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In The Beginning ..... Bill and Sarah GRAHAM & family (1970-1975)
In April 1961, IRA Y. RICE, JR. who was the pioneer missionary to establish the Moulmein Road Church of Christ in Singapore, accompanied by his family, moved to KUALA LUMPUR. They took up residence at No. 8, Jalan Terap, Sentul. At that location he began to conduct Bible Classes and also private teaching in view of his desire to establish the Lord's church in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Rice was an accredited instructor for the Dale Carnegie Course and many of those who attended Bible studies at his house had been his students of the Dale Carnegie Institute.
In July 1961, FRANK H. PIERCE and family joined the Rices in Kuala Lumpur, having been sent by the Southside Church of Christ, ELECTRA, Texas, USA. The Pierces established residence at No.23, Jalan 9/3, in the suburb of PETALING JAYA, about 10 km south of Kuala Lumpur. But the main place of meetings was Rice's home in Kuala Lumpur. After residing in Kuala Lumpur for 19 months, Rice elected to return to Singapore in November 1962. There he resumed his work with the church at No. 131, Moulmein Road, leaving Pierce to be in charge of the work in Kuala Lumpur.
Pierce and Rice worked jointly on the follow-up work in Kuala Lumpur and in early 1962 arranged another meeting place for the Kuala Lumpur church. The venue of meeting was moved from the Rices' home to No. 123-D, 4th Floor, Hui Hong Building, Ipoh Road, Kuala Lumpur, where the church conducted its services until early 1976.
During the latter part of March 1962, a 15-day gospel meeting was conducted at the new meeting place in Ipoh Road. The speaker for this meeting was KENNETH RIDEOUT, who was a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand. There were a total of 17 baptisms during that first gospel meeting, including such persons as Chan Kim Foh, Doris Danker and M. Mailvaganam. Later DORSEY TRAW, a missionary in Chiangmai, Thailand, held a gospel meeting in August 1962 and several others obeyed the gospel.
The year 1963 was a very fruitful year for the church in Kuala Lumpur. In March of that year, ENOCH THWEATT, who was serving as a missionary in Taiwan, was invited to conduct a gospel meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Several people were baptised, including Victor Thasiah. He was a lay preacher for the local Methodist church, and a student at the Teachers’ Technical College. Victor was very active in the work of the Kuala Lumpur congregation from the date of his conversion until he left for the United States in early 1965.
In August 1963, PARKER HENDERSON, a missionary with the church in Bangkok, Thailand, conducted a 15-day gospel meeting in Kuala Lumpur. It resulted in several additions to the church. A special feature of all gospel meetings in Kuala Lumpur were the "question and answer" sessions which would often continue for an hour or more after the sermon. A book, chapter and verse answer was always promised for all Bible questions.
From Kuala Lumpur Pierce followed up on Bible Correspondence Course students in other areas outside the city. On May 14, 1964, he baptised Mary George and her father in KUALA KLAWANG, Jelebu, Negri Sembilan. In preparation for the establishment of a congregation in Seremban, Pierce rented a house at No. 49, Jalan Templer, Seremban. He moved from Kuala Lumpur in January 1965, leaving the work in Kuala Lumpur to local talent.
In April 1965, Jud K. WHITEFIELD and his wife, Pansy, arrived in Malaysia. For the first few months they resided in Seremban. Then they moved to Kuala Lumpur where they worked with the Kuala Lumpur congregation for the next seven years. The Whitefields did much to promote the spread of the gospel through gospel tracts and Bible Correspondence Courses during their tenure with the Kuala Lumpur congregation. DENNIS CADY, THELMA EUBANK and MELBA BENNET from the United States, later joined them in the work. While Whitefield was working with the Kuala Lumpur congregation, a "Campaign for Christ" was conducted at the Chinese Assembly Hall of the city in late 1967, which resulted in several people obeying the gospel.
In compliance with the laws of the country, the church was registered and approved by the Registrar of Societies, Malaysia, under the Societies Act, on November 15, 1965. Under its constitution, the government of the church shall be vested in a duly elected Eldership. But until such time as the church has elected its own Elders, the conduct of the business of the church shall be vested in a Committee of Management comprising the Chairman, the Honorary Secretary and the Honorary Treasurer who shall be elected annually by the members of the church.
It was largely through the influence of the Whitefields that the purchase of the very present property at No. 79 Jalan Perhentian, Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur was realised. The church dedicated the building to the glory of the Lord on May 2, 1976. It consists of a three-storey shop-cum-office building, where the ground floor is used for assembly, while the other floors are used as office and class rooms.
The Whitefields left Malaysia for the USA in February 1972. At the same time, RONALD T. WARPOLE and his family (wife Judy and 3 children) arrived to replace the Whitefields. They established residence at No. 7 Jalan Batai, Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur During his tenure, WARPOLE was actively engaged in conducting private studies to expatriate families. Also, he conducted weekly Bible classes at the home of Chan Kim Foh. These were additional to the regular church mid-week Bible classes and pulpit preaching.
During this general period, the Malaysian government issued a directive that, under the new immigration policy, no more visas will henceforth be granted to foreign missionaries to work in Malaysia. Thus began the process of finding Malaysians to replace foreign workers. In September 1972, the following persons, all Malaysian citizens who had just graduated from the Four Seas College of Bible & Missions, Singapore, expressed their desire to work for the Kuala Lumpur congregation and were accepted as trainees: LAU KIN FATT, JOHN LACHMANA and TIMMY CHOY. Ron Warpole, assisted by KEN WILLIS, who was then missionary to the church in MALACCA, conducted special training classes to prepare these Malaysian workers for full-time ministry.
After the Warpoles left in July 1974, the church appointed LAU KIN FATT as minister. John Lachmana served as an associate minister until June 1975 when he left for Canada to continue his studies. Timmy Choy was put in charge of the printing of Bible tracts and related publications and served the church for two years.
Lau Kin Fatt's main work was to visit and conduct Bible studies with the Bible Correspondence Course students. This resulted in many conversions, especially among the young students. In 1974 there were 72 baptisms and attendance at worship services was in the high 90s. After moving to the new building in Jalan Perhentian, the attendance at worship services grew to 130.
In early 1973, a missionary work was started in BATANG BERJUNTAI, a rural township about 60 km north of Kuala Lumpur. About a dozen people (including the Santiago family) were baptised. However, the work was terminated when the Santiago family moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1975.
The Hearing-Impaired Ministry began in early 1973 when a hearing-impaired girl named Christina Lee came to attend Bible studies regularly with Judy Warpole and they communicated by exchanging notes scribbled on pieces of paper. Then Christina brought her colleagues and friends. It was therefore decided to start a hearing-impaired ministry using the proper sign language. Christina later brought her sister, Mary, brothers Anthony, Jimmy and Joseph as well as their mother, Lilly Lee who were later baptised and became members of the church. Except for Joseph and mother Lilly, the others were devoid of hearing. Joseph, who was proficient in the sign language, interpreted the lessons for the hearing-impaired during worship services and Bible studies.
SAM ROACH and his wife, RUTH, sponsored by the East Frayser Church of Christ of Memphis, Tennessee, USA, visited Kuala Lumpur from December 3, 1978. They stayed for three weeks to conduct a training programme each night to teach and train people in working with the hearing-impaired. During the day, Ruth taught beginners' sign language class while Sam taught a more advanced class for those who already knew the basics of sign language. Both hearing and hearing-impaired, Christians and non-Christians, attended these classes. During this time, Sam also conducted a gospel meeting for the hearing-impaired, preaching to both the hearing and the deaf. This resulted in three baptisms and two restorations.
The following year, Joseph left for England to pursue further studies. GARY LYE took over from Joseph until Gary moved to Johor Bahru a year later. This ministry is still ongoing, presently being co-ordinated by LIM BENG GUAN.
In mid-1973 Kin Fatt started a Chinese work to evangelize among the Chinese (non-English) speaking people. Kin Fatt conducted Bible studies and worship services in Mandarin/Cantonese dialects. For a start there were 5 members. This ministry is continuing and is presently being co-ordinated by SIOW SEE LIM.
During Kin Fatt's tenure, he also started the 'prison ministry' in 1974 which was as a result of the interest shown by a number of inmates of Pudu Prison to study the Bible through the Bible Correspondence Course. One of them (Anthony) was baptised and following that, official permission was obtained from the prison authorities to hold Bible classes in Pudu prison on Sunday evenings. The class grew to over 70 in attendance, and during the three years of the prison ministry, 14 were baptised. The ministry was discontinued due to the misbehaviour of these inmates and our inability to provide the proper physical help and counselling.
To fulfill the needs of the Tamil-speaking members (non-English), the Tamil ministry was started with 5 members in 1981. Worship services and Bible studies were conducted in the Tamil language under the guidance of M. A. Daniel who also did most of the preaching and teaching. With the passing of Daniel on September 2, 1998, ALFONSO ADAIKALAM, assisted by JAMES ADAIKALAM continued with the preaching duties of the Tamil congregation until mid-2001. Thereafter, RAJANDRAN, who graduated from the East Tennessee School of Preaching, U.S.A., took over that role of leading the Tamil work.
After Lau Kin Fatt became minister of the Petaling Jaya church, JAIRUS G. JOSEPH was appointed as minister of the Kuala Lumpur church in January 1983. He resigned in September 1985. ONG KOK BIN, a graduate of the National University of Singapore, was minister from December 1986 to July 1988. RICHARD LEE WEI FART, after attending the East Tennessee School of Preaching (USA) for one year, took over as minister from September 1989 until he relinquished his appointment in January 1991. ANTHONY SANTIAGO was acting minister for the period January 1991 to August 1991, after which he left for the United States to further his studies. MARK DEVAN then took over the position of minister from August 1991 until October 1992 when he proceeded to New Zealand to study at the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga. On his return from New Zealand in July 1995 he was re-appointed as minister until he resigned in December 1996.
Since that time, efforts have been made to find a suitable minister but they have not been successful until towards the end of 2002. Despite this, the work of the Lord's church has continued with undiminished zeal. We want to thank God for guiding the leadership and for the support of the members who have so willingly and faithfully carried out their assigned duties when called upon to serve.
Effective 1 January 2003, CHRISTOPHER LOPEZ joined us as full-time minister to help the KL church to fulfill the Great Commission. Again, we are grateful to God for sending his servant, Christopher, who is no stranger to most of us. He was a member of the Klang congregation and had served in various leadership capacities. Prior to working with us, Christopher last served as minister of the Subang Jaya church.
The church enjoyed the fellowship of the following expatriate brethren, who actively participated in her work during their stay in Kuala Lumpur:
Charlie CRAIN & family (1972-1975)
Vaughn & Violet YOUNG (1980-1983)
Lynn & Emma PRUITT & family (1981-1982)
Dex & Sandra FAIRBANKS & family (1985-1987)
Marvin & Sue TRICE (1986-1996)
Jack and Phylis FRAELICK (1986-1987)
Gary KITTLE (1991-1996)
Claudia BELTRAN & family (1995-1996)
Cameron & Reeda TRAW & family (1995-1997)
Jim & Jo ATHERTON (1999)
Curtis & Kim LANDRY (2000-2001)