History of Tamil Methodist Church, Kuala Lumpur

A group of ardent young Christians had been meeting regularly in their homes, conducting prayer meetings and Bible Studies in 1896. These gatherings grew and soon the establishment of a Tamil Church was necessary.

Friday, 18th June, 1897 saw the official opening of the church followed by formation of the Anglo Tamil School in a shop house at the junction of Batu Road (Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman now) and Jawa Street (Jalan Tun Perak).

The corner stone of the Methodist Tamil Church at Malacca Street was laid on 24th September 1899 by the then British Resident Mr. Conway Belfield. The Sanctuary was dedicated on 11th March 1900. The Pastor Rev. S. Abraham served as Headmaster of the Anglo-Tamil School and also was the pastor for Tamil, English and Chinese congregations.

In 1904 the Rev. S. Abraham was freed from school work and became the full time Pastor of the Tamil Church. The congregation increased in number and the membership consisted of 61 full members, 18 probationers and 21 baptised children.

Rev. S. Abraham extended his services to the Prison and on to Kuala Kubu, Rawang, Kajang and Seremban, travelling there by train. In 1908 he began services at Brickfields and Batu Road. Prayer meetings were also held for the Tamils working at the Central Railway workshop. He became the first Asiatic Superintendent in 1913 and his work covered from Upper Perak to Malacca. He had committed lay stewards to assist him.

When Rev. Abraham went to be with the Lord in 1918, Rev. J. A Supramaniam took over the reins as Pastor of the church in 1917. Regular preaching centres in Seaport Estate, Sungai Way, Puchong, Serdang , Serendah , Kuala Kubu, Rawang, Bukit Rotan, Banting and Carey Island became partners of Christian communities. Outstanding religious leaders like Sadhu Sunder Singh and Bhagavathar Vedanayagam Shastri graced the pulpit to packed congregations.

In the years, around 1914 the church in Malacca Street served all Methodists in Kuala Lumpur, Europeans, Americans, Tamil and Chinese. In 1917 the English-speaking Wesley congregation moved to their own church. The Lutherans continued to worship till 1920 and the Chinese 1928.

The extra activities of the church during the first two decades and into the third, centred mainly around the Methodist Girl’s School at Kampong Attap Road, as most of the people lived around that area. The church was the centre of both religious and social activities. It reached out to meet the needs of all its members through the Sunday School, Junior League, Ladies Aid Society, prayer meetings in homes and Sunday worship services. There was also a wing of the National Missionary Society of India attached to the church. Special services were significant, during Christmas, New Year Children’s Day and Mother’s Day. Carols at Christmas was a big do. The carollers travelled by lorry and one year the lorry was decorated as a ship and named S.S.Emmanuel.