THE history of the Tamil Methodist Church goes back to 1896 when a group of youths met in their homes to conduct prayer meetings and bible study.
During these meetings, the topic to set up a community church was broached a few times and this finally led to the establishment of the Kuala Lumpur Episcopal Tamil Church (renamed the Tamil Methodist Church Kuala Lumpur).
In June 18, 1897, a land was obtained from the Government for a church building at Malacca Street.
Today, Jalan Melaka is a part of Jalan Ampang and is now the address of Bank Muamalat.
According to Pastor Clarance, the place was often described as “dodgy and dingy” back then as was quite often referred to like a cowboy town.
In September 1899, the cornerstone of the Methodist Tamil Church was laid by the British Resident Conway Belfield.
Pastor Samuel Abraham who served as the headmaster of the Anglo Tamil School also doubled up as the pastor part time.
In 1904, Abraham was freed from school work and became full time pastor of the Tamil church.
The congregation increased in number and the membership consisted of the 61 full members, 18, probationers and 21 baptised children.
The church continued to grow and soon became the centre of both religious and social activities, reaching out to society through the Sunday school, Junior League, Ladies Aid Society, prayer meetings in homes and Sunday worship services.
Special services were significant during Christmas, and carolling was one of their notable activities.
The carollers would travel by lorry everywhere. One year, the lorry was decorated as a ship and named, S.S. Emmanuel.
In 1960, the Government requested for the land back and provided a new alternative site at Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad in Brickfields.
The foundation stone for the new church was laid by the then Reverend S.S. Pakianathan on Jan 22, 1961.
The final service at Malacca Street was held on Sunday, April 16, 1961.
The land in Malacca Street was sold for RM210, 700 to the United Commercial Bank Limited, Kuala Lumpur.
Today, Menara Bank Muamalat (formerly Bank Bumiputra) is located where the old church once stood.