I had known that the Orthodox Church had been using rented premises from the Roman Catholics somewhere in Serangoon, but what surprised me was finding out that a 2nd congregation existed right here at Hillview Avenue.
|The Russin Orthodox Church at Jalan Dermawan, Hillview.|
So I did a google and found out that they are established at Jalan Dermawan. And something else more interesting, they are located by the haunted Hillview Mansion that I had blog about earlier! Well, if any paranormal hunters visiting the Mansion need an exorcist quick, they are in luck! just kidding.
In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Princess Elizabeth Estate and Hillview were the roots of some established churches in Singapore.
In the very early 1950s, a group of Finnish Missionaries were evicted from China by the Communists. They came to Singapore and were given a shophouse at Princess Elizabeth Estate by the SIT to establish a 'church' for their missionary activities. Just to clarify for non christians reading this, a 'church' does not necessarily mean a building.
I do not know of this Finnish Missionary group myself, being too young then, but my mother remembers this group of ang mohs who went around singing and preaching. They always appeared happy and willing to converse. My mom remembers they could speak Chinese though not the Teochew or Cantonese which most PEE residents spoke.
This is just based on hearsay but I heard that their success was also their downfall as some colonial 'powers that be' did not see their activities based in SIT shophouses as proper. Their lease was not renewed and they moved out of PEE. They were said to have gone to Tiong Bahru where eventually they helped set up a church there (Zion Road Free Gospel Church).
Missionary persecutions even in Singapore.
Another church that started out of PEE was formed by a group of friends.
One of them being my ex-classmate Tay Buan Tiong. Buan Tiong was in PEES and his mother ran the yong tau foo stall at the school tuckshop. We both went to the same secondary school but he later transferred to another technical school during secondary two.
At this technical secondary school, Buan Tiong and some friends became fervent christians and started proselyting. They went around PEE with their bibles trying to get people to hear their message of salvation and succeeded in gathering a large congregation. I believe that they met for worship at a house somewhere also at Jalan Dermawan. Hmm, holy hills?
If I am correct, this church which they started is now the World Revival Prayer Fellowship, a Pentecostal church, located in Aljunied. Another of my ex-classmate, Kenny Chee, is currently the senior pastor at this church. Kenny and his wife Jenny were also ex-residents of P.E. Estate.