Protestant Church in Sabah
(Gereja Protestan di Sabah)
The roots of the Protestant Church in Sabah go back to German missionary work in Kudat in the beginning of the 20th century. But the PCS was founded in 1952 when the Basel Mission began to work among the Rungus people. The first converts were baptized in December 1952. In the years following, several villages embraced Christianity. Meetings of the headmen of the tribes were organized in order to facilitate evangelization. Another important factor was the training of lay people, not only biblical teaching but also language (Malay) and mathematics. The number of persons following the training was small but grew steadily. Gradually the Momogun people (one of the Rungus tribes) began to respond to the gospel. They noticed the difference between their way of life and that of the missionaries and the converts. They saw that the Christians among them were no longer bound by the traditional fears of evil spirits and other superstitions. Many sought to embrace the new faith. Today a truly indigenous church, the PCS consists of many indigenous tribes such as Rungus, Tobonuvo, Kimaragang, Garo and others. It has a Bible seminary with a four-year course for the training of pastors and a Bible school for shorter courses of one or two years. Since 1976 more than 200 people have been trained but not all serve full-time in the church.
In 1965 the constitution of the church was drafted and in 1967 it received official approval by the Basel Mission and the government of Malaysia. With the departure of the foreign missionaries in 1973, the Basel Christian Church in Malaysia (BCCM) came to support the church, and contacts were established with other Malaysian churches. From 1996, the PCS began to establish local congregations in the Peninsula (Western Malaysia) as well as in Singapore. It has also developed relationships with sister churches in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.
The PCS acknowledges the holy scriptures - namely the Old and New Testaments - as the only basis of faith, with the Apostles' Creed as the safeguard of the faith. Each member is urged to take up the responsibility of proclaiming the gospel and witnessing to Christ.