The Bible mission in Singapore has always involved the local Church since its inception in 1823. These partnerships were formalised and strengthened when the Bible Society of Singapore was officially registered in 1970, following the country’s independence.
From its beginnings, the Bible Society enjoyed a close relationship with the Methodist Church. Its first president, Rev Khoo Siaw Hua, was a senior pastor at the Chinese Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. When the society was drafting its constitution, the Methodist Bishop was invited to oversee it as an advisor, and the conference presidents were also invited to the society’s advisory panel and executive committee. The Methodist Church also recognised the Bible Society as an official mission agency, inviting them to submit Bible mission reports annually.
As the Bible mission grew, so did the partnership with each conference. The Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference jointly organised events with the Bible Society, and its leaders were crucial in developing a strategy for Tamil Bible printing. The Trinity Annual Conference played an instrumental role in the Bible House rebuilding project in 2008, providing a significant amount of support. The Chinese Annual Conference committed its churches to hold Bible Society Sundays in June, and strongly supported the Revised Chinese Union Version Bible, a Bible Society project.
The relationship between the Bible Society and the Methodist Church will surely endure for many years to come. May the Bible mission continue to garner more support from the whole Christian community in Singapore!
Written by Rev James Seow, a retired Senior Pastor in the Methodist Church in Singapore, and Vice President of the Bible Society’s Executive Committee.