In the name of our Lord Jesus, I share the history of the Butterworth church. First and foremost, I would like to give all thanks and praises to our one true God – Jesus Christ for establishing the Butterworth church which belongs to Him.
In 1989, Butterworth church started with home services which comprised of five believers from two families. Then in 1994, Sister Wu rented a meeting room at her workplace for worship service up until she moved away, then the worship centre was shifted to a conference room at the Berlin Hotel. There were three families with approximately 10 believers who gathered for services. Thank God for His guidance that throughout the services in the hotel conference room, they were able to carry out evangelistic services and there were several friends and families who came to listen to the gospel.
The worship services held at the hotel conference room continued for several years. At that time, church services and divine work were mainly assisted by resident preachers, as well as the ministers from Penang and Sungai Petani church. Due to the shortage of divine workers, Butterworth church could only have two services a month, and they were held on Sunday nights. Moreover, due to the lack of hardware and equipment, they encountered many inconveniences in holding various church programs and religious education classes. Therefore, the preacher at that time suggested to find a suitable place for Butterworth believers to hold their services. However, since the number of Butterworth believers was only about ten at that time, and there was insufficient fund to buy a church building; henceforth, the believers started praying for God’s guidance in searching for a new worship place. Thank God that after the General Assembly of Malaysia came to know about Butterworth members’ needs, they provided them great assistance and funding. The Northern Region Executive Committee and Butterworth believers then began to search for a suitable place in Butterworth area.
Thank God for His guidance. In 2002, a new shop lot was purchased in Bagan Ajam Butterworth to be used as the new worship centre. The total cost of purchase and renovation was RM170,000. The fund came from the donation by the General Assembly of Malaysia, churches nationwide and Butterworth believers. At that time, they purchased only the first floor of the shop lot, with a space of about 20 x 70 square feet. As space was limited, it was not easy to design each space. After discussion with the Building Committee, the church was renovated into a hall with a seating capacity of 40 people, a religious education classroom and a small kitchen.
In 2003, during the National Church Board Meeting, the Butterworth worship centre was accepted as a prayer house. Thank our Lord Jesus, that after the renovation, the very first Sabbath service was held at the new prayer house in March 2004. Butterworth prayer house held Sabbath service every week and almost all the believers gathered to keep the Sabbath. After a while, they also started Friday night service. After more than a year of worship, the new church building was dedicated to our Lord on September 4, 2005. At that time, there were about 30 believers including truth-seekers.
In 2006, we received a notice from the General Assembly of Sabah that some Sabahan brethren were working in Butterworth. The preachers and ministers began contacting these Sabahan brothers and sisters at that time. Thank the Lord, after a period of pastoral care, these Sabahan brethren came to church to attend the Year-End Thanksgiving service in 2006. There were about 10 of them. Since then, the Sabahan brethen began to worship at Butterworth prayer house regularly. However, as they did not have their own means of transportation, Penang Church decided to sell her van to Butterworth prayer house. This solved the problem of transportation faced by the Sabahan brethren in attending services. Since the Sabahan brethren joined the services, the church needed help from brothers and sisters who could interpret the sermons into Malay and to teach religious education classes in Malay. Thank the Lord, over the years, brothers and sisters from Penang and Bayan Baru church have been coming to help in this area of divine work. We are grateful for all their contributions for Butterworth prayer house. May the Lord remember their labour.
From time to time, brethren from Sabah would come to Butterworth to work, get married and even settle down to establish their families. For those who had settled down here, their memberships were transferred to the list of believers at Butterworth Prayer House. Thank the Lord, six years later, in the proposal of the 64th National Church Board Meeting conducted in 2011, Butterworth prayer house was approved to be listed as a church. At present, Butterworth church has six Chinese family units, around seven Sabahan family units, and many unmarried Sabahan brothers and sisters working here. The total number of believers in Butterworth church is 43.
Thank the Lord for His guidance during these 20 over years. From a beginning of home service to today’s worship in the church, all these are out of God’s abundant grace and blessing. May the almighty hand of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to lead Butterworth church. Through the moving of the Holy Spirit and co-workers, may the believers continue to be stirred up in serving the Lord faithfully, and work together to spread the gospel throughout Butterworth area, so that more people can hear the complete salvation gospel of the True Jesus Church. Finally, we ascribe all thanks, glory and praises to our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven forever and ever. Amen.