Members of City Harvest Church joyfully celebrated its 25th anniversary, praising God for His faithfulness despite the ongoing trial of pastor Kong Hee and five other church leaders accused of misappropriating millions of church funds.
"Thank God for His faithfulness the past 25 years. Happy Birthday, CHC," Kong posted on Twitter alongside a picture of himself, his wife and fellow believers blowing out candles on a large birthday cake.
According to the Straits Times, CHC, which is one of the largest megachurches in Singapore, held a 2 hour celebration at Suntec city Convention Hall, and the two services which were titled "Because of You" were attended by 18, 360 people.
Festivities included a performance by Hee's popstar wife, Sun Ho, who often sings at the church, as well as personal testimonies of many members of City Harvest.
"It has been an amazing journey with God because of you. Thank you for serving together with us," CHC said in a thank you post on Facebook over the weekend.
Kong Hee, along with five other church leaders is currently embroiled in a lawsuit alleging they misused 24 million in donated money to fund the career of Ho. While Ho is not charged in the case, she has been asked to testify in court.
According to Kong, church leaders never passed a resolution that indicated who has the power to make decisions regarding church funds, and thus no one can be held responsible for misusing the money.
Along with Kong, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han, Lam Leng Hung, and accountants Serina Wee Gek Yin and Sharon Tan Shao Yuen will face 10 to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Harvest City church was founding by Kong in 1989, and grew to an astounding 33, 000 members by 2010. However, after the allegations surfaced, church membership shrunk to 18, 192.
The church has 77 affiliated locations around the world, with members of 40 different nationalities. According to the City Harvest website, it seeks to "To build a church with a strong spiritual atmosphere of faith and purity, where every member is released into ministry, discipled in the Great Commandment to obey the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate."
Despite the ongoing controversy, Kong has remained active with the ministry, recently speaking at Oasis Church in Los Angeles. After his visit, Kong called the church one of the "greatest" and "most responsive" in the city.