City Harvest’s Rev Kong Hee not seen at Sunday’s service

SINGAPORE: He made a fleeting appearance at City Harvest Church’s Saturday service at its Jurong West premises, leaving some attendees hopeful of catching a similar glimpse of their leader on Sunday.

But City Harvest founder Reverend Kong Hee was not spotted at the Sunday’s service at the Singapore Expo.

And going by the itinerary posted on his personal website, Rev Kong’s speaking schedule in June and July appears to have been removed.

For instance, he was originally scheduled to speak at City Harvest Church Kuala Lumpur on June 5—6, but a June 1 posting on the latter’s Facebook page said: "Pls (sic) take note that our weekend services with Rev Dr Kong Hee on June 5—6 have been cancelled."

Last week, the congregation was told that Rev Kong was taking a "needed rest".

Despite Rev Kong’s absence on Sunday, it was business as usual at the Singapore Expo.

Both special speaker Phil Pringle from C3 Church in Sydney and CHC executive pastor Derek Dunn touched on the theme of coping and growing through trials.

While neither mentioned ongoing Commercial Affairs Department investigations into City Harvest—linked individuals and companies, Dr Pringle said his family and church were standing by City Harvest.

He also told churchgoers they would emerge stronger from their experiences, saying "trials are meant to strengthen us, not weaken us".

Mr Dunn said trials help to build faith, and teach one to focus on the "right things".

Churchgoers said they were not disappointed that Rev Kong was not at the service.

Student Evangeline Pay, 18, said she had hoped to see him there, but understood "he would have other things he’s busy with".

Another church member, Chew Sue Binn, 30, said if Rev Kong was in Singapore, he would usually be around to host guest speakers.

"But if he’s not around, it will be because he has other commitments, and I guess we are used to it," she said, referring to his overseas speaking engagements.

A CHC spokesperson, when asked about allegations of plagiarism by Rev Kong who has been said to have used portions of other Christian authors’ works in his daily devotion postings, told MediaCorp the church "is not in a position to comment ... at this point in time".

— CNA/ir