In December 1962, the members of Canning Garden Baptist Church were already meeting in an outreach at 44, Jalan Lee KweeFoh, Canning Garden. Initially it was called Canning Garden Baptist Chapel which later was renamed to Canning Garden Baptist Centre. The outreach work was supported by Ipoh Baptist Church which eventually was passed over to the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board of America when they no longer were able to do so.
We are most grateful to those who have pioneered this work namely our first foreign pastor, Pastor Harold Clarke and his wife Ann who were missionaries from the American Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (SBFMB) and also to Mr Lau Chin Khean, Mrs Amelia Lam and Mrs Paul Leong.
We thanked the Lord for the rich heritage of foreign pastors from 1967 to 1974.
The pioneer pastor, Pastor Clarke is still remembered as a pastor for his love and untiring ministry to the children and the youth. By September 1969, the Clarkes had returned to USA. He was replaced by Pastor Ray Frye and his wife, Kathy. In 1971 when the Fryes had to return to USA, Pastor Jack Shelby succeeded him as a pastor until 1974.
- The existing building of Canning Garden Baptist Church was dedicated on 19 November 1967.
- But before this building was built, there were a group of them who had already been meeting in a shophouse opposite the existing building.
It was in 1974, Tadika Baptist came into existent with 20 students. The kindergarten took in students from 3 years to 6 years old.
Pastor Abraham Gan became our first local pastor in 1974 until 1975. From 1975 to 1979, there were no pastors to shepherd the church. Outside speakers were invited to speak and assist in the work. Among them was Richard Chung, a student from the Baptist Theological Seminary who became our pastor in 1981.
It was under Pastor Richard Chung, we saw the beginning of the charismatic movement, the thriving youth ministry and the establishment of Girls’ and Boys’ Brigade. He also brought together the Ipoh pastors for fellowship and prayer which later became the Ipoh Pastors’ Fellowship. By then a cell group has started to cater to the Chinese speaking, many which were parents of our English congregation.
In 1988, Lai Moo Him, who has been with the church since 1965, succeeded Pastor Richard Chung as our pastor. He became our first homegrown pastor. In 1991, our church sent out our first missionaries, Robert and Ruth Chew to Ghana under WEC, who served until 1998.
Meanwhile, the Chinese congregation was also growing and in 1989, started its own worship service on Thursday evenings in the nursery and eventually in 1996, moved to Sunday morning in the auditorium. In 1998, the Chinese congregation transitioned into a cell church followed by the English congregation in 2001. Cells were no longer an optional program but the basic life form of the church.
In the same year, Robert and Ruth Chew, our missionaries to Ghana were invited to serve as interim pastors pending their posting to WEC, Singapore. By now, CGBC was led by the Elders Board, and through their leadership, we experienced more growth as we Enlarge Our Tent into the church and the community until today.
After Robert and Ruth were seconded to WEC and based in Singapore, Rev Chan Theam Lai was elected the pastor CGBC. The church was at this time moving into the apostolic vision and began to pioneer many new ministries and outreach churches. Rev Chan served for about 7 years and he left for NECF in Kuala Lumpur to take up the post of Secretary General. While he was away the leadership at CGBC was reverted to the board of elders. After his tenure at NECF, Rev Chan returned to form the current board of elders that comprised of Elder Yee Chee Yoong (Chairman), Rev Chan Theam Lai and Elder Bernard Chong Hin Fatt.