New Creation Church's $500m centre fully paid for

Senior pastor makes announcement in video; Buona Vista venue can seat 5,000 people

New Creation Church, a fund-raising powerhouse, has fully paid for its 5,000-seat Star Performing Arts Centre costing $500 million located in the Star integrated development in Buona Vista.

In a Feb 15 video, the church's senior pastor Joseph Prince said: "As I'm doing this recording, we've paid for our building completely.

"Every time I go out to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, something like this happens back home in my church or to my family. As of this month, it's fully paid."

The video was posted on the Facebook page of American Christian broadcast network Daystar Television Network.

The church has more than 31,000 members who meet at the centre and other service venues.

The Star Performing Arts Centre, which also features a 300-seat outdoor amphitheatre, was built to accommodate the church's expanding congregation - its membership had jumped from 3,800 in 1999 to 12,900 in 2006.

The church's business arm, Rock Productions, won a tender to build, lease and operate the integrated development at Buona Vista in September 2007.

The church held its inaugural service there on Dec 23, 2012.

Responding to queries from The Sunday Times, the church said: "The funds come from the voluntary giving of our congregation to the church as well as to the building."

The church made headlines in 2010 when it raised $21.1 million in one day in August. This beat its previous one-day records of $18.8 million in February 2009 and about $18 million in April 2008.

The shopping mall component of the development from B1 to Level 2, called The Star Vista, is owned and managed by CapitaLand Mall Asia.

The mall cost about $477 million to develop and it opened on Sept 17, 2012.

The Star Performing Arts Centre takes up the third to 11th floors. Rock Productions purchased the land on a 60-year lease for about $189 million.

The independent church, which is also a member of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, started in a flat in Holland Drive in 1983.

Its other service venues today include the Marina Bay Sands Ballrooms, Cathay Cineplex Causeway Point, GV Grand (Great World City) and GV Yishun.

New Creation Church member Alvin Tan, 24, who is in the property services line, said: "Now, future offerings and tithe collections from the members can be used for other purposes such as regular maintenance of the venue and charity, like what the church has always done and will continue to do."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline 'New Creation Church's $500m centre fully paid for'. Subscribe