story of the beginning of Methodist church in Ceylon
“I am now dead to Europe and alive to India.
God , Himself has said to me, ‘Go to Ceylon’.
I am fully convinced of the will of God , that He thinks I
had rather be set naked on the coast of Ceylon, without clothes
and without friends than not go there.”
These were the triumphant
words uttered by Dr Thomas Coke, when the British Conference
ultimately gave him its reluctant permission for Dr Coke to
proceed to Ceylon with his team. the Conference had very good
reasons why Dr Coke should not be allowed to take this hazardous
journey- his old age, poor health, language problem, finance
and the need for his presence in England. Ultimately his tears
and sincerity and an offer of Stg. 6000/- out of his own money,
obtained for him, permission of the Conference.
Dr Coke left London on 31
December 1813 with Benjamin Clough, William Martin Harvard,
William Ault, James Lynch, George Erskine and Thomas Hall
Squance . Clough and Harvard embarked on the ‘Cabvava,’
while others were on the ‘Lady Melville.’
During the early part of
the journey, Mrs. Ault died and was buried at sea. Dr Coke
himself was found dead in his cabin, on his knees on 3 May
1814, and was buried in the Indian Ocean. The others arrived
at Weligama on 29 June 1814, six months after they stared
of the Church.
- William Martin Harvard built
the first historic Methodist Church, in 1816.( This incidentally,
is the first Methodist church in Asia.)
- Today there are over 150 churches,
40 of which are more than 100 years old.
- The Department of Evangelism was set
up in 1985 and functions as the mission arm of the church.
- The training of the evangelists
is carried out in Kal Eliya, (Singhala) and Kalkudah,
- The Methodist Church started schools
in Colombo, Jaffna, Mannar, Batticaloa, Galle and Matara
areas. At the time of the schools in Colombo, Jaffna,
Mannar, Batticaloa, Galle and Matara areas.
- The Methodist Church had 177
schools of these, 175 were taken over, leaving just two
schools, one for boys (Wesley College) and for girls,
(Methodist College), both in Colombo.
- The Church celebrate his
150th anniversary of the first arrival of the first
missionaries on the 29th June 1964.It was also the
day on which the Sri Lanka Church became an Autonomous
- Rev. Frederic Stanley de Silva
was the first President of the Autonomous Conference
of the Methodist Church, Ceylon.
The church has vigorous social service programme
- 22 Children Homes.
- 85 Day Care Centres and Pre-
- 7 Elders Home.
- Vocational Training Centers.
- 2 Farms.
- 1 Hospital.
- 2 Secondary Schools.
- A few Medical Clinics and 3 on-going
The St. Luke’s Methodist
Hospital is one of the rural Hospitals in Puttur in the Jaffna
Peninsula. This Hospital has 15 beds serving the community
in puttur. It does not have a full time resident doctor but
visiting physicians from the Jaffna hospital assist us by
attending to the patients. This Hospital is strategically
placed, at a central point between Jaffna and Point Pedro.
Services to the
The Youth Department overlooks the work of Wesley
Guilds, both Senior and Jounior, Youth fellowship & Bible/
Sunday Schools.These institution number over 150, with a membership
of over 3500.
Services to the
As a church that has about 55% Singhala and 45% Tamil
members the church has embarked on a language training programme
in the North & the South.
For further information
go through the Methodist Churches library.