Our History in Brief

The Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) had its origin in the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS) of the Methodist Church in the U.S.A. which was formed in 1869. Women missionaries were sent by WFMS to countries across Asia, Europe and South America to start schools and develop education for girls and women. They also looked into their welfare and taught them the Bible.

Through the prayer and donation of Miss Mary C. Nind (then Corresponding Secretary of the Minneapolis branch of the WFMS), Miss Sophia Blackmore from Australia, was sent to Singapore on 18th July 1887. She began her work among the Chinese, Tamil and Malay-speaking women and visited them in their homes. Her concern for their welfare and education needs led to the start of small evangelistic and outreach groups among these women.

These small groups of women met regularly for prayer, Bible study and fellowship. The Chinese-speaking women were members of the Dorcas Society while the English-speaking, Malay-speaking and Tamil-speaking women were members of the Ladies Aid Society. The names of the two societies were later changed to Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) in 1940 when they were challenged by Miss Helen Loomis to unite and work together for God’s Kingdom.

The first co-ordinating WSCS body was formed when the Southeastern Asia Central Conference was constituted in 1950. This first Central Conference WSCS was instrumental in persuading the local churches to elect a woman delegate to each Annual Conference and to have the Book of Discipline amended to include the WSCS President of each Conference as a member of the General Conference Executive Council by 1968.

With the dissolution of the Central Conference in 1967 and the formation of the General Conference of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore, the General Conference WSCS was formed in 1968. After Singapore was separated from Malaysia, the General Conference WSCS was reconstituted on 9th December 1976, and composed of the Chinese Annual Conference WSCS, the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference WSCS and the Trinity Annual Conference WSCS.

WSCS observances, programmes and common study materials were initiated to promote its work. Areas of ministry such as the prison ministry, care for the blind, the sick in hospital, the educationally sub-normal girls and women in crisis were identified to create opportunities for the WSCS women to serve God by serving the less fortunate.

Source:

Forever Beginning II
The Line of Splendour
Women in the Methodist Church, Malaysia, 1885-1984