Our History


Our church began with three married couples: Lim Liat and  Ang Puay Koon, Wilson Teh and Rachel Shing, and Henry Ong and Connie Yew. Feeling a burden to start a church for the Mandarin-speaking community, in late 1997 they consulted with their leader, Senior Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism. In March 1998, they planted a new church called Marina Foundation Fellowship 滨海磐石团契. A marina represents salvation for those coming in from sea, and evangelism to distant places as the Gospel launches out to them. At the core of the church's beginnings was a desire to bring the Gospel and the truth of God’s word to communities near and far.


As Marina Foundation Fellowship grew, an English service was introduced and has continued to see growth. Our church's English name was changed to Petra Church. 'Petra' means 'rock' in Greek, and was an acknowledgement that Jesus Christ is our foundation. Our Chinese name was also changed from 滨海磐石团契 (Fellowship) to  滨海磐石教会 (Church)speaking of our identity as part of the Body of Christ.


In Aug 2009, Mich'el Eliyahu BenDavid visited Petra Church and ministered to us with the Aaronic Blessing song. Since then, we have come up with our own version and it has become a tradition to end the service with the Aaronic Blessing. The meeting also sparked a love for and revelation about Israel as our root, and we made our first ever trip to the nation in Mar 2010. In the same year, we relocated from Toa Payoh to Chinatown and added a Saturday service. Sunday messages flowed along the theme of connection with God and one another--in worship, prayer and community. Pastor John preached a sermon series on a key value at Petra--Ministering to the Lord.


We began to look at the calling and ministry of every Christian, not just full-time church workers or famous ministers. Renovation work on the main hall was completed. We also unveiled a new look for our corporate identity and communications. Another Petra 'pillar' was put in place—a focus on healing, both of the heart and the body.


In tandem with our emphasis on overseas missions trips, Petra piloted Neighbourhood Outreach—weekly visits to the businesses and residents of Chinatown to love, bless and pray for people. Later in the year, in partnership with a ministry from Israel, we hosted two nights of evangelistic meetings. We also took time to bond as a family, with our combined family camp in Melaka, Malaysia.


2013 launched with a call to pursue temple worship as a first priority, following the principles built into the design of Israel's temple, where our first focus is God Himself. Ministry to one another is important, but it cannot replace ministry to God.


The year was kickstarted with the vision, "Crossing Jordan, Taking Canaan." 2014 was a year of breakthrough for the Petra family, as we saw the kingdom of heaven gain much ground both at home and abroad. For the first time, we launched a 3-month seasonal LifeGroup, Hosting the Presence, and gained a deeper understanding of how to host God's supernatural presence in our daily lives. We conducted our first healing-focused mission trip with Reverend Ian Andrews, who has an apostolic mandate to raise up sons and daughters of God who move in divine healing. Our inner healing team also saw many victories, as many testified of God's love working miracles in their lives.