Choong Chee Pang (1942–2021)

Choong Chee Pang hailed from Bukit Merah, a small village in Ipoh, Malaysia. In 1961, he came to Singapore to study at the Nanyang University (NU) where he majored in Modern Languages and minored in Political Science. He joined the Nanyang University Christian Fellowship (NUCF) though he knew nothing much about the student Christian movement then. During that time, there was a leadership crisis in the CF. After having attended the CF for a few months, he was somehow identified as the person who could likely fill the leadership gap. So, during his first year as an undergraduate, he became the chairman/president of the CF and continued to serve in this capacity in his second and third year of studies.  

In December 1964, while back home in Malaysia waiting for his final examination results, two letters came for him in the post on the same day. The first letter was from NU informing him that one of his lecturers had secured a scholarship for him to do a PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The second letter came from Dr Lawrence Chan who was then the chairman of the FES Singapore executive committee. He wrote very briefly, “Chee Pang, at our last executive committee meeting, we had unanimously decided to invite you to be our national staff worker. So please come down as soon as you can to take on the job now.”  

As he considered these two options, the Lord reminded him of a commitment he had made after a very moving and challenging sermon at a NUCF meeting during his third year. He had written it down in his old Chinese Bible – Isaiah 6:8: “Here I am, send me.” So, after a very painful struggle, he took up his pen and wrote two letters. The first one was to turn down the offer of the scholarship. The second letter was to Dr Lawrence Chan – “Here am I, I’m coming. 我来也!” 

In early 1965, he joined FES Singapore as a travelling secretary to help with the Chinese work in FES Malaya and Singapore. When Chua Wee Hian, the first FES staff worker, was transferred to Kuala Lumpur in 1967, Chee Pang was put in charge of the work in Singapore, helping with both the Chinese-speaking and English-speaking work.  

After four years of service, and sensing the need for theological grounding, he left for Sydney, Australia in 1969 to pursue his BD London degree which was offered at Moore Theological College. When he came back to Singapore, the Lord gave him a strong sense of mission for theological education. This led him to do doctoral studies in Aberdeen and Oxford in the UK. Upon completing his PhD in 1977, he joined the faculty of Trinity Theological College (TTC), Singapore, and served there for 24 years, including a term as its principal from 1982 to 1991. 

Though he had left FES staff work in 1969, he continued to be involved in the Nanyang University Graduates’ Christian Fellowship (NUGCF), and in speaking at student meetings and camps. He also served as one of the vice presidents of FES for 35 years from 1986 to 2021, and as president for two terms from 1986 to 1988. At the international level, Dr Choong was the East Asia representative in the IFES International Executive Committee from 2007 to 2015. 

In his capacity as President and Vice-President, Dr Choong was present at many of the FES annual general meetings. He would listen keenly to the reports presented, ask questions, and highlight some developments he was aware of that could have implications for student ministry. FES and GCF will deeply remember and celebrate Dr Choong’s continuing passion and love for God’s work in the student world. 

Rev. Dr Choong Chee Pang went home to be with the Lord on 12 June 2021. 

More about Rev. Dr Choong Chee Pang 

追思—钟志邦牧师 Remembering Rev. Choong Chee Pang (1942–2021) 
This memorial booklet can be downloaded free of charge at: https://www.kobo.com/sg/en/ebook/remembering-rev-choong-chee-pang-1942-2021 

Cherishing the Memory of Rev Dr Choong Chee Pang (1942-2021) 
https://www.ttc.edu.sg/english/uncategorized/cherishing-the-memory-of-rev-dr-choong-chee-pang-1942-2021

From Nantah to Beida, and on to Eternal Glory Rev Choong Chee Pang (1942–2021) 
https://saltandlight.sg/news/from-nantah-to-beida-and-on-to-eternal-glory-rev-dr-choong-chee-pang-1942-2021

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