In 1975, when Rev. Francis Sunderaraj was the Pastor of the Tamil Methodist Church Kuala Lumpur, an Outreach Project was started in the Sungai Way- Subang area with Mr. J.D. Rajaram as the coordinator. In 1976, about 12 to 15 people were worshipping together on Sunday evenings at the Chinese Christian Church in Sungai Way New Village. In 1977, a Committee was formed consisting of local persons to manage the affairs with Rev. John Kovilpillai as the Chairman and Mr. J.D. Rajaram as the Vice-Chairman. In 1979, when the Chinese Church needed their premises to conduct an evening service there, an alternative place of worship was sought. The Sungai Way Wesley Methodist Outreach Church at No. 2, Jalan SS3/56 kindly allowed the use of their building on Sundays for 4 hours from 3pm to 7pm. At this time, a Committee known as the Local Outreach Executive Committee was formed. Mr. John Sunder became the Lay Leader and Mr. J.D. Rajaram the Chairperson.
Becoming a Local Conference
With the Full Membership at 45, the enthusiasm became so great that they decided to look for a church building of their own. The situation became acute when the Wesley Outreach church decided to have a worship service in Bahasa Malaysia on Sunday evenings. With great eagerness, ardent prayers and the support of the Mother Church in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, they purchased a bungalow at No. 14, Jalan SS3/46 at a cost of RM280,000. The Mr. E.V. Nesaratnam and a few others played a significant role in collecting funds. The Dedication Service was held on 9 April 1986 with Rev. John Kovilpillai, the then President of the TAC officiating the ceremony. On 11 May 1986, the Outreach was declared as a Local Church by the DS, Rev. James Solamadan. Thus was born the Tamil Methodist Church Sungai Way-Subang. The Full Membership soared from 60 in 1986 to 109 in 1987. There were limitations – noise and traffic problems. Rev. John Kovilpillai was the first pastor. Mr. J.D. Rajaram was the first LCEC Chairperson and Mr. John Sunder the first Lay Leader. In 1988, Rev. Peter Jebasekaran was the pastor. The Full Membership was 124. With a sense of ‘Mission Accomplished’, Mr. J.D. Rajaram went back to the Tamil Methodist Church Kuala Lumpur.
Booking of a Three Storey Building
In 1989, the mantle of Chairmanship of the LCEC fell on Mr. Peter Palaya. When complaints were lodged by the neighbour, Notice was served by the Local Authority (MPPJ) to stop worshipping in the residential area. When attempts to continue to worship here failed, the LCEC decided to sell the property and move to a more suitable place. With that vision in mind, the Building Committee led by Mr. Jayaraj Christy, tirelessly searched for a place of worship. With great fortitude of mind, they booked a new Three Storey Shop Lot at No. 56 Jalan USJ 10/1B, Subang Jaya, for RM518,000.
Sorting out Land Issue at Sri Sentosa
From 1 December 1990, Pastor Ramadasen was placed on Assignment till 30 June 1992. From July 1992 till November 1992, the Selangor District pastors took turns to conduct the Sunday Worship Service. From 1993 – 1997 Rev. Roberts Pandian was the pastor. On 16 April 1993, the church moved to a rented shop lot at Subang Indah while their new church building at Subang Jaya was being constructed. Regular worship services and other ministries were started from 18 April 1993. On the initiative and perseverance of Rev. Roberts Pandian, an outreach ministry was started at Sri Muda, Shah Alam in January 1994. During this time, a piece of land at Kampong Pinang/Sri Sentosa designated for religious purpose, was given to them by the Mother Church, TMC KL, but it was illegally occupied. When negotiations with the illegal occupants failed, they filed a case through the Trustees of the Methodist Church in Malaysia.
At a New Location with a New Name
In September 1994, Mr. V. Jacob became the Chairperson of the LCEC and subsequently the Chairman of the Building Committee. On 17 December 1994, they held the Candlelight Service in the newly completed building at Taipan, USJ. At the 19th Session of the TAC in 1994, it was announced that TMC Sungei Way – Subang be renamed as TMC Petaling Jaya. The sanctuary was declared open by Rev. David Tharmakan, the TAC President and dedicated by Bishop Denis Dutton on 11 February 1995. Although the church was well furnished and made conducive for meaningful worship, functions like weddings and funeral services could not be held. In January 1995, while the legal pursuit on the land issue was going on, they started a 2nd worship service in Sri Manja to cater for their members in the vicinity. Here they were later joined by a few families who had been worshipping in the Kampong Pinang Outreach, started by TMC KL and which was earlier coordinated by Mr. David Chelliah.
Outreach at Sri Muda Shah Alam Constituted as TMC Shah Alam
In mid-1995, with Mr. Peter Palaya as the coordinator, a group of people voluntarily moved to worship at the Sri Muda (Shah Alam) outreach church with the aim of building up the ministry there. In November 1997, the High Court ruled in our favour and the illegal occupant vacated the site on 12 December 1997. Immediately, the Building Committee was reactivated. From 1998 to 1999 Rev. Joseph Komar was the pastor. In 1998 the Full Membership was 206 and in 1999 it was 217. The Building Plans were submitted to Dewan Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur on 23 September 1998 for approval. Meanwhile the outreach church at Sri Muda, Shah Alam grew. On 15 February 1998, this Outreach was constituted as a Local Conference by Rev. David Tharmakan, the TAC President and was named as TMC Shah Alam. This is the first daughter church of TMC Petaling Jaya. On 19 June 1999, the Fund Raising campaign was launched by Rev. Joseph Komar for the new Church Building at Taman Sri Sentosa. The response was overwhelming.
Ground Breaking and Corner Stone at Sri Sentosa
From 2000 to 2008 Rev. Herbert John was the pastor. Under the capable leadership of Mr. V. Jacob and the Building Committee, the ground-breaking and laying of the Cornerstone Service was held on 3 September 2000. Present were Rev. P. Tevaraji, the TAC President and Rev. Herbert John, the District Superintendent and local church pastor. On 25 December 2001, they had their Christmas Service in the newly completed Sanctuary. On 11 May 2002, the new Sanctuary was dedicated by Bishop Datuk Dr Peter Chio Sing Ching.
The Birth of TMC Subang Jaya
On 3 November 2002, a second service was started in the sanctuary in Taipan, Subang Jaya for the convenience of the members around that area. A group of about 50 members began worshipping there. Later it was made an Outreach ministry of TMC PJ with a vision of planting another church. There was good leadership as well as financial support. On 5 February 2005, a new Local Conference was constituted and named as TMC Subang Jaya.
Second Worship Service in English
In 2006, the LCEC of TMC PJ decided to start a second service in the English language to cater for the needs of the younger generation, and for those not fluent in the Tamil language. This was also to act as a catalyst in reaching out to people of other races who lived around that area. At this time the church purchased a new parsonage in Sri Manja Court (F-5-8, Sri Manja Court, Taman Sri Manja, Batu 6 ½ Jalan Klang Lama, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor). It was dedicated on 29 April 2007 by Rev. P. Tevaraji, the TAC President. At the Desa Mentari Outreach, the neighbourhood was reached through free tuition classes for children, the Kid’s Club and the Evening Worship Service. In 2008 Mr. E. Kunabalan was posted as the Weekend Practical Student. The Full Membership was 239. There were five Cell Groups and they met fortnightly.
Silver Jubilee Celebration marks Desa Mentari and Kelana Jaya Outreach
From 2009 – 2015 Rev. P. Tevaraji was the pastor. In 2009 the Full Membership was 241. There was an increase in tithing. In 2010 the Full Membership was 290.The church organised a Marriage Enrichment Seminar and a Bible Fest for the Cell Groups. Church School had 90 children and 6 teachers. A Two Day Family Camp was held at Port Dickson. An LCEC Retreat took place. In 2011 the Full Membership in June was 294. On 14 May 2011 the church celebrated its Silver Jubilee. To mark the occasion, Desa Mentari Education Fund was launched. About 170 students attended the free tuition given at the, Desa Mentari Education Centre. An Outreach ministry was started at Kelana Jaya. The Junior Worship Team produced a Tamil CD. English worship service was held on Sunday evenings. In 2012 there were four worship services every Sunday – Tamil, English, Mentari Outreach and Kelana Jaya Outreach. More than 300 students received free tuition at the Desa Mentari Education Centre. Bible Knowledge Classes were held for Form 4 and 5 students.
In 2013 Ministerial Student Mr. Ezekiel Raj V. did his weekend ministry here. Messrs Isaiah, Paul Peter David and Veerapandian served as Local Workers. Cell groups met in 9 places. At the Kelana Jaya Outreach, a Pro Tem Committee was formed. A monthly Migrant Ministry was started at Lagoon Perdana. The English Worship Service attracted foreigners. In 2014 Messrs Isaiah, Paul Peter David, Veerapandian and Isaac served as local workers. Cell Groups met in 10 places. The church also participated in the Scripture Union Bible Quiz event. The ministry at Ray of Hope was financially supported every month.
KJOC Becomes Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya
In 2015 the Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre (KJOC) had a good family Camp at Broga. A property was bought for worship and ministry purposes at a cost of RM 1.2 million. Mr. Isaiah served as the local church evangelist and Mr. Paul Peter David and Mr. Veerapandian served as local church workers. Mr. Isaac helped in the church office. From 2016 onwards Rev. James Ravindaren has been the pastor. In 2016 Mr. Ezekiel Raj, the Weekend Practical Student and Mr. Isaiah, the Local Evangelist, helped in the ministry. Cell Groups met at 9 places. 7 people were baptised at the Desa Mentari Outreach. Revival cum Evangelistic meetings were held with Rev. C. Paul. About 150 attended. A Taxi Driver Ministry was started – a gathering of Christian taxi drivers from different churches every Monday. The MYAF organised a special “Renewing of Marriage Vows” program and 22 couples participated. The Kelana Jaya Outreach Centre (KJOC) worship service was held every Sunday at 9am. About 70 – 80 attended the worship regularly. They had 3 Cell Groups. Monthly Bible Study was conducted by Rev. Victor Vethamani on 2nd Fridays. A Preaching Class was also conducted by Rev. Victor Vethamani and 35 members registered. Communion service was on every second Sunday. In 2017 the Full Membership was 296. Mr. Ezekiel Raj V. continued as Weekend Practical Student. There were 8 Cell Groups. Monthly support of RM 300 was given to the Ray of Hope ministry. On 26 February KJOC was organised as the Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya.
Church Marches Forward with New Forms of Ministry
In 2018 the Full Membership was 298. The Weekend Practical Student was Mr. Timothy Raj and Mr. Isaiah the Local Evangelist assisted the pastor in the ministry. 20 people participated in the Postal Bible Quiz and National Bible Knowledge Quiz. 15 members were confirmed on 7 October by the Conference President Rev. Dennis Raj. Tract distribution and Street Feeding were held at Desa Mentari area. When there was water rationing in the month of March, the church rose to the need by giving free water to all the people. Many were blessed.
In 2019, Rev. James Ravindaren continued as the pastor. Mr. Selvaraj Lucas is the Lay Leader and Mr. Dass Rajan is the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership on 1 January was 283. The membership of the Agencies are as follows: MYF (31), MYAF (25), MSF (30), and MW (60). There are 80 children and 7 teachers in the Church school. At present Desa Mentari is their only Outreach.
The Taxi Driver Ministry continued with the gathering of Christian taxi drivers from different churches fortnightly on Mondays at 7.45 pm. Christian Taxi drivers are getting to know one another through this ministry. Help is also given to those who backslide. Desa Mentari Tailoring Class was started under the Social Concerns Committee. The Dunamis Prayer Group was formed. There are ten teams under this.
Conclusion: TMC PJ is a growing and witnessing local church. Through them, the Lord has brought forth three Local Churches: TMC Shah Alam, TMC Subang Jaya and Gateway Methodist Church Kelana Jaya. All the Agencies and Committees are active and play important roles in the life of the Local Church. After thirty-three years of existence, this Local Church shows evidence of going on to even greater heights in the coming years.
1. TMC PJ 25th Anniversary Celebrations Souvenir
2. TAC Journals