Local Church History

The Beginnings 

The Tamil Methodist Church Shah Alam began as an Outreach of the Tamil Methodist Church Petaling Jaya. In November 1993, the LCEC of TMC Petaling Jaya gave their full blessing for an Outreach to be started at Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam. With the initiative and perseverance of Rev. Roberts Pandian, the pastor of TMC Petaling Jaya, the Outreach was started at Sri Muda, Shah Alam in January 1994 in the home of Reuben and Mary.   

Sri Muda Preaching Point 

In 1994, there were several significant happenings. On Sunday 17 April at 4.30pm, the Church School ministry began with 5 children. It was held weekly in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Saminathan. On 15 May the Outreach moved to the Chinese Methodist Church, a shop-lot at No 6, Jalan 25/1. On 3 July a Working Committee was formed under the leadership of Rev Roberts Pandian and the Evangelism Chairman of TMC PJ, Mr. Isaiah. The Outreach was named Sri Muda Preaching Point. On 16 November, the ministry moved with the Chinese Methodist Church to their new premises. They graciously allowed the Tamil Church to continue their worship services on Sunday evenings.   

Shah Alam Chapel 

In 1995 there were further developments. On 26 February, the Committee shared a vision of becoming a Local Conference by the year 2000. Subsequently, the name was changed to Shah Alam Chapel, TMC PJ. On 16 July, the Church celebrated the first anniversary of being an Outreach. Rev David Tharmakan, the TAC President was the guest of honour and guest speaker. There were 150 people present including the Selangor DS, Selangor District Pastors and the Chinese Methodist Church Pastor, Rev Tan Kim Soon. On 23 December, many members of the Outreach were affected by the great flood of Sri Muda, Shah Alam. By God’s grace, there was no loss of lives. Christmas and New Year services were cancelled.   

Outreach Ministry Consolidated 

In 1996 the Outreach work was further consolidated. On 3 August, for the first time in this Outreach, three adults and six children were baptized. The Full Membership reached 35, with an average attendance of 50-60 people. From 23 – 24 November, the first Church Family Retreat was held in Pangkor Island. In 1997, the Outreach gained strength in number as another eight adults were baptized on 2 February. On 18 February, a barbecue fellowship gathering was organized by the Membership and Evangelism Committee in the house of the Outreach Coordinator, Mr. Peter Palaya.  On 18 September, Mr. Peter Palaya proposed to the LCEC of TMC PJ that Shah Alam be formed into a Local Conference. This was accepted. On 13 November, Rev C. Jayaraj, the Selangor DS made the recommendation at the Annual Conference Session for Shah Alam Outreach to become a Local Conference. The Conference accepted this recommendation.  

Formation of a Local Conference  

On 15 February 1998, the Shah Alam Outreach of the TMC Petaling Jaya was formally organized into a Local Conference. Rev. Joseph Komar was appointed the first Pastor. The Full Membership was 45. The Sunday worship service was at 9.30 a.m. with an average attendance of about 50 – 60 people. The Church School had 52 children with 8 teachers. Mr. Simon and his wife Mrs. Susie contributed greatly to the children’s ministry. The MYF had 15 members and met weekly. The MW had 17 members and met once a month. The Christian Education Committee produced a Newsletter once in 3 months. A Church Camp was organised at Nube Centre, PD. On 1 May, with a new sense of identity, almost 50% of the church members participated in the Selangor District family Day program in Stadium Jugra, Banting.   

In 1999, Rev. Moses Jeyaseelan was the Pastor. Full Membership was 48. The Church School organized a forum for parents and teachers. An Evening Church School was started at the Kemuning area for about 30 children. In October the Church School organized a visit to Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat in Klang and was joined by other church members. There were 5 Cell Groups in 5 different areas. In July an evangelistic meeting was held with Rev. D.B. Kulothungan from India as the speaker. Mr. Edward played an active role in the music and worship ministry. The church formed a choir.  

In 2000 Rev. Devarakam John was the Pastor and assisted by Mr. Samuel Periathamby, a seminary student. The Full Membership was 57. Bible Study was conducted on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the homes of the church members. Prayer Cell was held on Fridays at 8 p.m. with an average of 4 people attending. Church School (Kiddy) Cell Group was carried out in 3 areas. Cottage prayer meetings and regular evangelistic and revival meetings were held. On Fridays healing ministry was started. The church made an annual commitment of RM2,000 to the ministry of MMM.   

From 2001 – 2007, Rev. Vinsant Rayar was the Pastor. In 2001 the Full Membership was 67. The Cell Group Ministry was conducted in 2 places and some non-Christians participated. During this period Shah Alam church went through a season of transformation and reconciliation. The DS, Rev. Herbert John, commended the pastor Rev. Vinsant Rayar, who encouraged leaders to attend discipleship classes to further equip themselves for the ministry. In 2002 the Full Membership was 80. The church sponsored Mrs. Seventhi for a short term mission work in India. The church also supported the Palay ministry through a coin box project. Missions week was observed with 33 people participating in the distribution of tracts in the Sri Muda Pasar Malam. The church had a Provisional MYAF.   

Fund Raising for Building Project 

In 2003 the Full Membership grew to 92 and in 2004 it was 95. About this point of time TMC Klang offered a piece land located in Alam Megah to TMC Shah Alam. TMC Shah Alam  accepted the offer and  soon after  the  leaders of TMC Shah Alam proceeded  to submit the building plans to Majlis Perbandaran Shah Alam (MPSA).The church started raising funds for the building too. The amount collected stood at RM209,700. The church needed to raise another RM180,000 to complete the building. The parsonage and the place of worship were both rented. On 30 July, a Fund Raising Dinner was held at the TMC Klang New Hall and it was officiated by the Conference President Rev. P Tevaraji. In 2005 the membership for the first time crossed the 100 mark to 105 Full Members. Through the Social Concerns Committee, the church also helped the Dalla Methodist Church in Myanmar.  

In 2006 the Full Membership was 114. The amended plan for the church was in progress. Resubmission was made and it needed clearance from the authorities. The Alam Megah building plan was formally approved with some conditions. The total amount collected up to 17 September was RM240, 947.34. The church Building Fund account at AEC remained at RM221,708.34. On 30 September, the MYF organised a musical event inviting other churches to participate. The purpose of the event, “The Battle of Bands” was to strengthen unity among the churches through worship.     

In 2007 Rev. V. John Kovilpillai was the Pastor-in-charge and he was assisted by Supply Pastor S. Selvaraj. The Full Membership was 112. Outreach work in Taman Sentosa in Klang   was started by Pastor S.Selvaraj and the worship service was held in a member’s home. Small groups met regularly in three places: Alam Megah, Sri Muda and Klang Utama. The church was also involved in missions work in Medan. The youths organised a mammoth fund raising program entitled, “Mayakkum Malai”/“Enchanting Evening” which was held in Dewan Sivik. The church also gave RM1,000 for the Johor flood victims.  

10th Anniversary Celebration 

From 2008 – 2012, Rev. Segaran was the Pastor. In 2008 the Full Membership was 127. Two small groups met in Alam Megah and Sri Muda. Bible study was conducted on Wednesdays at 8 pm. in Shah Alam on the 2nd and 4th week and in Sentosa on the 1st and 3rd week. In spite of the financial constraints to put up a new church building, the church took a bold step to rent a shop house to reach the unreached in Sentosa. On 22 June, a Family Enrichment Seminar was conducted with Rev. James Ravindaren as the Speaker. Many participated and benefitted. On 16 August, a baptism service was held at the Methodist Centre at PD. About 16 people were baptized. The church had their 10th Anniversary Celebration Service on 7 September.  

In 2009 the Full Membership was 136. The building plans were duly approved by MPSA but the registration of the Alam Megah land continued with the respective government agencies. At this point of time mysteriously all the documents regarding the land went missing from the land office. The church was required to re - submit the documents all over again. The leaders even considered purchasing an industrial shop lot in Taman Sri Muda for worship. (Board on Property report pg. 247).  

In 2010 the Full Membership was 138. The church received a financial grant from the Selangor government and it was very useful to pay off several outstanding dues. The church was paying rental for three buildings.  

In 2011 the Full Membership was 111. The church received financial help from several churches to pay part of their loan. (District Ministries Report pg. 144). On 18 June, the church organized a “Soul Winning” dinner, and encouraged members to bring non-believers for this dinner fellowship at Sri Muda Hall. In 2012 the Full Membership was 118. The church paid rental for the church building, the Sentosa shop lot and for the parsonage. The Conference gave a subsidy.  

From 2013 – 2014 Rev. Edward Devadason was the Pastor. In 2013, the Full Membership dropped to 99 as the names of dormant members were removed.  A special thanksgiving service was held on 5 October to celebrate the church’s 15th anniversary. The Sentosa Outreach ministry was changed into a prayer ministry. The church had a concern for the college and youth ministry. The land matter in Alam Megah was still not resolved.    

In 2014 the Full Membership further dropped to 89. On Good Friday, the church met and read the New Testament until Revelation Chapter 7. The Sentosa Outreach was handed over to TMC Klang. On 2 March the church organized a gathering at Rev Edward’s house with campus students as well as students from outstation living around the Klang Valley. The Theme was “Burger Night.” Three mission trips were made to the Orang Asli Settlement in Slim River in March, August and September. This was among the Methodist Sengoi believers. Each trip was for three days. The church was also a part of the Good Samaritan Street Feeding Ministry and supported it.  While several members left the church, new people started coming. Efforts were taken to reach out to the youths and campus students. Several new leaders were enlisted.  

In 2015 Rev. Jonathan Jesudas was the Pastor-in-charge and was assisted by Rev. Edward Devadason who was pursuing his further studies. The Full Membership was 86. The church worked in partnership with the YMCA KL, Good Samaritan Centre and Trinity Methodist Church PJ in the street feeding ministry, medical and worship service. The church was also involved in the Sri Lanka and Nepali ministry.   

In 2016 Rev. A. James Ravindaren was the Pastor-in-charge and Rev. Edward Devadason assisted. The Full Membership was 92. The Bible Achievers Club (B.A.C.) was held every Sunday to enrich the members in God’s Word and Christian doctrine. A major roof repair was done. Rats were a menace in the sanctuary and destroyed the P.A. system. The church considered moving to a more conducive place. From 22 August to 1 September, a team of 6 people went to Kerala and Tamil Nadu for village ministry.     

Street Carolling in Sri Muda 

In 2017 Rev. Dr John Kovilpillai was the Pastor-in-charge and he was assisted by Mr. Paul Mohanraj, a weekend Practical Student. The Full Membership was 94. On 11 June, there was a grand Parents’ Day celebration. The youths also organized a fun filled “telematch” for the parents at Kota Kemuning Park. On 11 December, for the first time a street carolling was done in the areas surrounding Sri Muda.   

After waiting for many years, the application for the State land was approved on 6 October 2017. The area given was 0.229 acres and situated at Section 28, Taman Alam Megah, Pekan Hicom, Mukim Damansara, Daerah Petaling. Now the church and the Council of Trustees office had to wait for the plan and gazette notification. (Property report pg. 185)  

From 2018, Rev. C. Jayaraj is the Pastor. Mr. Joel Zechariah was assigned here for his weekend practical work. The Full Membership was 92. Prayer was activated with about 20 -25 members gathering every Friday evening. The 24/7 prayer was also started. Ministry teams were formed to move out in evangelism, social concerns, hospital visitation and tracting. Evangelism training was given by Rev. Ezekiel Govindarajoo and worship training by Rev. Devadass Ratnam. The Alpha Discipleship Course was started in June and completed in November. About 60 members attended the course. A church family camp was carried out in Port Dickson from 5-7 October and about 65 members attended. A LCEC planning retreat was held in Rehoboth Villa in Morib from 7-8 December. The Church School was reactivated with about 4 children. Teachers training cum an introduction to the TAC Church School curriculum was done by Mr. Ponraj Navamani. The church leaders intensified their efforts to get the land title. The church was mobilised to pray for this need. Prayer on the assigned land was held monthly after the worship service. The church also sought the help of YB Xavier Jayakumar and CFM Secretary, Mr. Tan Kong Beng.   

In 2019, Rev. C. Jayaraj continues to be the pastor. Cell groups have started to meet on alternate Wednesdays in Alam Megah, Sri Muda and Taman Sentosa. The youth cell group meets once a month. The Church School has an average attendance of 12 children. Free tuition classes have been started and about 8-10 children attend the classes on Tuesday nights. The church is currently helping 10 families in partnership with Shelter Home.   

The church finally received its land survey plan and gazette (warta) from the relevant authorities on 18 July. Several leaders like Mr. Peter Balan, Mr Clarence James, Mr Jothirajah and Mr.Chelliah played important roles in the pursuit of this land matter. The church can now proceed with their building plans. The LCEC formed a building committee under the leadership of Mr.Chelliah, the Building Committee Chairman. Mr. S. Manoharan is the Lay Leader and Mrs. Grace Chelliah is the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership is 92.    

Rev. C. Jayaraj is giving good pastoral care and leadership. The membership of the Agencies is as follows:  MYF (16), MSF (19) and MW (26). There is no MYAF. They do not have any Outreaches. They have 4 Small Groups. There are 12 children and 5 teachers in the Church School.   

Conclusion: TMC Shah Alam began as an Outreach of TMC Petaling Jaya in 1993. After five years of being an Outreach, it was organised as a Local Conference in 1998. The Outreach ministry began with five children and at the time of the formation the Church School had 52 children. At the time of the formation, the Full Membership was 45. It steadily increased and reached 138 in 2010. After that the membership began to decrease and in 2015 was 86. Then it began to slowly increase and in 2019, it is 92. The church has to review their situation and prayerfully strategize for church growth. They may have to look seriously into starting Outreach Points. With the present leadership and with God’s favour, the church will march on for the glory of God.   

Source:  TAC Journals