Members of the Johor Bahru Church rejoiced when the renovation works for the Stulang Laut church building was completed in year 1998. However, for members who live further up north in Skudai, Senai and Kulai, it was still a race against traffic and time for every Sabbath service. Thus, for the convenience of members and recognizing the potential for evangelism in the densely populated area, the Johor Bahru Church executive committee decided to purchase a building in the area to establish a new church.
An extensive search ended in May 2000 with the purchase of a double storey terrace shophouse along the main Skudai road. A quick and basic renovation was done to equip the building for services. The first Wednesday service was then held in March 2001, attended by about 20 members.
In 2002, to encourage more members to attend Friday evening services, the evening Sabbath service at this Skudai location was started. The inaugural service was attended by about 25 members.
In 2004, plans were made to formally establish the church in Skudai by making more extensive renovation. However, as property prices had dropped, the executive committee decided to explore the idea of purchasing a plot of land and building the church on it instead. However, a detailed search for a suitable property along Jalan Skudai up to Senai was unsuccessful.
Hence, a renovation plan was finally drawn up in 2007. The renovation work started in November 2007 and was completed in March 2008.
The first evangelistic service was held in the new chapel in June 2008. The first Sabbath afternoon worship commenced in July. The Church was then dedicated to our Lord during the Spiritual Meeting on 8-10th August 2008.
Ten years had passed since, like a twinkling of the eyes. Season came and went, generations alike. God’s Spirit worked quietly within men’s life. We hold on to the belief that all things work together for the benefits of those who love Him. We continue to believe that He will see us through in this ever-changing era, preserving us right on the path of salvation.
Within the period, more and more outstation members have moved to Skudai area to look for a living. Some of them have settled in the area too. There were more truth-seekers attending church services. The membership has grown from 40 to 60, 70 and now 90. It seems the old 22 X 65 feet facility could not accommodate this multitude any longer. The situation outside the church building was similar. It was getting crowded with traffic. Members often faced difficulty in finding parking lots. Though it was still bearable at that time, there was an urge to have a foresight plan.
Then sometime in late 2014, an EXCO member raised the suggestion to have a new church building. We then started to scout around the Skudai area. Places like Taman University, Kempas, Taman Impian Emas were considered. In the end, we targeted a newly developed row of shop office within Taman Impian Emas. The immediate hindrance seemed to be the huge financial burden. The building costs RM1.86 million in total for two lots, each measuring 24 X 80 feet. It is quite a hill to climb for a small church with only 60 members. To finance the project, a loan was needed. However, the amount and length of loan repayment proved to be tough. In fact, the more challenging obstacle was that there was no consensus reached among the EXCO members and the residential preacher, whether it was the right time to carry on with this project. After some discussion, debates, and rationalization, we reached to a common understanding and agreed unanimously to proceed with the project.
The almighty God works quietly again. He moved a sister who in turn related this project to her parents. Things got going smoothly from then onwards. A sum of RM500,000 contribution was received almost immediately. Amazingly, this came along with a proposal to acquire our present church premise with the price of RM500,000! Not only that, but he also allowed us to continue using the premise for worship until the new project was completed. This had provided a lot of convenience to the Church.
At that time, the church fund was only approximately RM170,000. Thus, there was still a big gap to fill. Our Lord God provided again the revenue by moving three members, each providing RM200,000 as interest-free loan to the church. Later, one of these three members had turned her loan into contribution! Our Singapore brethren also contributed approximately RM124,000. Furthermore, our Malaysian churches also participated in this project with financial support. We now have the cash to purchase the building. In the meantime, our members continued to contribute wholeheartedly.
The next challenge was the renovation work. The project was tendered out and thanked God, we made our choice of contractor with a contract value of RM690,000. A team of Project committee was formed to oversee the construction work. We then started to plan for the purchase of necessary equipment needed when the building is ready to be handed over to us. The required sum was about. RM200,000. Again, we see the Spirit of our Lord God working mightily among our members. A member had contributed his one-year salary! There were more members contributed willingly, either in material or monetary form. We indeed did not lack in anything. The renovation was completed in June 2017 and the premise was first used on 23rd June. We managed to hold the first South Southern Region Spiritual Meeting in October,2017.
When we look back, the high hill that used to hinder us has now disappeared. Money was not the main issue, but common understanding was. When we reached the consensus, we earned the presence of God to work with us. There are more challenges way forward, be it in pastoring or evangelism, which requires tender loving care approach to ensure success. May the Lord God continue to bestow us with knowledge and wisdom to accomplish His will.