continued to face financial constraints. In 2018, Rev. Samy Dass returned as the Pastor. The Full Membership remained at 77. A VBS was conducted and 57 children participated. 57% of the participants were from non-Christian homes. The Church School met on Sundays from 8.00 a.m. to 9.30a.m. There were 37 children, of whom 21 were from non-Christian homes. An area of concern was the inability of the members to commit their time for ministry due to work and family commitments.
In 2019, Rev. David Abraham, a retired minister, has been posted as the resident pastor of this church. As he comes with experience, and without the added responsibility of pastoring another church, TMC Serdang can look forward to consolidating their ministries. The Full Membership is 85. The number of members in the Agencies is as follows: MYF (18), MSF (30) and MW (32). Currently, there is no MYAF. There are 35 children in the Church School, with 4 teachers. They have 2 Cell Groups but there is no outreach work at the moment.
Conclusion: The Full Membership when formed as a Local Conference in 1995 was 63 and it rose to 112 in 2012. But generally the Full Membership had been rather stagnant. In 2018, it was 77 and in 2019 it stands at 85. The church had financial constraints from the time of its formation. By God’s grace, they have bought a van after the formation and two buildings within a span of 9 years for worship purposes, one in 2005 and another in 2012. The church has stopped receiving subsidies from the Annual Conference and TMC KL. The Church School ministry has been stable. The church has sent one youth and one adult for the Pastoral ministry. The church has much to thank God for and there is indeed much more work to do. They have to seriously work towards establishing Outreaches. With continued commitment and perseverance, and with God’s favour, TMC Serdang is set to bring greater glory to God.