Local Church History
In 1907, Rev. Gnanasigamani started an Outreach Ministry at the Quarantine at Port Swettenham. In 1915, Rev. Arumugam, with the help of other lay members, collected money from the people of Klang, Port Swettenham and the nearby estates for the building of the church in Port Swettenham. The church was built by the Chinese congregation in 1915. In 1924, the Tamil congregation, numbering 50, requested that church services be held in Port Swettenham itself. Previously they used to go to Klang to worship. Rev. Timothy was the first Pastor.
From 1932 – 1937 Rev. L.A. Samuel was the Pastor. In 1937 the existing church in Port Swettenham was given to the Chinese Conference but the Tamils continued to worship there. In 1944 the church was used as a slaughter house during the Japanese occupation. In 1947 Mr. Selvaratnam and the other members of the Tamil Congregation helped to repair the church and used it again as a place of worship. From 1952 to 1954 Rev. S. Ratnasamy was the Supply Pastor. In 1955 Rev. M. Thangamuthu was the Pastor. In 1956, a portion of the private school land in Port Swettenham was sold to the Shell Company for $30,000. Upon the request of Rev. J.V. Ayadurai an amount of $10,000 was set aside for the purpose of purchasing a church land. Two lots, (Lots Nos. 7451 and 7453) at Barrowman Road, Swettenham were purchased for $6,500 by Mr. G.S. Arumugam, while the balance of $3,342 was kept in fixed deposit by the Trustees under the name of the Church Building Programme for Port Swettenham.
In 1958 the MAC Journal reported that a team of Church School teachers on bicycles conducted 8 Church Schools in the Port area and provided free milk to 150 undernourished children. The Supply Pastor was Rev. T. Devairakam. From 1959 to 1962, Rev. S.R. Jebamoney was the Pastor. In 1961 the Full Membership was 51. Rev. Jebamoney preached on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays while the Lay Leader conducted the service on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. On 18 May 1959 it was resolved to loan the amount of $3,342 to Kelang Tamil Church. From 1962 – 1964, Rev. Peter David was the Pastor. In 1965 Rev. Jacob Paul was the Pastor. A sum of $353 was given by the Tamil Klang Church for the renovation of the Church in Port Swettenham.
From October 1966 to July 1967, Rev. James Solamadan was the Pastor. In 1967 and 1968, Pastor Samuel Ratnasamy was the Pastor. The Tamils were not allowed to worship in the church building as they were unable to raise a further sum for the renovation. They began to worship in a small 15x30 sq feet wooden building which was used as an office by the Private Methodist School.
In 1969, Rev. Francis Sunderaraj was the Pastor. The youths of the church met and elected the office bearers for the MYF of Port Swettenham (hereafter referred to as Port Klang). Mr. Ganesan was elected as the first MYF President. In 1970 and 1971, Rev. Noel Arputharaj was the Pastor. In 1972, Rev. Paul Athimuthu was the Pastor. On 18 April 1972, the first meeting of the Building Committee of the TMC Port Klang was held and the following Office Bearers were elected: Chairman: Dr. G.D. Dass; Secretary: Mr. A. Solomon and Treasurer: Mrs. Hope Albert. Upon the request of the Klang church, in 1972, Port Klang church unanimously decided that it was not feasible for them to join the Klang church in a combined building project. From 1973 to 1974 Rev. Francis Sunderaraj was the Pastor. On 28 April 1973 the Council of Trustees accepted the recommendation that Lots Nos. 7451 and 7453 in the Mukim of Kelang be listed as TPAC property for the Tamil Church Port Klang. On 4 March 1973, the WSCS was formed with 16 ladies. Mrs. Violet Dass was elected as the President.
On 1 January 1974, the Church received the Registration Certificate from Bishop T. R. Doraisamy. This is the date of the formation of Port Klang as a Local Church.
Also in 1974, the Full Membership was 48. On 9 May, the church received the Income Tax Exemption Certificate for the Building Fund. On 12 July there was a meeting with Tan Sri Manikavasagam in connection with the Tamil Methodist Church Building Fund.
In 1975, Student Pastor Simon Chandran gave pastoral care. On 28 September, the church staged “Almaram” with the help of TV Malaysia actors and made a net profit of RM4,629. On 4 December, the Town Council revoked the decision made earlier and withdrew its approval for the erection of a church building on Lots Nos. 7451 and 7453, as they had received an objection letter from the residents. From 1976 to 1977, Rev. R.R. Ratnarajah was the Pastor. On 28 November 1976, Bishop P. Wertz and Mr. Henry A. Lacy took part in the church service. The Bishop gave the message and then gave a loan of US$25,000 to the Church Building Project. On 18 December 1976, the Board of Education decided to exchange Lot 3858 for Lot 7451 in Barrowman Road, so that the Tamil Methodist Church could carry out their Building Programme. On 12 May 1977, Mr. C.A. Wellington offered his services to raise funds in the USA for the Church Building Fund.
From 1978 to 1979, Rev. James Solamadan was the Pastor. On 10 October 1979, the church bought a three-storey shop-house at 163, Jalan Tengku Badar, Port Klang. From 1980 to 1983 Rev. Paul Athimuthu was the Pastor. In April 1980, the local church hosted the National MYF Institute. The Youth President at that time was Mr. Steven Solomon.
From 1984 to 1985, Rev. Joseph Komar was the Pastor. By April 1985 the loan that was taken to purchase the shop-house was settled. From 1986 – 1987, Rev. Jeyabal David was the Pastor. The 1986 Journal reported: “This is the only church where every member is a paying member.” In 1988, the Pastor in Charge was Rev. James Solomadan and assisted by Rev. Paul Athimuthu. The ministerial student serving was Mr. Justin Clarance.
From 1989 to 1990, Rev. Peter Jebasekaran was the Pastor. From 1990 to 1991, Pastor Ramadason was placed on Assignment to Port Kelang. On 12 November 1990 the church purchased a terrace house for a parsonage at 66, Jalan Mata Kuching, Klang for RM 65,000. The Full Membership was 103.
From 1991 – 1992, Rev. M.G. Thana Raj was the Pastor. In 1991 the Full Membership was 97. Pastor Ramadasan was placed on Assignment and began his ministry here on 1 December 1990. This was in addition to his assignment to Sungai Way/Subang. The Sunday worship service was held at 7.30 am. Every Friday, about 10-12 members met in a member’s home in Palm Grove for Bible Study. Prayer meetings were held in the homes of members on Wednesdays and an Area Fellowship was conducted in Pandamaran. About 30 children attended the Church School and were divided into 4 classes with 6 teachers. A single storey terrace house was bought for RM65,000. In 1992 the Full Membership was 91. The parsonage was dedicated by the TAC President Rev. James K. Solamadan on 20 June that year.
In 1993, Rev. M.G. Thana Raj was the Pastor until January. In February 1993, Rev. David Tharmakan was the Pastor and assisted by Ministerial Student, Mr. Dennis Raj. The Full Membership was 94. Rev. Tharmakan was also the pastor of TMC Klang. An overhead projector was bought to enhance the worship. The WSCS had 20 members and the MYF 23 members. The congregation worshipped in an old wooden building. The members felt that the church would grow better if they moved out. The church planned to buy a double storey shop lot.
In 1994 Rev. David Paul was the Pastor till June. The Full Membership was 85. From July the church had Rev. C. Jayaraj as the Pastor and STM student Mr. Robert Selvakumar. They gave RM 1,000 as donation and RM 10,000 as loan towards the TMC Johore Baru Building. They paid RM85,000 for a terrace house at 17G, Jalan Buah Bangkong, 42000 Port Klang. They needed a new place for worship.
From 1995 to 2002 Mrs. Joy Pandian was placed here on Special Appointment. From 1995 to 1996, Rev. Vinsant Rayar was the Pastor in charge. In 1995 the Full Membership was 104. The Area Fellowship was reintroduced and the response was very encouraging. A Candlelight service was held and the offertory received (RM1,138) was given to the Bethany Home. A choir was formed. In 1996 the Full Membership was 107. About 4-6 couples met fortnightly as the MYAF in the homes of members. The church bought a new van.
From 1997 to 1998 Rev. C. Jayaraj was the Pastor in charge and Mrs Joy Pandian continued on Assignment. In 1997 the Full Membership was 109. There was an Evangelistic Crusade from 15 – 16 November. The church contributed RM 6,075 towards MMM. The church also donated RM3,000 to Charity: RM1,000 to Miss Rita Devadass of TMC Cha’ah for Kidney treatment and RM3,737 to the North Korea Famine Relief through World Vision.
In 1998 the Full Membership was 102. The Church school teachers went for a training organised by the Scripture Union. The Christian Education Committee organised a Church Family Camp in P.D. from 5 – 6 June 1998. In 1999 the Full Membership was 99. The Church School adopted a boy in San Salvador under the Child Adoption Programme of World Vision, giving RM 50 a month. The church also gave monthly support for Bethany Home and ODMAL Services – RM100 each. For Missions, they gave RM 350 for the “Love Komering Project”.
In 2000 the Pastor-in-charge was Rev. Vincent Jayaraj and Mrs. Joy Pandian continued on Assignment. The Full Membership was 99. From 29 October the worship service was held at the ground floor of their new premises. The Christian Education Committee organised a teaching session on “Defending our Faith against the Jehovah Witnesses”. From 2001 to 2005, Rev. John Kovilpillai was the Pastor in charge and Mrs. Joy Pandian continued on Assignment till 2002. In 2001 the Full Membership was 110. The Christian Education Committee organised a library and a Kid’s Corner. Ms. Marlin Rose from this church was working among the lepers in India through YWAM. In 2002, Rev. John Kovilpillai was the pastor in charge and Mrs Joy Pandian served as Member on Trial. The Full Membership was 112. The church gave to various organisations: RM 5,000 per year for MMM, RM50 per month to OM Fund Appeal, RM 50 per month to Odmal Services and RM100 per month for missions. The Church School helped children in Luite, China through Love Leaf Programme. In 2003 Rev. Dr. John Kovilpillai was the pastor. The Full Membership was 114. The Music and Worship Committee composed the Theme Song for MMM’s 10th Anniversary.
In 2004, Rev. Dr. John Kovilpillai was assisted by Pastor M. Tankaraj. The Full Membership was 108. The church worked with TMC Klang in the migrant ministry. For the development of the church land, a Building Committee was set up. Mr. Jayarajah, a member of the church, was recommended for fulltime ministry. In 2005 Rev. Kovilpillai was assisted by Church Worker Pastor Isaac Nathan. The Full Membership was 104. The church owned two terrace houses, one, the former parsonage, was sold in 2005 for RM130,000, whereby RM115, 000 was loaned to TAC to offset the Rumah TAC loan (with AEC), while another was rented to Shekinah Home, Methodist Women’s Senior Citizens Home.
From 2006 to 2009 Rev. Seenivasagam David was the Pastor. In 2006, the Full Membership was 103. The Christian Education Committee organised a “Jam Club” – learning new songs, discussion on topics like friends, fear, anger, rebellion and disobedience. The Property: Lot 244 and Lot 3858 were shared by CMC and TMC Port Klang. Fund Raising was on going to develop both the places. The parsonage (terrace house) was sold for RM130, 000. The second house at Klang was put up for sale at a price of RM180,000. A portion of Lot 244/3858 at Port Klang was assigned to TMC Port Klang. (Board on Property pg. 191). In 2007 the Full Membership was 100. The church had two Small Group meeting in Bukit Tinggi (Preaching Point) and in Pandamaran. Their Church School drew many non-Christian children. Almost half the Church School children were non-Christians. The church was involved in mission work among the migrant Indians. The church embarked on a RM1.5 million church Building Project. In 2008 the Full Membership was 100. An MSF Pro Tem Committee was formed on 13 April. In 2009 the Full Membership was 107.
From 2010 to 2013 Rev. Anthony Panan was the Pastor. In 2010 the Full Membership was 109, in 2011 it was 114 and 2012 it was 112. The church started the Saturday ministry to the children. Attempts were made to have new ministries but the people found it difficult to participate. In 2013 the Full Membership was 111. Retired pastors Rev. Victor Vethamani and Rev. Joy Pandian helped in the church ministry. The church had a ‘feeding the hungry’ ministry in Kapar. The church also had another challenging programme at Bukit Cheeding with TMC Banting among the Orang Asli people.
In 2014 Rev. John Sunder Raj was the Pastor. The Full Membership was 109. From 2015 to 2018 Rev. John Kovilpillai was the Pastor. In 2015 the Full Membership was 106. The church was affected by the resignation of Pastor John Sunder. Rev. John Kovilpillai and his wife Mrs. Jean Kovilpillai helped the church considerably. When the pastor and his wife were away on a month’s visit to the United States, the LCEC managed the church quite well. Though the membership and finances were affected a bit, there was hope things will improve. In 2016 the Full Membership was 121. Cottage Prayer Meetings were held in homes. Christian Discipleship was done through the Sunday sermons. Taman Pendamar Indah 2 was considered for outreach. The church land matter was not solved. In 2017 the Full Membership was 98. Efforts were taken to reach out to people around Port Klang and the neighbourhood and this resulted in the forming of the Bukit Tinggi Outreach on 23 April 2017 at the new premises. They had weekly Sunday Evening services at 6pm in Bukit Tinggi. The Outreach work in Bukit Tinggi went on very well. A Football Fellowship for children in the flats and free tuition for children were held in Bukit Tinggi 2. Rev. John Kovilpillai, a senior retired minister was very strong and energetic. He took care of both the Port Klang and Bukit Tinggi ministries.
In 2018 Rev. John Kovilpillai was assisted by new graduate Pastor Ezekiel Raj. The Full Membership was 98. The Outreach ministry went on well in Bukit Tinggi. Sports Ministry was on Saturday mornings and about 10 children joined the football fellowship. It was ascertained that Lot 244 belongs to the Council of Trustees, (Secretary of the Methodist Church in Malaysia). The sale of the land to Shell Malaysia was concluded and the stamped copy of the settlement was received.
In 2019 Rev. Ezekiel Raj has been appointed the pastor. Mr. Supramaniam Suppiah is the Lay Leader and Mr. Inderjit the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership of the church is 98. The number of members in the Agencies is as follows: MSF (15) and MW (15). There is no MYF or MYAF. The MYF had only 4 members and no one was willing to take up leadership in 2019. They formed a working committee for the year 2019. There are 30 children and 10 teachers in the Church School. They have one Outreach ministry in Bukit Tinggi. There are no Cell Group ministries.
Conclusion: The ministry in Port Klang goes way back to 1907. Then Port Klang was known as Port Swettenham. In the early years, the Tamil congregation used to go to Klang to worship. In 1924 they requested that church services be held in Port Swettenham itself. Then the MYF and WSCS were organised even before the congregation was formally organised as a Local Conference in 1974. The MYF in 1969 and WSCS in 1973. In 1924 the congregation numbered 50. At the time of the formation in 1974 it was 48. Currently the Full Membership is 98. With the zeal of their young pastor, and the power of the Holy Spirit, TMC Port Klang can look for greater things ahead for the glory of God.
Methodist Journals – MAC, TPAC, TAC