A Brief History of the Birth of Shalom
Even before Shalom started, God was already at work in laying the groundwork.
Two churches were instrumental in the birth of Shalom.
In 1976, Sembawang B-P Church graciously seconded one of their fulltime Bible college students to Grace B-P Church, at the latter’s overture. A young man, aged nineteen, by the name of Tan Choon Seng was sent to Grace B-P Church to help out as a student pastor.
God was good. He blessed Grace B-P Church and over the next few years the congregation continued to grow. The church premises became too small to accommodate the growing congregation and so the Session of Grace B-P Church commissioned a small group of brethren to start a new work in Changi, under the leadership of Pastor Tan.
On 6th September 1981, the pioneering group of twenty-two adults (and four children) gathered at St. George’s Chapel, which belonged to the military, for their first worship service.
The beginning years in Shalom were difficult. The location was very sparsely populated and almost deserted during weekends, as it was a military base. Pasir Ris New Town was non-existent then. In spite of our evangelistic efforts to the surrounding vicinity, extending even to Tampines New Town, growth was slow for a number of years. But by the grace of God, we persevered and continued to be faithful in our worship service and ministry.
In 1987, the military notified us that they wanted the return of the chapel for their own use. Forced by circumstances, we started to look for a place of worship which we could call our own.
God was good. He providentially led us to a private property at Jalan Loyang Besar, a 16,500 square feet vacant land, which we purchased for only $272,813!
We applied to the building authority for the change of use and to construct a church building. Praise the Lord, approval was granted. The building authority even insisted on the amalgamation of another 3,500 square feet of state land as part of the condition for granting the approval for change of use. What a blessing!
The total cost for the purchase of the land was $370,600, including the state land.
Preparation was underway for the construction of the church building. We had just slightly more than 50 members, of which a number were fulltime homemakers and students. In spite of our limited resources and manpower, God faithfully provided for all our needs. The whole building project costs $1,350,000 (including the purchase of the land). By God’s grace and enabling, members gave sacrificially. The Lord also led us to a finance company which not only extended a $500,000 loan to us, but they did not even ask for a guarantor or require any collateral for the loan! Praise the Lord!
Building construction began in 1989 and was completed within less than a year. We moved into the new premises in 1990.
In 2004, we embarked on the second phase of the church building extension project, which costs $1,850,000. Again, God was faithful to us. He enabled us to complete the project through the sacrificial giving of His people, and this time round without having to take a bank loan. Glory and praise be to the Lord!
With more facilities and additional space, the ministry in Shalom continues to grow and expand.
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad [Psalm 126:3].
To God be the Glory!