Wesley Methodist Church is 138 this year!

Read about what a Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z and Gen Alpha have to say about Wesley on her 138th Anniversary.  

Gordon Tan, early 60s:

How long have you been in Wesley?

I started worshipping at Wesley in 1973 when I received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

Why did you or what made you come to Wesley?

I was then in Secondary 1 at ACS. I made my decision at the ACS Religious Emphasis Week and I was fortunate enough that a very young Melvin Huang encouraged me to attend church. And since I lived along the way to church for Melvin, I caught a lift every Sunday to his church – Wesley Methodist Church.

What are your fondest memories of Wesley?

The Victory Meetings. I was then a teenager and being involved in various aspects of these gospel rallies was not only engaging but drew me to love this Body of Christ.

What does Wesley/church community mean to you?

It is a community that honours the elderly, nurtures the young and respects each individual. I love that this church meets the intergenerational needs of members of my family, allowing us to worship together.

What do you want to say to Wesley on her 138th birthday?

I pray that we would continue to obediently minister to this Body of Christ at Wesley, be a light on the hill and draw people near and far to the cross as we lift Jesus higher.

Gordon Tan is married with two adult children. He had a 32-year career as a banker before answering God’s call to become a counsellor. He serves as a lay counsellor at Wesley Counselling Service and is part of the lay leader’s team.

Yeo Su Chen, mid 50s:

How long have you been in Wesley?

I have been in Wesley for over 20 years. Wesley is the seventh church I have attended in my life. Until I came to Wesley, I did not see a need for me to have a home church. I moved a lot when I was younger and I have gotten used to attending different churches from different denominations. But God has planted me firmly in Wesley this season of my life because this is where He wants to shape and transform me as I press on in my spiritual race.

How did you come to Wesley?

A family friend told me about Wesley’s Sunday School and persuaded me to bring my three children over from another church I was attending. I finally stayed on so my children could settle into a regular rhythm for Sunday School. I also wanted to attend a larger church so that I could be by myself and not have to make too many friends.

I was, by then, a little tired of making friends in church having attended so many churches before in my life. I was happy to attend classes and go to prayer meetings alone, without knowing anyone. I thought that was enough for me. But God has other plans for me. Through various ways, He showed me that I also need a good spiritual community to support me through this journey with Him.

What are your fondest memories of Wesley so far?

Wesley is where my three children attended Sunday School. Although they are not in Wesley now, my fondest memories remain those that involve my kids. After all, this was where they grew up. I remember the times when they showed me their Sunday School arts and crafts, puzzles and little treats from their teachers. I remember my youngest child always sitting under the table with her friend when she was in her lower primary Sunday School classroom, without fail, every Sunday. I recall my eldest girl always looking out for little treats like crackers around the church. I remember my second daughter telling me what the teachers told them in Sunday School. I remember my children going on mission trips in Isaan with us for exposure. I remember all of them happily running around at the Church camps.

What does the Wesley community mean to you?

Here, I have found my spiritual family. Here, I have a safe space where I could share many of my life challenges and crisis. 

After ten years of being mostly by myself at church, I finally stepped up to serve God and my church family. Looking back, I realised now that I could not be refined in my discipleship without the encouragement and help of my spiritual family.

Over the years, I have been supported and spurred on by pastors and church friends in Wesley. They have pointed me to God when I was disorientated; they have reminded me of His presence and promises when my life was disrupted by challenges. I am very thankful for the Wesleyans whom God has put in my path to encourage me. They are my go-to when I am sad, happy, dejected or in delight. In my community in Wesley, I have found my spiritual family and I am thankful I can be real with my community.

What do you hope for Wesley to be in the coming years?

I hope we will continue to be an inclusive and authentic Church in the many years to come. A Church that is no longer associated with “crazy rich Asians” because in reality, we are a Church that has truly embraced and welcomed everyone from all walks of life. I have never seen a more diverse Church.

I wish for Wesley to be a Church where many can come and be themselves and find their sense of belonging here, mature and be transformed in their discipleship life, and be encouraged to go and serve the communities in and outside of Wesley.

What do you want to say to Wesley on her 138th birthday ?

Happy 138th Anniversary Wesley. And thank you for everything God has given me through you.

A freelance editor and writer, Yeo Su Chen currently serves in Communications at Wesley Methodist Church.

Claire Ng, early 30s

How long have you been in Wesley?

I have been worshipping at Wesley for nearly 10 years.

Why you did you come to Wesley? How many years have you been here?

I attended my first Wesley service in 2014, when a friend brought me along. At that time, I was a new Christian and looking for somewhere to worship. Wesley felt like the right place for me to grow in the faith, and I have been here since.

What are your fondest memories of Wesley?

The first moments that came to mind were the annual special occasions like church anniversary, Easter and Christmas celebrations. But on second thought, my favourite – and still an ongoing one – is attending Sunday service every week. There is something inexplicably comforting in this weekly ritual – the peacefulness of the sanctuary, rousing tunes by the choir, collective prayer, hearing God’s word from our pastors, and taking communion together as a church.

What does Wesley/church community mean to you?

I think of our church community as everyone who shares the common love of our Lord.

Although I did not “grow up” in Wesley, I have never felt less than welcome in my initial days worshipping here, from the friendliness of the ushers to the warm smiles of other members of the congregation.

I formed deeper friendships at Wesley as I started attending small groups, doing Bible study workshops and courses, and contributing to ministry work. It’s extra meaningful journeying with fellow Christians through life’s ups and downs and growing in our knowledge of the Word together.

What do you want to say to Wesley on her 138th birthday?

Blessed birthday! Thank you for being my home. And I hope you will continue to be a sanctuary for many others to grow in the faith, as you have been for me.

Claire Ng serves in the Wesley Communications Ministry. Passionate about environmental and social causes, she hopes that writing can be a tool for awareness and change.

Valerie Wong, 21 years old:

How long have you been in Wesley?

I have been in Wesley since I was a child, perhaps around seven years old. So I would have been in Wesley for about 14 years now. My parents sent me to Children’s Ministry when I first joined, where I slowly grew up in church. Thereafter, when I became a teenager, I transitioned over to the Youth Ministry.

Since I was in a more rebellious phase of my life at that time, looking back, I am very thankful for the support and love that my friends and Youth Small Group Leaders (YSGLs) had provided me with. They helped me to grow in my Christian faith, and enhanced my spiritual walk with God. Soon after, as I entered adulthood, I transitioned over to the Adult Ministry. Currently, I am serving in the Wesley Communications Ministry, as well as with the Hospitality Team as an usher for the 11.30am Prayer and Praise (P&P) service. I am very thankful for this opportunity to serve God and His people, and to reach out in love to fellow Wesleyans.

How did you come to Wesley?

I first came to Wesley because my parents had already been grounded in this church for years. Wesley was also the church they got married in. Since they are very familiar and comfortable with the church, they naturally brought me over to Wesley when I was a child as well.  

As I grew older and better understood the significance and importance of going to church, I still made the personal decision to continue coming back to Wesley. This is because Wesley made me feel like I was at home. Wesley has a very warm and inclusive community, which makes me feel very comfortable and loved while worshipping in church. I also really enjoy how worship and sermon sessions are conducted every week. The structure of every session is smooth, and sermon messages are often conveyed in a way that is simple to understand, which is something that I appreciate a lot. I also regard Wesley as the place that I grew up in, and where my spiritual growth first started sprouting when I was a child. So, this also makes me want to continue to stay in Wesley since it is a familiar place that I grew up in. It is where my roots were.

What are your fondest memories of Wesley so far?

My fondest memory of Wesley is when I served at the Christmas At The Fort event in 2019, as an usher. This was the first time I had stepped up to serve in church. I had the opportunity to serve with like-minded Christians, and to spread the love and joy of Christmas to the general public. Seeing everyone immersed in the Christmas mood and coming together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ was a very heart-warming sight. Moreover, I had the calling to invite a non-believing friend to serve with me – which she did. She enjoyed herself a lot, and mentioned that it was a very eye-opening experience for her. She also got to know more about Christianity. Overall, I felt that it was truly a rewarding experience that would always be etched in my mind.  

What does the Wesley community mean to you?

The Wesley community is like a family to me. I feel very welcomed and accepted in Wesley. It is also a safe space for me to be vulnerable, knowing that the people around me are extremely supportive and accepting. It is truly a joy and honour to be able to grow and serve with such wonderful people, as one body of Christ. Back when I was in Youth Ministry, I had a small group and served in the Youth Communications Ministry, which was called “12 Stones” at that time. The youth community was also very well-knit and warm, which gave me a source of comfort and assurance, especially since I was at a very volatile point of my life as a youth. Up till today, I am still very thankful for my pastors, leaders and friends who have been journeying alongside me through my toughest moments in life, and often checking in on me and being accountable for my spiritual growth. I am grateful for the Wesley community for being my source of support, and for helping me draw closer to God every step of my life.

What do you hope for Wesley to be in the coming years?

I hope that Wesley would continue to be the vibrant and inclusive community that it is, and to continue reaching out to people from different walks of life to spread the love and gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that Wesley continues to forge greater bonds between the different generations through her intergenerational worship sessions, and to constantly cultivate disciples of Christ. Finally, I hope that all of us in Wesley would continue to stand steadfast in our faith as one body of Christ, and to be good testimonies for the people around us. 

What do you want to say to Wesley on her 138th birthday ?

I would like to wish Wesley a very Blessed 138th Birthday. She has been the place that I grew up in, and the place where my faith started budding since young. I pray that Wesley continues to be a home to all of our worshippers here, and to always provide a safe space for everyone. I hope that Wesley continues to nurture faithful stewards of Christ, both young and old, and to remain the sacred sanctuary of God that she is.

Valerie Wong is a Year 2 English Literature Undergraduate studying in Nanyang Technological University. She enjoys baking and volunteering in her free time, and she is grateful to be serving in the Wesley Communications Ministry.

Ezra Woo, 10 years old:

How long have you been in Wesley?

I have been here for five years.

What do you like about Wesley?

I like my Sunday school teachers like teacher Cassandra. I have learnt so much about God and Bible from them.

What do you want to say to Wesley on her 138th birthday?

Happy 138th Birthday to Wesley and I wish her many more years to bless many people. May it be a sanctuary for all to know God.

Ezra Woo Yi Kai is currently attending the 9.30am Children’s Ministry. He is also in the Sunbeam choir.

Read also: Celebrating Our 138th Church Anniversary

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