Events Leading to the Formation of Local Conference
The ministry in Kampong Kayu Ara, an outreach of TMC KL, started as early as 1986 with Mr. & Mrs. P. Iyyadurai as the Coordinators. Later, on 1 June 1995 the members of this Outreach were transferred to TMC Bukit Rotan. In 2003, the DS reported that the TMC Bukit Rotan deferred the formation of the Outreach to become a Local Church till 2005. At the 29th Session of the Tamil Annual Conference held at the Ancasa Hotel in Kuala Lumpur in November 2004, this proposal was taken up and accepted. They were constituted as a Local Conference on 19 February 2005. Rev. Moses Jayaseelan was appointed as the first pastor. Mr. Solomon John was elected the Lay leader and Mr. Iyyadurai the LCEC Chairperson. At the time of their formation in February 2005, there were 93 Full Members. In June there were 102 Full Members. There were 40 children, 4 teachers and 3 helpers in the Church School. The MYF had 30 members and the MW 32 members.
Tuition Classes for Children
In 2006 Rev. John Kovilpillai was the pastor-in-charge and Pastor P.P. Abraham served as a part time Church Worker. The Full Membership was 110. The Church School had 39 Children and 7 teachers. There were 32 members in the MYAF. The Education Centre at 110-B, Block G, Jalan PJU 1/3B, Sunway Mas, Petaling Jaya were used to conduct tuition classes for Standard 1 – 6 (10 students) and for Form 1 – 5 (13 students) on Saturdays from 11am till 3pm. The classes were conducted in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Tamil. The parsonage was rented.
Formation of MSF
In 2007 Rev. Joseph Komar was the pastor-in-charge and Pastor P.P. Abraham continued as the Part Time Church Worker. The Full Membership was 106.Sunday worship was at 8.30am. There was an average of 120 in attendance. The Methodist Seniors Fellowship was formed. The church built a new worship sanctuary and an Education Hall on a piece of land which was situated 100 metres from the present old church. It was dedicated by Rev. P. Tevaraji on 4 August 2007. The church was located away from the residential area and this affected the ministries of the church. Many of the members depended on the church van for transport.
Reaching Out to the Community
In 2008, Rev. John Kovilpillai was again appointed the pastor-in-charge. From 2008 to 2012 Pastor P.P. Abraham continued to serve, now as the Part Time Supply Pastor. In 2008, the Full Membership was 115. The average attendance for Sunday worship was 145. The church built the pastor’s office and completed fencing its perimeter. The church worked towards getting a piece of land for church purposes from the State Government.
The church was located on Government Forest Reserve land. It was surrounded by a nursery and was not visible from the main road. No public transport was available to the church. Even with all these limitations, the church reached out in love to the people in the surrounding areas. There was good leadership. In 2009 Rev. Anthony Panan was the pastor-in-charge. The Full Membership was 120. The church needed a van because of the lack of public transport.
Youths Left for Tertiary Education
From 2010 to 2012 Rev. Raymond Raj, the pastor of TMC Sungai Pelek, was the pastor-in-charge. In 2010 the Full Membership was 126. Twenty-two people were received into membership through Confirmation. An English worship service was started in March and this service was at 7.30am, before the Tamil service at 8.30am. In the beginning, an average of ten people attended. However it was stopped due to poor response. In 2011 the Full Membership rose to 139 and in 2012 stood at 131. Though there were cell group ministries, it was a struggle as many of the youths left to go elsewhere for tertiary education.
Appeal for a Resident Pastor to Consolidate Ministry
From 2013 to 2014, Rev. Edward Devadason, the pastor of TMC Shah Alam, was the pastor-in-charge. In 2013 the Full Membership was 131. The DS reported that the attendance for the worship service was good. The church had a major renovation program. The roof and the ceiling were changed. The church, through the Council of Trustees, formally applied for a piece of land from the State Government. The church strongly expressed the need for a fulltime pastor of their own. In 2014 the Full Membership was 130. There was no progress in the application of land from the State Government. Ministerial student Mr. Nelson Nadarajan worked fulltime and was diligent. The church continued to request for a fulltime pastor. Lay leaders helped in the church ministry.
In 2015, Rev. Samy Dass, the Associate Pastor of TMC KL, was the pastor-in- charge. The Full Membership was 134. Because of certain factors such as the location of the church, traffic problems, members’ homes being spread out, the church struggled. They needed to find new ways of doing ministry for greater effectiveness. In spite of all these limitations, the church pressed on, for there was still much potential for growth.
Building Renovation to Create More Meeting Rooms
In 2016, Rev. Jonathan Jesudas, the pastor of TMC Klang, was the pastor-in- charge. Ministerial student Mr. Mohan Raj was placed here to undertake One Year Practical Work. The Full Membership was 151. About 20 to 40 people attended the Friday Prayers. Tract distribution ministry was carried out. They ministered to three new families. One family was ready to receive baptism. The church decided to renovate the current building because there were not enough rooms for other meetings. In 2017, Rev. D.B. Laurence, the pastor of TMC Subang Jaya, was the pastor-in-charge. The Full Membership dropped to 112. There was a need for a fulltime resident pastor.
Finally, a Resident Pastor
In 2018 Rev. Jonathan Jesudas was once again posted as the pastor-in-charge. This time he came as the resident pastor. The Full Membership remained at 112. The ministries were growing. There was Bible Study every Wednesday. Regular house and hospital visitation was carried out. Many individuals and families who were in need of prayer and support were visited. The church budgeted RM12,000 for Slim River Tenau mission work among the Orang Asal. One area of challenge was to get the members involved in church activities.
In 2019, Rev. Jonathan Jesudas is the pastor with Mr. Paul Jeevan as the Lay Leader. The pastor is also the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership in January was 112 and at the time of reporting at the Second Local Conference it was 156. The membership of the Agencies is as follows MYF (30), MYAF (10), MSF (23) and MW (29). There are 20 children and 5 teachers in the Church School. The church does not have an Outreach Point.
Conclusion: TMC Kayu Ara/Damansara is 14 years old. They began as an Outreach of TMC KL and then the ministry was handed over to TMC Bukit Rotan. They have experienced various challenges over the years and by God’s grace have prevailed. Their constant request for a resident pastor was finally fulfilled in 2018. It is important to note that they have a strong MYF (30 members), MSF (23 members) and MW (29 members). This augurs well for the church. With these strong numbers in their Agencies; and with prayer and dedication, they can take the church on to greater heights. This can be achieved, if they continue to persevere in the face of limitations and challenges by looking to the Lord for guidance and empowerment. Then, the Lord would ensure growth for the glory of His Name.
1. TAC Journals
2. An article by Rev. P. Sandireaseheran, Pastor TMC Bukit Rotan (2003 – 2008)