More than a decade has passed since the inauguration of Berith Bible-Presbyterian Church. Looking back, we thank God for His faithfulness in sustaining our church in her Gospel ministry. Like the Psalmist, we declare with thankful hearts, “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Ps. 126: 3).
Berith – a reminder of God’s faithfulness
Our name, “Berith” meaning “covenant” in Hebrew, was chosen to remind us of God’s faithfulness. The underlying principle in any covenant God made with man is the divine grace and faithfulness of Jehovah. It is our desire to testify that the Lord is ever true to His promises. We echo the words of the Psalmist, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant” (Ps. 25: 14).
Berith started “unofficially” with a small congregation at the Salvation Army Headquarters at Changi on 9th July 2000. There were about twenty worshippers including six children. We rented a meeting hall for the worship service. The Sunday School was held in the corridor area.
As we had no access to cupboards or lockers for storage, we had to bring the portable keyboard and hymnbooks to church each Sunday and back again. We kept the keyboard and hymnbooks in the boot of a kind member’s car. He faithfully ferried them to and from church each week. It was not an easy time but the Lord sustained us.
Due to financial constraints, we had to move after a few months. Some kind brethren from Faith Mission Home, an independent church in Lorong 11 Geylang, condescended to our request to use their premises for our worship service.
After some months, we moved to a two-storey semi-detached unit at Lorong 25A Geylang which belongs to Eden B-P Church. Its location, directly opposite Aljunied MRT station, was very convenient. Eden’s leadership was very kind to allow us the use of both the ground floor sanctuary as well as two rooms upstairs for our Sunday School. Several neighbourhood children joined our Sunday School and the attendance registered a marked increase. After the service, the children had fun playing games in the church’s outdoor compound.
When Eden B-P Church needed the premises because of their growing membership, the Lord provided another place along the east coast – the premises of Grace B-P Church – just across the road from Bedok Army Camp. When we first came to Grace, one of our members responded excitedly: “This is the first time we have real wooden pews!”
Meanwhile, the Lord had been working to allow us to reach a congregation number acceptable for registration as a legal entity. In December 2006, we submitted our formal documents to both the Registrar of Societies and the Commissioner of Charities, Singapore for registration.
In mid-May 2007, Berith was officially gazetted as a church under the Registrar of Societies. Thank God for enabling us to fulfil all righteousness and to meet the necessary legal requirements so that our ministry can continue unhindered. Truly, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we have been so blessed.
Move to current premises
After about six years, we were told by Grace’s Session of their renovation plans. This meant that we would need to find an alternative place of worship.
Again, we prayed and sought the Lord’s provision. Surely, our merciful God Who had so faithfully met our need each time, would not fail us now. I spoke to a pastor friend who told us about our current premises, which is owned by the Graduate Christian Fellowship/Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
We thank God for providing us with a central location in the heart of town. We have been meeting here since June 2011. With the premises vacant in the morning, we were able to hold morning services – something we had wanted to do since the church started.
Though we may not meet in a proper church building with a sanctuary and lined pews, we are happy to gather wherever the Lord has placed us. What is important is our heart attitude as we worship God. Remember Jesus’ answer to the Samaritan woman: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4: 24).
Brethren, it is a great joy to recount the Lord’s faithful dealings with us as a church. Praise God for what we can do for Him by His grace. Let us put our hands to the work that He has entrusted to us. Give of our best to the Master: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3: 23-24). May we labour faithfully and persevere on till our Saviour returns for us. Amen.