Interview with Pastor David Gwee
by Alicia Tan
CCMC has welcomed our new pastor-in-charge Rev David Gwee, who came on board on 1 June 2022. Loaves+Fishes has a chat with him to get to know him better.
Q: Please share some background about yourself and your family.
A: I am 60 years old. I was born into a Methodist family. When I was born, my parents were members of Christ Methodist Church. When I was 7, we moved to Serangoon Garden and transferred membership to Trinity Methodist Church (TMC). I stayed there until I became a pastor in 2006. I have been married to Dawn for 34 years and I have two adult sons, Daniel and Dominic
Q: How did you come to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour?
A: In Secondary 2, my Sunday School teacher, Mr Chan Chong Hiok, led me in the sinners prayer.
Q: What was your occupation before becoming a minister? When and how did you realise your calling to full-time ministry?
A: I was in IT Sales and Marketing since 1985. One day in 2001, God spoke directly to me. He said, “Go Full Time.” It was awesome and terrifying at the same time. I struggled for 2 years about it before I finally attended Trinity Theological College. That’s the short story. The long story is a lot more interesting.
Q; Where did you receive your theological training and what personal lessons (as opposed to knowledge) did you learn from it?
A; Trinity Theological College. It is the only college in Singapore acceptable to the Annual Conference for pastors. As a student, I wasn’t rich (not that I am now!), but they were the best 3 years of my adult life. The lesson – money doesn’t make you happy. Doing God’s will does.
Q: Who are your spiritual/ministry mentors? What valuable lessons did you learn from them?
A: I’ve had a few over the years. Currently, I count Rev Dr Kang Ho Soon as someone I seek advice and counsel from.
Q: Where have you served and in what capacities? Give three principles that you use in your ministry, including examples of their applications.
A: I assume this is asking for my pastoral appointments! Because I have performed many other conference duties. I became a pastor in 2006. My first church was Barker Road. I was there for 2½ years. When I became a deacon in 2009, I was appointed to Christ Methodist Church where I served for 8 years. Then in 2017, I was appointed to Bedok Methodist Church where I served 5½ years.
3 principles: (1) Keep my eyes on Jesus, do not worry how people see you, care about how God sees you; (2) Be friendly and kind; (3) Empower people to make decisions on their own and allow for setbacks without judgement.
Q: What are your priorities for the ministry and life in CCMC?
A: There is only one thing: I deeply wish for everyone in CCMC to love the church dearly. Not the building or the organisation, but the people. When that happens, we will see the true vibrancy of the church as it was meant to be.
Q: You are involved in the Disciple programme and social service ministry. How are they relevant to CCMC?
A: CCMC is already a strong proponent of the DISCIPLE Bible Study Program. We will continue to have it to help our church family to grow in their knowledge of God and his word. CCMC also takes care of the Sembawang Family Service Centre. However, all of us can do more. We can work with MGS to be a light to our community by doing what we can to help the disadvantaged.
Q: Do give whatever additional information you wish to share with the CCMC community.
A: Here are some things which may be of interest:
a. My entire family have names starting with ‘D’. My late father was Daniel. My mum is Doris, my only brother is Derek. My wife is Dawn, and my sons are Daniel and Dominic. That’s why we named our dog Denzel.
b. Denzel is a Singapore Special rescued from a shelter. He brings joy and laughter to our family life.
c. I enjoy travelling. On my list is Maldives and New Zealand, which I’ve not visited before. Must quickly go before climate change affects the sea levels and the snow!
d. I like char kway teow, ice cream and café latte! I am a foodie.
e. I am a supporter of Liverpool Football Club. You Never Walk Alone!