Introducing Bishop Wong
By Rev. Peter Yong
“Before the election, I prayed to God:
‘If you, God, would like to use me in this role, I will submit to Your will, though I know it is not an easy task.’
After the election I asked for His grace, wisdom and strength to empower me to lead as the episcopal head of CMCA.”
———————————- Bishop Albert Wong
Just like that, the Almighty God puts in place his servant, Rev. Dr. Albert (Ing Seng) Wong, as the 4th Bishop of CMCA. Praise be to God for his gracious providence of leadership for the next 4 years!
And it gets even better! The newly elected Bishop started his brief acceptance speech in English! (Not a few ears perked up in pleasant surprise, as people who know Bishop Wong know that Mandarin is his primary language).
In his own words, Bishop Wong humbly shared what’s in his heart:
“Though I am not fluent in English, I tried to open my acceptance speech in English to give myself a breakthrough in the hope of connecting with the English-speaking pastors and church leaders.”
Obviously, this is not about diminishing the Mandarin-speaking group by any means. Rather, it’s an indication that the Bishop is willing to go beyond his ‘comfort zone’ in his episcopal role. Thank you, Lord, for the refreshing breath of fresh air.
This is a long time in coming, as God prepares and shapes Bishop Wong over the course of his life, including 23 years in ministry. Hailing from Sibu (Malaysia), Bishop studied Chemical Engineering in the University of Malaya in the early 80’s. After working 3 years in Brunei, Bishop gave it all up to prepare himself for full-time ministry by enrolling at China Evangelical Seminary, Taipei.
Bishop Wong began his pastoral ministry in 1991 at Goodwood Methodist Church, Adelaide. (Incidentally, it was also at Goodwood that Bishop was consecrated, followed by his very first sermon as Bishop a week later). However, the next year, Bishop was called back to Miri (Malaysia) because of the needs of his grandparents (who brought him up).
Yet, he didn’t turn his back on God’s calling, for in the next 6 years, he pastored at Miri Gospel Chapel, where his duties also included taking charge of Short-term Mission Training Centre and Night Bible Classes there. The Centre had 15 trainees undergoing equipping through an intensive regiment of Bible studies and carrying out ministries like street evangelism, home visitation, disciple-making and secondary school student ministry.
After Miri came 4 years of further equipping as Bishop earned Master of Theology (Biola, USA) and Doctor of Ministry (Logos Evangelical Seminary, USA). In 2002, Bishop returned to CMCA itinerant ministry pastoring Carlton, Camberwell and Monash churches. Since then, in addition to his pastoral duties, he’s served in diverse roles as District Superintendent, LAMM Principal, and various Boards of Annual Conference.
Family-wise, Bishop & wife, Esther, met each other through a combined MYF gathering (yoohoo MYF!) and have been married since 1985. Among Esther’s virtues, Bishop especially appreciates her commitment to serving God wholeheartedly, and placing her family above herself. “Those, plus her great cooking, who can ask for more”, Bishop muses. Bishop & Esther have a daughter, Angie, who’s undergoing nursing internship and looking for a nursing job. “Angie is caring and loving. She serves in the worship team” – Ahhh… words of proud parents!
By the time this article was written, Peter served as a minister at Goodwood Chinese Methodist Church in Adelaide. Now he is a Methodist minister in Malaysia.