Local Church History
Sungai Pelek was formed into an Outreach in 1952 by Rev. J. A. P. Oswald, a private school principal. Initially an English congregation, Sungai Pelek became an Outreach of TMC Seremban in 1959. Tamil work started in 1974. Miss. Yap contributed much towards work among the Tamils, especially in sending candidates for pastoral ministry such as Rev. Moses Kannaiah (the earliest), Rev. Elanko Kannan, Rev. Ong Sek Liang, Rev. Peter Palmer and Rev. Moses Jayaseelan.
Formation as a Local Conference
It was formed as a Local Conference on Sunday 21 August 1983, by Rev. V. John Kovilpillai, the TAC President. Rev. Solomon Abraham was appointed the first Pastor. Sungai Pelek came under the Southern Malaya District. In 1984 Rev. Stanley Sadagopan, was the Pastor, while being the pastor of TMC Seremban. Seminary student Mr. Daniel Poopalarajah assisted. The Sunday service was at 9.00am. Rev. Sadagopan came once a month for the Communion Service. In Salak, the Sunday service was at 1.00 pm. Tumbok Estate Outreach had weekly services on Fridays. The MW and MYF were not organised yet. There were 20 children and 4 teachers in the Church School. There were two new Church Schools: one at the Home Division and the other at B.C Division in Sepang Estate. Evangelistic meetings were held in Sungai Pelek and Salak on 8 and 9 May. The speaker was Brother Sadhu Chellappa. Prayer cell was started in Tumbok Estate, Salak, Jendasam and Kampong L.B.J. Many tithed in Sungai Pelek and so finances were good.
1985 Rev. Daniel Poopalarajah was the Pastor from 1 July. Revival services were conducted every second Sunday, at 7.00pm. The purpose was to encourage believers to grow in their faith. Intercessory Prayer was held and about 10 members attended. The Christian Education Committee conducted Bible Reading, Memory Verse and Bible Quiz contests. Weekly bible study was held on Wednesdays, at 7.30pm. About 10 members attended. There were training programmes and 7 members underwent training in preaching, evangelism, leading worship service, bible study, prayer life and in other areas. In Tumbok, a Cell Group met for bible study and prayer, every Friday at 6.30pm. Average attendance was 15. The WSCS sent a small donation to the people of Africa. They distributed clothes and food for the needy and did hospital visitation. Tamil tuition class was started with the help of a retired teacher.
From 1986 to 1990 Rev. Solomon Abraham was the Pastor. Sungai Pelek came under the Selangor District. In 1986 the Full Membership was 78. Worship services were held on Sundays in two places: Sungai Pelek, at 9.00am and another at Salak, at 12.30pm. Outreach worship services were in 3 Estates: Tumbok Estate and Fermanagh Estate on Fridays and Sungai Linan Estate on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. They met in classrooms of an old private school.
In 1987 the Full Membership was 91. About 60 people attended the worship services in Sungai Pelek and about 25 in Salak. The Bible Study in Sungai Pelek was attended by about 10, and in Salak about 25. There was one new outreach work in Sungai Mahang Estate. They met once a week and about 10 attended. There were about 30 – 33 members in Salak. About 15 children attended Church School on Sundays. Eight volunteers went on a rotation basis to teach. The youths met on Sundays after the worship service.
A Youth for Fulltime Ministry
In 1988, the worship services at Sungai Pelek were at 8.30 am. It was conducted in the old school building. About 55 attended. The Salak service was at 2.30 pm and was held in the community hall. About 20 attended. Outreach work was held in Fermanagh Estate, Sungei Linau Estate, Kubang and Salak. Mr. Moses Jayaseelan dedicated his life for the full-time ministry. Salak Outreach grew fast. There were more than 30 members. Bible studies were held in Sg. Pelek on Wednesdays and on Thursdays in Salak. The Church School had 15 children. 10 youth met fortnightly and 12 women met regularly in Sg. Pelek and Salak. There were two Cell Groups, one in the church building on Saturdays and another in a church member’s home. They were well attended. In 1989, the worship service time was changed to 9.00am in Sg. Pelek and 7.30pm in Salak. In 1990 mid-week prayer meetings were held in Labu Jaya. There were 3 Cell Groups: Sepang Estate, Labu Jaya and Fermanagh Estate. Not all tithed. Membership declined due to transfers. In 1991, there were 14 children and 3 teachers in the Church School. The youths increased from 15 to 20. They had a Gospel band which led in the worship services. The Board on Education gave permission to the Sungai Pelek Church to build a parsonage on Lots 295, 297 and 299. The church planned to put up a multi-purpose building with a parsonage attached.
In 1992 and 1993 Rev. S. Arulandu was the Pastor. In 1992, the Full Membership was 89. For the first time the Church School organised a VBS from 27 to 29 February. There was an Outreach at Salak Tinggi. Sunday worship was at 7.30pm. Bible Study was conducted every alternate Thursday. The local church wanted to put up a parsonage estimated to cost RM 45,000 and it raised RM 13,000. Plans were drawn and sent to the relevant authorities for approval. They realized that the lease on the land Lot 3473 & 23187 had expired. The church expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the Methodist property was handled. In 1993 the pastor started worship services in Tanjung Sepat. A three- day evangelistic meeting was held from 25 to 27 June. The church had RM 21,465 in the Building Fund.
Church Noted the Coming of KLIA in Sepang
From 1994 to 2000 Rev. D.B. Laurence was the Pastor. In July 1994, MYF and MYAF were revived. In 1995, about 8 Revival/Evangelistic meetings were organised. A Church Family Camp was held at Port Dickson in June with Mr. G.M.M. Mutu as the speaker. The local church band, called the Gospel Light Band, helped out in worship services and revival meetings. Clothes and provisions were given to the poor.
Application was made through the Trustees on 26 August 1995 to the Land Office to build the parsonage. Also, a van costing RM48,500 was bought by the church. It was noted, with the airport coming up at Sepang, the church had excellent opportunities for growth and outreach.
A Special Visitation of the Holy Spirit
In 1996 worship service was on Sunday at 10.00am. About 50 attended. There was a move of the Spirit and members were revived and there was great enthusiasm. Visions, dreams and prophesies were a common feature in the church. An outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a significant experience on 23 June 1996. Weekly bible studies were held and about 20 members attended. Prayers were conducted on Saturdays from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm and about 20 attended. Several evangelistic meetings were held. In 1997 two families accepted the Lord. A Church Family Camp was held in Port Dickson in August and about 70 members participated. In 1998 the Church School had an outing to Rumah Shalom on 31 August. There were 6 new converts and 11 adults were baptised. An Outreach was started in Nilai. Worship services were held there every 2nd Sunday. Prayer and healing services were conducted on Fridays.
Children and Missions
In 1999, about 40 to 50 members attended the Friday prayer/healing service. About 30 members attended the training programme conducted by Pastor Kulothungan from India. In 2000 Rev. Laurence was pastor till June, and from July, Rev. Devadass Ratnam was the Pastor-in-charge. The weekend ministerial student assigned was Mr. Timothy Krishnan. There was a change in the worship service time, it was at 9.00 a.m. till June and 10.30 a.m. from July. The Full Membership was 108. There were 10 teachers and 45 children in the Church School. The children were taught about missions and they committed to send 10% of their total income for missions. The MYF organised a local mini-camp and attended a Leadership Training Camp in Banting.
Building Committee Set-Up
In 2001 Rev. Devadass Ratnam was the Pastor-in-charge, with Church Worker Mr. M. Joseph. The Full Membership was 99. A Family Camp was organised at the Glory Beach Resort. It was well attended. 11 people were baptised – 6 converts, 2 young people and 3 children. The land issue was settled. Nilai Outreach had a tremendous potential for ministry here. The Selangor District churches supported this project financially for 12 months. In 2002 Full Membership was 99. At the Nilai Outreach, the people met in a rented premise. The rent was RM 200 per month. They started an evening service and about 20 to 25 people attended. The Church School had about 10 -15 children. A Building Committee was set up to plan the development of the C.O.E. land. A sum of RM 49,749.45 was raised through a Fund Raising Pesta. The DS hoped the members would give priority to develop the Nilai Outreach rather than their building project.
The 21st Anniversary Celebration
From 2003 to 2014 Rev. Raymond Ponnudurai was the Pastor. In 2003, Full Membership was 105. There was an increase in tithing. Nilai Outreach mainly catered for migrant workers. 3 Nepalese and 3 Telegus were baptised. Local members were ministered to in another service. Church School had 40 children and 7 teachers. In 2004, the local church theme was “Building ourselves in WORD, WORSHIP and WARMTH”. The Full Membership was 102. The LCEC had a Retreat. Church members Mr. David Annan did his Diploma in Christian Ministry and Mr. Thye Huat Lai his Master in Christian Studies at the Malaysia Bible Seminary. The 21st Anniversary Celebration cum Fund Raising Programme was held. The renewal of lease was done; the teachers’ quarters till 2063 and the church land till 2043
Ministering to National Service Trainees
In 2005 the Full Membership was 111. There were 30 children and 8 teachers in the Church School. A VBS was held with 38 children. There was a training of the choir. In 2006 the church had a Bible Rally. The MYF organised the Parents Day. Timbral dances were introduced at the worship services. Nilai Outreach Tamil Services had 20 members. In 2007 the Full Membership was 129. The worship service on Sundays was at 8.00 a.m. For the National Service trainees, the worship service was in Bahasa Malaysia at 11.00 a. m. Nilai Outreach service was at 5.30 p.m. An average of 30 – 40 people attended. Nilai Nepali service was at 2.00 p.m. Ministry among the National Service students was now 2 years old. Six Small Groups met regularly in Sungai Pelek and Nilai. The building at Lot 259 was already renovated. This was to be used as a community centre in the future. In 2008, the Full Membership was 141. LCEC members gathered for a pre-service prayer on Sundays at 7.00 a.m. About 70 attended the Friday Prayer Cell. There were Four Cell Groups: Tumbuk, Sri Sg.Pelek, Nilai Spring and Cempaka. The Church School met on Saturdays from 3.00pm to 5.00pm. There were four teachers and 40 children. The Ray of Hope Community Centre was started to provide free medical and legal help for the poor in the community. The Nepali ministry was supported by a fulltime Nepali worker, Pastor Suresh. The church catered to the needs of the National Service Students (NSS). This was the third year. In 2009 the Full Membership was 144. Through the Social Concerns Committee, and with the help of volunteers, the church provided legal aid service to the community. They started a Home for the destitute. This year saw healing and restoration of relationships between the Conference and the local church.
Becomes Sungai Pelek/ Nilai
In 2010 the Full Membership was 146. A VBS was conducted for 3 days. The Christian Education Committee conducted a monthly Bible Quiz. The Ray of Hope Community Centre & Children’s Home was a great witness. Lives were touched. The support was good even from non-Christians. From 2011 onwards, this church was named as “TMC Sungai Pelek/ Nilai”. In 2011 the Full Membership was 145 in January and 122 in June. 33 names were removed from the membership for different reasons.
Ray of Hope’s Multi-Facetted Ministries
In 2012, Nepali service was temporarily stopped. Under the Ray of Hope Ministries, a new Boys’ Home was opened on 8 April. The Christian Education Committee conducted a special program: “Renewal of Marriage Vows.” In 2013 the Full Membership was 134. Ministerial Student Mr. Nelson Nadarajan was posted here for one-year Practical Work. Mr. David Retnam was assigned here for his Weekend Practical. The local church’s new theme was “Dawn of a New Era”. The Nepali worship service was stopped for lack of a Nepali ministry worker. The Ray of Hope’s multi-facetted ministries included a Community Centre and a Children’s Home for boys and girls. Also, a home for pregnant teenagers and single mothers was dedicated on 12 October.
In 2014 Rev. Raymond was assisted by Lay Pastor P.P. Abraham. The Ministerial Student assigned was Mr. Kelvin. The theme of the local church was “Repentance from our inhibitions and fears”. The Full Membership was 131. God graciously provided for the needs of the Ray of Hope ministry. They had difficulty in getting suitable workers for the Pregnant Teen and Single Mothers’ Home. The pastor, Rev. Raymond was pursuing his part-time doctoral studies. The leadership was supportive. There was a need for more people to come forward to take up responsibilities. The church was financially sound
In 2015 Rev. Timothy Krishnan was the Pastor for the first two months. Rev. James Ravindaren took over as the Pastor from March – December. He was assisted by Ministerial Student Mr. David Retnam and Lay Pastor PP Abraham. The local church theme was: “Year of Expectancy – Moving Forward.” The Full Membership was 133. There were 7 Cell Groups and all functioned well. There was a Bible Rally in the local church and a seminar on the Second Coming of Christ. There was a drop in attendance in the Church School because of the absence of the children from the Children’s Home. With the transfer of Rev Raymond Ponnudurai to TMC Banting, there was no direct involvement of the local church in the Ray of Hope Children’s Home ministry. It was a tough year for the local church, with the change of pastors. Rev James Ravindaren helped to bring the people together
From 2016 to 2018, Rev. Vijaiadas was the Pastor-in-charge with Part-Time Church Worker Mr. P.P. Abraham. In 2016 the Full Membership was 158. The church theme was: “Time to Take Possessions”. There was a bible study on Ephesians conducted fortnightly in Sungai Pelek and Nilai. Cell Groups met fortnightly on Thursdays in: Tumbuk, Taman Sri Sg. Pelek and Taman Mawar (in Nilai). House meetings were conducted in Nilai Outreach areas. The church adopted 10 children under the Myanmar Child Adoption Programme. The Nilai Outreach worship time was changed to 10.00 a.m. The CMC and the TMC came to an understanding as to how to proceed with the building project. So the church decided to build a parsonage on that land. In view of that, the building plan was amended. The church received RM5,000 from the State Government. 10 new believers were baptised on 10 September.
In 2017 the Full Membership was 161. The local church theme was: “My Presence shall go before you” (Ex. 33: 14). Cottage Prayer Meetings were held instead of Cell Groups. The response was very good. The Orang Asal in Dengkil were visited. A Bible study was conducted for the Orang Asal youths in Cyberjaya Valley. There was a drop in the Nilai Outreach attendance because some members had shifted out. The Putrajaya Outreach of TMC Subang Jaya was handed over to Sg. Pelek. Worship service was held every Monday. Mr. Thomas was the Church Worker for this ministry.
In 2018 a 24/7 Prayer was carried out during 14th General Election of Malaysia. Cottage Prayer Meetings were held instead of bible study. One Cell Group was held in Nilai. The Children Ministry was held on Sundays in Taman Cuepacs (Nilai). The children were from non-Christian families. The church, through the Council of Education, helped three Tamil Schools with RM8,000. Street feeding ministry was carried out during the Lent season. The church adopted 25 Myanmar children under the Myanmar Child Adoption Project. Outreach ministry was carried out in 3 places: (a) Nilai: A Pro Tem committee was formed to develop this Outreach. (b) Putrajaya: Worship Service held every 2nd Monday of the month. (c) Dengkil: House meetings were held in non-Christian homes. Mr. Thomas was the assigned worker for this ministry. Building matter progress was slow as both the churches had to ensure that their building plans complied with the requirements for submission for “Kelulusan Merancang”. The church bought 50% of the land from the Council of Education, at RM67,340.
In 2019, Rev. Doraiseelan is appointed the Pastor-in-charge. Mr. Matthew is the Lay Leader and Ms. Selvamary the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership is 130. The membership in the Agencies is as follows: MYF (10), MYAF (Nil), MSF (13) and (MW (15). There are 25 children and 2 teachers in the Church School. There are two Outreaches – one in Nilai and another in Dengkil. There is one Cell Group in Tumbok
Conclusion: Though this church was established as a Local Conference in 1983, the Tamil ministry in Sungai Pelek started in 1974. Over the 45 years of Tamil ministry, the church was served by various clergy and lay people. Spiritual nurture for the members came through bible study and Cell Group ministry. The church is involved in evangelistic and social ministries to reach the community with the love of Jesus Christ. TMC Sungai Pelek, needs to continue in their committed service and surely with the help of the Holy Spirit, they can rise to greater heights for the glory of God.