The members of Audubon Park United Methodist Church recently welcomed the Rev. Keat Yeoh as their new pastor. Yeoh, a man of Chinese descent born and raised in Malaysia, most recently spent three years at a United Methodist church in Seattle.
The road Yeoh took to reach his current position is an unusual one. He was raised a Buddhist and taught by his family to have nothing to do with religions that were different from his. But when he was in high school, a friend convinced Yeoh to visit his Methodist youth group.
“It was so neat that I went there again and again and again and again,” says Yeoh. He was baptized a year later. He attended college in Singapore, then went on to study in a seminary. His decision led to a deep rift within his family.
Yeoh says he wrote many letters home during his stay at the seminary but never received a response. “I knew for sure that I was disowned by them,” he said.
Then, during a Chinese New Year, Yeoh received a call from his father, asking him to come home for a visit. Yeoh did, and their relationship improved. His father died one year after they reconciled, and his mother was baptized a year after that.
While serving as the pastor at the largest Methodist Church in Malaysia in the early ‘70s, Yeoh decided to come to America for further training. “I felt the need to sharpen my skills.” He had no intention of staying long.
While attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, he was recruited by the district superintendent from Vancouver, Wash. He agreed to serve four years, then return home.
It didn’t work out that way. Instead, he and his wife stayed, eventually becoming naturalized citizens in 1983. “We were glad that we made that decision,” says Yeoh. “I think God had a need for us here.”
Fowler Methodist holds Bible school
Fowler United Methodist Church, 3928 N. Howard, will host a vacation Bible school from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 18-22. “Circle of Friends Ranch: Being Friends With Jesus” is open to kids age 3 and older. Classes for adults will also be offered.
To register for the free classes, call the church office at 325-3242.
Trinity Baptist hosts guest speakers
Trinity Baptist Church, 6528 N. Monroe, will host guest speakers Mikel and Karen Neumann during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday. The Neumanns are specialists in small group ministry who have spent 25 years as missionaries in Madagascar. The Neumanns are now based in Portland, where Mikel teaches at Western Seminary.
Emanon Youth Choir to give free concert
The Emanon Youth Choir of North Hill Christian Church, 4620 N. Post, will present a special performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The 16-member choir will perform a musical titled “The Ride,” featuring music from the group “4 Him.” The musical focuses on the temptations that keep today’s youths away from the church and God.
The free concert ends the choir’s two-week performance tour in five states. For more information, call the church at 326-5400.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.