Methodist Church, Upper Myanmar
The Methodist mission began in Upper Myanmar (formerly Upper Burma) in 1887, by the British Methodist Missionary Society. The basis was Mandalay. From there Methodism spread not only in the plains but also to the hill region. The Methodist Church (Upper Myanmar) became an autonomous church in 1964 because the government did not allow foreign missionaries to stay in the country. The Centenary thanks-giving service was celebrated in 1987. The missionaries had established a Bible training school which became the Theological Training Institution in 1937. The TTI was changed to Myanmar Theological College (MTC) in 1987 and was upgraded to offer a degree programme. The college is approaching its 75th jubilee in 2012, and is aiming at beginning an MD programme on that occasion. The church founded another college in Tahan District called Tahan Institute of Theology, which is affiliated with MTC.
The Methodist Church has gone through hardship and great distress during the past years but the storms are over and all the districts are doing their best to grow and strengthen the Christian community. The Tahan District established a clinic in 1987 where there are now 103 workers. A new branch was opened in 2004 in Letpanchaung District. The clinic conducts a "Community Sick Helper training" one-year course and training for HIV/AIDS care and counselling.
By the grace of God, the Methodist Church, Upper Myanmar is planning to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2012.