Metro Tabernacle Assemblies of God was initially called “The Tabernacle Assembly” in 1982, pioneered by the then Bible College student Ong Sek Leang in Taman Melawati, a residential suburb in Kuala Lumpur.
In the early days, Taman Melawati was not the bustling township it is now today. There were a few Malay kampongs nearby and rubber estates surrounded the whole area. The only mode of transportation was by bus which stopped at the National Zoo – a stone’s throw away from the church and eventually became its longstanding landmark.
Despite the remoteness of the location, the presence of two local colleges nearby, Tunku Abdul Rahman and the Malaysian Institute of Art – helped boost early church growth.
Reverend Ong at the time was with Siloam Assembly of God, which is now called the Tabernacle of David. He was given 12 members to help pioneer the new church and moving again to a larger space.
The Tabernacle became known as “Metro Tabernacle” in 1996 and further growth meant another move was imminent and this time it was to its own property – a three-storey shop lot at Desa Melawati. Metro Tabernacle move into its new building in December 1997, fifteen years since it opened its doors to the community.
Through the faithfulness of God and the loyalty of the members of the church who gave their finances and resources sacrificially, loans for the building were paid off in a short period of time.
After 10 years of church growth, the church had to hold multiple weekend services to cater to a rapidly growing congregation as young families and more young adults from surrounding colleges filled the services. In 2005 the church bought a 3.3 acre piece of land in Batu Caves and embarked on a church building project of received support from the mother church for two years.
He was still a student at Bible College and he would live and work in the church premises during the weekends before heading back to college in Petaling Jaya for classes during the week.
The first building was above a tailor shop in Taman Melawati which is still in business. The church could then only rent half of the first floor which could accommodate up to 30 people. A handmade wooden box served as pulpit. There was only one musical instrument for praise and worship – a guitar.
The very first service was in August 1982. In the following year the church baptized six people who accepted Christ and the pace for growth was set as more people started
coming to church – a total of 114 new Christians were baptized in the first five years of The Tabernacle.
The church then moved in 1987 to its new premise at Jalan Negara 2 with a 250-strong congregation before its own complete with a community centre, multiple halls and a sports facility worth RM23 million. And in addition to that, the new building will also serve as an education hub.
Construction of the building began in 2007 and was completed within two years. Then on January 24, 2010, the first service was held. Since then, the church has grown to 2,800 strong.