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Protestant Church in Sabah

Protestant Church In Sabah
Logo of the PCS
Classification Protestant
Orientation Lutheran, Reformed
Polity Presbyterian [1]
Leader Rev Jensey Mojuin
Associations Lutheran World Federation, Asia Lutheran Communion, Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Malaysia & Singapore, Council of Churches of Malaysia, Christian Federation of Malaysia, Christian Conference of Asia, World Council of Churches
Region Malaysia
Origin 1965
Branched from Basel Missionary Society
Congregations 322
Members 32,000 baptised
Ministers 56
Primary schools 3

The Protestant Church in Sabah or PCS (Malay: Gereja Protestan Sabah) is one of the four Lutheran World Federation member churches in Malaysia. It currently has 322 congregations nationwide in 21 parishes [2] with a total of 32,000 baptised members,[3] making the PCS the second largest of the four[4] Lutheran body in the country. The PCS' membership is primarily made up of the indigenous peoples of Sabah.[2] The current president of the Protestant Church in Sabah is the Rev. Jensey Mojuin.


The roots of the Protestant Church in Sabah goes back to German missionary work in Kudat in the beginning of the 20th century. The PCS itself was established with the first synod on 20 April 1966 and registered with the Sabah government in 1967 out of the missionary work of the Basel Mission amongst the Rungus, started in December 1952. Already in 1951, the Borneo Basel Self Established Church renamed later Basel Christian Church (BCCM) which had been established much earlier (1924) among the immigrant Chinese community in Sabah sought the help of Hans Bienz, the sixth and last BMS advisor to the BCC, to tour Rungus villages such as Kimihang, Lajong, Handal, Angkob and Rondomon in early 1952. He asked the Basel Mission to send Heinrich Honegger. In December 1952 the mission work amongst Rungus began with the assembly of 45 Rungus headmen, some BCC members and both missionaries Bienz and Honegger.[5] In 1965, the constitution of the PCS was drafted by church elders and missionaries, and the formation of the PCS was officially initiated by a first synod on 20 April 1966 and registered as a legal entity in 1967.[6]

Merger attempt with the Basel Christian Church

On 23 January 1968, the Basel Missionary Society started advocating a merger of both their Sabah affiliates; the BCC and PCS. A joint mission consultation was held in Kota Kinabalu on 9–13 May 1969 and was also joined by the Lutheran Church in America. However, the merger discussions did not reach an agreement due to concerns that the better organised and financially stable Basel churches may dominate the new body. Further discussions were planned but had to be shelved when crisis hit the Christian community of Sabah as a result of a policy change by the United Sabah National Organisation (USNO) led state government to suspend the renewal of missionary visas as part of the administration's Islamisation campaign.[1][7][8]


By 1973, the departure of foreign missionaries saw the BCC playing a more direct role in providing support for the PCS. Training of local workers was prioritised while contacts were developed between the PCS and other churches in Malaysia . In 1975, the PCS became a member of the World Council of Churches.[6]

Expansion beyond Sabah

In 1996, congregations were established in West Malaysia and Singapore to minister to the growing migrant worker population in those territories from Sabah.[1][6]


Since the PCS was organised in 1965, the head of the Executive Council is known as the President. The current president, Rev. Jensey Mojuin is the eighth president of the PCS.[9]

  • 1964-1967
Rev. T.A. Forschner
  • 1967-1970
Rev. Otto Dilger
  • 1970-1976
Patrick Manjil Madalag
  • 1976-1992
Rev. Masandu Majupi
  • 1992-2000
Rev. Hendry Ogodong Dangki
  • 2000-2008
Rev. Sopirid Masandu
  • 2008– 2012
Rev. Jimmy Ojlim Assam
  • 2012–present
Rev. Jensey Mojuin

Schools and colleges

Theological training

In 1956, a Bible school was established in Tinangol near Kudat and continued to operate until 1973 when the USNO led Islamization campaign in the state of Sabah was at its height. The institution was re-opened in 1976 after the fall of the USNO-led administration as the Tinangol Bible Training Centre (Malay: Pusat Latihan Alkitab Tinangol).[10]

Vocational training

An agricultural school was established in Sikuati. The school was relocated to Timangol in 1965 and is currently known as the Women's Development Centre (Malay: Pusat Pembangunan Wanita).[10][11]


In 1964, the Basel Mission established three primary schools known as Native Voluntary Schools in the vicinity of Kudat. These were handed over to the PCS when the mission withdrew from Sabah and are currently operating as grant-in-aid schools:[10]

  • SRK Tinangol
  • SRK Lodung
  • SRK Lajung


The PCS participates in ecumenical relationships through:


  1. ^ a b c Reformed Online: Gereja Protestan Di Sabah (URL last accessed 25 February 2010)
  2. ^ a b Asian Lutheran News: "Lutheran World Federation Regional Office for Asia"; Page 8, Issue 36; November - December 2007; Singapore
  3. ^ LWF Statistics 2009
  4. ^ Lutheran World Federation: Member Churches - See individual denominational statistics for comparison (URL last accessed 20 December 2007)
  5. ^ T.A. Forschner: "The History of the Protestant Church in Sabah" (English translation of "Usuran do Gorija Protestan sid Sabah, 1993" [1] (URL last accessed 26 March 2010)
  6. ^ a b c World Council of Churches: Protestant Church in Sabah (URL last accessed 25 February 2010)
  7. ^ Tsang Kwok Fu (ed): "BCCM Centenary Magazine 1882 - 1982", page 34, Kota Kinabalu: The Basel Christian Church of Malaysia, 1983
  8. ^ Zhang, Delai: "The Hakkas of Sabah", Sabah Theological Seminary, 2002, ISBN 983-40840-0-5
  9. ^ Gereja Protestan di Sabah: Exco PCS 2008-2012 (URL last accessed 25 February 2010)
  10. ^ a b c Various authors: "Usuran Do Gorija Sompomogunan om Usuran Do Gorija Protestan Sid Sabah", Kudat: Gereja Protestan di Sabah, 1993
  11. ^ Gereja Protestan di Sabah: Pusat Pembangunan Wanita PCS

External links