Because He Lives, Because He Loves – Elder Ang Chui Lai

Elder Ang Chui Lai

 

The story of our Chairman Elder Ang Chui Lai spans over eight decades. It is all part of a greater story of faith, hope and love.

This is also a story of divine appointment: about a faithful servant of God meeting with the Almighty and having a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. It is very much a story of how FGA began. What started as a bold vision for a Spirit-filled church seeking to do God’s will turned into a prophetic vision to emulate the principles of the followers of Jesus who were the first generation to be called Christians in Antioch.

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai
Elder Ang Chui Lai

 

Mr. Ang is a man after God’s own heart and mind. His soul belongs to God. He caught the fire of revival and the power of intercession early in life and understood that for revival to happen, a man needs to be transformed from within, and this required a deep conviction to the things of God for a person to experience a personal and intimate encounter with God Himself. This fire would then spread out to engulf the outer physical man.

 

THE BIRTH OF A SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH

The inaugural gathering of the saints of FGA was in the home of Dr. and Mrs. Koh Eng Kiat in Section 17, Petaling Jaya on 8 April 1979. Dr. Koh was FGA’s co-founder and Mr. Ang’s brother-in-law. Mrs Koh is Mr. Ang’s sister. In those early days, they met regularly to seek God’s face and to catch His vision. In the formative years of FGA, God’s hand was truly upon them.

The first meetings comprised about 40 born-again, Spirit-led Christians and not unlike that of the 1904-05 Welsh Revival and the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 that birthed the Pentecostal movement, the Holy Spirit was moving powerfully and mightily. They would gather to extol God and to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

 

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From left to right: Mrs Koh, Dr Koh, Elder Ang, Mrs Ang

 

From morning watches to all night prayer meetings, they only had God in mind. They would be awakened to God’s love and experienced the fullness and power that only God alone could fill them with. Many signs and wonders happened. They were desperate for God’s guidance and direction and there was unity and bonding that resulted from the many hours they spent on their knees. They were hungry for God’s Word, and teachers came from as far as Tung Ling Bible School in Singapore to teach them, challenge them and refresh their spirits.

The Lord birthed in them an insatiable hunger and love for Him and His Word. Reading the Bible became exciting because God’s Word became alive to them. Each of them experienced this “newness of the Spirit” and they loved God wholeheartedly, feared Him, kept His commandments, and served Him without arguing or disputing.

 

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From left to right: Mrs Koh, Dr Koh, Elder Ang, Mrs Ang

 

The group grew as they continued to walk in obedience to God. These passionate men and women of the faith began to start many ministries to reach out to the pre-believers. There was never any doubt that they were focused on crossing the finish line to be with Jesus and they found pure and perfect joy throughout their faith journey.

 

THE ANG FAMILY
A LEGACY OF STEADFAST FAITH IN GOD

Born in 1928 to Mr. Ang Chai Tit and Ms. Sung Beng Choo, Mr. Ang was raised in the town of Taiping (which means ‘everlasting peace’). His father worked as a clerk and later became chief clerk in the government office. His parents had five sons and seven daughters. Mr.

Ang was the third child. He and his siblings grew up in a small government quarter with just two rooms in Upper Museum Road. Even though his parents had the daunting task of raising a big family, church commitment never took second place. And all their children were taught the Word of God from young.

 

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Elder Ang and Mrs Ang with the young people of the church

 

Mr. Ang’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Ang Gan, were migrants from Amoy (now Xiamen) of Fujian province in China. Mentored by Mr. Harry Freeman Marks and his wife, a missionary couple from England who served in Taiping Gospel Hall for 52 years, his grandparents had also nurtured his father and instilled the fear of God in him. His grandfather was befriended by Mr. H. F. Marks and was convinced to embrace Christianity. Mr. Alfred Green gave him a Bible and taught him to read the Word of God. Fully equipped with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of God, he would go from house to house to preach the Gospel so much so that he was labeled “Jesus man” by some villagers. His grandmother also accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour and both were baptised at the Chinese Gospel Hall.

 

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In his early days studying in the King Edward VII school, Mr. Ang was active in sports and represented his school in rugby. His ambition was to be a doctor but his father could not afford to send him to medical school. Not one to leave his future to the vagaries of fate, he went on to teach in elementary school for seven years. With his own savings and some money from his father, he traveled by boat to London to read law at Lincoln’s Inn. The journey took more than a month and on the boat, he would conduct Bible lessons for pre believers and anyone interested. His friend and subsequent law partner Mr. K. Sothinathan was one of them.

 

“Fully equipped with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding of God, he would go from house to house to preach the Gospel…”

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai
Elder Ang Chui Lai

 

While studying law in London, Mr. Ang formed the Malayan Gospel Witness Team with fellow Malayan students. In 1960, he graduated and returned to Kuala Lumpur to read in chambers and practice law. Soon after that, the two friends started their law firm, Sothi & Ang.

 

MARRIAGE & FAMILY

Mr. Ang was known to be super cool and popular with the girls in his younger days. Set up on a blind date, he travelled all the way to Singapore and there, he met the girl of his dream and fell in love with Siew Hoon, who was 12 years younger than him.

The saying that life begins at 40 seems to be true in this case. He decided his bachelor days were over. He had found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and the two walked down the aisle a year later, in July 1969.

Mr and Mrs Ang have two sons. Their first child, Chu Leng, was born in 1973 and Chu San in 1976. Just like his own father and his grandfather , Mr. Ang himself was devoted to building a spiritual legacy and leaving a godly heritage for his two boys.

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai (second from right) with his family
Elder Ang Chui Lai (second from right) with his family

 

OUR FORERUNNER TO REVIVAL

Just prior to his retirement, Mr. and Mrs. Ang attended a retreat for the church leaders in Peacehaven. While he was praying for one of the leaders, Mr. Ang collapsed. There were eight doctors and they thought his time was up. Dr. Ng Soon Gan, who is now our Co-Chairman Elder drove him to Pantai Hospital for a medical checkup and it turned out that nothing was wrong with Mr Ang. Mrs. Ang told her husband that it was time for him to retire from the law practice.

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai (First from right) with Mrs Koh (Fourth from right)
Elder Ang Chui Lai (First from right) with Mrs Koh (Fourth from right)

 

Mr. Ang did just that in 1998 at the age of 70 and thereafter, he devoted his time fully to serve in FGA. Today, Mr. Ang has himself bore witness to a gathering of multitudes, thereby fulfilling a prophecy given to our beloved Chairman Elder during a Wednesday prayer meeting in 2012 that he would live to see multitudes coming to faith. More than 10,300 people thronged the Putra Stadium,in Bukit Jalil to celebrate FGA’s 36th Anniversary on 12 April 2015. The night before the Anniversary, 5,000 people came forward for salvation and re-dedication to the Lord in a special “Trip to Hell” evangelistic event which saw a total attendance of over 13,000 people.

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai (First from left)

 

The next chapter of FGA’s revival has begun. May the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and fellowship of the Holy Spirit continue to be with the present day saints of FGA and the next generation of good and faithful servants of God.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Ang, Dr. and Mrs. Koh for your faithfulness in praising and worshiping God the Father, walking and communing with Christ the Son, and living and breathing the Holy Spirit.

 

MRS. ANG: REMINISCING THE EARLY DAYS

ON LOVE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY

 

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Mr and Mrs Ang

 

“Dr Peter Tong’s wife introduced us. One day, I got a letter from her asking if I had a boyfriend. I said I had lots of friends but no one in particular was the special one. She said, “Why don’t I introduce you to this friend who is 10 years older than you?” At the time, I didn’t even know he was an elder at Imbi Chapel. Later on, I found out he was actually 12 years older than me! So he came down to Singapore to meet me and that’s how we got started. By the next year in July 1969 we were married. Those days we communicated by phone and he sometimes travelled to see me. When I met him I somehow had the assurance from God that he was the one I was going to marry. Actually I never wanted to marry a lawyer or a doctor. I worked with doctors so I know their ways. And lawyers… I always hear horrible stories about them.”

 

ON BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT & LEAVING

THE BRETHREN CHURCH

 

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“Peter Tong was just a Sunday Christian. So the Imbi elders asked Ang to follow up on Peter. Then one day Peter became very excited about the Lord and came and shared with him about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Peter used to have meetings in his clinic. Ang would attend those meetings and he saw how Peter and his wife were revived as well as witnessed a lot of miracles of healings. After coming home from those meetings, Ang would share them with me as well as Dr. and Mrs. Koh. I was very sceptical. I said to myself, “Let’s see how long this can last.”

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai
Elder Ang Chui Lai

 

“Whereas Mrs Koh was very open, Dr. Koh was also very cautious and sceptical. One day we met at Dr. Koh’s house to pray and Peter was there. Out of the blue I started crying and I thought to myself, “What is this crying?” when I am normally very calm and collected. Peter then said “Those of you who want the infilling of the Holy Spirit, just ask God to forgive you and ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.” I did that and when I went home I was very hungry for the Lord and for the word of God. Before that, I was just being an obedient Christian. Ang would come home and ask me “Did you read your Bible?” “Yes, yes”, I would reply and it was like something done out of duty. So after that I asked the Lord, “If this is You, show me Your word to confirm it!” He showed me Romans: “Serve the Lord in newness of spirit”. The next day when I worshipped I just broke out in tongues. Whereas Ang asked for baptism of the Holy Spirit many times but had never broken out in tongues until later at a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship meeting. Mrs. Koh and I used to attend those meetings too. And I would bring other girls from Imbi Chapel to attend the meetings as well. When questioned why I did that, I told the elders that it is because I know Jesus is real and I wanted them to have the joy of Christian life!

 

Elder Ang Chui Lai
Elder Ang Chui Lai

 

“We were baptised in the Spirit in 1978 and were subsequently told to leave Imbi Chapel. At that time, Ang was going through so much stress that he had no voice for three months. He was called by the elders for an interview about our conduct but he had no voice so I had to speak for him. I was a very quiet person then, especially fearful of the elders. We were really under a lot of stress as we had spent so many years of our lives at this church and we had so many friends there. But we had no choice but to leave.

 

ON STARTING A HOME CHURCH THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME FGA

“So after we left Imbi Chapel, Dr. Koh asked us to join them in Life Chapel. We attended Calvary church for some time too. One day Peter suggested, “Why don’t you start a Brethren Charismatic church?” So we prayed and in April 1979, decided to start our own church. There were 40 of us then at Dr Koh’s house and we decided to call ourselves Full Gospel Assembly.

“After some meetings, we heard people saying that we were of the devil and others were advised not to attend our church! Mrs. Koh’s in-laws came to check us out and in the end they got saved! And that was how we grew. God brought in many people and Bro Colin Hurt was one of those who came to teach at our meetings and stayed with us too.”

 

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Note: This article was taken with permission from Rejoice Magazine published by FGAKL.

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