Remembering Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam

 

REMEMBERING SENIOR PASTOR PRINCE GUNERATNAM

1945-2022

error

The Beginning

 

Born on 21 August 1945 in the little town of Muar in the state of Johore, Malaya (Malaysia today), Prince Guneratnam was raised by godly parents, Samuel Ezekiel Guneratnam and Constance Theresa Guneratnam in the love and fear of the Lord. His parents named him 'Prince' because peace had just been declared across Malaya with the end of World War Two.

DSC_0044.JPGAt the tender age of 13, he received the call of God upon his life through a series of visions of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was blinded by the brightness of these visions and only regained his eyesight after being prayed for by Evangelist Rev. Luther Szeto and Rev. Siew Wai Pun.

Treasuring this vision in his heart, he kept it alive by often visualising himself, as he stood on the verandah of his father's house, preaching to multitudes of people.

After completing his secondary education, Prince Guneratnam enrolled at the Bible Institute of Malaya (now called Bible College of Malaysia). It was there that he met his future wife - Petrina Giaw Foon Foon. They were married on 2 December 1966, the day after he graduated with a Diploma in Biblical Studies from the Bible Institute of Malaya. pic02.jpg

Together, the young couple laboured to pioneer and establish the Glad Tidings Assembly in Klang in 1967. While Pastor Prince concentrated on building up the new church, Sister Petrina worked as a school teacher to provide financial support for the church. This working arrangement continued even after the arrival of their children. 

In 1971, Prince Guneratnam was appointed Senior Pastor of Bethel Assembly in Singapore during the furlough of missionaries Reverend Fred and Margaret Seaward. In November 1972, the Lord led him back to Malaysia, when he was elected the Pastor of the four-years old Calvary Church in Kuala Lumpur. Together with his wife, they led the church until he was called home.

 

“Only one life; it will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” - Motto of Prince Guneratnam

 

 

pic3.jpg


His Ministry

 

Senior Pastor has, over the 50 years of ministry, developed and established a comprehensive and holistic ministry programme which builds, cares, and disciples the body of believers in Calvary Church, "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up," (Ephesians 4:12).

 

pic4.jpgerror

Calvary Church Ministries and Milestones

 

1972

  • Assumed Pastorate of Calvary Church

1973

  • Initiated Faith Promise giving 

1975

  • Bethel Tabernacle was started at Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur 

1976

  • Berean Assembly was started at Jalan Pekeliling, Kuala Lumpur

1977

  • The Tape Ministry was established

1978

  • Homecell ministry was initiated (later on renamed Life Group Ministry)
  • Revival Centre was started in Ulu Klang, Selangor

1979

  • The Family Life Department was established
  • Calvary Charismatic Fellowship was established 

 

1980.jpg

 

1980

  • The Library, an evangelistic outreach, was started at Sungai Wang Plaza (shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur)
  • People’s Assembly was started in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur 

1981

  • First Assembly of God was started in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan (first daughter church started in another state)
  • The Calvary Book Corner was established
  • The Missionettes Ministry was established

1982

  • The first Calvary Family Day was organised 
  • Women’s Ministries was initiated 
  • Royal Rangers Ministry was established

1983

1984

  • Calvary Printing Press was established
  • Calvary Church Sibu was started in Sarawak (first daughter church in East Malaysia)
  • Prayer Tower Ministry was established

1985

1986

  • Calvary Church Damansara Heights was renovated from a sanctuary seating 300 to one seating 1,500 
  • In the mid-1980s, he shared the vision of Calvary Church with a 5,000 seating capacity, having facilities that would provide for the growth of believers as described in Luke 2:52.
  • The Toddlers’ class was initiated to complement the worship service
  • The Singing Christmas Tree was first presented at Wisma MCA. The Christmas programme has become an annual event as Calvary Church's Christmas gift to the people of the Klang Valley.

1987

  • The Tuesday Ladies’ Worship Service (later on renamed ‘Dimensions’) was started

1989

  • Calvary Church purchased its first and second bungalows at Jalan Damansara Permai, Kuala Lumpur
  • The Singing Christmas Star was held in Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur
  • Tamil AG was started in Segamat, Johore
  • Charisma AG was started in Johor Jaya, Johore
  • Serendah Assembly of God was started in Serendah, Selangor 

 

1980.jpg

 

1990

  • Calvary College Students’ Ministry was initiated
  • Calvary Church co-hosted with the Assemblies of God (AG) of Malaysia the first-ever Pan Asia Pacific Conference in Kuala Lumpur, with 33 participating countries 
  • The Filipino Ministry was initiated
  • Calvary Sekinchan Assembly was started in Sekinchan, Selangor 
  • Westside Pentecostal Church was started in Vancouver, Canada (our first overseas daughter church)

1991

  • Calvary Church purchased a third and fourth bungalow at Jalan Damansara Permai, Kuala Lumpur
  • The Golden Eagles Ministry was initiated 
  • Praise Assembly of God was started in Alor Gajah, Malacca 

1992

  • The Calvary Men's Ministry was initiated 
  • The Japanese Ministry was initiated 
  • The Caring Ministry was initiated 
  • The Tamil Ministry was initiated
  • The Visitors' Lounge was initiated 
  • Japanese Interpretation during service was initiated
  • Sepang Praise Assembly was started in Sepang, Selangor 

1993

  • Bethel Chapel was started in Balakong, Selangor 
  • Berean Assembly was started in Desa Petaling, Kuala Lumpur 

1994

1995

  • Calvary Family AG was started in Parapat, Indonesia
  • Evangelism Team was established

1996

  • Established the first Calvary Satellite Church at Bandar Utama, Selangor
  • Calvary Church purchased her fifth bungalow at Jalan Damansara Endah, Kuala Lumpur
  • Glorious Praise AG was started in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur 
  • Bethsaida AG was started in Cheras, Selangor

1997

  • Established second Calvary Satellite Church at Cheras, Kuala Lumpur
  • Calvary Sunshine Home was established
  • Calvary Church purchased her sixth bungalow at Jalan Damansara Permai, Kuala Lumpur
  • A property at Damansara Perdana, Selangor was purchased to house our offices and various ministries

1998

  • A 15-acre property in Sg Pelek was purchased for Calvaryland
  • The monthly Bahasa Malaysia Fellowship was initiated 

1999

  • Homogenous Life Groups were introduced to meet the needs of specific groups, e.g. men, women, singles, senior citizens, office workers, as well as the other language groups.
  • The Living Sacrifice Programme was initiated
  • Calvary Bandar Sg. Long Assembly was started in Bandar Sg. Long, Kajang 

 

1980.jpg

 

2000

  • Established third Calvary Satellite Church at Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
  • Calvary Missions purchased a property for Calvary Church Press in OUG, KL
  • River of God, in Nairobi, Kenya (started in 1999) has her own building 
  • Calvary Praise Assembly was started in Puchong, Selangor 

2001

  • Calvary Church purchased her seventh and eighth bungalows at Jalan Damansara Permai, Kuala Lumpur
  • Calvary Church held her first Christmas Worship Service at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
  • Calvary Desa Assembly was started in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur 
  • Calvary Sungai Buloh Assembly was started at Bukit Rahman Putra, Selangor  

2002

  • The Young Professional LGs were initiated 
  • Calvary Bandar Baru Selayang was started at Batu Caves, Selangor 
  • Calvary Praise Assembly Melaka was started in Batu Berendam, Malacca 

2003

  • Purchased property to build Calvary Convention Centre (CCC) located in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
  • KidsCAT (Kids Creative Arts Team) was initiated 
  • Calvary Gombak Assembly was started in Danau Kota, Gombak, Selangor 

2004

  • Calvary Bukit Bintang Assembly was started in Kuala Lumpur 
  • Calvary Praise Assembly Sungei Pelek was started in Selangor 

2005

  • Bahasa Malaysia interpretation initiated at Damansara Perdana Satellite Service 
  • Calvary Education Resource Centre was established
  • Calvary Praise Assembly Bandar Bukit Tinggi was started

2006

  • The Youth LGs were initiated 
  • Calvaryland, Sungei Pelek operations began with homes for children, senior, and women in crisis 
  • Harvesters Assembly was started in Yei, Sudan 

2007

  • Approval of CCC Earthwork Plans
  • Commencement of CCC Substructure Works
  • Approval of CCC building plans 

2008

  • Calvary Press printed 60,000 evangelistic tracts 

2009

  • A total of 10,540 attended over the three nights of the Easter Presentations, at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. 805 people responded to altar call and 447 people responded for salvation and rededication

 

error

 

2011

  • Dedication of Cheras Missions House, Kuala Lumpur
  • Cornerstone Laying Service at the CCC
  • Cumulatively planted 24 churches locally, 5 churches overseas, established the building of more than 21 churches overseas, and sent out 10 missionaries (1973-2011)

2012

  • Combined Outreach Camp for 12 Calvary Outreaches

2013

  • Certificate of Fitness issued for CCC
  • First Easter Presentation in CCC
  • Hosted the 23rd Pentecostal World Conference and held the Dedication Service of CCC. A total of 3,465 delegates, including 1,500 foreign delegates from 68 nations attended the conference, which represented the largest gathering of Pentecostals in Malaysia

2014

  • Hosted Church Growth International (CGI) Conference at CCC attended by 1,103 delegates from 36 nations
  • First Blood Donation Drive in CCC

2015

2017

2018

2019

2020

errorerrorerror

 

“The impact of his ministry will continue to bless our fellowship. Reverend Guneratnam has indeed been a driving force behind the Assemblies of God movement in Malaysia for more than two decades.” - Assemblies of God Malaysia

 

More than a Senior Pastor of a local church, he was a Christian statesman whose outstanding leadership abilities were recognised early in his career. He gave himself unstintingly to the work of the Kingdom, well beyond Calvary Church.

 

error

Beyond Calvary Church Ministries and Milestones

 

1970

1973

  • Assistant General Superintendent of AG of Malaysia

1974

  • Home Missions Director of AG of Malaysia

1974

  • Elected as the first Malaysian General Superintendent of AG of Malaysia (position held until 2000)
  • Under his able and God-anointed leadership, the AG fellowship of 25 churches multiplied to more than 250, with at least a church in every state and major town throughout Malaysia. Commensurate growth was registered in church attendance, which grew from 2,500 in 1973 to 48,000 in 2000, making the AG fellowship one of fastest-growing Pentecostal movements in Malaysia, and the sixth largest Christian denomination in Malaysia.
  • He contributed much to church building programmes by raising funds to help churches acquire facilities for their services. He also helped raise building funds for the Bible College of Malaysia (of which he was the Chairman for 13 years) and the Malaysia Tamil Bible Institute. Always a staunch supporter of education and training, he believed in grooming young workers for leadership responsibilities.

1974

1976

1980

  • Chairman of the Assemblies of God Asian Association
  • Chairman of Assemblies of God Asian Missions Association (AGAMA)

1984

  • Director of the International Correspondence Institute of Malaysia

1985

1986

1988

  • Foreign Missions Director of AG of Malaysia

1988

  • Vice Chairman of NECF

1989

1993

  • International Chairman of World AG Relief Agency
  • Advisory Council Member of International Charismatic Consultation On World Evangelisation (ICCOWE) 

1994

  • Executive Committee Member of ICCOWE 
  • Chairman of NECF 

1995

1999

  • Honorary Secretary of CFM

2001

  • Member of International Advisory Board, Mission of Mercy
  • Chairman of CFM 
  • Member of Board of Directors of World AG Relief Agency

2000

  • Vice-Chairman of World AG Fellowship
  • Member of the Board of Director of Northwest University Kirkland, Washington

2010

  • The first Asian Chairman of Pentecostal World Fellowship (position held until 2019)
  • This is the largest forum for Pentecostal/ Charismatic collaboration with a constituency of over 650 million globally.
  • Member of Global Christian Forum and Global Cabinet Member of Empowered21

2019

  • The 25th Pentecostal World Conference marked the conclusion of his term as Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship after having served for the maximum nine years. 
  • After handing over the leadership of the Fellowship to the newly-elected executives, he was recognised for his outstanding leadership and was made an Honorary Advisory Member of the Pentecostal World Fellowship. He is the third person to hold such a position after Dr Jack Hayford and Dr Yonggi Cho.

pic02.jpgA much sought-after preacher and teacher of the Word of God, Reverend Dr. Prince Guneratnam has travelled extensively to bring the Good News that Jesus saves. He has preached at Church Growth International Conferences, World Pentecostal Conferences, Missions Conventions, Pan-Asia Pacific Ministers' Conferences, and Evangelistic Rallies. His powerful pulpit ministry has brought the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to nations far and wide - from Asia to the Americas, from Bangladesh to Budapest, from Indonesia to India, from Japan to Jerusalem, from Korea to Kenya, from Singapore to South Africa - over land and across the seas, and to the ends of the earth. The vision of a 13-year old boy who dared to dream. His vision of preaching to multitudes - fulfilled, many times, exceedingly, abundantly, beyond what he could have asked or imagined. A faithful servant to an ever-faithful God. A life surrendered to do the will of God to "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15).

 

 

errorerror

Awards and Honours

He sought to honour God with his life, and God has certainly honoured him in many ways, many times.

 

1980

  • Conferred the first honorary Doctorate of Divinity by the Full Gospel Central Bible College of Whittier, California, USA 

1984

  • Received a second honorary degree- the Doctor of Litterarum from the California Graduate School of Theology, Glendale, California, USA

1999

  • Bestowed the “Panglima Jasa Negara” (The Distinguished Order of Meritorious Service, with the title “Datuk”) by His Majesty the King of Malaysia. 

2000

  • Conferred a third Honorary degree - Doctor of Laws from Northwest College of Kirkland, Washington, USA

2006

  • Honoured as General Superintendent Emeritus of the AG of Malaysia

2008

  • Cited for leadership skills with Exceptional Leadership Award by The Global Coalitions of Billion Souls Churches

2008

  • Bestowed the “Panglima Setia Mahkota” (Commander of the Order of Loyalty to the Crown, with the title “Tan Sri”) by His Majesty the King of Malaysia. 

2012

  • Received the Distinguished Global Leadership Award by the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Croatia

2016

  • Received a Lifetime Achievement Award by General Council of AG Malaysia

error

 

Favoured by God, respected by men. A high honour indeed for a man of God. Beyond personal honour, it was a significant achievement for the church and the Christian community that he led to be recognised for their contribution in the nation building of Malaysia.

 


 

Publications

Living as GTP.jpg

Living as God’s Treasured Possession 
1998
ISBN - 983-99420-0-X
Published by Calvary Church

Love Wins_0.jpg

Love Wins
2013
ISBN - 978-983-99420-2-6
Published by Calvary Church

Eaglebook.jpg

Rising Above the Storms
2016
ISBN - 978-983-99420-4-0
Published by Calvary Church

Various Articles 
1985 to 2019
2000 to 2020
2021

 

 

Sermons

playlist.jpg

Click here for Youtube Playlist

 


 

His Family

error

 

Wife
Petrina Guneratnam

Daughter and Son-in-Law
Pamela Joy Guneratnam and Christopher Lee

Son and Daughter-in-Law
Prince Guneratnam Jr (Jim) and Amelia Lee

Grandchildren
Azalea Joy Lee and spouse Daniel Nguyen, Alexander Christopher Lee, and Matthew Christian Lee, Jamie Prince Guneratnam and Prince Guneratnam III James

 


 

Celebrating A Life Well Lived 

 

The morning of Saturday, 10 September 2022 was somewhat cloudy, with the warmth of the morning sun penetrating the air. Much like the service that unfolded at 11.30am at Calvary Convention Centre’s auditorium, it was sombre, yet celebratory. The contrast couldn’t have been more stark. As Calvarites and friends of Calvary Church trickled in, the chatter at the foyer was muted, with most of the noise coming from the counter where condolence cards and gift envelopes were made available.

DSC_0044.JPGThe doors to the auditorium opened at 11.00am and as everyone poured in, the sight on stage was surreal. There, surrounded by towering white floral arrangements, lay the closed casket of our beloved Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam. How many times have we Calvarites seen him, with a bounce in his step, sprint onto this very stage to reach the pulpit and every time he did this? Every time feverish prayers rapidly reached God’s throne room so that he didn’t miss a step and fall. He never did. The grace and the energy that this man exuded belied his age. He wanted all of us to remember him that way, we were told by Associate Pastor Steven Kum in his welcome remarks. It is so easy to wallow in the grief of his sudden illness and eventual demise, but thank God for the 50 great years He has given us and for the opportunity to celebrate Senior Pastor’s life dedicated to his Lord, his family, the church, and ministries. 

 

Senior Pastor would have approved of and loved his farewell service. It was just the way he would have wanted it: devoid of fanfare and pageantry but intimate, with the gathering of immediate family, church family, and close friends, the people he loved. More importantly, it was for the audience of One, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom Senior Pastor loved the most. 

 

“Only one life; it will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last. Celebrating a life very well lived. It is a time of thanksgiving to God for the life of Senior Pastor, who had embraced the knowledge that anything that he did would only be of worth if it was done for Christ. And today, we acknowledge he has done exactly that in which manner in which he pastored us and his ministry.” Associate Pastor Steven 

 

Deacon Chow Sang Hoe opened in prayer, giving thanks to God for Senior Pastor’s life as one who lived obedient to God’s Word. “Many of us came to know You, Lord, and accepted You when Senior Pastor planted the seeds of Your Word in our hearts, and this includes me.” Just like Sang Hoe, so many came to know and accepted the Lord through Senior Pastor's ministry. Such was the impact of his ministry here and beyond the shores of Malaysia as the Lord used him to share the Gospel to thousands, and be saved.

 

The worship team then led the congregation in praising God. They sang one of Senior Pastor’s favourite hymns, Great is Thy Faithfulness. This was followed by an introductory video on Senior Pastor’s international ministry. 

 

Tributes 

 

DSC_0044.JPGReverend Ong Sek Leang, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Malaysia was the first to be invited to share his thoughts on Senior Pastor. He described him as a strong, principled, no nonsense man, yet gracious in character. “Senior Pastor had always envisioned Calvary Church and the Assemblies of God as a family. He was a man who always believed that nothing is impossible.” His response to the “cannots” has always been “why not?” Pastors, church staff, and lay leaders in Calvary Church understand this very well. As Reverend Ong put it, “his faith in God was unearthly, but supernatural.” The building of Calvary Convention Centre today stands as a testimony of this faith. With God, all things are possible. His faith was grafted to the person of Jesus Christ and it was engrained on the tablets of his soul and through his lifestyle, teachings, and preaching. Many became the beneficiaries of his faith in God, especially us in Calvary Church. 

 

DSC_0044.JPGChurch secretary Deacon David Peter spoke on behalf of the board of deacons. He fondly recollected how the Chairman, Senior Pastor, always reminded them to never to look to man, but to keep their eyes on Jesus. The most critical instruction Senior Pastor left them with was for the board to continue to labour for the expansion of God’s kingdom. The board is resolved to keep this commitment. David said “He would have wanted us as a board to continue the work. And as a board we say we shall. He would have encouraged you and I to continue the work, and as a congregation I know we will.” 

 

DSC_0044.JPGNext, Associate Pastor Peter Ong represented the pastors and church staff. He delivered a heartfelt tribute. “You always inspire us to rise higher in our faith and go beyond ourselves to achieve for our Lord. We will remember your counsel to us that if God has called us, He will enable us to persevere and do our best for His kingdom and glory. You taught us to never give up in spite of the odds and the near impossible challenges faced.” He thanked Senior Pastor for the opportunity to serve together with him. The longevity of his faithfulness to God is evident in the lives of the pastors and church staff in their personal walk with the Lord. Many have served alongside Senior Pastor for more than 40 years.

 

DSC_0044.JPGSenior Pastor’s close friend of 58 years, Reverend Dr. Robert Lim, founding pastor of Evangel Family Church, Singapore, had served together with him on many boards, committees and had travelled to different countries to preach the Gospel. “One of the greatest things that I will always treasure is the close friendship. Pastor Prince inspires. He is a man who is courageous, faithful, and determined. A dear friend that I love very much. I will miss his laughter because he loves to laugh and he loved food too!”

 

DSC_0044.JPGDr. David Sumrall, Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Praise in Manila, Philippines described his relationship with Senior Pastor saying, “Senior Pastor never understood why I was nervous around him. I have incredible respect for what he has done. As a young man, he showed that he accepted me. A white face, but desperately wanting an Asian heart as we were spending the rest of our lives in the Philippines. He accepted me as I was. What Senior Pastor and Sister has been for us is the example of a Christian life.” 

 

Then Pastor Sumrall addressed the youth in Calvary Church. “Young people, as you have grown up in this church, you watched a pastor and watched a pastor’s family who have always lived the Christian life in front of you. And may you rise up as a new generation as a Joshua generation to take the foundation that they have built in your life in this city and do the greatest work that has ever been done in this part of the world. ”

 

DSC_0044.JPGThere were close friends of Senior Pastor who wanted to be present at this service, but were unable to. One of them was Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, the General Overseer of the Lighthouse Chapel, Ghana. He is a regular visiting pastor and a close friend of Senior Pastor's. Bishop Heward-Mills was represented by his wife, Adelaide Heward-Mills, and their daughter at the service. He did not miss the opportunity to express his feelings for Senior Pastor, having a moving message to express his love and affection for Senior Pastor. He said, “I want to honour Senior Pastor, who was a great father to his church, to his family, and extended family, including people like myself who were greatly blessed to know him, and to be fathered by him, to be loved by him.” He continued to highlight the legacy Senior Pastor left behind, “Thank you, Senior Pastor, for the great work, and I know you are now in Heaven receiving your crowns and your rewards for all the things that you did. Your fruits are right here on earth and I am one of them. I will always cherish your memory and I thank God for your life.”

 

Reverend Dr. Margaret Seaward, who regards Senior Pastor and Sister Petrina as part of her family, read a scripture found in Psalm 75:6-7 and referenced the scripture to the life of Senior Pastor. She observed that “Brother Prince was a man of deep conviction, whose passionate heartbeat was for the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” She continued, “His life in ministry has impacted not only thousands of individual lives, but churches, missionaries organisations, and international groups. The thing that inspired me the most about Brother Prince is that over the years, he remained most humble in his attitude and in his demeanour. He never let titles or the positions go to his head. This unassuming figure was truly one of God’s generals. I would say one of God’s great generals.” 

 

Last Sermon and Holy Communion

 

Once the tributes concluded, we watched a recording of Senior Pastor preaching his last sermon recorded on 1 August 2021. The message was on the church theme for 2021, “Walk by Faith”, and the sermon title was "Don't Give Up".

 

Before sharing his thoughts, he addressed the church and said, “Sister Petrina and I love you, all the pastors, the deacons, the church leaders, and those who have served, and all those who worship with us faithfully. Our prayers are for you, that the Lord will honour your faith and the Lord will prosper you and keep you and your family healthy to the glory of the Lord.” Under normal circumstances, Senior Pastor telling us he loves us is not unusual, but to hear him say this at the farewell service was momentous and heartfelt.

 

In his message, “Don’t Give Up”, Senior Pastor encouraged us, saying, “When God tells you and there are doors of opportunities and there are things that He needs you to do, He will guide you into it. Stay put, stay faithful, walk in faith. Don’t walk away from the miracle that is about to happen in your life because you gave up, because you don’t understand. You know the Lord has been with you. You are wondering if you will succeed? Will you prosper? Will you be healed? Will you be set free? The challenge is to allow God to have His way with you.”

 

After Senior Pastor's recorded sermon, the worship team sang Senior Pastor’s favourite song, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, as the church prepared for communion. Dressed in a black suit and with an open Bible on his desk, his frailty belied the same passion and determination driven by love for a congregation he pastored for 50 years. He mustered every ounce of strength he could as he led the congregation of Calvary Church in Holy Communion one more time. The recording ends with Senior Pastor raising his right hand to bless us.

 

From His Family

 

calnews7.JPG.jpg

As we approached the final leg of the farewell service, Senior Pastor’s children and grandchild were the last to share. We were shown a video montage of Senior Pastor with his family, and it was obvious how much he loved his children and grandchildren. They were truly the apples of his eye. Azalea Lee, the eldest of the grandchildren, spoke on behalf of her two brothers and her two cousins. Azalea shared, “His responsibility over his grandchildren was the most important to him. Even during the final months, when he was sick and strength was leaving him, he reminded us that our relationship with God and living a life of faith was the most important thing. For me, the one fundamental principle he repeated to me time and time again is that God comes first, then family, and then everything else.”

 

DSC_0044.JPGPam Guneratnam, Senior Pastor’s daughter, had this to say, “My dad had three great loves. He loved God, and loved our mother and our family very much. He also loved you, the church. My father really loved you. He cared about you. He worried about you. He prayed for you all the time. You were in his thoughts till the very end. One of the last things he used his strength for was to make the video you just watched, on the Holy Communion service. As a family, we want to acknowledge your loss. We are very sorry for the loss of your beloved pastor and spiritual father. I want you to know that my father passed away very peacefully, with my mother and the rest of the family by his side.”

 

DSC_0044.JPGFinally, Jim Guneratnam, Senior Pastor’s son, quoted 2 Timothy 4:5-8, “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

 

About Senior Pastor’s departure from this earth, he said, “Dad was ready and waiting for his eternal reward. However, we may not have been as ready, wanting him to be here with us for a while longer. But God answered all our prayers. He not only healed dad, but has made him whole and perfect, taking him to his eternal home. God has also been gracious to us too, giving us time to spend with him and prepare for his departure.”

 

Jim also took the opportunity to appreciate, on behalf of Sister Petrina and the family, all who were present in celebrating a life well lived. “We thank each of you for being here, especially those of you who have travelled far this morning. We are honoured by all your presence. We are extremely grateful to the pastors, the deacons, and staff of Calvary Church who have faithfully supported dad, mum, and our family, and ensured that the church continues to fulfil her mission. You are all like a family to us. To all who have helped and prepared for today’s service, thank you for making this a meaningful celebration. Also, thank you for all your gifts and the memories that you have shared with us.”

 

The common thread amongst all who shared and expressed their love for Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam is that he was a great leader, a visionary, a good shepherd, a loving husband, caring father and grandfather. He was a defender of the faith and his fidelity to the Word of God is admirable. Some may not have had the opportunity to interact with him, but the ones who have, will tell you he was a kind and thoughtful man, always inspiring us to love God. He had for 50 years, together with Sister Petrina, metaphorically held our hands and relentlessly pointed us to Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. 

 

As Deacon David Peter so aptly put it, Pastor Prince Guneratnam was the only Senior Pastor many of us have known. We love him and will miss him dearly. And every time we look up, we will remember that he is in his final resting place with God.

 


Content contributed by Carmen Chong, Annabbel Lily, and David Ngeow


 

 

From Those That Have Been Blessed

 

“Senior Pastor has definitely left such an indelible mark and impact in my life. A visionary pastor and leader, full of mountain-moving faith. He was God's excellent gift to us. So thankful for who he was and all that he has done for Him, for His people, for Malaysia, and for the communities around the world.” 
- Linda 

 

 

Senior Pastor Prince Guneratnam was one of the finest men I ever met. He showered love on me and my family. In fact, just after my wife passed away in April 2021, Senior Pastor came all the way with Sister Petrina and Associate Pastor Steven Kum and pray for us. I was deeply touched. To me, Senior Pastor was not only my pastor, but also my dear friend, who I shall never ever forget. 
- A. Nelson
 

 

When my wife (my girlfriend back then in 1998) wanted to bring me to Calvary Church in Damansara Heights, I questioned her why travel so far from Klang every week? I know it's God's plan that when I attend my very first worship service, I hear God's word through Senior Pastor's message. I have been attending Calvary Church regularly since and that memory still holds.
- Richard 
 

 

Senior Pastor's message shared at the St Mary's School chapel service when I was a 16-year-old impacted me and convicted by the Holy Spirit, I accepted Jesus into my heart. Joining as staff in Calvary Church has given me a close up picture of Senior Pastor's larger than life faith in Jesus. Senior Pastor's discipline, focus, dedication, and love for Jesus, his family, and the church leaves a lasting imprint and example, and is a reflection of what it means to love God and to love others.
- Yoke Yee
 

 

Everytime we seek for answers, we find it in his preaching. Some of his words that we will always remember are after the Holy Communion when he will say 'Don't look down, look up' when praying to thank God and how when he repeats a phrase/verse, saying he’s not a broken record, but emphasising the importance. We thank God for such an amazing spiritual father who has guided us throughout all these years from the very beginning of our mustard seed faith to where we are today, faithfully serving in church as a family.
- Henry, Barbara, & Natalie 

 

 

Since I have been in Malaysia (my birth country is Myanmar), I learnt to read the newspaper. One day, I read about the Christmas musical service in Calvary Church. Since then I have followed Calvary Church on most Christmases. Pastor Prince Guneratnam's preaching touches my heart all the time. Every year end, I would search the newspaper for information on where the Calvary Church musical would be held. 
- Kelly

 

 

I was invited by a friend to a Calvary Charismatic Fellowship meeting at Hotel Merlin in KL in November 1977. God spoke to me through the message given by Pastor Prince Guneratnam, and I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. 
- Pastor Nathaniel 
 

 

Thank God very much for the home church, First AOG Gemas, pioneered by Calvary Church in 1980 where I was saved in 1985. Calvary Church found sponsors for my study studies at the Bible College of Malaysia back in 1990-1991. In 1994, when First AOG Gemas launched a church building project, Pastor Prince Guneratnam generously initiated for Calvary Church to give an offering of RM70,000 and an interest-free loan of RM100,000 to enable us to buy the church building in cash. In 2001, Pastor Prince suggested my home church to be a "sovereign church" as I will return from Calvary Sekinchan Assembly in 2002 to lead this church. This has helped our home church leaders to be more supportive in advancing God 's Kingdom in Gemas and beyond, even till today. Praise God, later on both my parents accepted the Lord Jesus. Besides the Tamil and Chinese Services, we started the Bahasa Malaysia service to cater for the East Malaysians who work in the army. In all of the growth of First AOG, Gemas, we give thanks to God for Pastor Prince's vision in starting this church and supporting the work till it was established, and releasing the work to allow the church more room to grow. Glory to God for his wise leadership.
- Pastor Stephen 
 

 

So it is not an exaggeration to say I would really not be the person I am now if not for Senior Pastor's and Sister Petrina's obedience to God's call. My moral compass and Christian worldview has been shaped through the ministry of the Calvary family. I'm forever grateful to Pastor for modelling through his life and his ministry how a loving, spiritual father and wise shepherd is like….I recall two memorable experiences with Pastor - (1) Once, when I was a church staff, Pastor called me into his office. I wasn't told of the reason … with fear and trembling ... When I finally made it to his office room, I sat down and then heard him say "So, Jeannie, it's your birthday today!" :) We had a short chat and then Pastor so lovingly took the time to say a birthday prayer of blessing over me and my family. I will never forget this encounter and it still touches my heart as I write these words. (2) I also remember bumping into Pastor at Damansara Heights. When he saw me, he had a big smile and I greeted him, saying, "Hi Pastor, haven't seen you for a long time." He responded by saying, "Yes, a long time, Jeannie. A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (quoting the Scriptures). He said this with such a big grin and might I add, a cheeky smile on his face! :) 
- Jeannie 
 

 

He never once complained when he was “attacked” by people around but instead always prayed for them. His wisdom and gift of administration stood out most for me. I always remember he told me that the desire to serve God will never come from Satan nor ourselves (as no carnal human will want to sacrifice personal comfort) but it’s planted in us by God through the Holy Spirit. Thank you Senior Pastor for your love for God, for us (your sheep), and for the lost. Most importantly, thank you God for sending Senior Pastor as a gift to bless so many of us. 
- Dee Peng

 

In a brightly lit hospital room, Senior Pastor (with Associate Pastor Raymond Yong) visited my father who had just undergone cancer surgery. On the chair behind him, in spiritual darkness, slept his son: me. I opened my eyes to Senior Pastor chatting with my Dad in low tones, asking how he was, and praying for him. … It was then that the Holy Spirit convicted me … even though he had so many duties and responsibilities, Senior Pastor took the time to visit my earthly father in the hospital because he took to heart God’s call to “feed my sheep.” On that day, the Heavenly Father reached out through my earthly father and Senior Pastor, our spiritual father, and brought me, the lost lamb, back to the fold.
- Shawn 
 

 

From His International Ministry

 

He is a man of integrity and leadership. Whatever he did in serving His King Jesus, he did it in excellence and with great integrity, which he expected of himself, the staff members, and the whole leadership. We are honoured to be cared for, to grow, and to serve under his godly leadership. Though a man of few words and no small talk, God used him greatly for the extension of God's Kingdom in Malaysia and all over the world. 
- Matthew, Winnie Low, Michelle, & family, Agape Church Burnaby Canada
 

 

We have many fond and warm memories of him, especially in three areas. Firstly, he was always our pastor, spiritual father, and mentor. Secondly, he chose and took the time, during his visit to Vancouver, to preach at our church on Sunday at Potter’s Place Mission, located in the most broken and destitute area of the city (known as DTES) and possibly Canada, instead of a big church. Thirdly, he set aside the time, amidst his busy schedule during his conferences and ministry trips in North West America, to have close fellowship with us and to provide heart-felt encouragement and prayers for us, including at the 2019 Pentecostal World Conference in Calgary, Canada.
- Deborah and Frederick Chien, Westside Pentecostal Church, Vancouver, Canada
 

 

He is a man who is generous and one who opens doors for the ministry of God's servants. …. He invited and encouraged me to contribute in larger capacities to further the work of the Kingdom. Without his strong affirmation of my character and ministry, I would not be where I am today. 
- Reverend Dominic Yeo, Chairman of Asia Pacific Assemblies of God 
 

 

He was faithful in all of his work and a friend to thousands. As his name states, he was a Prince of a man.  His ministry reached around the globe and God used him to make a profound difference for Christ. His graciousness and warm spirit will be missed among us. My personal memories of my fellowship times around the world with Prince are sweet. I was honoured to serve with him!
- Dr. William M. Wilson, Chairman of Pentecostal World Fellowship
 

 

On behalf of the 1.6 million members of the Assemblies of God of Korea and Yoido Full Gospel Church, I would like to express my deepest condolences at the passing of Dr. Prince Guneratnam. … I was honoured to serve with him in Church Growth International. He was a great and faithful servant of God. His influence will continue to carry on in the years to come.
- Senior Pastor Dr. Younghoon Lee, Yoido Full Gospel Church
 

 

Dr. Prince Guneratnam was a father figure …. He is well loved and highly regarded by our UD - OLGC family. …. He nurtured and impacted our Bishop's life in very profound, albeit quiet ways. Together with his very endearing wife, Sister Petrina, his family became our family and we always felt like an integral part of theirs. 
- Archbishop Kwasi Ampofo, United Denominations Originating from the Lighthouse Group of Churches (UD - OLGC)
 

 

Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow. On behalf of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, I assure you that we greatly appreciate the ministry of Rev. Guneratnam and his faithfulness in the service of God’s kingdom.
- Rev. D. Mohan, Acting Chairman of World Assemblies of God Fellowship
 

 

Rev. Dr Prince served so well, excellently and diligently for decades both nationally and globally. … He led the CFM in Christian unity and promoted the interests of God's church in Malaysia. He was one of the giants of the church in Malaysia. 
- Tan Kong Beng, the Executive Secretary of Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) on behalf of Rev. Philip Thomas
 

 

I am deeply moved by the sad news of the passing away of Rev. Guneratnam....Pastor Guneratnam grasped the compelling vision of the GCF ....I vividly remember how eagerly he participated in the GCF's visit to the churches in the Middle East in 2009… I join the community of Calvary Church and all those who have known and loved Pastor Guneratnam in giving thanks to God for his life and ministry.
- Hubert van Beek, Emeritus first Secretary of the Global Christian Forum (GCF)
 

 

He has been a source of strength and encouragement to all of us. His vision and passion was so vibrant and contagious. I personally recall many memories of him in Bangladesh on many occasions, the last one in September 2019. He was indeed a great man of faith in God.
- Asa Kain, General Superintendent of AG Bangladesh
 

 

Of the many accomplishments in his life, one particular thing that comes to mind is the fact that he was a bridge-builder and served to connect individuals, churches, denominations, and nations together through his life and ministry. Pastor was a spiritual father to us and a treasured friend of the Funatsus. 
- Rev (Drs) Yukio and Kyoko Funatsu, Kanazawa Christ Church, Japan
 

 

One of the highlights of our friendship was to suddenly receive an email from Pastor Prince a few years ago saying that he and Sister are coming to spend the weekend with us in Kolkata…. It was very special to have them minister to us as well as our church family. We will always treasure the visit. It meant a lot of us. 
- Pastor Dr. Ivan and Sheila Satyavrata, Pastor Emeritus of the AG Church, Kolkata, Japan
 

 

Dr Guneratnem served the Lord and is a great example to us younger leaders. His commitment to his family, the church, CGI, and the church body in general is a great example of a life fully devoted to the course of Christ. His warmth and relational way of living has made an indelible mark in our heart.
- Bishop Mosa Sono, Grace Bible Church South Africa