Pastors of the Early Years
In 1904 Rev. Samuel Abraham of TMC Kuala Lumpur started Tamil work in Seremban. Land was acquired by the Methodist Church. In 1908 the work was established as a Local Church with Pastor G. Manuel as the Supply Pastor. In 1913 the Tamil Work came under the “Tamil District” with Supply Pastor R.S. Raj. In 1916, the work spread to Port Dickson and Kuala Pilah under Brother A. Joseph. In 1919, a new brick church building was built and dedicated by Bishop Bickley. Pastor Gnanaiah Paul was the Supply Pastor. In 1920, the pastor was Pastor Daniel Sundram and in 1924 Pastor D. Daniel. From 1929 till 1935, Rev. M.R. Doraisamy was the Pastor with Rev. J.V. Ayaduray as the Assistant Pastor. In 1937 Rev. John Devasahayam was the Pastor. From 1938 till 1940, Rev. J.W.A. Kadirgamar was the Pastor. From 1941 till 1945 preaching was suspended due to the Second World War.
Post Second World War Period
From 1946 till 1950 Rev. J.V. Ayaduray was the Pastor and Rev. J.M. David was the Pastor from 1951 – 1958. In 1953 monthly worship services were held in Kuala Pilah and Port Dickson. In Tampin there was a small Tamil congregation and Rev. Thambidorai was in charge. The Tamil worship services were held in the Chinese Church. In 1955 Rev. J.M. David was also the principal of the ACAS. In 1957, the lease on the Parsonage was extended to 66 years. In 1958 Rev. Milton David postponed his retirement leave. The Church building in Seremban was used by 3 congregations – Chinese, Wesley and Tamil.
From 1959 – 1965, Rev. J.A.P. Oswald was the Pastor. In 1959 the Full Membership rose from 60 to 79. There was a Church School at Kuala Pilah and at Lobak. The pastor also held worship services at Kuala Pilah, Labu, Port Dickson and Sepang (Sg. Pelek). Mrs. Catheresu (Rev. Oswald’s daughter) strengthened the Women’s and Youth work. In 1962 outstation work in Kuala Pilah, Port Dickson, Sg. Pelek and Labu was done regularly. From 1966 – 1968 Rev. V.A. Supramaniam was the Pastor. Rev. Sam Kamaleson preached in a Three Day Crusade.
From 1969 to 1970, Rev. James Solamadan was the Pastor. The Full Membership in 1969 grew from 81 to 156. In 1970 the MW, under the leadership of Mrs. E.P. Thambirajah, raised RM 300 towards the painting of the Church. From February 1971 to January 1975, Rev. J.J. Ratnarajah from Sri Lanka was the Pastor. In 1971 the Full Membership was 139 and in 1975 it dropped to 118. Rev. & Mrs. Ratnarajah’s ministry impacted the spiritual life of the people and increased their giving. The church conducted a Food and Fun Fair and cleared a part of their old outstanding debt. In 1972 the Tampin services were held in the homes of four families. In 1973 the church organised a Food Sale to meet their financial need. In 1974 the spiritual awakening in the church brought an increase in the church attendance and finance.
The MW settled the parsonage’s Assessment Bill. The Church School became popular in the town and children of non-members and from other faiths joined. In February 1975 Rev. and Mrs. Ratnarajah went on furlough. Rev. Noel Arputharaj covered from February to May 1975. From June 1975 to 1977, Rev. C. Pandian was the pastor. Mrs. E.M. Kulasingam helped to form a choir. In 1977 three needy families were helped with cash, children’s uniforms, fees and exercise books. The pastor visited Kajang for ministry, where there were six Methodist families.
Church purchased a Terrace House
From January – April 1978, Ministerial Student on Practical Break Mr. Denison Jayasooria served. From May 1978 – 1983 Rev. Peter Devadason was the Pastor. In 1981, a terrace house was purchased in Seremban. The Government acquired the parsonage land for development and paid a compensation of RM 350,000. A special Tuesday service was initiated by Mr. Denison for the English speaking members in Kuala Pilah. Rev. Peter also started services in Tampin. Church Schools were started in Lobak and the one at Temiang was strengthened. The MW continued to help the church pay the parsonage assessment of RM 150 and other projects. In 1979 non-Christians saw the power of Christ through the church’s healing ministry. Drug addicts and ex-convicts were guided and given shelter.
The Tampin worship services which were held on the first Sunday of every month were discontinued, after a written request by the Lutheran church. They had stationed a full-time Lutheran pastor there recently. In Bahau – worship services were held on Thursdays until the St. Mark’s Padre, Rev. Batten wrote a letter referring to the unofficial understanding that the churches decided not to compete. In Kuala Pilah, the weekly Tuesday evening services held in the Chinese Methodist Church was stopped after the Chinese pastor wrote to say that their church building could no longer be used. The Prison Work had to stop as it had changed to a drug rehabilitation centre. However, meetings in Bradwell Estate were initiated and pioneer work among the Hindus was started in Pajam.
In 1980 the Full Membership was 215. The Worship services at Seremban and Sungai Pelek were held at 9:30 am and 11:30 am. English Missionary Service was started on Sunday evenings. Evangelists from India, Mr. Gnaniah and Mr. Sam Jebadurai conducted Evangelistic Meetings. Lay Training was conducted by Mr. George Emmanuel, Mr. Kovalan, Mr. Dennison and Mr. Jayaraj. A.V.L. ministry led by Rev. Ronny Kon screened a film for the Local Church.
A working committee was formed with the aim of organizing a Local Conference in Sungai Pelek. About 8 youths attended the Youth Institute in Port Klang. The Building Committee deposited RM 21,500 with the T.A.C. An Adult Fellowship was formed.
In 1981, the Seremban Circuit included Sungai Pelek, Tampin, Port Dickson, Bahau and Bradwell. The Full Membership was 208. A terrace house was purchased at RM 59,000 and was given for rent to clear the loan taken from the Trustees. The parsonage and land (leasehold land) was taken by the State Government for developing the Bus Station and Taxi stand. The sum offered by the District Office was RM 350,000. The church accepted this compensation, but under protest. Mr. Lionel Kulasingam and Mr. Daniel Iyakannu came forward for full time ministry.
Hosting Conference Youth Institute
In 1982 the Full Membership was 271. The whole church was involved in successfully hosting the Youth Institute which had 270 participants. In Tampin, a semi-detached house was rented and regular ministries were carried out. The church recommended Sungai Pelek to be organized as a Local Conference at the Second Local Conference. The recommendation was accepted at the 1982 Tamil Annual Conference. The Building Fund stood at RM 334,496.49. In 1983 the Full Membership was 182. Monthly services were held in Port Dickson, Tampin, Balong, Kuala Pilah, Conemera, Semenyih and Mantin. The church bought a piece of land in the Mukim of Rasa (Lots No. 275/3902 and 276/3902) for RM88,750 and this was consecrated by Bishop C.N. Fang on 4 April 1983. The church had approximately RM 270,000 with the A.E.C. of the Methodist Church. They had plans to build a multi-purpose hall, parsonage and Prayer Tower. Sungai Pelek Outreach became a Local Conference on 21 August 1983.
From 1984 – 1986 Rev. S. M. Sadagopan was the Pastor. In 1984 the Full Membership was 181. In 1985 the Church School teachers had a training conducted by Mrs. Susan Sadagopan. In 1986 the Full Membership was 207. The Church School gave RM 50 to the Sarawak Iban work as a missionary gift. From 1987 to 1989 Rev. A.E. Joseph was the Pastor. In 1987 the Full Membership was 232. The church had six outreach points: (a) Senawang Jaya and Rasah (b) Perhentian Tinggi Estate (c) Paroi Estate – New Point (d) Simpang Pertang/Bahau/Kuala Pilah (e) Port Dickson and (f) Tampin. They established neighbourhood Bible study groups. With a regular teaching on tithing, the church finance improved. The members were taught Christian values through the literature and tape ministry. Leadership was strengthened through: (a) A retreat for the LCEC (b) more lay people taking up the Lay Preacher’s Course. (c) encouraging church elders to tithe and be involved in the outreach ministries. The building project to erect a parsonage on Lot 276 and a multipurpose hall on Lot 275 was discontinued because of practical problems with the land condition. Also, there was no pressing need for a parsonage. The titles of the lots were labelled “Residential” by the Land Office and “Community” by the Town Planners.
In 1988 the Full Membership was 240. A total of nine revival-evangelistic meetings were organised. Two members were honoured with titles - Mr. Victor Suppiah (P.J.K.) and Mr. Krishnan (P.K.L.). Area Prayer Cell Groups were initiated. The church gave for outside the local church causes: Bukit Rotan – RM 1,202; Kepala Batas RM 1,000 and Cha’ah RM 348. The church revised the plan to build only a hall on the two lots (lots 275 and 276 in Bukit Tembuk) and buy a house nearby for the purpose of a parsonage. In 1989 the Full Membership was 269. The church’s decision to amalgamate the two lots into one for the building of a large hall was discussed and approved at the TAC Executive Board meeting on 30 September 1989.
Double-Storey Semi-Detached House for Parsonage
From 1990 to 1991, Rev. James Solamadan was the Pastor. In 1990 the Full Membership was 282. In 1991 the church bought a double-storey semi-detached house for RM 145,000 to be used as a parsonage. It was dedicated by Bishop Denis C. Dutton. The former parsonage was put up for sale. The church tried to build a hall on the land that was bought 9 years ago. They had RM 272,000 in their Building Fund. From 1992 to 1993 Rev. Solomon Abraham was the pastor. In 1992 the Full Membership was 243. Their four Outreach Preaching Points were: Tampin, Serting, Port Dickson, Simpang Pertang with Tampin being the largest of the four. After buying the semi-detached parsonage, the church sold their old parsonage. In 1993 the church booked a three-storey shop lot for RM 276,000
From 1994 – 1999 Rev. Devarakam John (Herbert) was the Pastor. In 1994 the Full Membership was 244. About 35 people from the Senawang/Loop Road/Seremban Jaya/Taman Jujor areas met on Wednesdays for Bible Study and about 35 people around Temiang/Templer and Lobak areas met on Thursdays for Bible Study. In 1995 the Full Membership was 271. There was a ministry in Port Dickson among the Indonesian workers and Sarawak soldiers. Payment was completed for the three-storey shop lot and the C.F. was received. The building was declared open by the Conference President, Rev. David Tharmakan on 5 November 1995.
The Spirit of Giving
In 1996 the Full Membership dropped to 217. The church helped TMC Tangkak purchase a building for worship. They also gave about RM11,000 towards Missions. In 1997 the Full Membership was 237. The youths gave RM15 a month for the needs of TMC Asahan and the MW gave RM 50 a month towards the ministry of TMC Asahan. The church sponsored the MMM ministry in Kuala Krai for the year 1997 and committed to contribute RM22,000 towards this ministry. The church set aside RM40, 000 for the church building project of TMC Tangkak. The church gave RM 400 per month towards the ministry of TMC Asahan.
In 1998 the Full Membership was 261. About 140 people attended the church’s 15 cell groups on Tuesdays. With the help of ministerial student, Mr. Joseph Yesupatham, the work in Serting greatly improved. The ladies collected 1 cent, 5 cents and ‘Pidi Arisi’ to give towards Missions. The church gave RM12, 262 for Missions (10% of the income). They also gave RM 3, 653 for the Taiping building fund and set aside RM5,000 for the Tamil Settlement Tamil School Project. They gave RM2,400 for the Asahan church to help them with their Conference Commitments and loaned RM28,000 to the Alor Gajah church to purchase a parsonage. They also purchased 6 short wave radios for the KHMU people of Laos to hear a Gospel broadcast. In 1999 the Full Membership rose to 298. The MYF organised a football tournament and raised RM6,586.52 for J.E. Children’s Education Fund. The church gave RM40,000 to T.M.C. Tangkak for their parsonage project, RM6,500 for the Eastern District Pastoral Support, RM50,000 as an interest free loan to TMC Ulu Klang, RM15,000 towards MMM, RM500 to an Orang Asli settlement to purchase instruments, RM1,150 for the Love Komering Project and RM3,000 to STM.
Crossing the 300 Mark in Full Membership
From 2000 – 2001 Rev. Joseph Komar was the Pastor. In 2000 the Full Membership was 291. The Church School had a training program with Ms. Leela Manasseh of India. The church supported Serting ministry by paying for the rental of a shop house. This building was dedicated on 23 September 2000. Ministerial students, Mr Reuben Kanagalingam, Mr Timothy Krishnan and Mr. Edward Devadason helped in the ministry. In 2001 the Full Membership was 324, crossed 300 for the first time. The church finance was good. 25% of their income went for needs outside the local church. A coordinator was appointed for the MSF ministry.
From 2002 – May 2008 Rev. David Tharmakan was the Pastor. In 2002 the Full Membership was 320. Evangelistic work was done in Sau Betong estate. The Social Concerns Committee spent more than RM6,000 to help the needy. In 2003 the Full Membership was 370. Children aged 13 – 17 were grouped as the Methodist Young Rangers (MYR). They were taught various topics on how to develop Godly character. In 2004 the Full Membership was 382. Ministerial students Mr. Kunabalan and Mr. Jeremiah Thomas served in this church. In 2005 the Full Membership was 392. Many Hindu families attended the worship services. The Church Prayer Day was once a month and about 80 attended.
Crossing the 400 Mark in Full Membership
In 2006 the Full Membership was 410, crossing 400 for the first time. Many foreign Indian nationals attending became members, after a 6 month period. A membership update was done and names of those who had left the church or could not be traced, were removed. One church member, Pastor James Kuttan was placed in Serting. This Outreach lacked leadership and finance to become a Local Church. In 2007 the Full Membership was 479. The Full Membership at Mahsang / Serting Outreach was 113. Port Dickson Outreach had 25 members. This Outreach was in existence for more than 40 years, but had not progressed. Rev. Joseph Komar took charge from June to December 2008. Church workers included Mr. James Kuttan and Mr. Sam Pakianathan. In 2008 the Full Membership was 475. The lay leaders together with Rev. Dr. Joseph Komar, kept the church united during their recent trying times.
From 2009 – 2013 Rev. Sandireaseheran was the Pastor. In 2009 the Full Membership was 479. The MW adopted the Mantin work as their “pet project”. The church adopted 43 children under the “Gift of Hope” child adoption program by MMM. They also sent 3 teachers to Myanmar for their Annual VBS. The church started their third Outreach in Senawang in July. An average of 70-80 people attended on Sundays at 7.30 am. The Mahsan Outreach had 104 members but their finance was not enough to become a Local Conference. More than 90% of its members earned less than RM1,000 a month. Members were also leaving in search of jobs.
In 2010 Pastor Richard Lawrence was appointed as the Assistant Pastor. The Full Membership was 464. The church adopted a missionary in Nepal and a Missions Centre in Myanmar. The Senawang Outreach celebrated its 1st anniversary on 15 August. The Port Dickson work moved into a new building in Lukut. In 2011 Mr. K. Saravanan, a Pre-Ministerial Candidate was posted here. Mr. Jonathan Arulanthu, a Pre-Ministerial Candidate, also helped. The Full Membership dropped to 402. One youth went to the Hatyai TEACH Centre, for a six month short term missions exposure program. The church supported one TAC ministerial student financially. It organised the “Easter Carnival” to raise funds for the family camp. The carnival made a profit of RM20,000. The church purchased a new 3 storey shop house which would be used for its Outreach ministry in Senawang once the renovation works were completed. They were expected to move into the new building by the end of November.
Double-Storey Shop-Lot for RM480,000 in Pekan Mahsan
In 2012 the Full Membership was 406. They started the migrant ministry among the Nepalese. They supported the STM Tamil Library fund by giving a sum of RM5,000. Confirmation classes were conducted in all the outreaches and in the main church. Small Group meeting which is a potential for church growth was not tapped well because of the lack of leadership. The church purchased a double storey shop-lot for RM480,000 in Pekan Mahsan, Daerah Jempul, Negeri Sembilan.
LCEC Chairperson Commissioned Part-Time Church Worker
In 2013 Pre Ministerial Student Mr. Mohan Raj was posted here. The Full Membership was 403. A small group of about 5 to 10 Nepalese met in Senawang. In the Senawang Outreach, a Pro Tem Committee was set up and new members were seen in the church on Sundays. In Mahsan Outreach, follow up was done and Mr Henry Jeremiah, the LCEC Chairperson who gave good leadership. He was commissioned by the church to be a Part-Time Church Worker here.
In 2014 Rev. Raymond Raj was the Pastor with Pastor Vijaiadass Vedanayagam as the Assistant Pastor. In 2014 the Full Membership was 343. Light house prayers were held at the parsonage every Friday. Bible study was conducted on Wednesdays by Rev. Raymond Raj and Pastor Vijaiadass in Senawang. The church spent RM15,000 to renovate, repaint and refurnish the parsonage. The local church rejoiced at the formation of their Outreach in Bahau into a Local Church on 23 February 2014. In 2015 Rev. Dr. Joseph Komar was the pastor with Pastor Vijaiadass continuing as the Assistant Pastor. Mr. Timothy Raj was the weekend Practical Work Student at Senawang. The Full Membership was 378. The church was renovated and all the three churches shared the cost. TMC Seremban’s share was RM78,000. One significant happening was the “Perinba Thiruvizha”, an evangelistic meeting.
From 2016 onwards Rev. Joseph Yesupatham was the Pastor. In 2016 and 2017, the Full Membership remained at 375. The first Wednesdays were observed as a prayer day and an average of 30 people faithfully attended this prayer session. Six individuals served as local church evangelists and three members of the church completed their training programme at the Conference’s School of Evangelism. There was a Preaching Clinic. Financial Support to MMM was RM25,000. Several individuals went on short term mission trips to Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and Kuching. Three young people served as full-time Missions staff in three various Mission Organisations within the country. In 2018 the Full Membership was 379. There were 10 local Church Evangelists.
In 2019, Rev. Joseph Yesupatham is the pastor. The Full Membership is 379. The membership in the Agencies is as follows: MYF (25), MYAF (24), MSF (40) and MW (38).There are 35 children and 6 teachers in the Church School. They have three Cell Groups – Seremban 2, Rasah and Ampangan. They have one Outreach in Senawang.
Conclusion: TMC Seremban is a model church for Christian giving. In the 1970s, there were occasions, when the church’s financial condition was bad. The local women came to the rescue. They raised funds to meet specific needs. The church also organised food sales and held Food and Fun Fair in 1975 to help overcome the church’s financial shortage. The youths gave RM15 a month for the needs of TMC Asahan and the MW gave RM 50 a month towards the ministry of TMC Asahan. In 1987 there were teachings on tithing and the church finance improved. In 1998 the ladies collected 1 cent, 5 cents and ‘Pidi Arisi’ to give towards Missions. In 2002 The Social Concerns Committee spent more than RM6,000 to help the needy. The evangelistic work of the church over the years is commendable, seeing the many Outreaches that were established. They bought buildings to establish God’s work. In their weakness, God gave grace. Having been made strong, they reached out to help many needy churches. All glory goes to God for making this possible.
1. Methodist Journals – MAC. TPAC, TAC
2. TMC Seremban Centennial Celebration 1908 – 2008