In 1913 when the Rajah Brooke saw the Henghuas struggling with floods and the peat swamps he was compassionate about the situation and gave them 30 acres of land in the hills. Out of the hills behind the Sg. Merah bazaar the Heng Hua Church was founded. It was named Tien Dao Tong. The Church of Heavenly Message. This Church will be celebrating its Centenary this year.
|The Newly build Church with a beautiful facade.|
the Japanese dropped two bombs next to the Church. The bomb site can still be seen today. Remarkably no trees can ever grow in this site. As you drive from Sg. Merah towards the Cemetery areas you will see on your left a clearing. That's the evidence of the bombing of 1942.
In spite of the bombings the congregation continued to work hard especially Rev Yao to help all those in need. Rev Ho Siew Liong (a Heng Hua scholar and author) was one of the most hardworking pastors serving the Henghuas at Tien Dao Tong and also the Sing Ang Tong. Rev Ho spoke Heng Hua and Foocow equally well.
The Church was billeted by the Japanese as it was the best building in the area.
Later when the Allied came more bombs were dropped and the Church was damaged.
After the war Rev Ho Siew Liong was appointed Pastor in charge as well as Principal of the Tiong Hin Secondary School. For many years in the 1950's pastors were both Principals and Pastors in charge of the Methodist churches and the schools next to them!! This was later changed by the Malaysian government.
|The Centennial Invitation Card|
In 1948 the first concrete church building was put up as more Heng Huas had prospered in their business.
|This is the bare field in which no trees can grow. The bombs and whatever metallic contamination they brought caused this land to be barren of trees. Only simple ferns and grasses can grow here.|
the Tien Dao Church is not only a symbol of Heng Hua community's hardwork and strong beliefs but a result of strong collaboration with the Foochows in good work to promote Methodism and education.