Amazing Grace Presbyterian Church began as an English Service of Holy Grace Presbyterian Church, a predominantly Hainanese-speaking church. Our humble beginnings can be traced back to 1978 when Holy Grace Presbyterian Church observed a “Year of Dedication” and set apart about 20 people who met weekly as an English service.
Our earliest ministers were the late Dr. Frank Balchin and his wife, Ivy Balchin, both missionaries from England who taught in English as well as in Hokkien and Hainanese dialects. Other early labourers of this English Service included Rocky Lim and Dr. Tham Ngiap Boo who served as elders, Wendy Wee and her husband Ronald Ch’ng as preachers, and Brother Andrew Yeo as a bible study leader.
By God’s grace, the next 18 years saw the church organized into a full fledged congregation. Although without a pastor for over two years after Ronald and Wendy left, we were taught God’s truths by godly lecturers from Bible Schools such as TTC (Trinity Theological College), SBC (Singapore Bible College) and BGST (Biblical Graduate School of Theology). Mrs. Myrna Chan was also instrumental in starting a choir ministry that contributed to the education in music and worship of our members.
In Oct 1992, Preacher Steven Gan joined us as a Pastor while Sister Joyce Koh became our Church Administrator in Oct 1993. Soon after, the church partnered Myanmar Youth for Christ and embarked upon our first mission outreach. This would later develop into an on-going bible training (using DLTP materials) for pastors and church leaders in Myanmar with other partnering churches (known as MMPC). Our work in mission also expanded into China, Indonesia and Cambodia.
As we became self-governing, self-supporting and self-witnessing, two major challenges tested our faith and trust in God’s provision and direction:
i) We ordained Rev Steven Gan as our first minister on 1st May 1995. Then in 1996, Holy Grace Presbyterian Church encouraged us to register as a separate accountable entity with the English Presbytery. Amazing Grace Presbyterian Church was born on 24 Aug 1996. The following year, Preacher Carrie Chan joined the pastoral team and Elder Yong Teck Meng was installed as our lay preacher. In 1999, Yong Pin Yoon and his wife Susie left for Davao, Philippines, sent by the church as support staff of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
ii) In 2001, the leadership made a joint decision with Holy Grace Presbyterian Church to rebuild the bungalow premises we had outgrown. Rebuilding would take 18 months and $5 million, with our congregation bearing half the cost ($2.5 million). In the meantime, we relocated to Changi Bethany Presbyterian Church at Upper Changi Road East and rescheduled our worship services to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Membership dropped to an all time low of about 160 people from 250. As we could also no longer send our children to Holy Grace’s Children’s Sunday School, we started our own Children’s Ministry.
By God’s grace, our dedicated team of Pastors, Elders, Deacons and lay leaders worked hard and steered the congregation through the 18 months in the ‘wilderness’. In May 2003, we moved into a new church building with two sanctuaries, a multi-purpose hall and over 20 rooms to accommodate staff and kindergarten operations.
In obedience to Jesus’ command that we be the salt and the light of the world, we formed Filos Community Services in July 2004. Filos would serve as the local social service arm of the church working directly with community partners, schools, families, elderly, children and needy youths.
God continued to lead and bless His church by adding more staff to our team: Mrs. Maggie Gan as our Music & Choir Director; Elder Rocky Lim as our Pastoral Assistant, and Sister Audrey Foo as our second Administrative Staff.
Today, we have about 500 members and we stand together as ‘His people, living for His purpose to bring Him greater glory’. We want to remain anchored in God’s Word and to be faithful to our calling as witnesses of Jesus Christ. May God continue to use us as His instruments to make disciples of Jesus Christ.