Methodist Church in Singapore
The Methodist Church in Singapore derives its beginnings from a missionary initiative of the South India Conference (Methodist) in 1885. The mission and its first English-language school were established in 1886. Thereafter the mission spread rapidly to the main towns of the Malayan Peninsula and Sarawak, were churches and schools were twinned. Like most other missions, the Methodist Mission in Singapore and Malaya expanded and matured - first becoming a conference, then conferences spanning South-East Asia, and the establishment of the South-East Asian Central Conference in 1950. The Malaysian and Singapore components became autonomous in 1968, and thus became an Asian church with a bishop elected from amongst its ministers. In 1976, the process was repeated when it was restructured into the Methodist Church in Singapore, and Malaysia, respectively.
The Methodist Church in Singapore is organized as a general conference composed of three annual conferences, i.e. the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC) and Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC). It is the largest Protestant denomination in Singapore. There are 15 schools - 13 primary and secondary schools, one junior college, and one school of music. The schools together have more than 22,000 students and 1,200 faculty.
The church has made a significant contribution to the nation. The 2000 census revealed that among those who get a university education, 33.5 per cent are Christians. Many national and community leaders are Christians. The MCS is also actively involved in helping the needy through its social arm, the Methodist Welfare Services (MWS). MWS runs 13 social service hubs, among them the Bethany Methodist Nursing Home. This home can accommodate 279 residents and has day-care facilities for 30 frail elderly.
The MCS also contributes to the needs in the region through its mission arm, the Methodist Missions Society (MMS), by planting churches and running schools, orphanages, women's shelters and clinics. MMS has a presence in Cambodia, China, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.
A member of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, the MCS also maintains close relations with the United Methodist Church in the USA, the Methodist Church in Britain, the Methodist Church in Indonesia, the Methodist Church in Malaysia and other Asian Methodist churches. The MCS is a founding member of the Asian Methodist Council (AMC), which was established in Seoul, South Korea, in June 2002. With its establishment, Asian Methodists have a common platform to do mission work and a voice in world forums.