The church was started in 1948 at the Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School premises, then located along Neil Road. Founding members of the church have always considered a calling from God to serve the community in Chinatown. In the early 80’s, the school was given an attractive offer by the government to relocate to Dover Road. But the church decided to remain in Chinatown to continue to serve this community.
The destiny seemed to be sealed in 1986 when the church relocated to its current "home" at 1 Tanjong Pagar Road. Situated in the heart of Chinatown, the needs of the local community became very real to the church. In response, many small groups of members started their little “acts of kindness”; distributing food and gifts to the elderly residents, providing free tuition classes to needy students, giving bursaries to the neighbourhood schools to help the needy families, and celebrating seasonal festivals with lonely elderly folks.
The church subsequently decided to have a more concerted effort to provide community service for Chinatown, which resulted in taking ownership of Yong-en Care Centre. Yong-en Care Centre was registered as a charitable organization with the Registry of Societies in 1996, independent of the church and governed by its own constitution and has its own members. It remains affiliated to the church, which Yong-en relies as a strong supply of financial and manpower support. Yong-en is also dependent on support from the public to continue its services to the community.
Through the support from Dr. Richard Hu, Minister of Finance & MP for Kreta Ayer-Tanglin GRC at that time, Yong-en Care Centre was granted a lease at the void space above the Chinatown Complex commercial block. At the Centre’s Official Opening, he expressed his pleasure at seeing YCC working closely with the Kreta Ayer Senior Activity Centre, another major voluntary welfare organisation. Indeed, it is with the local community’s interest at heart that all these have happened.
It is hoped that the establishment of the Centre would help the Chinatown community (particularly senior citizens) to enjoy a greater sense of bonding and find help in times of need.