Our History

Birthed by Missions:1959 - 1962

 

A local resident first asked CNEC* to start a church in his Chinese-speaking village along Bartley Road and in 1959, Bartley Road Christian Church began as a Chinese church in a shophouse at Jalan Rindu, just off Bartley Road.

 

Even though it was a Chinese church, the pastor noticed the English-speaking youths out and around the neighbourhood.  Constrained by language, he brought in several people to reach out to them, befriending them and organizing church activities like Vacation Bible School, Sunday School and Bartley Christian Youth Fellowship, all conducted in English.

About that time, Singapore was enjoying a wave of blessings as the gospel blazed through the nation, igniting passion especially among the youths.  Organizations such as Singapore Youth For Christ played a significant role in nurturing the young, including those in nearby schools like Bartley Secondary School and Cedar Girls' Secondary School.

Bartley Road Christian Church opened its premises for them to meet and as the youths grew in size and maturity, it wasn’t long before the seniors among them felt that the time had come to formally start their own church.  And it came to be.  On 1 July 1962 at 5pm, Bartley held its first English worship in the Jalan Rindu shophouse church.  All glory to God! 

 

*CNEC: China Native Evangelistic Crusade (when it first started and known later as Christian Nationals' Evangelism Commission) believed in raising up local people to lead their own people; the Chinese community reaching out to the Chinese.

The Tai Seng Story: 1964

A group of youths meeting in a jungle clearing in the Tai Seng area came to hear the gospel through their leader, a teen himself, who faithfully shared what he had learned at his gospel meetings each Saturday.  A pastor from the nearby CNEC church, Lorong Tai Seng Chapel, heard about this group and became acquainted with them. So, when heavy rain forced the youths out of their jungle clearing meeting space for the shelter of his church, he opened his doors to them, not just for that meeting but for subsequent weeks too.  To support this fledgling youth group, older English-speaking youths from Bartley crossed over to help disciple the younger youths.

The MacPherson Story: 1967

With the establishment of a new government housing estate in the MacPherson area, CNEC too started up a Chinese church in Block 37, Circuit Road – MacPherson Christian Church.  The pastor there was originally from Bartley and, like history repeating itself, he too noticed the English-speaking youths in his neighbourhood and wanted to reach out to them.  So, he invited the English-speaking youths from Bartley and Tai Seng to help set up an English ministry for the children and youths in MacPherson.

The Brighton Story: 1973

The Brighton story starts where the Tai Seng story ends. Thankfully, after the Lorong Tai Seng Chapel was forced to vacate its premises, a Christian lady offered her bungalow home along Brighton Avenue to those serving the Lord.  The only condition that she imposed was that there should be a service held in her home so that she could attend.  The home was offered to Bartley, and the Tai Seng youths happily shifted their activities there.  With the relocation to Brighton Avenue, the youth fellowship took on the name Brighton and those who joined from then on came to be known as Brighton youths. 

 

The St. Michael’s Story: 1975/76

One of the Bartley youths, led by the Holy Spirt, went to St. Michael’s estate, knocked on doors and shared the gospel from one house to the next.  Then one night, he had a dream that he was in St. Michael’s speaking to a few children under a big tree.  The next day, he went over there and amazingly saw not just a big tree, but children under the tree!  So, he shared the gospel with them and some of them received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  The Lord was good and led him to a family that was willing to open up their home for him and the children to hold their meetings so that the children would continue to be taught and raised to know God.  Later, the children were joined by teens and introduced to the bigger Bartley family.

 

Bartley United at 4 How Sun Drive: 1981

The English-speaking Bartley family continued to hold their Sunday School and Youth Fellowship meetings regularly on their own turf, be it at Bartley, Tai Seng, MacPherson, Brighton or St. Michael’s, but they would also come together for the weekly English worship service and at their annual church camps. Over time, the desire to have their own premises led them to search for a suitable place, pool their resources together and build a church of their own. In 1978, the Lord led them to 4 How Sun Drive – just a stone’s throw away from where the church had first started in Jalan Rindu! 

 

Bartley Christian Church formally incorporated itself on 10 July 1978 in order to buy the land and to start up the church both as a building and as an independent church organization. The building was completed in 1980 and commissioned in February 1981.

Today and beyond

 

2009-2010

On 28 Jun 2009, we moved into our newly completed building and had our first worship service with more than 1,000 worshippers in attendance.

In Dec 2009, we held our first Mandarin evangelistic live drama in our new auditorium.  Five shows were all sold out with an estimated 4,000 people stepping in through our main doors to watch the evangelistic drama on Kelvin Soh's life story.

On 27 Feb 2010, we had our church official opening.  The Guest of Honor was SM Goh Chok Tong.  There were many other community leaders present with MPs Seah Kian Peng and Lim Biow Chuan in attendance as well.  We launched the Pastor John Willis Missions Endowment Fund as well as a time capsule sealed by SM Goh and to be opened on the 100th Anniversary of Bartley Christian Church in July 2062.

In July 2010, we co-hosted the inaugural Global Consultations on Music & Missions (GCoMM) Asia conference.  Over a period of 4 days, missionaries & musicians from more than 30 nations stepped through our main doors to worship God in our modern auditorium. In the same month, we hosted the Streams of Praise Concert with the auditorium filled to capacity with extra seats needed.

Between 11-13 Dec 2010, we partnered with JES Media and hosted our first stage drama production, "Awaken". Based on the true life story of Kelvin Soh Say Min and directed by veteran director Chen Bang Yuan, the stellar cast included Nick Shen, Lina Ng, Huang YiLiang and Liu Shi Xuan. The Main Auditorium was packed over the 5-shows and saw over a 100 people giving their lives to Jesus Christ.

 

2011-2012

 

On 31 Jul 2011, we held our first ever Combined Service which included all the congregations in Bartley. For the first time, the English, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Nepali, Telugu and Indonesian congregation came together under one roof to celebrate and worship Jesus, the Hope of All Nations.

 

Between 11-13 Dec 2011, Bartley once again held our second stage drama production, "Restore". Based on the life of Olive Vine owner Judith Harlim, the Main Auditorium was transformed into a mini-theater was packed over the 4 shows. The audience were drawn in by the excellent portrayal by lead actress, Eelyn Kok. 

On 07 Jul 2012, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary in Bartley together with the leaders of the past. It was a beautiful reunion for many whom we have lost touch with. SP William Lee and Rev.Dr William Wan preached a message of restoration and God's faithfulness.

God has provided us with a new facility with sufficient seating capacity for us to expand our ministry in missions and evangelism.  It has also enabled us to bless other churches and para church organisations that have used our facility for their events.

Today you can hop onto an MRT train anywhere in Singapore, enjoy a swift, comfortable ride, alight at Bartley MRT Station, take Exit B and walk into our modern worship hall (fully equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment).

Looking Beyond 

God has been faithful to us all these years.  We look forward in faith and excitement as we see God unfold His plans for Bartley in the future.

BCC History Corrections

Information stated is based on the best recollections of the contributors. If there are errors that warrant correction, please email us at info@bartley.org.sg with “BCC History Corrections" in the subject title.

Our Affiliates

BFOC

 

Bartley Family of Churches (BFOC) comprises of four churches: Bartley Christian Church, RiverLife ChurchBrighton Community Church and Kingdom Community Church. Each church is independent and self-governing, coming together like an extended family.

We are more than an affiliation because of our shared history and heritage. It is ‘Bartley’ family of churches because Bartley Christian Church was the genesis of these churches. Bartley Christian Church planted RiverLife Church. Brighton Community Church came out from Bartley, whilst Kingdom Community Church originated from RiverLife Church.

We are an extended family of churches espousing the authentic, relational qualities of a Christ-centered, loving family. We seek to grow deeper and stronger as BFOC leaders intentionally build familial relationships with one another. We draw strength from each other in this extended family. We cover each other with prayers. We can seek the experience, counsel, and help of each other, and we can enjoy the voluntary sharing of resources.

Through BFOC, we demonstrate to church members and our next generation the way to lovingly walk together beyond our respective congregations in Bartley Christian Church, RiverLife Church, Brighton Community Church and Kingdom Community Church.

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St Luke's hospital

 

As a community hospital, St. Luke's Hospital provides

  • Quality and appropriate care for patients requiring longer inpatient stay but not requiring the high technology intervention of acute hospitals like Alexandra Hospital, Singapore General Hospital or National University Hospital.

  • A range of services to facilitate the patient's transition from acute hospital to community based services or home or final institution.

  • Necessary rehabilitation, medical and nursing care to help patients regain optimal independent living.