A timeline of major milestones of Wesley throughout the 120 over years of history.

Early Years


Methodist Mission in Singapore was founded. Rev William Fritjames Oldham was appointed to head the work of the Methodist Church in Malaya. He arrived with Dr & Mrs James Thoburn and Miss Julia Battie. Weekly prayer meetings by the Oldhams held in a house in Wilkie Road. First Methodist Chapel built in Coleman Street.


7 February: First Methodist service of South-East Asia in the Town Hall (known today as Victoria Concert Hall) held. Dr Thoburn preached from Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord”. Regular services were held three times a week at the Town Hall and the Christian Institute which became the centre of Methodist work for a time. About 150 people attended.

13 February: 2nd Methodist meeting held at the Christian Institute. 15 probationary members of the first Methodist Church in Malaya were introduced.


The Methodist Church started a school (later to be known as Anglo-Chinese School).


A publishing house was set up in Selegie Road. It was named “The Amelia Bishop Press” after its donor. (Later known as the Methodist Publishing House, later as MPH.)


The Coleman Steet Church underwent renovations.


The Coleman Street Church went modern - old kerosene lamps were exchanged for new Welsbach gas burners.


Coleman Street Church hit a high note in the acquisition of a new organ.


The Methodist Hymnal was adopted for use in worship services.


The church at Coleman Street was sold to the expanding Anglo-Chinese School and the congregation moved, once again, to the Town Hall and the Short Street School for its services until the new church building was ready. The final plans were passed in August and construction began in October.


Singapore Government granted site of 38,000 sq ft at Fort Canning to build a new Church "for the English-speaking Methodist congregation". This was in appreciation of the Methodist Church’s work in missions and education. This generous gift of the ample and choice hillside site “on the Tanglin side of the Museum” marked the end of one chapter of the history of the church, which when relocated on Canning Rise, would henceforth be known by another name.

July: Final services were held at Coleman Street.


12 December: the cornerstone of new church building laid in wet weather by HE the Governor, Sir John Anderson. The English Episcopal Church was to be called Wesley Church upon its completion. The architect was Mr D Mcleod and the contractor was Mr Seah Tee.


The church building and manse were finally completed at the end of 1908. There it stood, a red brick building with its elegant tower in the English 14th century style, flanked by brilliant flame trees amidst the verdant green of the historic hillside.

The very first service was held on Christmas morning. The church doors were punctually opened at 8.30am by Mrs John Polglase on behalf of the congregation. Thereafter, the Doxology was sung before the congregation took their seats.


4 February: The formal dedication of the English Church was led by Bishop William Oldham.


Two memorial tablets were erected in memory of Merrill G Miller and Otto A Carlson in the west transept. The Church became known as Wesley Methodist Church.

Electric fans and lights installed.

Rev & Mrs Oechsli and their two-year old daughter arrived to take over pastoral-ship from W H B Urch.


May: A boy’s organisation known as the “Knights of the Holy Grail” was formed in connection with the Sunday School. There were 23 Members.


Rev T C Maxwell, pastor of Wesley Church resigns. Rev A J Amery & W T Cherry helped conducted Sunday services and administered the overall running of the church.

28 August: Rev C E Holman appointed pastor.

10 May: Renovation of parsonage.

2 October: A ladies society was started.


January/February: The Junior Epworth League was organised. This is the rallying point for Methodist youth, and was later renamed the “Methodist Youth Fellowship” after the war. First session of the Central Conference in Southeast Asia held at Wesley Methodist Church.


Plans to add a social hall adjacent to the church were fulfilled and the Wesley Hall as it was named, was used for meetings, conferences and variety concerts.

April 10: Wesley Church Hall dedicated.

The Church Hall erected and the morning service started by Rev H B Amstutz in May.

Women's Conference held its first meeting in Wesley Church Hall.

Dedication of memorial lamps donated in honour of various persons. The service was conducted by Rev H B Amstutz.


Series of 40 evangelical meetings was held by Dr. John Sung, turning back the tide on a growing trend of liberal theology. Chancel floor retiled. Old communion rails replaced in memory of Mrs O C Smalley, wife of the church treasurer. Teak pulpit and lectern donated by Mr Harry Bailey and new choir stalls were installed.


1 July: The church newsletter, “The Wesley Tidings” launched, together with the monthly radio transmissions of Sunday evening services.


Bishop W F Oldham called home.

5 November: The ladies Aid Annual Bazaar.

7 November: The new Hammond electric organ, first of its kind in Malaya was dedicated and used for the first time. Mrs Sylvia Barnes Thomas gave an organ recitial


Rev W H Meyers was appointed as Associate Pastor.

24 September: Wesley Sunday School annual picnic was held.

12 October: Mrs Marie Oldham, widow of Bishop F Oldham called home at the age of 83.

4 November: The Annual Bazaar was held at the Wesley Hall and Mrs Kenneth S Patton officiated at its opening.

9 December: The Annual Church meeting and Fourth Quarterly Conference was held at Wesley Hall.


1 July: The Bible on the lectern believed to be the largest sold by British & Foreign Bible Society donated by Mr F C Sands.

29 September: The Guild, now known as Methodist Fellowship was started.

17 December: Bishop & Mrs Edwin F Lee visited the church on Christmas Day.

The pastor, Rev Amstutz became editor of the Malaya Message.