Shekinah Harvest Church celebrates 10 years of ministry.
Contributed By Lee Wei Fang
On Saturday, June 18, Shekinah Harvest Church, an affiliate of City Harvest Church, held a celebratory service to mark their 10th year of existence. The service was held at the church’s premises at Playfair Road, in a space rented by SHC since 2009. The church is pastored by Sim Chee Teck and his wife, Serene.
On this big day, SHC pulled in 156 attendees, more than double their membership. Churchgoers were evidently excited about the event—the hall and café area were beautifully decorated, spotlessly clean, and a display of the church’s yearly achievements over the decade were spread across the café wall. Members were dressed sharply, and the friendly ushers greeted every visitor with ready smiles and warm handshakes.
The celebratory service was packed with a variety of programs, unfolded by host Zech Lin, 22, a very enthusiastic youth member. A graduate from the 2010 cohort of CHC’s School Of Theology, Lin has been a member of SHC for the past three years. On what he feels about the church, Lin said, “I have found a home in this church. After three years here, God has never shortchanged me. The people in SHC are great and awesome, all glory to God!”
The service opened with a series of congratulatory greetings from other CHC affiliate churches. Close friends of the church who extended their congratulations included pastors Saras and Felina Bany from CHC Penang, George Tiong from CHC Kuching, and David Ngu from CHC Fellowship, Sibu. Special guests who graced the evening’s celebrations include spiritual mentors Kong Hee, senior pastor of CHC and Tan Ye Peng, deputy senior pastor of CHC.
The music team, comprised entirely of youths, led the congregation in a vibrant time of praise and worship as the service began. Young and old came together and worshipped with one voice, and the members’ love for God could be evidently seen and heard.
One of the highlights of the evening was a high-energy performance by Radiator, the children’s band. The four-member band had practiced for months in preparation for their performance, and delivered an upbeat praise song “Shine Like Stars,” much to the delight of the congregation. Other performances of the evening included a dance routine by five youths, and a song performance by youth group, CRA5E. The creative and talented performers put their best foot forward, using their talents to bless the church on this special occasion.
GIVING GLORY TO GOD
The service was not just fun and laughter, but was also deeply meaningful. Two members of the church shared their testimonies of how their lives have been greatly impacted through the ministry of the church.
Barnabas Heng, 22, a member of the church, shared a moving testimony of how God healed him of depression and emotional hurts and gave him a new lease of life in SHC. Heng recalled, “The first day I came to church, Pastor Sim was very kind to me and treated me to dinner even though we had only just met. That was the first time someone ever bought me a meal! Looking back, it is really the love of the church and the leaders that has changed me. The teachings have enabled me to know the Word of God more, and I have become closer to God. Pastor Serene challenged me to forsake all my destructive activities, and I did. From being down-and-out, I have grown, and now know what is the path I need to take in life.”
Heng’s story is just one among many within the church. Another member, Ben Chan, 21, student, who has been in SHC for the past seven years, shared, “Before joining SHC, I used to perform badly in school and failed my exams. After joining the church and getting to know God, I improved in my studies and eventually passed all my subjects at O-levels. I am currently doing my final year in a polytechnic.”
During the service, Sim took the opportunity to thank his family, fellow pioneer church leaders, and his father, for the impact they have made in his life. He presented gifts to all of them, showing his heart-felt appreciation. To the spiritual mentors of the church, Kong and Tan, Sim presented plaques to honor their contributions.
Tan was the guest speaker for the evening and delivered a timely message on the importance of working with the Holy Spirit in building the church. Teaching out of Acts 2, Tan shared, “When the Holy Spirit is in your midst, people will be amazed by the church, just like what happened on the Day of Pentecost. Continue to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and let SHC be a church for all man!” Tan’s word was readily received by the congregation, and faith intermingled with full hearts as the church prayed for a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit.
Kong then prayed for Sim and his family, as well as the church leaders. The air was filled with an atmosphere of faith, and the members prayed together for their leaders with one accord.
Sim shared with City News about his vision for SHC in the next decade. “My vision for the church is to start a Bible school, strengthen the pillars of the church, and also do more community service. At the same time, we want to continue to stay true to our core beliefs—making SHC a place where we belong, leaving no man behind, and with happy people.”
At A Glance
2001: Shekinah Harvest Church began as a house ministry, then known as Shekinah Place. The group quickly matured under the capable leadership of Sim.
2003: SHC was recognized under the Registry of Societies as an official church.
2005: SHC outgrew its premises and moved to Acts Lifestyle at China Square Central. The church grew to 60 members, mainly adults. Leadership began to pray for more youth. They attended CHC’s Emerge Conference in June and began training the young people in areas such as music.
2008-2009: SHC secured its largest premises at Playfair Road, with a 150-seating capacity, facilities for pastoral and administrative offices, a café lounge area, and a children’s-cum-overflow room.
2009: SHC became an affiliate church of CHC. They also reached their highest recorded attendance of 242 during their Christmas celebration.
2010: Sim and some church leaders attended the Ministry Training School’s Trainers’ Course at Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest church in the world founded by Yonggi Cho.
2010: SHC is frequently involved in community service, having ministered to the elderly, youth-at-risk, the disabled, the orphanage, and also prison inmates. Though a relatively young church, SHC’s reach in the community sector sends a strong message that it truly cares about people’s lives.
2011: SHC launched its own Bible program in May, patterned after the one at Yoido Full Gospel Church. The program trains believers in spiritual disciplines, such as prayer and study of the Word.