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The Lee Huai Kwang Chair of Religious Education @ TTC
Oct 2019

Rev Dr and Mrs Lim Teck Peng Program Rev Lee Huai Kwang

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go. Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be blotted outnor destroyed from before me.” Isaiah 48:17-19

On 29 August 2019, Trinity Theological College's Associate Dean, Rev Dr Lim Teck Peng was inducted as the Lee Huai Kwang Professor of Religious Education. The subject of his inaugural lecture was "Faith, Tongues and Religious Education" (信仰、语言与宗教教育). This is also the first professorial chair at TTC for a lecturer who teaches predominantly in Chinese. With this appointment, TTC reaffirms the importance of Christian scholarship and her long-term commitment to the growing ministry of the Chinese-speaking churches in the region.

All this was made possible by the generous donation of the family of the late Rev Lee Huai Kwang. His eldest son, Rev Dr Lee Chong Kau shared some personal memories.

Rev Dr Lim and the family of the late Rev Lee Huai Kwang

A life of service: Rev Lee Huai Kwang (1918-2005)

Rev Dr Lee remembered his father as a man who had vision, was determined and a man who "never say no".

From Swatow to Bethel

Rev Lee grew up in Swatow, where his father was a port coolie. In 1938, he graduated at the age of 20 from Barbour College, and became a preacher at Swatow Zion Church. In 1947, he answered the call for Teochew preachers in Singapore-Malaya and was appointed Preacher at Holy Light Church, Johor Bahru.

In Jan 1950, he was posted to Hougang Church (Today’s Bethel Presbyterian Church), where he pastored until his return to the Lord. At that time, Bethel had only 25 members and was unable to afford his salary, meagre though it might be. Hence, he became a teacher at the nearby Ming Sin School. Under his leadership, Bethel bought over the dilapidated school in 1953 and he became the Principal. By 1959, this school had 24 classrooms. By the time he retired in 1991, Bethel had grown to a 800-member strong church.

Rev and Mrs Lee Huai Kwang, photo taken in the 1950s History of Bethel Presbyterian Church's founding congregation, on displayed at Lee Huai Kwang Heritage Room, All Saints Memorial Chapel Rev Lee Huai Kwang's publicationsare on display at Lee Huai Kwang Heritage Room, All Saints Memorial Chapel

Li Sun High School to Presbyterian High School

In 1965, the Synod was unable to find a place for the long-planned Li Sun High School. Bethel, using Ming Sin School, was happy to accommodate them. In 1978, the Synod was planning to close the failing Li Sun High School, when Rev Lee led Bethel to take over its management. Li Sun improved and finally moved to Ang Mo Kio, changing its name to Presbyterian High School. In 1982, the reins of Presbyterian High School were returned to the Synod.

Rev Lee attached great importance to the growth of believers. In those days, teaching materials were generally scarce, so he compiled his own, publishing eight volumes of Bible teaching materials and sermons. In 1990, the Presbyterian church of Taiwan also published his book Our Faith, under the title Abundant Life.

"Even with so much work on-going, he tirelessly wrote sermons word for word and produced adult Christian educational materials for the church." Rev Dr Lee said with pride. He recalled that while studying in the United States, he came across a pastor from Taiwan using books which he found "familiar". It was his father's work. Rev Lee was a blessing in ways beyond our understanding indeed!

All Saints Memorial Chapel and All Saints Home

Today, the contributions of All Saints Memorial Chapel (ASMC) and All Saints Home to the church and society are evident. All Saints Memorial Chapel faced many obstacles when it began in the 1970s. With his unique vision and perseverance, Rev Lee led the church to overcome all difficulties, not only preserving the cemetery land which the government wanted to acquire, but also the protests of many church leaders who were against cremation.

Rev Lee eventually provided a dignified place for brethren to place their ashes. Later, ASMC started a nursing home, supported Christian schools and theological education financially, and gradually developed the diverse ministry she now has.

A portrait of Rev Lee wearing the BBM star of public service is displayed at Lee Huai Kwang Heritage Room, All Saints Memorial Chapel Ground Breaking Ceremony photos on displayed at Lee Huai Kwang Heritage Room, All Saints Memorial Chapel

Dr Lee recalled, "My father actually thought of starting a Junior College, but the Lord led him to start a nursing home instead... I observed my father for 50 years, not just on Sundays during worship, but from inside and outside home and church. He was a righteous man, and church was first in his eyes; he was selfless in his labour... towards church members, my father exhibited a parent's heart, and he was zealous in home and hospital visitations. He was even concerned always for the schooling and career of members' children, and would try his best to help when possible."

Rev Lee Huai Kwang served the Lord all the days of his life faithfully, selflessly and with perseverance. He received the Outstanding Senior Citizens Award from President Ong Teng Cheong in 1993 and was awarded the Public Service Star (BBM) by President SR Nathan in 2002.


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