The Mar Thoma Church has a unique history in Malaysia being one of the few major denominations and churches not set up by missionaries or ordained priests. Instead it was initiated by a group of Malayali immigrants that were then employed in British Malaya.
Migrants from the Syrian Christian community of Kerala, are reported to have first arrived on the shores of the then Malaya as early as 1910. The Syrian Christian community was always a small community with only 70 Syrian Christians recorded in the census of 1930. Among the earliest was Isaac Benjamin (also known as the "Ninan Inspector") who was followed by K.C. George in 1911. K.C. George laid the foundation of the Mar Thoma Church in Malaya by actively encouraging the movement of Syrian Christians from Kerala to Malaya, in spite of the dangers posed by malaria, rampant this country at that time.
Early Mar Thoma services generally took the form of prayer meetings in private homes. The first service following the Mar Thoma Service Order was held on the first Sundays of every month in the Jubilee School in Klang. This was followed in 1929 by regular services in the Penuel High School in Kuala Lumpur led by K. G. Mathew.