Thank the Lord’s grace that 60 years after the establishment of Klang Church, we have branched out to Botanic Church that is 10 kilometres away. The branching out was purely to do God’s will and to expand God’s tabernacle. It was not because Klang Church hall was overcrowded, not because of interpersonal issues, traffic congestion or other reasons. The congregation moved into the new Botanic Church in October 2016 and the Dedication Service was held on 31 December 2017. During the 2018 National Church Conference (NCC), Botanic Church was accorded the church status under the umbrella of the West Malaysia General Assembly of the True Jesus Church. The name of the Lord is exalted in the South Klang area through the expansion of pastoral and evangelical work.
The branching out project was carried out in gradual phases. From the time when the resolution to branch out was passed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Klang Church in 2007—the planning, design, fundraising, scouting for location, signing contracts, renovating, acquiring equipment until moving in—took 10 years. Subsequently, we gradually became independent from Klang mother church, initially through “soft landing” until we reached the point of sustaining our own operations. Thank the Lord, during this long process of branching out, the board members, brothers and sisters were of one heart. They willingly offered their talent, money and necessities; everything was completed harmoniously by talking things over. The Chinese characters, Bo Da Ning (博大宁), is the transliteration of the township name, Botanic. The church, converted from two double-storey shop lots, was purchased at the then price of RM 2.18 million. The renovation and furnishing cost approximately RM 800,000. The chapel on the ground floor can accommodate up to 150 people at full capacity attached with the interpretation, infants’ and audio-visual room, as well as a reception counter and a Bible rack at the entrance. On the first floor, there is a spacious dining area, kitchen and two dormitories with 10 bunk beds each, four classrooms for Religious Education (RE), a room for the preacher and a coffee bar.
The two churches in the Klang district are separated by the Klang River into the northern and southern area; Botanic Church lies on the southern side of the bank. Apart from the members of South Klang, there are also members living in Kota Kemuning, Rimbayu and Jenjarom. There are about 100 registered members, and the church board consists of seven members and three ministers. The ministers’ board is composed of Klang Church ministers and the resident preacher. Since the establishment of the church, Lord Jesus has personally brought back several lost sheep, there are also truth-seekers joining services and some were baptized into the Lord’s fold. Botanic Church members mostly consist of young families with many children who are still pursuing their studies, including those in tertiary education. Therefore, the church is full of vitality and the divine work is active. Apart from the night service on Wednesdays and Fridays, there are also services on Sabbath morning and afternoon. After service, there are Bible Study and RE classes, and after dinner, there are Youth Service and choir practice. The church also conducts truth-seeking classes when needed and goes for family-visiting every Tuesday night.
Since the establishment of Botanic Church, other than our usual schedule for Spiritual Meeting, Evangelistic Service, church-visiting and so on, we alongside Klang Church also hold Chinese New Year reunion dinner and house visiting (these two programmes are listed as annual must-have joint activities; an agreement made when we branched out to maintain the bond between the two churches). The church has also received several visiting groups from overseas, and hosted several regional events, seminars, meetings and activities. Brethren willingly and joyfully participated, serving fervently, manifesting the spirit of oneness, and feeling the warmth of family members.
As the church was growing steadily after branching out for three years, unexpectedly the worldwide pandemic, COVID-19, in early 2020 has restriction on physical services and fellowship activities at the church. Nevertheless, worship activities did not stop because of this, but carried out online instead. Members attend online services at home, keep the Sabbath online, and join the online Bible Study. The Youth Service is held online, children attend their RE classes online, even choir practices are online, and ministers and board members visit members virtually. The Year-end Thanksgiving Service, AGM, Combined Spiritual Meeting with Klang Church were held online as scheduled. It is worth mentioning that a resolution was passed at the 2021 AGM to establish a fund for further expansion projects.
As of July 2021, the pandemic shows no signs of easing. We pray that the Lord grant us grace and mercy to keep and preserve His people, and be able to face various challenges with strong faith. In the absence of physical services, brethren can draw even nearer to God through the spiritual nurture life of praying, reading the Bible and joining online services. May the Lord grant His grace and blessings upon Botanic Church. Amen.