FacebookTwitterRSS FeedPinterest

Scripture Memory: God’s Help.

VERSE : Isaiah 41:13 “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

                                                              * * *                                                 

O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness

11 October 2015

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Lee Hock Chin (Staying at Our Posts, 2 Cor 6:1-13)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Charles Seet (Labour Not to be Rich, Prov 23:4,5)

18 October 2015

9.30am: 65th Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service

Rev Edward Paauwe (Purity of the Church, 2 Cor 6:14-7:1)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Colin Wong (Building Our Spiritual House, Prov 24:3,4)

* * *

HOW OUR CHURCH BEGAN

(Excerpts from ‘The Singapore B-P Church Story,’ written in 1995 by our Founding Pastor, the late Rev Dr Timothy Tow Siang Hui)

The Life Church English Service was launched at 5.30 pm on October 15*, 1950, at 144 Prinsep Street, in that “old, grey, little Church.” The new pastor presented his credentials to an eager congregation from the text, “Holding forth the Word of Life” (Philippians 2:16). Beyond expectation, 120 gathered at this inaugural service, so that the pulpit which was shifted to face one echelon of pews on the side of the old piano was returned to its central position—happy augury for the days to come!

The mainstay of this fledgling congregation comprised the Chans, Chias, Chuas, Hengs, Hsus, Lims, Queks, and Tows, 30 members transferred from the Teochew-speaking mother Church to the afternoon Service, together with their children and relatives. The Sunday School, launched the month following, began with an enrolment of 27 divided into three classes with the pastor as superintendent.

Insofar as the administration of the young Church was concerned, an interim committee was formed comprising elders and deacons appointed from the mother Church to assist the pastor. They met regularly once a month, for though the English Service was small, the vision of its leaders was large. There was plenty that could be done for the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

Weekly Prayer Meeting

No sooner was the Sunday Service started than a Prayer Meeting was called to meet in church on Wednesday night. Owing to poor response of the members, the Wednesday night Prayer Meeting was substituted by a Friday night Family Worship, rotating from house to house….But prayer is the heart-throb of every Church. Its place now taken by the more popular Family Worship must be restored sooner or later! As the young Church grew in faith and knowledge, it was decided to revive the Prayer Meeting in 1955… Ever since that day, Life Church’s Prayer Meeting every Tuesday night has lived on. Though not too many be found on bended knee, to them who regularly come to prayer meeting this is their week’s sweetest hour. Attendance today is 100.

Youth Fellowship

Life Church English Service was a young people’s Church. And so the accent on youth was opportunely stressed as they began to find an identity among themselves. In this regard the pastor was helped by the first American friend he found while a student in Nanking, viz, Miss Grace Jephson, now transferred to Singapore away from Mao’s “Liberation.” Reporting on the founding of the Life Church Youth Fellowship, Tan Swee Teck (now settled in Los Angeles, California) wrote:

It was on January 3rd, 1953 that a group of enthusiastic young people of our Church gathered together to have Young People’s Fellowship. At that time, Miss Jephson of the CIM was with us, and it was she who helped us form this group. From then onward, we met once a fortnight, and we had many wonderful Christian meetings together. After we had quite a big attendance, we decided to organise ourselves. On July 11th, 1953 we held a Business Meeting to elect officers and set up a constitution. From that time onward, the group came to be known as the “Life Church Youth Fellowship.” Its aims are: 1. To Know Christ. 2. To make Him Known. Our first president was Dr Tow Siang Hwa. With his committee he proceeded to arrange programmes for the group…

Sunday School

Just as the young people of the Youth Fellowship at this time saw a new day under the vigorous leadership of Dr Tow Siang Hwa, there was felt a great need for the revamping of the Sunday School. Dr Tow was appointed superintendent by the interim committee and under his guidance the Sunday School was reorganised on September 22, 1953. According to a historical survey by Deacon (now Elder) Chia Kim Chwee, Miss Sullivan of the CIM was elected Secretary. Through her was introduced the Gospel Light lesson materials. A Four Point System for Beginners and the Primary Departments and a Six Point Record System for the rest whereby marks would be given for attendance at Sunday School, etc, were adopted. In two years the Sunday School attendance rose to 250.

Daily Witnessing

But the daily witness of Lifers to those who had never heard of our Saviour was equally important. Not a few in our Churches today have found Christ as a result of our members’ constant witnessing. Here’s Elder Khoo Peng Kiat’s testimony of how he came to confess Jesus in baptism:

I was born in a non-Christian home, and believe me, I never knew about Jesus Christ at all until I met Dr Tow. Life before that was meaningless, and like an empty dream. I was spiritually blind. I was born again on Easter Day, April 18, 1953. Ever since that day, I have received not only peace of mind, heart and soul, but also much joy and happiness of His salvation.

Bible Camps

A further outreach for the salvation and consecration of young souls is the ministry of Bible Camps. Life Church was one of the very first to hold Bible Camps for the young members. The early camps became a pattern to the many that have been held thereafter by our branch Churches.

Our first Bible camp was held at the Telok Paku Government School, Changi, December 18-24, 1954. Being a first venture, only 50 were registered. Rev Wilson Wang of Penang was invited to be the Camp Speaker. Among the ten young souls who yielded to the Lord was Philip Heng, now pastor of Galilee Church. In his testimony on how he was led to give himself to full-time service he looked back to that day when he sobbed alone in a chair (as observed by one of the campers) at Telok Paku:

At the first Bible Camp of the Life Church in December ‘54, I felt the Hand of the Lord upon me. The Lord was challenging me to consecrate myself to Him. I hesitated a while before I finally yielded myself to let God have his way with my life.

Since the first Bible camp was such a blessing to the young people, a second camp was repeated at the same site, August 11-18, 1955. One hundred young persons attended with Dr G D James as the speaker.

Malaysia Pioneer Mission

In obedience to the Great Commission to go into all the world with the Gospel, a meeting was called in March 1952 at the Beng Wan Road home of the then Elder Quek Kiok Chiang to found a missionary society. Sixteen Lifers responded…

In the early days of the MPM Rev Tow and Deacon (now Rev) Hsu Chiang Tai were sent to evangelise some 60 new villages out of a total of 600 in the Federation of Malaya. This was at the height of the Communist uprisings, but God protected their steps. A hundred thousand Gospel tracts written by Miss Tay Swee Lan specially for the village folk, together with thousands of Gospel portions, were partly distributed. Reporting this missionary outreach in the Malaysia Christian, the leader of the team wrote:

Almost every village we visited was virgin soil for the Gospel seed. Crowds gathered in curiosity around two Big Town gentlemen…Everywhere we went the Lord opened a wide door of opportunity. Particularly glad were we for the generous cooperation extended by principals and teachers of the village community schools. We were not hindered from preaching to two to three hundred school children at a time. These were made to line up in the school hall, or in the open, by their superiors.

Defence of the Faith

Hitherto, we have seen the young Church in worship and work, in building up young souls in the most holy faith and in every effort of extending the influence of the Gospel. This is only one side of the picture. The other side, which is equally important, now comes under review. It is the Church’s involvement in a phase of God’s work much neglected by the main body of evangelical Churches today, viz, the defence of the Faith.

…when the Constitution of this English work was discussed during the interim period after the young pastor’s return from abroad, it was declared that the Life Church English Service, while remaining a filial daughter to the mother Church, would be no party to the Ecumenical Movement nor counted a member in the World Council of Churches through the Malayan Christian Council, into which our Chinese Presbyterian Synod was drawn. Nevertheless, we were de facto linked to the Synod and to Synod we would go to raise the testimony of separation in the name of Life Church.

At the recent Synod of Chinese Presbyterian Churches in Malaya a motion was made by the Life Church (Chinese section), Singapore that our Synod withdraw from the MCC on these grounds… Not a few of the promoters and leaders of the MCC are modernists who do not accept the fundamentals of the faith, including the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures, the virgin birth of Christ, His bodily resurrection and personal second coming...

The last battle for the Faith was fought in Muar at the Trinity Presbyterian Church when commissioners from all parts of Singapore and Malaya gathered for the double function of dedication of the new church. This was in January 1955. Commissioners from Life Church were Rev Timothy Tow, Elder Quek Kiok Chiang, and Deacon Quek Khiok Meng. Of course the battle was lost against the usual phalanx of modernist missionaries and subservient national pastors. In the same month, according to the Life Church Weekly Chronicler, “The Interim Committee decides to make our Church fully constituted and to sever connections with the Synod on account of modernism.”

Beginning of Life Bible-Presbyterian Church

In order to distinguish ourselves from the Synod churches we prefixed the word Bible to make ours the Life Bible-Presbyterian Church. January 1955, indeed, saw the birth of the Bible-Presbyterian Church Movement.

[*Note: The date of the inaugural service was originally printed in the book as October 20. However it is now known that the actual date was October 15, which was the third Sunday of 1950.]

* * *

65th Church Anniversary Combined Baptismal Service

Lord’s Day, 18 October 2015, 9.30 am.

No Fellowship Lunch after Service

* * *

1) Parents of Sunday school children who are presenting at the Anniversary Service next Sunday are to bring their children to Beulah House Room 1-6 instead of Life Meeting Hall at 9.00 am.

2) The annual Youth Fellowship Camp will be held on 14-18 Dec 15. All youth who are 17-24 years of age are encouraged to join! More details will be announced when registration opens in Nov.

3) Coffee Table Ministry urgently needs 3 more volunteers each for the following timings from 0830-0945 or 1030-1130. Those who can commit, kindly contact Daniel for job specs. We thank all our loving church members who have faithfully contributed food to this ministry.

Preaching appointment: Rev Seet at Indonesian Service, 4.00 pm. Rev Wong at Filipina Fellowship, 11.00 am.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25