Local Church History
Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya began as Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre (KJOC) of the Tamil Methodist Church Petaling Jaya. Though the initial burden for this outreach began in 2006, it was in 2009, when Rev. P. Tevaraji was the pastor, that this work really got started. The ministry originated from the cell groups operating in Kelana Jaya. Weekly meetings for prayer and Bible study were held, first in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Windsor Paul and then also in the home of Mrs Esther Jayaraj.
From Members’ Homes to Luther House
On 21 October 2009, an emergency LCEC meeting was held in the home of Mr and Mrs George Nesarajah. At this meeting it was strongly felt that with the current attendance as well as with the potential of reaching out to students in numerous colleges in Kelana Jaya, it was the right time to consider establishing an Outreach Ministry operating from a shop-lot. Thus, the outreach moved to the Luther House Kelana Jaya. This was the first venue used for the Sunday Worship Services of Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre.
The Formation of Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre (KJOC)
The group worshipped at the Luther House from April 2011 till June 2012. The average attendance for the Sunday Service was 40 people, made up of TMC PJ members living in Kelana Jaya and some from other churches. Then in conjunction with TMC PJ’s 25th Anniversary celebration on 14 May, 2012, two projects were launched to commemorate it, one of it was the Kelana Jaya Ministry. This was how the Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre was officially initiated. KJOC then saw an increase in attendance at the worship service and other programs.
From Luther House to Zenith Corporate Park
Though the Luther House was a good place to conduct the worship service, however Sunday ministry was limited to only four hours in the evening, as it was also utilized by the main church for the rest of the day. The facility was also not available on weekdays. The church then began to look to either buying or renting space for their own purpose. It was then that the LCEC decided to rent one floor at the Zenith Corporate Park, a new office/business area within Kelana Jaya for a monthly rental of RM 2,500. The first service was held on 1 July, 2012 at 6pm. Soon the worship time was moved to 11am and finally to its present time of 9 am. This time change called for total commitment to the ministry at KJOC from the members in the mother church. This time change was also to attract other believers in the vicinity who wanted a morning worship service.
Growing in Zenith Corporate Park
In 2017, Rev. A. James Ravindaren became the Pastor of TMC PJ and was in charge of this Outreach work. The number attending Sunday services at KJOC was around 70 – 80 people. Sunday school, MYF, and MYAF (4th Sunday) were carried out weekly. There were three cell groups and a weekly prayer and sharing ministry held on Friday nights with an attendance of around 20-30 people. Bible studies were conducted by Rev. Victor Vethamani on every 2nd Friday of the month. A Preaching Class was conducted by Rev. Victor Vethamani, in which 35 members participated. The church also joined the YMCA in their “Feeding the Poor Program.”
From KJOC to Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya
On 26 February 2017 KJOC was formerly organised as the Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya. It had a Full Membership of 61. It is the first Tamil Methodist Church not to include “Tamil” in their official name. This was agreed upon at the Annual Conference Session after much consideration. The purpose was to give a broader outlook to its identity, thus drawing people of all language backgrounds to the Church. From its inception as a local church in 2017, Rev. James Ravindaren has been the local church pastor, Dato’ Windsor Paul John the Lay Leader and Mr. Joel Solomon the LCEC Chairperson.
From Zenith Corporate Park to Penthouse Unit in Kelana Jaya Square Block C
In July 2015 TMC PJ was led to purchase a Penthouse Office unit in Kelana Jaya Square Block C with an area of 5118 square feet. The necessary documents were signed to purchase this unit at a cost of RM 1.5 million and renovated at a cost of RM 800,000. On 9 April 2016, a ‘gotong-royong’ was carried out in preparation for the key-receiving ceremony on 16 April 2016. About 100 people, including members from the mother church, attended.
Professional Interior Design and Renovation Works
An interior designing company, Konan Design was engaged to assist in maximizing the usage of space as well as designing the sanctuary to meet all their ministry requirements. The sanctuary design was to be both modern as well as Methodist in outlook. The renovation works were completed by the end of June 2017. The sanctuary can seat 350 people, with a maximum of 400, with reduced aisle space. Using collapsible sound proof dividers, this area can allow for two meetings to be conducted concurrently, each with a seating capacity of 100 to 150 people. There are four meeting rooms and one Conference room with a seating capacity of 30 people. There is also a library equipped with various books and reading materials.
Worship Service at Kelana Jaya Square Block C
The last Sunday worship service at Zenith Corporate Park was held 2 July 2017. The shifting process began with the help of the members, especially the youths on 3 July. The first Friday service was held at the new sanctuary on 7 July.
The first Sunday worship service was held on 9 July. On 23 July 2017 the New Building of the Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya was dedicated by the Rev. Dennis Raj, the President of the Tamil Annual Conference.
The Church, like all the Tamil Methodist Churches in the Tamil Conference, uses both Tamil as well as English in the worship service. It should be noted that since there are some Telugus attending the worship service, to encourage them, the Bible Reading for the Sunday worship is also done in Telugu.
One significant feature of this church is the regular publication of their bi-lingual (Tamil and English) church magazine, ‘The Living Word’. It is printed on glossy paper and its contents include church news in pictures, members’ testimonies, quizzes both Bible and general and many helpful articles. Their first publication was in August 2014 while they were still an outreach. The magazine has been released to coincide with Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
In 2018, the Full Membership remained at 61. New people began to attend the worship services. They have one cell group at Kayu Ara area. A total of 10 people mainly elderly and children attend. From Mondays to Thursdays, under the leadership of Mr. Paul Peter David, the children are given help in their school lessons and a Bible study is conducted for them on Wednesdays.
Rev. Victor Vethamani conducted monthly Bible Studies on the Book of Revelation. Free tuition was given for Rumah Kasih children. They adopted 20 Myanmar children under the Gift of Hope Project. One get-together program was conducted amongst migrant workers around the church.
For 2019, Rev. James Ravindaren is the pastor, Dato’ Windsor Paul John the Lay Leader and Mr. Joel Solomon the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership as at 1 January is 75. The Agencies membership is as follows: MYF (23) MYAF (20), MSF (20) and MW (25). Also there are 25 children in the Church School with 5 teachers. Two families from Lembah Subang have started to attend Sunday worship regularly. The church supports them with transportation to church, groceries, medical expenses and school bus transport cost. Visitation is made when necessary.
The church has also started a new Outreach at Kepong with the assistance of two of their members staying in there, Mr. Michael V and Sister Prastillah Beulah. This is held at the latter’s home on Sundays at 5 pm. This ministry was started on 11 August 2019 and about 15 people attended (mostly non-believers and a Sri Lankan family). The second meeting was held on 1 September and also 15 new people, mostly men, attended. For the moment the meetings are scheduled for once a month, with the help of the pastor Rev. James Ravindaren.
Conclusion: The ministry in GMC Kelana Jaya as a local church began in February 2017 with the theme: “Loving God, Loving Others”. The District Superintendent, who is also the local pastor, Rev. James Ravindaren, in his first District Superintendent’s report to the Annual Conference wrote: “The church is blessed with very good, capable and talented leaders. They are able to carry out many programmes and preach during Sunday services with the guidance of the church pastor.” Included in these talented leaders are two members with the Conference Licence to Preach – Mr. Paul Peter David and Mrs. Esther Jayaraj. Mr. Paul Peter David is also appointed as the Church Worker of the local church. Added to this is the fact that the church has a vibrant youth group who play an active role in the church worship service. All these augur well for this local church and they have a bright future.
1. TAC Journals
2. Local Church Magazine, The Living Word