Location and the Background History
TMC Bahau is located in Mahsan, Negeri Sembilan, about 70 kilometres from Seremban. Mahsan is situated just off Bahau. Bahau Outreach, which was known as Mahsan Outreach, was started by TMC Seremban when Rev. James Solamadan was the pastor in 1990. Four families that moved to Taman Sri Serting in Jempol started to gather for fellowship in their homes. On Sundays, these families went to worship in TMC Seremban. This was the beginning of the Bahau ministry. From 1990 – 1991, weekly meetings and Church School classes were conducted in their homes. During the tenure of Rev. Solomon Abraham, who served from 1992 – 1993, the ministry in Mahsan grew as members from the Seremban Church made home visitations and prayed. From 1994 – 1999, Rev. Devarakam John (Herbert) continued building this work with the help of STM students such as Mr Joseph Yesupatham, Mr Jonathan Jesudas and Mr Adrian. A shop-house in Mahsan was rented for this ministry in June 2000, when Rev. Joseph Komar was the Pastor. Around this time Cell Group meetings were started in Tembangau (in Pahang) which was 40 km from Mahsan. Soon the Mahsan Outreach Building was officially dedicated by Rev. Justin Clarance the Southern DS. Mr Reuben Kanagalingam and Mr Edward Devadason from STM helped in this ministry.
Initial Consolidation of the Ministry
The work continued to grow from 2002 to 2008, when it was under the care of the next Pastor, Rev. David Tharmakan. STM students continued to help and they included Mr Stephen Gunaraja, Mr. E. Kunabalan, Mr Elijah Bala and Mr Richard Lawrence. Mr James Kuttan was employed as Church Worker from 2005 to 2009. A single storey terrace house was rented for the worker. From 2009, the ministry grew under the Pastoral leadership of Rev. Sandireaseheran and Church Worker Mr James Kuttan. In 2010, Pastor Richard Lawrence was appointed to help Rev. Sandireaseheran. In 2011, Mr Henry Jeremiah was assigned to further build the work and was joined by Mr. Christopher Saravanan, a Pre-Seminary Student.
A double storey shop-house was purchased by TMC Seremban, the Mother church in 2011 to be used for this ministry at the cost of RM 480,000. This new building, which was fully paid for, was handed over to the Bahau ministry in Mahsan, when it became a Local Conference in 2014.
Becoming a Local Conference
The LCEC of TMC Seremban, at its meeting on Sunday 4 August 2013, came to a unanimous decision to recommend their Outreach in Mahsan to become a Local Conference in 2014. There were 54 Full Members in this Outreach as at 30 June 2013. This recommendation was proposed and accepted at the Local Conference of TMC Seremban on 12 September and at the Southern District Conference on 29 September 2013.
Then, at the 38th Session of The Tamil Annual Conference in November 2013, it was proposed that Mahsan Outreach of Seremban be accepted as a Local Conference. It was officially formed as a Local Conference on 23 February 2014, taking the name of TMC Bahau.
In 2014, Rev. Sandireseheran, the pastor of TMC Rawang, was also appointed as the first Pastor of this newly formed church. He was assisted by Part-time Church Worker Mr. Henry Jeremiah, who served here till 2018. The Full Membership was 62 in June. TMC Bahau then identified Rompin as their Outreach, but as the progress was slow there, other places were considered. The MW met twice a month. They met one Sunday in the church and the other in the homes of members. The MYF and MYAF were active. Finance was a concern, for the giving was low.
In 2015, Rev. Joseph Komar, the pastor of TMC Seremban, was also the Pastor- in-charge here. The Full Membership was 71. There were four Cell Groups and almost all the members were attending these gatherings. One of the church members went to Myanmar to help conduct the VBS. Their first Family Camp was held in the Port Dickson Methodist Centre on 31 July. The church building was renovated and the Dedication Service was held on 10 October.
In 2016, Rev. Joseph Yesupatham, the pastor of TMC Seremban, was the Pastor-in-charge here. The Full Membership was 73. The church was involved in social work. The poor were given provisions and the sick were visited in their homes and in the hospitals.
From 2017 onwards, Rev. Anthony Panan, the pastor of TMC Cha’ah has been the Pastor-in-charge here. In 2017, the Full Membership was 76. A few of its members gather at 5 am on Saturdays for prayer. The DS saw that their evangelistic efforts needed more focus and strategy. In 2018, the Full Membership was 80. An average of 10 people attended the Friday Prayers.
In 2019 Rev. Anthony Panan continues as the Pastor-in-charge, with Pastor Joseph Ambrose as the Assistant Pastor. The Lay Leader is Mr. Jesus Robert and the pastor, Rev. Anthony Panan is the LCEC Chairperson. The Full Membership of the Church is 84. The present membership of the Agencies: MYF (20), MYAF (40), MSF (17) and MW (25). There are 25 children and 6 teachers in the Church School. Currently they have identified Tembanggau as a potential Outreach. They have started Area Fellowship and prayers in the home of Mr. John Robert, a member of TMC Bahau who resides in Tembanggau.
Conclusion: TMC Bahau is a young church, just over five years old. When they were proposed to be a Local Conference back in 2013, their Full Membership was just 54. In 2019 it has increased to 84. This local church has grown and is actively involved in reaching out to the community. The DS has encouraged the local church to be more focused in their evangelistic efforts to see a definite church growth. They need to do this with prayer and commitment, to take the church to greater heights for the glory of God.
1. TAC Journals
2. Proposal Paper for Bahau Outreach to become a Local Conference
3. Souvenir Program, Formation of TMC Bahau as Local Conference on 23 February 2014
4. Interview with Pastor Henry Jeremiah