ONCE A PURITAN. ALWAYS A PURITAN! Reconnecting with Rev (Dr) James Tan of Christ Grace Church, Singapore.

Dear Praying Friends in Jesus,

One event or contact leads to another. From SOM Club 60 we came into contact with Rev. Peter Tan (Puritan Always!). And from Rev. Peter Tan we reconnected with Rev. (Dr) James Tan his brother in law.


Indeed, it brought our memory back to those early years of the 1970s.

But first, let us look at some photos

Above is 1st Ordination of 5 JSM Pastors (circa 1980) & One Graduate

Standing 3rd from left is Rev (Dr) James tan. And 2nd from right is Bro Daniel Tan Jee Huay (who started SOM Club 60)


Fast forward today


Pastors and Elders

Pastor Tan Boon Jam James

Pastor Tan Boon Jam James worked in a Real Estate, Auctioneers, and Appraisers Company in 1973. He resigned from the company to start a real estate company in 1974.

In mid 1976, a friend ( then, now his wife, Amy Tan) gave him a Bible. He read Books of the Bible – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, James, John and Matthew which transformed his life in December 1976 – discovering his life was made new by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.

He was then called to the full time Ministry of the Gospel to teach and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He resigned and transferred his shares of the Company to his partner for the consideration of $1/- . Instead of serving in the full time ministry, He applied to AIA as the PA Dept Manager but after a year, He resigned to serve the Lord in the Ministry of the Gospel until this day. By then he had collected hundreds of Puritan Christian books.

He was ordained by Dr. Bob Jones III, Rev. Dr. Peter Ng Eng Hoe and Dr. Lewis Chappell, and then subsequently was conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity by the International School of Mission. The Conferring Officers were Rev. Dr. Peter Ng Eng Hoe, Dr. Fong Kok Yong and Miss Gloria Ng. Christ Grace Church was founded through the Lord’s calling, and prayers; primarily to reach out to the elderly, homes and the under-privileged. Pray for us.


Pastor James, like Rev Peter Tan are avid readers of Puritan Books.

Rev. Peter Tan (Puritan Always!)

Rev (Dr) James Tan (Once A Puritan. Always A Puritan!)

More about that later when we started BEREAN BOOK CENTRE when tens of thousands of Puritan Books were sold to many Pastors & Churches in Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei (circa 1982 – 1987)


Precious were those times of Puritanical zeal & prayer when life was lived in simplicity and Gospel is preached with the attendant power manifest power of God



Let us go back to the year of 1978 Evangelistic Campaign of BHS JSM

As promised we would like to relate the Powerful Soul Winning Campaign after the Blessed Revival Year of 1977.

In 1978 September 2nd  – 9th we held a wonderful Evangelistic Campaign in Bukit Ho Swee “JESUS SAVES MISSION” in Singapore.  After the great visitation from God in December 1977 in the Penang Camp the Revival Spirit of Prayer continued with us. For many months we planned and prayed – many a time praying with a day or 2 of fasting. After the very successful Evangelistic Campaign I told sis. Betty that I lost 5 pounds due to the 8 days of prayer and also fasting. She replied, “I lost 10 pounds.”  Such was the total serious consecration to God’s work that we were willing to pay any price for souls to be saved.  Let me relate verbatim from my diary of 1978:-

September 2nd  1978

” Spent the morning and afternoon at Mt. Faber in prayer and fasting. About a dozen brothers and sisters were present. It was a blessed time of prayer. The Presence of God was felt gloriously  amid the refreshing weather. After the initial prayer  we went through an article on Prayer from the “Herald of His Coming” paper. Sister Betty & Sister Seow Fong read them distinctly. Brother Matthew Khoo came later. Then it rained. It was a shower of blessing. We continued in prayer at the pavilion. About  3p.m. we broke fast.

“Tonight the Evangelistic Meeting Commenced. Brother James came over early and prayed. The LORD granted us liberty in prayer. Brother James preached on “One Most Needful Thing.”  Felt the power of God. 5 people were saved. It was a blessed time.

Note: Fast forward  today 27th January 2013:-

Sister Betty is my sister in law. Her sister Christiana(Dolly Soh) is my wife. Sister Betty (now called Bethany) is the wife of Rev. John Khng (Founding Pastor of 2 Churches : Faith Independent Baptist Church & the current “Mt. Calvary Baptist Church” of Singapore.

Sister Seow Fong is the wife of Rev. Matthew Yong. Assistant Pastor of Singapore “Jesus Saves Mission.”

Matthew Khoo was ordained in 1980 and is now the Chinese Pastor of Singapore Jesus Saves Mission. Now Rev.(Dr.) Matthew Khoo.

Brother James Tan. Ordained in 1980. Pastor of “CHRIST GRACE CHURCH” Now Rev (Dr) James Tan.

September 3rd 1978 (SUNDAY)

My greatest fear is sin – especially at this time.

A wakened this LORD’s Day.  During the Adult Bible Class we went through an article on faith – “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, OBTAINED

PROMISES.. (Heb 11: 33)  We claimed Psalm2:8 “Ask of Me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance…”& Acts 18:9&10 : Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.” During Worship Rev {Dr) Peter Ng (Founder of Jesus Saves Mission)  spoke a clear, challenging message on the colt(Luke 19:30)

The Meeting Commenced tonight with more Christians. The place was filled. We felt liberty again in prayer. We bound Satan and prayed for the scales to fall from the eyes of the sinners. More souls were saves tonight. The PK Choir sang tonight.

Note:-  Throughout the entire message there is a group of brothers and sisters praying separately upstairs for power on the preacher and for souls to be saved. So great faith  were given that we boldly claimed the promises of God, “ASK OF ME..I WILL GIVE THEE THE HEATHEN FOR THINE INHERITANCE Psalm  2:8) I was praying for 10 souls to be saved but only 5 souls got saved. As I moved downstair to see the converts Brother Cheng Hong who was sitting on the stairs exclaimed, “Thank God for answering my prayer – 5 people accepted Christ as Saviour tonight.”  I gently chided him. “Don’t ask for 5, ask for 10 souls to be saved.” No wonder my prayer for 10 was blocked by your asking for only 5. And so we started to see 10 or more souls saved as the Campaign progressed.

Additional comment on August 30th 2023: The Preacher for this second night of the Gospel Campaign was also by Brother James Tan 

PK Choir :  PK stands for Persiaran Keliling ( Choir from Curcuit Road Jesus Saves Mission) Macpherson, S’pore

Mr. Lim Cheng Hong is the deacon of Faith Independent Baptist Church.

September 4th 1978 (Monday)

Again felt liberty in prayer tonight during the Evangelist Meeting. Rev. Ng preached on “THE UPLIFTED CHRIST” More souls were moved and saved tonight. The BHS Student Choir sang during the Meeting with Scripture Verses read in between by brother Liang Teck:  “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7)” The effect was piercing.

Tonight brothers Matthew & James,  Sis. Rhoda  & I discussed about the Campaign. We were reminded of James Alexander Stewart’s book- EVANGELISM WITHOUT APOLOGY”. We ought to have more prayer.

Note: Brother Liang Teck now called Mark – a deacon of Mt Calvary Baptist Church.

Sister Rhoda Chang – wife of Rev. Matthew Khoo.  She was the Missioner for BHS.

September 5th 1978 (Tuesday)

It was my turn to preach tonight.

Fasted this day. In the afternoon prepared the message on “THE PERFECT GOVERNMENT” with many thoughts and Scripture verses written down, but could not construct it into a sermon.

Listened to the testimonies of brothers Weng Kee & James Tan tonight. The  testimonies were very convicting. The Choir sang “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood.” When I stood up to preach I literally looked to the LORD. Felt the resistance of the evil spirits. But preached the truth by faith. Felt a little assisted after one quarter of the message. A number of souls were saved. (I think about 12).

Tonight the LORD showed me the two agents of conversion: THE WORD OF GOD & THE HOLY SPIRIT SO CLEAR AS NEVER BEFORE. *Born of the Spirit and of the Word of God.”


Note again:

Listened to the testimonies of brothers Weng Kee & James Tan tonight. The  testimonies were very convicting.





Testimonies are powerful and effective way to reach the heart of hearers. Robert Murray McCheyne said, “A word spoken when your CONSCIENCE  is CLEAR, and YOUR HEART FULL OF  GOD’S  SPIRIT is WORTH TEN THOUSAND  words spoken in unbelief and sin.”


And note these words


Tonight the LORD showed me the two agents of conversion: THE WORD OF GOD & THE HOLY SPIRIT SO CLEAR AS NEVER BEFORE. *Born of the Spirit and of the Word of God.”


On Sept 5 1978 Brother James (none were ordained as yet except Dr Peter Ng) was one of the Counselor when more than 10 people responded to the Gospel Invitation & Invitation Gospel Song: “JUST AS I AM WITHOUT ONE PLEA”

And the convert he counselled was Brother William Cheok

I asked Brother James, “How was the convert you counselled”

Brother James said to this effect, “He does not need counselling at all. He came through with all clarity under the power of God’s Holy Spirit Himself”



Tonight the LORD showed me the two agents of conversion: THE WORD OF GOD & THE HOLY SPIRIT SO CLEAR AS NEVER BEFORE. *Born of the Spirit and of the Word of God.”




Standing last row. 2nd from left is Brother William Cheok (BHS JSM). Brother William was a colleague of Brother Thian Cheong ( Rev. John Khng of Mt Calvary Baptist Church today)


Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind;
Yes, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!
Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!


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