Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
ANDHRA EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation – Six Synods of AELC: Visakha Synod,EastGuntur Synod,Central Guntur Synod,West Guntur Synod (5000 congregation)
Objectives of AELC : Mission, Health, Education, Social/Community Development,Environment,Women Empowerment, Lay Leaders Empowerment, Dalit and Tribal Empowerment.
Most Rev. Dr. K.F. Paradesi Babu
Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Brodipet, Becker Compound,
Tel : 0863- 2241623 (O), 2231487 ®
Fax : 0863- 2249030, Mob: 9849828267
A. The Beginnings
The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) is the largest Lutheran Church in India with 1.6 million membership and the third largest Lutheran Church in Asia. The Foreign Missionary Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America took birth on 30th May 1837. Here the seed was sown to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the people of South India. The Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania prayerfully decided to send a Missionary to India, and as a result, Fr. John Christian Frederick Heyer, having received his commission at St. Paul’s Church, Philadelphia, left Boston on October 14, 1841 and reached Madras. After some explorations to select a place for his ministry, Fr. Heyer arrived at Guntur on 31st July 1842 and with the support and encouragement of the then District Collector, H. Strokes began to share the joy of salvation in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. Rev. Louis P. Menno Valett of the North German Missionary Society started the Rajahmundry Mission in January 1845 and Sir Arthur Cotton encouraged the new Missionary and pledged support and cooperation. The Guntur Mission Field which consists of the present Central Guntur, East Guntur and West Guntur Synods was organised as the Guntur Synod on Monday, 29th October 1906 in the First Lutheran (Stork Memorial) Church at Guntur. Some salient features of the work and witness of the Guntur Synod were: the Diaspora work of the Church among migrant Christians at Hubli (Karnataka) which was started in 1915; the publication of the present Church Journal, Andhra Lutheran (earlier known as the Mission News and later as Telugu Lutheran); and organising a Revival meeting with Sadhu Sundar Singh from 17th to 19th November 1924. The Rajahmundry Synod which embraces the present East Godavari and West Godavari Synod was organised in 1921. Like the Guntur Synod, the Rajahmundry Synod also spent its energies and resources on elementary and religious education, strengthening of the Gospel work in rural and urban areas in various phases, Diaspora ministry and ‘merciful’ work.
B. The Emergence of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
Matters of Church discipline, uniformity in practice of ordination of Gospel workers, reception of ‘inquirers and seekers’, and scales and salaries of the Church workers, were some of the factors that necessitated the merger of the Guntur and Godavari Synods. The other important consideration for the merger of Guntur and Rajahmundry Synods was the strong sense ‘to promote the work of Christ in India by establishing self-supporting and self-governing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations’. The first meeting of the planning for the merger of the two Synods was held on 19th & 20th April 1927 at St. Mathews Lutheran Church, Guntur and resolved that the entire work of the Synods be handed over to the new Church christened as the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1st January 1928 with diverse activities and programmes.
C. Diverse Ministries of the Church
1. Empowerment through Education:
According to the history of the A E L Church, in November 1842 itself, Fr. Heyer established the first Girls School and today the A E L Church continues its ministry through its several educational institutions from primary schools to Colleges. Andhra Christian College at Guntur is one of its premier institutions in the higher education sphere.
2. Healing Touch for Wholesome Life:
Fr. Heyer before coming to India enrolled himself as a student of Medicine and Sanskrit at the University of Washington and as a result of his speciality, healing ministry became a handmaiden of his Gospel ministry; however, only with the arrival of Dr. Anna S. Kugler in the autumn of 1883, the healing ministry of the Church began to take it roots through ‘Bazar Dispensaries’ and finally culminating in the establishment of Hospitals such as Kugler Hospital, Guntur, Baer Hospital, Chirala, ULCM Hospital, Rajahmundry, Augustana Hospital, Bhimavaram, Andrew-Kleiding Hospital, Koyyalagudem, Lutheran Health Centre, Rentachintala and Visranthipuram Sanatorium, Rajahmundry. Though because of several factors, most of the hospitals are defunct, at least one Clinic named as ‘Ruth Sigmon Memorial Clinic’ has become a strong reminder of the Church’s healing ministry.
3. Care for the Kitchen Garden:
‘Line upon line, and precept upon precept’ is the backbone of the Bible Women’s Ministry aimed at reaching the non-Christian women folk, earlier known as the Zenana Work. As it is easier for women to approach women, the visits of women trained in Bible teaching and preaching to Hindu and Muslim homes has become a strong tool and channel to share the love of God and the salvific act of Jesus Christ. Like women whose lives are focused on their Kitchen Gardens, since these Bible women also carefully introduce the truths of the Bible and slowly and steadily nurture the spirituality of the women seeking to know more about Jesus Christ, their ministry is also nothing but caring for the Kitchen Garden of God’s plantation. At the present the AELC has a strong and committed workforce of 100 Bible women guided by 10 theologically trained and ordained women supervisors.
4. Vision and Mission of Diakonia:
The spiritual welfare of the members of the Church is inter-twined with social welfare as well. Added to this, A E L C is mainly a ‘Dalit’ Church and as the under-privileged and oppressed sections of the society, the mission of the Church is to provide succour to the ‘wounded psyche’ through the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ and a vision for a ‘new today’ through some of the socio-economic programmes.
With its 170 years of work and witness through 4,000 congregations and 850 ordained Ministers, the AELC is privileged to be one of the constituent churches of the National Council of Churches in India and the Andhra Pradesh Council of Churches and supports and participates in all ecumenical programmes and activities. ‘Decay is a natural phenomenon; but the essential vision and mission of the Church is renewal’
Arcot Lutheran Church
ARCOT LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation – Tamilnadu, Bangalore, Karnataka
Objectives of ALC: Mission, Health, Education, Congregational Renewal Ministries, Communications, Women and Youth Empowerment, Lay Leaders Empowerment, Dalit and Tribal Empowerment, Transgender Ministries, Children Ministries, Coastal Mission Ministries.
Rt. Rev. V. Samuel Kennady President/Bishop Arcot Lutheran Church 9, ALC Campus Cuddalore 607 001 Tamil Nadu Tel. & Fax 04142-230668 Cell: 09443032920 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The Arcot Lutheran Church (formerly known as the Danish Lutheran Church) was founded by the Danish Missionary Society in Denmark.
History inspiringly unfolds the work of the mighty hand of God, enabling us to meet the challenges of the future. In 1706 the first missionaries from Halle University, Bartholomew Ziegenbalg & Heinrich Plutcho were sent to India by the Danish King Frederick IV. The German Missionary Ochs left the Leipzig Mission in 1863 on the question of tolerating caste in the Church and started an Orphanage in Melpattambakkam in South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu. In 1864 he was accepted by the Danish Missionary Society as their Missionary.
The Missionaries started school work. The preaching of the Gospel made them to establish congregations. It was the Danish Mission Church till 1950 and the Danish Missionaries were the leaders at every stage. In 1951 a new constitution was introduced and that paved the way for indigenous leadership and the church was named “The Arcot Lutheran Church”. From 1960 onwards Indian leaders are in the helm of affairs, having very good co-operation with fraternal missionaries from Denmark. The church in India and in Denmark accepts the transition from ‘giver and receiver relationship’ to “Partnership in the Mission of God”. The ALC from the year 2003 has entered into a Post Missionary Era due to the exit of the last missionary Miss Janne Garder. Episcopacy was introduced in 1981 and that has helped the Church in its growth and witness. The Church has partnership with DANMISSION, DANIDA, DANCHURCH AID, LUTHERAN PARTNERS IN GLOBAL MINISTRY, NORTHERN ILLINOIS SYNOD, DANISH MISSION COUNCIL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA AND CHRISTOFFEL BLINDEN MISSION.
The ALC is a member of UELCI, NCCI, WCC and LWF. It is a founder member of TAMILNADU THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, UNITED THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE and GURUKUL LUTHERAN THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE. It is ecumenical in nature and has alter – pulpit relationship with sister Churches around like CSI and TELC.
The ALC works in several districts of Tamilnadu, including Puducherry which is a Union Territory. And recently it has extended its mission in Bangalore, Karnataka state. It is an evangelizing Church, working among local congregations and in service to the society through schools, orphanages, homes for women, hostels for students and working women, hospitals and community service centers in villages, towns and hills.
The School Project activities started in ALC in the eighties. ALC School project which is a major department supported by Danmission, redesigned its vision and mission to cater to the needs of the marginalized community with a special focus on women and children through a rights based approach. The role of the ALC School project thus has shifted from pure service delivery in the educational system to addressing violations of children’s and women’s rights in the community at large through civic educational empowerment of women and children.
The ALC has nearly 100 educational institutions starting from first standard to twelfth standard, two teachers training Institutes, one Bachelor of Education Institute (B.Ed. College) for those who have completed degree courses, and a Community College for School drop-outs.
The ALC provides medical services through Danish Mission Hospital at Tirukoilur and the eye care hospital namely ALC Pakkiyanathan Memorial Eye hospital at Chengam. Special medical care to tribal people at Kalrayan hills with the help of Christian Medical College (CMC) & Hospital and educational care by many schools with higher secondary education facility.
Women and Children are taken care of in 4 big boarding homes supported by the Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry, USA and small hostels supported by the Danmission, Denmark.
Special activities for women and children are focused at Tholudur and Kalrayan Hills which are rural ministry areas of ALC. Diaconal Ministry will soon be started in Thiyagaduruagam congregation.
After the 2004 Tsunami, Coastal Mission work has been introduced by the ALC, and some villages have been identified for Gospel outreach work. Land has also been purchased for the construction of Churches in the coastal belt.
Transgender Ministry is being facilitated at Perumbakkam pastorate, and Self-Help programmes are conducted by the ALC Women’s Fellowship department for their welfare. One person from that community has come forward to assist our Pastor for mission work.
At present Rt. Rev. Dr. RD. Vijayakumar is the Bishop-President of the Arcot Lutheran Church and his tenure will be from 2009 – 2014. (Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Cell : 9443877447).
More than 70 Pastors are conducting worship services in all the towns and rural places of the Church. We have experienced senior Evangelists for Gospel work, especially concentrating in the rural places.
The ALC has 40,000 members and 35,000 communicant members. It is growing day by day with the help of our Pastors and the Evangelists and through our Everyday Gospel work, Educational and Medical institutions/ministries.
The ALC’s main focus is Gospel, Education and Medical service to the community without caste or creed.
The ALC is going to celebrate its 150 anniversary in the near future under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Dr. R.D. Vijayakumar, Bishop-President.
The ALC is experienced in rights based approaches to development. It has a well-founded network with government institutions and seeks to develop its advocacy based work.
Aim of the Church:
To proclaim the Gospel through its Educational and Medical ministries.
- To endeavour to work towards the spiritual growth of the church.
- To gather the members into congregations for worship and for preaching the word of God and administering the sacraments.
- To instruct the children and young people on the fundamentals of Christian faith.
- To establish and administer schools, training institutes, colleges, polytechnics and other educational institutions for the benefit of the underprivileged especially the poor and needy among Christians and non-Christians, irrespective of caste, creed community or any other considerations.
- To establish and administer hostels, boarding homes, destitute homes, poor people homes and also institutions for promoting non-formal education, adult education and continuing education, and the benefit of all these shall be available to those in need, irrespective of caste, creed or community.
- To establish and administer hospitals and other medical institutions, caring for the sick, without profit motive and also maintain preventive medical work, especially among the hill tribes and most backward people in the rural areas, and to serve the poor and the destitute without any consideration of caste, creed or community.
- To preach the Gospel to Christians and non-Christians alike.
- To help the church to become financially self-supporting and to participate in the wider ministry of the Church in India through various institutions, such as the Bible Society, the Leprosy Mission, the National Council of Churches in India, Churches Auxiliary for Social Action, Medical institutions in India and abroad etc.
The Arcot Lutheran Church has:
1. Coastal Mission
2. Communication & Cassette Ministry
3. Congregational Renewal Ministry
4. Cross Community Centre at Tholudur
5. Department for Dalit Concerns
6. Gypsy (Vahiri) Ministry
7. Jawadhu Hills Mission
8. Junior Ministry for 10-15 years children
9. Lambadi Ministry at Melthanda
10. Quovadis – An Interfaith Dialogue centre at Tiruvannamalai
11. ALC School Project
12. Sunday School Department
13. Trans Gender Ministry
14. Women’s Fellowship Department
15. Youth Department
Baptist Church of Mizoram
BAPTIST CHURCH OF MIZORAM
Area of Operation – India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, South East Asia
Objectives of BCM: Mission & Evangelism (Home and Outreach Mission), Medical & Health for Healing Ministry, Christian Education, Theological Education, Baptist Literature Services, Pastoral & Revival, Church Relations , Fellowship Organisations (Youth, Women, Men, Children), Finance, Baptist Printing Press, Administrataive, Property, and Pension Board.
Rev. R. Lalbiakliana
Baptist Church of Mizoram
Serkawn, P.O. Zotlang,
Lunglei District-796691, Mizoram
Tel: 0372-2342251, Mob:09436157483/7005908694/ 6909497157
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
(a) The beginning of The Baptist Church of Mizoram:
Rev. W. F. Savidge and Rev. J. H. Lorrain members of High Gate Baptist Church in London, came to Mizoram under the Arthington Aborigines Mission, better known as Arthington Mission. They arrived in Mizoram on 11th January 1894. After they had worked for almost four years in Mizoram, Arthington asked them to leave Mizoram and move to Arunachal Pradesh. The two pioneer missionaries came back to Mizoram as missionaries of the Baptist Missionary Society in 1903 and settled down at Serkawn, Lunglei. When they joined the BMS they made a request that their pioneering work of eleven years be counted as their services which the BMS granted. So, their four years work in Mizoram as pioneer missionaries can legitimately be counted as the work of the BMS. Therefore, the Baptist Church of Mizoram considers 1894 as the year of the beginning of the Baptist Church of Mizoram.
(b) Decadal Growth of BCM 1901 – 2012
No. of Family
No. of Local Churches
No. of Pastorates
Achiefement of Financial Position
i. Total No. of Members (including children) 151587
Total No. of Males – 75640. Females -75947
ii. Total No. of Communicants (full/baptized and confirmed) members – 103397 Total No. of Male
Communicant members – 51567 Female Communicant Members – 51830
iii. No. of Pastorates : 73
iv. No. of local churches/congregations- 537
v. No. of Ordained Ministers – 150 , Male Ordained Ministers -148. Female Ordained Ministers -2
vi. No. of Missionaries/Evangelists – 864
vii. No. of Educational Institutions: Schools – 65. Colleges – 2. Professional Training Institutions -3
b) Affiliation to different bodies
Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitu Committee(MKHC), North East India Christian Council (NEICC)
National Council of Churches in India (NCCI)
Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) Baptist World Alliance (,BWA)
c) Year of joining NCCI: 2008
3. The Activities of Baptist Church of Mizoram
i. Mission Programme: The Missionary movement in Mizoram was led by the Baptist Church of Mizoram. While the church was still in an infant stage they started mission and evangelism programmes within and outside Mizoram. To intensify its mission work, a mission department called Zoram Baptist Mission was formed in 1966 and renamed as Mission Committee to do the task of Home and outreach missions. In obedience to the Great Commission, the Baptist Church of Mizoram is still doing mission work within Mizoram, in different parts of India and even abroad with 870 Mission workers. Now, BCM Mission covers 22 mission fields in various part of the world. There are 9 foreign mission fields – Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Kenya, Ghana, Nairobi and Indonesia. There are eleven Mission Fields in Indian states such as Assam-Bengal Field, Arunachal East Field, Arunachal West Field, Arunachal Far-East Field, Tripura, MP & MS (Kurku) Field, North India Mission, Upper Assam Field, Lower Assam Field, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. According to 2011 Mission report, there are 7569 new baptized members, 64 new churches and 98 new fellowships in various fields.
ii. Social Service: The Baptist Missionaries FW Savidge and JH Lorrain spent much of their time doing social work such as Education, Health Care, and Development of Mizo literature. Till today, the Baptist Church of Mizoram is deeply involved in Social Service, and is very instrumental in bringing about transformational changes in Mizoram. Now, the church (BCM) has a separate Department set aside for Social Service called – Social Concerns Department. At present, the Social Concerns Department facilitates Public Guidance, Prevention and Care (HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse), and Christian Counseling. Motherless Babies Home was established way back in 1959. It is now called the Baptist Church Orphanage (BCO). This is a life saving programme when a mother dies during or after child birth.
iii. Education: School Education came under the control of Christian Mission in 1904 as the British administration handed over the School management to them. The Baptist Church of Mizoram continues to engage itself with School Education within Mizoram and in the Mission Fields. In its Ministries and Mission works, Education is an essential ministry which has transformed and promoted many Christians to their present stage of living especially in the backward areas. Today, Ministry of Education under Baptist Church of Mizoram is confined to nine schools within the Church, twenty eight schools in Bru and Chakma Home Mission areas, and also twenty-eight schools in different Mission Fields in India. Besides this, we have one Secular College named Higher and Technical Institute (HATIM) at Lunglei, where the following courses are offered – Bachelor of Computer Application(BCA), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and English Department. So, altogether, there are sixty five schools and two colleges run by the Baptist Church of Mizoram.
iv. Medical and Health Ministry: Health is another areas where Baptist Church of Mizoram has made a significant contribution to the Mizo Society. The Christian Hospital at Serkawn established in 1923 was the first Hospital in south Mizoram. The Christian Hospital at Lawngtlai was established in 2007 which greatly improved the health conditions of the people of that area. The Nursing School attached to Christian Hospital Serkawn is affiliated to the Indian Nursing Council. A new programme called Community Health has been launched, conducting mobile clinic in different remote areas to help the people who cannot afford to come to the Hospital.
v. Relief & Development: The creation of Relief and Development Department in 1990 is an important landmark for the Baptist Church of Mizoram. Now the Relief and Development Department actively involves in – Skill Training Programmes of Tailoring, Carpentry, Electronics, Computer Training, Typing Skill Training and Weaving. Besides, Alternative Farming for which Agricultural Land Technology is being introduced. For this new technology, farmers from various parts of Mizoram are regularly given proper training and revolving loans to empower them to be self sufficient. Relief is also given to the victims of natural calamities like cyclone, landslide, fire, etc.
vi. Pastoral Ministry: The Department of Pastoral Ministry is the backbone of the Baptist Church of Mizoram. Organisationally the 537 local Churches are clubbed together into 73 Pastorates which are constituted within thirteen Area Baptist Councils. One Pastor with the assistance of a Probationary pastor in some Pastorates looks after five to nine local Churches. Functionally, a Pastor is a representative of the Headquarters to co-ordinate and supervise the work of various Departments and programmes from the Headquarters. He is responsible for ritual ministries like conducting worship, matrimony, funeral service, baptism, and to celebrate Holy Communion. Besides, he has a lot of administrative works as he is the administrator in his Pastorate.
vii. Theological Education: The Jubilee Bible School was established in 1946, training 811 lay students who have become leaders of the church and society. As a result of a strong missionary movement, the Jubilee Bible School was upgraded to Missionary Training Institute (MTI) in 1991, which has trained more then 200 students working in various parts India as Missionaries, School Teachers, Evangelists and Church Leaders. The Missionary Training Institute was upgraded to a Theological College named “Academy of Integrated Christian Studies” (AICS) in 1999.
4. Contribution to the Ecumenical Movement:
Regarding the ecumenical movement, Baptist Church of Mizoram plays an important role with the following Para Churches, Councils and Committees.
i. NEICC (North East India Christian Council): NEICC is the biggest Christian Council in North East India where different Churches as members and a number of Para Churches as Associate members are joined together. Baptist Church of Mizoram has been one of the members since 1947. The present NEICC Secretary Rev. R. Lalnunzira is one of the Pastors from BCM, which has also been providing leadership role in the Youth Department and Women’s Department in the past and at present. One of the contributions worth mentioning is that BCM observes the third Sunday of October every year as NEICC Sunday. All the offerings collected on that day are given to NEICC. The BCM sends a number of delegates to the NEICC Annual Meeting every year.
ii. MKHC : Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitu Committee (Church Leaders Committee in Mizoram):
The objectives of this committee are to fight against social evil, to encourage good and fair politics and to ensure good relationships among different Churches in Mizoram. The present Vice President at Aizawl is one of the Pastors from BCM, and the present President of MKHC at Lunglei is Rev. H. Lianngaia, General Secretary of BCM. A campaign called “Holiness Campaign” is occasionally organised by the MKHC in which BCM Pastors are involved as campaigners.
iii. BSI (Bible Society of India): The Bible Society of India in Mizoram was first introduced by the Baptist Church of Mizoram. BCM observes the First Sunday of December every year as Bible Sunday and all the Offerings collected in this Sunday Morning Service is given to the Bible Society Auxiliary, Aizawl. Local Church appoints BSI Collectors who are engaged in membership drive from time to time. Besides, the local Church sets aside one or two Sunday Morning Services for BSI Campaigners. All the local Churches are financial contributors to the Auxiliary through their respective BSI Branches.
iv. TLM (The Leprosy Mission): The Leprosy Mission in Mizoram was introduced by the Baptist Church of Mizoram and the first Promotional Secretary was Rev. K.D. Siamliana, a Baptist Pastor. The Baptist Church of Mizoram observes last Sunday of January every year as Leprosy Sunday. All the offerings collected are given to the Leprosy Mission. The Present Promotional Secretary and the Co-ordinator in Mizoram are Pastors from BCM. Like BSI, the Local Church Committee appoints TLM Collectors to promote TLM and also engage themselves in membership drives from time to time. The Local Church in Urban and Rural areas reserve one or two Sunday morning services every year for the Leprosy Campaign of TLM. In the ministry of TLM and BSI, all the Churches in Mizoram unite and work jointly together with mutual understanding.
Bengal Orissa Bihar Baptist Convention
BENGAL – ORISSA – BIHAR BAPTIST CONVENTION
Executive Secretary –
Area of Operation – West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand
Objectives of BOBBC: Mission & Evangelism, Church Planting/ Revival, Women and Youth Ministries, Health and Education, Christian Education
Chaldean Syrian Church of the East
CHALDEAN SYRIAN CHURCH OF THE EAST
Area of Operation- 24 parishes in Kerala 6 parishes in Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai.
Objectives of CSCE- Christian Education, Orphanages, Old People’s Home.
H.G. Mar Awgin Kuriakose
Chaldean Syrian Church of the East
Metropolitan Palace, High Road
Thrissur-680 001, Kerala
Email : email@example.com;
The Church of the East, India is endowed and glorified with its traditions of faith and riches of its history. This ancient Church traces its origin back to the Church established by St. Thomas the Apostle, who first preached in Mesopotamia, baptized many in Urmia, then arrived and preached in India in A.D 52. Outside India this church is known as “The Assyrian Church of the East”.
As part of the Mesopotamian connection of the St. Thomas Christians (Edessa as the liturgical center) this Church till date preserves and practices the East Syrian liturgy in the ancient Aramaic Language which Jesus Christ and his disciples spoke. It was the only Christian community in India receiving spiritual heads, Bishops from Persia, from the Patriarchate of the Church of the East. In 1st century AD its headquarters was at Seleucia-Ctesiphon, on the banks of The Rivers Euphrates and Tigris. In AD 775, it is shifted to Baghdad, Iraq and later on to Chicago, USA.
His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV is the present Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, now resides in Chicago, U.S.A. The Holy Synod consists of H.H. Patriarch, 3 Arch Bishops and 11 Bishops from Iraq, Iran, India, UAE, Syria, Lebanon, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Russia, UK, USA, and Canada. The head quarter of the Church of the East in India is at Thrissur- the Cultural Capital of Kerala, the southern most state of India. From the arrival of St. Thomas until the Coonen Cross Revolt in 1653 the history of the Indian church is common. In the famous global Synod of Nicea in AD 325 a single Bishop represented both India and Persia. The East Syrian or Chaldean liturgy was used in Kerala until the 17th century and the Syrian Church (using the Syriac liturgy) in Kerala was undivided until the advent of the Portuguese. But only after the invasion of Portuguese in 1498 AD the so-called Catholic Church under the Roman Imperialism has been originated, mushroomed and spread its wings in India, especially under the leadership of the Archbishop Menezes of Goa who arrived in Kerala in December 1598. Until then the Christians in India are called St. Thomas Christians. “Synod of Diamper” in June 1599 and “The Coonen Cross Revolt” in 1653 are the aftermath of Roman Religious Imperialism under Portuguese Dominion on St. Thomas Christians.
In 1796 AD the Sakthan Thampuran, the famous Maharaja of erstwhile Cochin State (part of Kerala) brought 52 Christian families to Thrissur with a view to develop Thrissur as a center of trade and commerce. The Marth Mariam Big Church was constructed in 1814 AD for the worship of those Christian families. This church is now the cathedral church of The Church of the East, India.
Mar Thoma Rokos from Mosul of Iraq was sent by Patriarch Mar Joseph Oudho reigned the Church from AD 1861-1862. Mar Elia Melus reigned from AD 1874 – 1882; Mar Oudesho Thondanattu from AD 1882-1900; Augustine Cor Episcopa from AD 1900-1908: Mar Abimalek Timotheus Metropolitan from AD 1908-1945; Mar Thoma Dharmo Metropolitan from AD 1952-1968; Poulose Mar Poulose Episcopa from AD 1968-1998; Mar Thimotheus II Metropolitan from AD1972-2001, reigned the Church of the East respectively.
At present His Grace Dr. Mar Aprem Metropolitan is the Head of the Arch Diocese of India and UAE from 1968 onwards. The two Bishops in India, Mar Yohannan Yoseph and Mar Awgin Kuriakose were consecrated on 17th January 2010. This Church has 32 Parishes and 3 mission centers, 75 clergies, 3 nuns and 3 deaconesses. The church of the East in India is age old as Christianity in India.
This Church has taken membership in National Council of Churches in India, Kerala Council of Churches, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, Delhi, Christian Medical College, Vellore etc.
The Patriarch H.H. Mar Dinkha IV and Pope John Paul II signed a Common Christological Declaration on 11 November 1994 and the official dialogue between Church of the East and Vatican still pursues towards wider ecumenism. Also a new dialogue commission set up in the 2012 Holy Synod, headed by H.G. Dr. Mar Aprem Metropolitan for ecumenical dialogue between The Ecumenical Patriarch (Istanbul, Turkey) and The Assyrian Church of the East.
The Church in India is governed by the constitution approved by the Catholicos Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV in 1997. The administration is carried on by a Representative Council of a minimum of 2 representatives from each parish. The Vicars of all parishes are ex-officio members. The Metropolitan can nominate 10 members to the representative council. All Representatives elect 9 central trustees from among them. The Board of Central Trustees elects a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from among them.
The present chairman is Mr. I.G. Joy and Vice Chairman is Mr. George Emmatty for the term (2010-2013).
Overcoming all the hurdles of the past, The Church of The East in India is moving on with abundant blessings and continual guidance from the God Almighty.
Prelates: 3; Clergy: 75 ; Nuns: 3; Deaconesses: 3; Parishes: 32; Mission Centers: 3; Total Members: 30,000; Seminary: 1; Orphanage: 2; Old Peoples Home: 2; Hospital: 1; Parallel Colleges: 2; Lower Primary Schools :3; High Schools: 2; Higher Secondary School: 1.
Church of North India
CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA
Area of Operation- East, west, North India and 2 Union Territories.
Objectives of CNI- Unity, Witness, Service, Pastoral Ministry, Mission and Evangelism, Health, Education, Christian and Theological Education, Youth and Children Ministries, Environmental concerns, Liturgy and Literature, Social Service, Dalit and Tribal Welfare Ministries, Women concerns, Human Potential Development Programmes.
Most Revd. Bijoy Kumar Nayak
Mob: 09437965389, 07978666106
General Secretary, CNI Synod
CNI Bhavan, 16,Pandit Pant Marg
New Delhi 110 001
Tel : 011-43214002, Fax: 43214006
The concern for unity of the Church grew out of a zeal for the mission of the Church, because a divided Church could not bear witness to the one Gospel and the one Lord in a country like India with diverse religions, languages, races and cultures. Through the process of negotiations and prayerful seeking of the guidance of Holy Spirit unity was achieved in the understanding and practice of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the three-fold ministry of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons and in the organizational structures of Pastorates, Dioceses and the Synod, Episcopacy was received and accepted as both constitutional and historic. Provision has been made for diverse liturgical practices and understandings of the divine revelation, provided that these do not violate the basic Faith and Order of the Church or disrupt the unity and fellowship within the Church.
The series of consultations, with a view to Church Union in North India, began in 1929. Eventually on the “basis of negotiations” prepared by a series of Round Table Conferences, a plan of Church union was drawn up. A negotiating committee was constituted in 1951 by the Church bodies concerned – which were the United Church of Northern India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the Council of the Baptist Churches in Northern India. In 1957, the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ also joined in the negotiations. The plan reached its fourth and final edition in 1965 and, on that basis, the Church Union in North India was inaugurated on 29 November, 1970 in Nagpur. At the last moment, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia decided not to join the union. However, the Methodist Church, the British and the Australasian have joined the Union.
Following six Churches united to form the Church of North India on November 29, 1970 in Nagpur:
- The Council of Baptist Churches in Northern India.
- The Church of the Brethren in India.
- The Disciples of Christ.
- The Church of India (formerly known as the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon).
- The Methodist Church (British and Australasian Conferences).
- The United Church of Northern India.
The organ of the whole Church, comprising of 27 Dioceses, is the Synod, which is the supreme, supervisory, legislative and executive body of the Church and final authority in all matters pertaining to the Church. OBJECTS AND PURPOSES OF THE SYNOD The Synod shall fulfill the objects and purposes of the Church of North India i.e., to proclaim by word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Lord and Master of the Church for the Salvation and good of all mankind through unity, witness, and service which may include educational, medical, social, agricultural and other services, and also through worship and other activities of the Church which promote spiritual growth, self-reliance, social justice and moral regeneration irrespective of caste, creed or color.
The Church of North India, over the past 42 years, is marching ahead in its united journey of witnessing and serving its people through its following mission statement: “The Church of North India as a United and Uniting together is committed to announce the Good News of the reign of God inaugurated through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in proclamation and to demonstrate in actions to restore the integrity of God’s creation through continuous struggle against the demonic powers by breaking down the barriers of caste, class, gender, economic inequality and exploitation of the nature.”
CNI is engaged in orienting and reorienting the people of God to protect and promote “Life in its fullness” through its Programme office in Nagpur through the following streams of mission.
Envisions a world which will ensure dignity of life and quality living of all children, a world that provides an enabling environment for a child to be born, to develop and to live a full life – a world where a child can dream of a future life and get opportunities to fulfill them. We pursue to protect and promote child rights, to ensure that their basic needs are met, to protect, prevent and rescue them from all forms of exploitation and abuse, to expand their opportunities for holistic development and to give a new meaning to their life.
WOMEN & GENDER CONCERN
Envisions to deepen awareness and respond in concrete action to women’s concerns as well as encourage more women participation in the life of the Church and society in India. It challenges and transforms attitudes, structures and systems in Church and society that limits women’s participation and leadership.
Envisions the organizing of the youth through spiritual, social, economical, ecological, political awakening, instilling Biblical standard of living, giving and serving the Church and the society they live in. While doing so they exhibit their potential to the paramount and ascertain a new order of peace and justice based on love and mutual respect.
PEACE & INTERFAITH CONCERN
Envisions to create a society where all religions and spiritual communities will gather together towards co-operative action, dialogue and healing of broken relationships. It creates an opportunity for people from all faith to meet together to re-establish peace, harmony and dignity.
Envisions to sensitize the congregations in socio-economic and political concerns, particularly about the struggles of the oppressed and marginalized such as dalits and indigenous communities in their self-development, dignity and wholesome life.
LOCAL CONGREGATION CONCERN
Envisions a new society and a new world order through the participation of congregations and contributes to the development and promotion of missiology and culture from the experiences and perspective of the people at the periphery.
HUMAN POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT CONCERN
Envisions towards “systematic equipping of the saints” on developing the potential of a person and community to respond creatively to the challenges they face in the ever changing world today.
Envisions to bring the role of Pastors to the forefront of missional praxis of the church; by rejuvenating pastoral ministry towards a holistic approach whereby pastors can involve the entire congregation for effective engagement in mission.
RESOURCE & LEARNING CENTRE AT NAGPUR:
The Centre for Human Potential Development at Nagpur offers facilities at nominal rates for short and long term training programmes, seminars, workshops and consultations. The resource center can accommodate 120 people at a time with attached bath and air-cooled rooms. The Conference room can accommodate 150 people, which is equipped with modern conference facilities. Small library, photocopy, telephone, Cyber Café facilities are also available.
The Church has grown in its faith and ministry over the years. Presently it has a membership of approx. 15,00,000 spread across North India, including Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It believes in holistic development of its membership. There is equal scope for the children, women and the youth. The children are brought from the periphery to the center as a visual participation in its Synods. The Women and Youth have their own structural identity.
WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA:
The Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service is organized under its own constitution accepted and approved by the Executive Committee of the Synod and it operates at the Pastorate, diocesan and Synodical levels of the Church. It plans work among women of fellowship, Christian witness, cultivation of interest in the financial support of the Church and its projects and also encourages women to take full part in the life and witness of the Church.
SYNODICAL YOUTH FELLOWSHIP:
The Synodical Youth Fellowship is organized under its own constitution accepted and approved by the Executive Committee of the Synod and operates at the pastorate, Diocesan and Synodical levels. It plans work among youth of the Church for Fellowship, Christian witness, cultivation of interest in and financial support for the Church and its projects and encourages youth to take full part in the life and witness of the Church.
CNI also has two strong boards the Synodical Board of Social Services and the Synodical Board of Health Services. The Synodical Board of Social Services (SBSS) is the development and justice wing of the Church of North India (CNI) which was formed in 1970. The CNI SBSS works to empower socially excluded and marginalized communities like Dalits, Adivasis, women and children. It has adopted a right based approach as we believe that welfare or charity does not address the larger forces that make it impossible for people to break cycles of poverty and oppression. A key strategy of CNI SBSS therefore is to build movements that address the most basic issues of human dignity: Land Rights, Livelihood and Food Security and Social Exclusion. Through a democratic process of protest and engagement with the government, SBSS works to change the policies of government to favor those who have been ignored by it. This begins from the most basic issues like the right to water and food to the ultimate aim of creating an alternative political force that will challenge and fight against the unjust policies and practices of the government. Alongside these, issues of Climate Change and Gender equality are also given emphasis. Another important focus of its work is to include and engage congregation members in development processes through the Church Mission Engagement program. The Synodical Board of Health Services (SBHS) was established in 1974 to promote and carry out appropriate Medical Services, Training, HIV and AIDS work, Community Health work, Nursing Programme, Student’s Scholarship Nurturing Programme and the diffusion of useful medical knowledge in the spirit of service and sacrifice for the benefit of all persons irrespective of caste, creed, community and nationality. It has a total of 60 hospitals which work through eight Regional Boards.
- It constitutes the largest network of health care institutes in India
- It has pioneered AIDS awareness through education.
- It works under the banner of “Devout feelings – Bring healing”
Embarking upon a new pedestal the Church of North India to strengthen its stewardship ministry and realizing the need of its responsibility, has created the Stewardship Ambassadors Ministry. The primary objective of Church of North India has been proclaiming by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ for good of all humankind. Christian Stewardship can be summed up in Paul’s words “your gifts are like sweet smelling offering to God, a sacrifice which is acceptable and pleasing to Him” (Phil 4: 18).
The Stewardship Ambassadors have taken up the challenge to actively participate in the Holistic life of the Church by sharing their talents and generating resources for building Community of faith and hope. The Stewardship Ambassadors reinstated their commitment as Partners in God’s Mission by focusing on:
Key Features of this ministry are:
- To encourage and re-energize the Educational ministry of the Church through Hostels and to create resources for its support.
- To support and initiate Career Counseling Programs to enable for their career building.
- Empowering Children for bringing transformation through their self-development. The Residential Child Care Programme is helping fulfilling the mission objectives of the Church empowering the children of these marginalized communities and thereby empowering the community at large. Nearly ten Dioceses have initiated this programme.
- Creating a Revolving Scholarship for Civil Services Exams to support and encourage young people in the church to be part of the Bureaucratic Structures of the Government. Through this scholarship nearly twenty young children have been given competitive tuitions to prepare for the challenging exams.
- Empowering Women by initiating Self Help Group in Rural / needy areas.
The mission and work of the Church of North India is embodied around its belief of Unity, Witness and Service.
Church of South India
CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA
Area of Operation- 4 states in South India and in Jaffna SL, 1 Union Territory.
Objectives of SCI- Christian Education, Youth and Women’s Fellowship, Pastoral Aid, Dalit and Adivasi Concerns, Mission and Evangelism, Diaconal Ministry, Communications, Environmental Concerns.
Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja
General Secretary, CSI
No. 5, Whites Road, Royapettah,Chennai – 600 014. T.N.
Tel : 044-28521566/4166,
Cell: 08667396028; 09443674969
Fax: 28523528 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
What was hailed as one of the greatest miracles ever performed by God in the first half of the 20th century was the church union movement in South India which eventually resulted in the birth of the Church of South India (CSI) on September 27, 1947.
The Provincial Conferences of the missionaries which were held during 1850’s, during which, missionaries from various parts of India participated, became an impetus towards the church union movement. The Centenary Missionary Conference, held in 1888 in London, which focused on issues such as Indianization, Self-support and Self-government encouraged the efforts of church union movement to gain momentum. The formation of the South Indian Missionary Association in 1897 and the periodical missionary conferences held under its auspicious also became a great leap towards the formation of the CSI. The South India Missionary Conference of 1900 held in Madras, where about 150 missionaries representing 45 different missionary organizations and a Christian community of 3, 50,000 participated, was considered to be a clear sign of their will towards co-operation.
The founding of various organizations and movements like Christian Literature Society, Christian Endeavour Convention, Young Men Christian Association, Student Volunteer Movement of India and Ceylon, Indian Missionary Society and National Missionary Society, which brought together different European and Indian Church Leaders of diverse denominations on a common platform and for a common cause, also was instrumental in the formation of the CSI. Some of the Indian church leaders who deserve special mention here are G.S Eddy, V.S.Azariah., K.T.Paul, C.J. Lucas, V. Santiago and A.J. Appasami.
Another major factor that led to the formation of the CSI was the evolution of South India United Church (SIUC) on July 24, 1908 which in itself was an amalgamation of the American (Dutch Reformed) Arcot Mission (AAM), the United Free Church of Scotland Mission (UFCSM), the London Missionary Society (L.M.S) and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), representing the Presbyterian and Congregationalist traditions. Following the formation of SIUC, the famous World Missionary Conference that met in Edinburgh in 1910 which laid great emphasis on the need for united action and close co-operation among the different missionary bodies and churches in the mission field also contributed towards the church union in South India. In fact, it seems to have created a temper that was never again being lost.
The historical meeting which was held at Tranquebar in May, 1919 at the Jerusalem Church of the Lutherans, where the Lutherans, Methodists, Anglicans and SIUC were present, re-affirmed the need for unity among the denominations. After negotiations, the members proposed union on the following basis:
- The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as containing all things necessary for salvation.
- The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed and
- The Historic Episcopate locally adapted.
With great hope and great expectations, the Church of South India was formed at the St. George’s Cathedral, Madras on September 27, 1947. The CSI included the Madras, Travancore and Cochin, Tinnevelly and Dornakkal Dioceses of the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon and the Madras, Madura, Malabar, Jaffna, Kannada, Telugu, and Travancore Church Councils of the South India United Church: and, the Methodist, comprising the Madras, Trichinopoly, Hyderabad and Mysore districts.
Today, the Church of South India has grown to become the second largest Church in India, next to the Catholic Church, with more than 4 Million members spread across the 21 Dioceses in the 4 South Indian States (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala & Tamil Nadu), 1 Union Territory (Pondicherry) and 1 Diocese in Jaffna, Srilanka. There are more than 15, 000 Congregations and 3000 Presbyters. The members of the CSI who hail from 4 Traditions (Anglican, Congregational, Methodist & Presbyterian) belonging to a number of communities speaking at least 11 languages (Bangada, English, Hindi, Kannada, Kongini, Malayalam, Oria, Singala, Tamil, Telugu & Tulu) are now spread all over the world as Diaspora communities in America, Australia, Europe and Middle- East Asia.
The ministries of the Church at the Synod Level are carried out through the following departments:
- Department of Pastoral Concerns equips the local congregation, pastors, lay people, especially youth and children, towards being transformed to transform. Believing in the motto, ‘Be Servants of the Servant Lord’, the department focuses on equipping each one of them to have a clearer vision about God, Church and society and deeper passion for Christ and His gospel, rooted in justice and truth.
- Department of Diaconal Concerns enables the congregations to give an account of their hope concerning the Biblical Vision of a New Heaven and a New Earth…and strive to build here and now, a just, egalitarian society that is sensitive to gender issues and other inequalities.
- Department of Mission and Evangelism stimulates the evangelistic and missionary zeal in the churches with a view of equipping every member to creatively and actively witness the Risen Christ and obey His command to make disciples.
- Department of Ecumenical Relations and Ecological Concerns promotes the message of ‘oikumene’ among the members and congregations of the CSI in building up a better world based on the values of justice, peace, unity and integrity of creation. The Department also runs an ‘Inter-faith Dialogue Centre.’
- Department of Communications helps the CSI Synod to communicate the image of the Church, her mission, life and witness using effective means of communication and also to equip the congregations to communicate God’s message and love relevant to our times.
- The Women’s Fellowship enables women committed to prayer, service and witness, exhort women to set an example as a true Christian, motivates women to uphold the sanctity of the Christian marriage and help them in the Christian upbringing of their children. Today, the Women’s Fellowship is a movement all over the Church of South India, which is striving towards bringing in new values and identity for the women towards an equal participation in the witness and ministry of God in South India.
- Further, today there are 56 Sisters working in 14 Dioceses of the CSI as Church workers, Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Teachers, Evangelists, Ordained Pastors, Wardens etc living either in communities or secluded places. They continue to keep the fellowship by visits, conferences, monthly newsletters etc.
The Educational Ministry of the Church is carried out through more than 200 Colleges, 1800 Schools, 25 Teachers Training Colleges, 25 Polytechnics, 5 Engineering Colleges and 1 Law College. The Healing Ministry of the Church is accomplished through 60 Hospitals (out of which 35 are in the Villages), 1 Medical College, 22 Nursing Schools and 18 Para-Medical Institutes. Apart from these, there are at least 210 Boarding Homes & Hostels and more than 30 Institutes for Physically Challenged. The missionary outlook of the Church is very much evident in the hundreds of Mission Fields within and outside the geographical area of the dioceses, many of them being located in the North India.
Regarding the ecumenical commitment of the Church, the CSI continues to remain as a united and uniting Church, striving towards wider ecumenism engaging herself in various inter-faith and ecological activities. In fact, the Church of South India is part of a number of international and national ecumenical bodies, including WCC, WCRC, EMS, CWM, ACC, CCA, NCCI and CCI. The story of the people of God in the Church of South India is a testimony of how the Almighty has guided the Church through these years, growing in strength, receiving richer experiences, fuller life and greater participation towards building an alternative community, as a United and Uniting Church.
Convention of Baptist Churches of the Northern Circars
CONVENTION OF BAPTIST CHURCHES OF THE NORTHERN CIRCARS
Area of Operation- North Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Orissa.
Objectives of CBCNC- Mission and Evangelism, Church Planting/Revival, Women and Youth Ministries, Health and Education, Christian Education.
Mr. M. Rajakara Rao
General Secretary, CBCNC
Challapalli – 521 126. Krishna Dist. A.P.
Tel: 08671-223289 | Cell: 09398983247
Canadian Baptist Mission started in Enter Prizes at Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh on March 12, 1870. On the invitation Local Leader TALLERU MARAYYA later named after THOMAS GABRIEL, Rev. JOHAN MCLAURIN.
They started 3-fold Ministry i.e. spiritual, Medical, Educational.
1. They started the Gospel and established themselves in 8 districts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The Canadian Baptist Mission handed over to the Indian Leadership in the year 1947 – the year of India’s Independence by changing the name as the Convention of Baptist Churches of the Northern Circars. Now CBCNC is spread in Seven districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Ganjam District of Orissa. CBCNC now has more than 300 main churches and hundreds of village congregations attached to about 300 Main churches. CBCNC has more than 1,50,000 congregation in contribution to the Ecumenical Movement. CB Mission also established 2 theological institutions at Kakinada for men and in Tuni for women.
CBCNC is a strong supporter of ecumenical movement in India. It joined the NCCI to show solidarity to the ecumenical movement, CBCNC takes active Part in the NCCI by sending its representatives.
CBCNC has various social activities apart from religious duties. The CBM Missionaries as said above, started work at various places in the seven districts, North Coastal area of Andhra Pradesh. They established 7 Hospitals 1) Vayyuru 2) Akivid 3) Ramachandrapuram 4) Pithapuram 5) Sompeta 6) Serango (Orissa) 7) Parlakimidi (Orissa). Some of them are speciality for eye care gynecology, leprosy etc.
3. They also established 218 Schools, Hostels, including High schools, Upper Primary, Primary and a Junior College for women at Kakinada.
Total No of Main Churches (added Village Churches) 300
Total Membership 1,50,000
Total No of theological institutions 2
Total No of Hospitals 7
Total No of Schools 218
Council of Baptist Churches in North-East India
COUNCIL OF BAPTIST CHURCHES IN NORTH-EAST INDIA
Area of Operation- North East India
Objectives of CBCNEI- Healing, Mission and evangelism, Christian Education, Theological Education, Justice and Peace, Student Ministry, Literature Service.
Rev. Prof. Akheto Sema
General Secretary, CBCNEI
H. B .Road, Pan Bazar, Guwahati 781001, Assam
Tel: 0361-2515829, 2631789 | Cell: 08011117820
Fax: 0361-2544447 | Email: email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.cbcnei.in
Historical Background of the CBCNEI
The first American Baptist missionaries reached North East India in 1836. Nathan Brown and O.T. Cutter, along with their wives, came to Assam hoping to find access to China through the Shans territory to Northern frontier of Burma and Assam. The group sailed up the Brahmaputra river and arrived in Sadiya on March 23, 1836, and there confronted them with dense jungles, hostile tribals and rugged hills. Yet, believing they had been led to a fruitful place they began to learn Assamese language, set up their printing press, and gave themselves to the task of translating, publishing and teaching. Thus began the work of the Baptist in the north-eastern corner of India-the beginning of CBCNEI. Beginning from Sadiya, the work moved down the Brahmaputra river to the leading towns of Assam plains, for example, Sibsagar, Nowgong and Gauhati. Then the first Church in Garo Hills, was established at Rajasimla in 1867. The first thrust among the Nagas came from the small village of Namsang in Tirap. Miles Bronson and family settled a short time in that village, but the work was abandoned due to illness in the family before the end of 1840. The next move in Nagaland was by Godhula Brown, an Assamese convert, and the Rev. E. W. Clark. The first Church among the Nagas was organized in 1872, at Dokhahaimong (Molungyimjen) village in Ao area. Rev. W. Pettigrew started the Baptist Mission work in Manipur in 1896. The work among the (Mikirs) Karbis was started quite early but it did not gain much progress because of the influence of Hinduism among the people. So the work in this area has been restricted to the fringe areas adjoining the plains of Assam.
The field work in North-East India was largely the responsibility of the American Baptist Mission until 1950. In fact, the Mission could not handle the full obligation of the area and so in the 1940 the area on the North Bank of Brahmaputra river was handed over to the care of the Australian Baptist Mission (for Goalpara district) and to the General Baptist Conference (for Darrang and North Lakhimpur districts).
From the early days of the missions in North-East India there were joint meetings of missionaries and nationals to plan the work. In 1914, the National Churches formed themselves into Assam Baptist Christian Convention. This organization grew in its stature, and finally in January 1950, the Council of Baptist Churches in Assam (C. B. C. A.) was formed by the amalgamation of Assam Baptist Missionary Conference under the leadership of its First General Secretary, Rev. A. F. Merrill. Later the name was changed to C. B. C. A. M., and finally, the Council of Baptist Churches in North-East India on geographical grounds. Almost all the Baptist Churches in Assam, Arunachal, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland were brought within the Council. So since the year 1950 the field works has been brought under the ministry of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (C. B. C. N. E. I.).
Over the years the CBCNEI has grown to now over 7000 Churches in 100 organized Associations. They are administered under six regional Conventions namely, Assam Baptist Convention, Arunachal Baptist Church Council, Garo Baptist Convention, Karbi Anglong Baptist Convention, Manipur Baptist Convention, and Nagaland Baptist Church Council.
Ministries of the Council
A. Theological College of CBCNEI
Eastern Theological College: Founded in 1905 by the Rev. S.A.D. Boggs, sent by the American Baptist Mission Society now called the Board of International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches in the USA, Eastern Theological College, Jorhat, Assam celebrates 100 years of its ministry in Northeast India and hosts the Senate of Serampore Convocation on 12 February 2005. Eastern Theological College (ETC), the premier theological and training institute of the Council of Baptist Churches in Northeast India has been catering to the ever growing and diverse needs of the region and even beyond in the field of leadership development for the last 100 years. Today ETC boasts of more than 2500 graduates working in various fields of Christian ministry, including more than 800 serving pastors in rural areas.
B. Healing Ministries
The Council has Six hospitals which are providing healthcare to the sick and the suffering. They are located in four states in the region.
- Babupara Christian Hospital
- Impur Christian Hospital
- Jorhat Christian Medical Centre
- Kangpokpi Christian Hospital
- Tura Christian Hospital
- 4B Satribari Christian Hospital
C. Justice and Peace Ministries
The ministry of Justice and Peace Department of Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (“the Department”) is to proclaim and promote God’s desire for justice (Micah 6:8), Christ’s call to peacemaking (Matthew 5:9), and the Spirit’s reconciling work (Ephesians 2:11-22).
D. Mission Department
Mission Desk coordinates mission activities not only of the evangelists from the conventions, but it also functions as a facilitator for mission partnerships between other mission agencies and the local church associations and conventions. The department also organizes community development works among the poor and needy areas of the Northeast region.
E. Conference Centre
Located on the flush green cool campus of the CBCNEI, the Conference Center caters the needs of the Council’s program activities and other Christian Organization program.
F. Student Ministry
The Council runs three hostels for college students. Through these institutions the boarders have the opportunities to attend Bible camps, vesper services, theological lectures, Bible studies, games and sports.
- White Memorial Hostel
- Lewis Memorial Hostel
- Shillong Tyrannus Hall
Christian Literature Centre
CLC is the literature wing, of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India in order to cater to the needs of the churches in North East India having various languages and dialects. It was established in 1969.
- CLC Guwahati
- CLC Dimapur
- CLC Imphal
- CLC Manipur
1. Praise the Lord for His Faithfulness, Mercy and manifold Blessings during the year that has gone by;
2. The CBCNEI Leadership – The Chairman/Vice-Chairman and EC Members, the General Secretary, the Finance Secretary, the Mission Secretary, the Property Secretary, the Secretary for Justice and Peace Department, the Medical Secretary and the CBCNEI Staff and their family members.
3. All the Conventions, Associations and Churches under CBCNEI and for their ministries;
4. Various Ministries of the CBCNEI, viz.
a. Healing Ministry through 5(five) Hospitals – Tura Christian Hospital, Jorhat Christian Medical Centre, Kangpokpi Christian Hospital, Impur Christian Hospital and Babupara Christian Hospital;
b. Students’ Ministry through 3(three) Hostels – Lewis Memorial Boys’ Hostel, Guwahati, White Memorial Girls’ Hostel, Guwahati, Shillong Tyrannus Hall for Boys.
c. Theological Education through ETC and seven other affiliated seminaries
d. Community Development Workers’(Evangelists)
5. The Council has undertaken to start the first Baptist University: North East Christian University
Council of Baptist Churches of Northern India
COUNCIL OF BAPTIST CHURCHES OF NORTHERN INDIA
Area of Operation- North India
Objectives of CBCNI- Mission and Evangelism, Christian Education, Medical Mission, Leadership and Community Development.
The Baptist Worked in northern India was originated from the missionary work started by Dr. William Carey the pioneer of the modern missionary movement. The Mission of the Church work is continuing in Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Hariana, Delhi, Bihar, Orissa, Bengal and Mijoram. The CBCNI has 1164 Churches and/or congregation in the above areas. The total membership of the Baptist Churches to the above area is round about 2.7 lacs.
Every Baptist Church is autonomous body and elect its own Pastors and office bearers. Every Church has its own evangelical work. So far the provincial bodies are concerned the said body is working through general assembly. The official bodies are the controlling authority of the education and social sectors.
The Council meets every 5th years and elect its officials.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN MADHYA PRADESH
Area of Operation- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh
Objectives of ELCMP- Mission and Evangelism, Healing Ministry, Church Planting/ Revival, Tribal Welfare Ministries, Women and Youth Ministries, Christian Education.
Rt. Rev. Surendra Sukka
Bishop of ELC in M.P.
Luther Bhavan, Post Box No. 30
Chhindwara 480 001 M.P.
Tel: 07162-242692, Fax: 07162-242220
Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church
GOOD SAMARITAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- 41 Pastorate situated mainly in the forest area of East and West Godavari, Warangal Districts of Andhra Pradesh and the Southern parts of Baster District of Madhya Pradesh.
Objectives of GSELC- Mission and Evangelism, Church Planting among the Tribals, Translation of Bible in Tribal languages, provide a new value system both in the economic and social sphere to the entire tribal community.
Dr. K. Abraham
Administrative Officer, GSELC, Lutheran Office
H.O. No. 17-1-77/1, S.R.N. Colony,
Bhadrachalam – 507111.Khammam Dist. Andhra Pradesh.
Tel: 08743-232873 | Cell : 09848808171; 08297122251
Email : email@example.com
In the context of Adivasi/Tribal people’s self identity being crushed in Andhra Pradesh, the gospel of Jesus Christ spread through the Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church (GSELC) gave self-dignity and self-identity, and had led these people into liberation and transformation. Established in 1972, the GSELC has been nurturing the values of God’s reign specifically in the context of Adivasi/Tribal people and has been missioning among these people inculcating love, peace and justice among these communities. With more than 90% of the Church populated with Tribal people, GSELC has been engaged on the specific Tribal concerns of the region and has made an indelible impact of the gospel by building communities of peace in the region. Deeply rooted in the faith of Jesus Christ, GSELC spread its membership far and wide and has been reaching to several unreached areas in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and Chattisgarh. Evangelical in its essence and ecumenical in its spirituality, GSELC has been a Church relating to all major denominations and has been on the mission of providing education, medical help and transformation to people of all faiths. Four decades of the mission and ministry of the Church has inspired and challenged several young Tribal people to inculcate the virtues of Jesus Christ in fighting against the injustices and oppressions done to Tribal people in the region. We thank all our fore-parents of the Church for their vision and commitment in building the Church and in strengthening the passion for the gospel in Jesus Christ.
Here are a brief cursors of the history of the GSELC with some specific contributions:
• Rev. Dr. S. Paul Raj, the founder of GSELC belonging to the village of Chavali, Vemur Mandal, Guntur district was born in a non-Christian family.
• He was inspired and was led to believe in Jesus Christ by listening to the songs and the sermons that he heard from the neighbourhood Church and hence was converted to Christianity and was baptized as Paul Raj.
• He was fascinated by the Christian values and has dedicated his life to be an evangelist and has traveled extensively preaching and has settled as an evangelist.
• And he has also worked together with the international well-known preachers like, Rev. Dr. Masilamani, Joel Meyer, John Reddy, etc.
• When shared with a prominent Christian Missionary about his willingness to serve the people and proclaiming the gospel, the missionary has shown Bastharu division in Chattisgarh State, Khammam district in the Andhra Pradesh May and has advised him to go to the unreached and spread the gospel. Paul Raj has taken this as a challenge and has visited the neighbouring villages of Bhadrachalam which is in the area of Bastharu division.
• He realized that the gospel was unreached in that area and hence visited every village and preached the gospel and attracted many people to the Lord.
In the year 1972
• He settled in Gangolu a village 20 km away from Badrachalam and strengthened the ministry.
• He developed contacts with churches like Lutheran, CSI, Baptist, Pentecost, CBCNC, JDM, etc but was allured by the Lutheran church doctrines, its traditions and has integrated its governing principles and has established Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church with 7 members in the village Gangolu.
• Visiting of the South Andhra Lutheran Church Compound in Naidupeta, Nellore District while spreading the gospel, stayed there for a few days and participated in the gospel meetings and ministered the Word there, and became familiarized with the Lutheran Church Laws and Church Governing regulations and made the church which they had established officially strong.
• Visiting Naidupeta a city which is located in Nellore District for spreading the gospel. There he met Rev. Katakshamma the daughter of the first Indian President of the South Andhra Lutheran Church, Tirupathi Rev. Dr. Benjamin when she was in charge of an orphanage, later they got married and later being a co-worker in the gospel work along with the help of his wife Rev. Katakshamma, Paul Raj enhanced the work in Badrachalam Division, Palvancha in Khammam district, and later they comprehended to legalize those things that were necessary to confer degrees in Bible knowledge (Theological Education) to the young men and women who were interested in serving the Lord.
• Many had believed and were converted by various means such as Gospel Meetings, House Visiting and by Street preaching. 60,000 members were registered as members of the Church after they were baptized.
• With the help of foreign missionaries who with the backing of Mrs. Katakshamma had become partners in the Gospel work gave financial aid to the church, with this the church was formed into a Constitution Body.
• The daughter of Mrs. Katakshamma Paul Raj, Radha Manjari studied M.Sc and M.Ed and her son-in-law, K. Abraham studied M.Sc. and D.B.M. They were made to resign from their good government jobs and were welcomed into the church. They were conferred with financial responsibilities and with their help undertook the following projects – a Lutheran office Building in S.R.N. Colony, Bhadrachalam, a place of worship (church), St. Paul’s Lutheran school, study in English medium, a K.N.H. hostel building along with a Lutheran school in Kukkunuru. A Bible Training school and Free Tailoring school which gave training and also supplied free sewing Machine for the dalit and poor Girijan (Tribal) women were started. Through the Kamala Nathaniel Hospital Free medication was given and in Kukkunuru through the financial help of K.N.H. permanent hostel buildings were constructed. Through School Building Teacher for Tribal Project, free food and education centers were started, with approximately 65 Pastors, evangelists and Bible women they gained much progress.
• Ordination of Mrs. Dr. Katakshamma – she was appointed as the President of the church, later was ordained as a Bishop, she was the first Woman Bishop of the Asian continent, and the first Bishop of G.S.E.L.C. this gained her international reputation.
• Good Samaritan Evangelical Lutheran Church – God complete membership in national and international bodies like APCC, NCCI, UELCI, LWF, ELM and YMCA.
• Established Teacher for Tribal Programme in various villages in which, gathered those children who did not attend school and the drop-outs at one place and gave them free education, and established Five Year Projects. Gave them the basic education for the first three years and later educated them in vocational courses of their interest and gave them financial support until they settled in life.
• Spreading the gospel work to atleast 284 villages in the boundaries of the states like Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and appointing state youth leaders as the pastors of the churches.
• Supplying porridge for free to the poor who work in the hot sun during the summer.
• By the year 2002, the Church became self-sufficient, and without the financial support from national or international agencies; the church was able to organize programmes from the resources available within the church.
• In 1997 Rt. Rev. Dr. Bishop Katakshamma Paul Raj who as a Bishop went to Germany suddenly fell ill and went to be with the Lord (slept in the Lord/went to the Lord’s presence)
• In 2011, Rev. Dr. Paul Raj became critically ill and went to be with the Lord on 23-05-2011.
• After the death of Rev. Dr. Paul Raj, under the leadership of K. Abraham and Radha Manjari, 2nd wave of leadership started. Dr. Radha Manjari and Mr. K. Abraham are executing their duties as the chairperson of Engineering College and chairperson of GSELM and GSELC Women’s wing president. Mr. K. Abraham is executing his duties as the administrative officer of GSELC and has brought progress to Dr. Paul Raj Engineering College as its Secretary.
• The able leadership of the President Rev. P. Johnson, Secretary Mr. C. Zechariah, and Treasurer Rev. G. Paul Sudhakar and other Executive members, has led the church into progress. Under the second line leadership of Mr. Kalavakuri Abraham and Dr. Radha Manjari and the governance of the executive committee the church is flourishing.
Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur
GOSSNER EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN CHOTANAGPUR
Area of Operation- 1687 pastorates through states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orrisa, Assam, Haryana, Delhi, Kolkata, and Northeastern states.
Objectives of GELC- Mission and Evangelism, Technical and Agriculture Ministries, Human Resource Development Ministries, Healing Ministries, Church Planting/ Revival,Tribal Welfare Ministries, Women and Youth Ministries, Christian Education, Theological Education.
Rt. Rev. Johan Dang
Moderator, Gossner Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Chotanagpur
Main Road, Ranchi – 834 001. Jharkhand.
Tel: 0651 -2351513 (O) 2350960
Cell: 09431104078; 09934334156 | Fax: 0651-2317892, 2317914
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.gelchurch.org
Hindustani Covenant Church
HINDUSTANI COVENANT CHURCH
Area of Operation- Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andman & Nicobar Island, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh,, Gujrat, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar.
Objectives of HCC- Mission and Evangelism, Poverty removal Ministries, Gender Justice Ministries, Environment and sanitation, agricultural development, Preventive, Promotive and Curative Health, Addressing the needs of special groups, Holistic Child Development, Disaster Mitigation.
Rev. S. C. David
Moderator, Hindustani Covenant Church
HCC Church Centre, 15, Solapur Road, Pune – 411 001, M.S.
Tel: 020-26360944, 26331720 | Cell: 09822011939
Fax: 020-26361387 | Email: email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.cssind.org
1. History: Brief history of its founding, growth and present situation
Mission Covenant Church of Sweden (MCCS) had sent few missionaries to work in East-Turki stan (Sin Kiang). The missionaries worked there successfully for few years. But, in 1938 the missionaries were asked by the government authorities and local leaders to leave from East-Turki stan (Sin Kiang). In 1939 the MCCS decided to start working in India instead. In 1940 the first missionaries came to Bombay and Poona in the state of Maharashtra. The work was primarily carried out among the Muslim population. The missionaries identified their work as “Swedish Hindustani Mission”.
In 1948 the work was extended to Solapur. Sister Maj Franzen, a health practitioner from Sweden, initiated the health care work in the remote villages of Solapur. In 1963 the Hindustani Covenant Church (HCC) was formed with Pastor B. Thoma as the 1st Indian Moderator. In 1967 ‘Solapur Well Service’ was established for the drilling of wells and manufacturing of the hand pumps.
In 1968 the church started to work in Karnataka. In 1981 “St. Luke’s Medical Society” was founded for the purpose of coordinating the health care work of the church. Towards the end of 1990s HCC witnessed a great improvement in its congregational growth as well as in the volume of carrying out development work. HCC expanded its ministry to Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Andaman Islands, Gujarat, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Andra Pradesh, Uttranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar.
The need of establishing a separate entity to plan, implement and coordinate the social development intervention was realized. Thus, Covenant Social Service (CSS), the development wing of HCC was established and made fully functional since 2009. Now CSS is carrying out development work in 13 different locations in India.
a. Total No. of Members (including children) : 28,506 members
Total Number of: Males 10,872 , Females 7856
b. Total No. of Communicants (full/baptized and confirmed): 18,728 members
Total No. of Male Communicant members 10,872
Female Communicant Members 7856
c. No. of Dioceses/Presbyteries/Associations/etc. in your Church N.A.
i. No. of local churches/congregations 111
ii. No. of Ordained Ministers 119
iii. Male Ordained Ministers 111
iv. Female Ordained Ministers 8
v. No. of Missionaries/Evangelists 30
vi. No. of Institutions of your Church :
• Schools : 4
• Junior Colleges: 1
• Hostel: 1
• Professional Training Institutions: 1
• Health Centers: 2
3. Affiliation to different bodies
• National Council of Churches in India
• Henry Martin Institution
• CASA NATIONAL BOARD
• Christian Association for Radio and Audio Visual Services
• ECLOF INDIA
• All India Sunday School Association
4. Year of joining NCCI: —-
5. Names of present Office Bearers
a. Rev. S. C. David (Moderator)
b. Rev. Y. Kalekar (Vice – Moderator)
c. Rev. D. Patole (Treasurer)
d. Mr. P. Kale (Secretary)
6. Activities/ Mission/ Programme
Spreading God’s word is the driving force for the work of HCC. It has been pursuing this mandate since its inception.
b. Church Development
Pastors are the pivots of church development work. For the development of the church, HCC gives priority for spiritual nurturing of children, youth, women and men. Utmost attention is given the Discipleship of the new believers. The HCC carries out various activities to strengthen Church development efforts.
c. Peace and Reconciliation
The need for peace and reconciliation initiatives in the church, among the minorities and in the communities is paramount in the current context. The HCC is committed to address this specific need of the society. It facilitates this process through interventions like facilitating inter-religious dialogue and formation of peace committees in its program areas and networking with others for sharing and collective action.
7. Contribution to the Ecumenical Movement:
Hindustani Covenant Church has actively participated in the ecumenical movement led by NCCI from more than a decade now. It has channelized emerging insights from various seminars, workshops, training programs etc. to its congregations in different parts of India. It has always sent its representatives from all the levels of its staff, management and office bearers to actively contribute in the movement.
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
INDIA EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Objectives of IELC- Mission and Evangelism, Ministry for specially abled, Self-Help Project, Good Samaritan Project, IELC Vocational Centre for the Handicapped and Community Development Project.
The Rev. Dr. J. Priestly Balasingh,
India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Central Office, 321,
Lutheran Mission Compound,
Nagercoil- 629001, Tamil Nadu
India Evangelical Lutheran Church often referred to as IELC is a confessional Lutheran denomination. It is spread over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Southern Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai. It has Mission bases at New Delhi, Amritsar and Orissa.
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) was supporting the Leipzig Lutheran Mission (LLM) during 19th century. K.G.T. Naether and T.F. Mohn who were working in the South East part of Tamil Nadu broke away from LLM due to doctrinal difference with the Leipzig Church in Germany. These two missionaries then applied to LCMS to support their work in India directly. LCMS agreed to their request and the two missionaries moved to Krishnagiri and Ambur of Northern Tamil Nadu to start a new Mission enterprise in 1895. The work was carried out under the banner of Missouri Evangelical Lutheran India Mission (MELIM). This marked the beginning of establishment of a number of churches in that part of India. However, the work of Naether lasted only for about four years. He sowed the seed of the Gospel and died of Plague along with his two daughters. His wife then returned home. Mohn continued his work for a few more years. Then, several batches of LCMS missionaries arrived one after the other phase by phase. At one stage, the Ambur-Krishnagiri area grew up with an increased number of churches, schools and a health care clinic. There was a Macedonian call from the South Trivancore of present Kanyakumari District to establish MELIM station. LCMS sent a few missionaries to work in South Travancore area that included the present Kerala. Churches, schools and a seminary were established during the next two decades. The first general assembly called ‘Prathanithikal Sangam’ of native Pastors and Lay representatives from congregations was held in Trivandrum. The Missionaries too participated in this assembly. This was the forerunner of all the three Synod conventions and IELC Convention of today.
The congregations in and around Ambur and Krishnagiri were organized into Ambur Synod in 1949. The Tamil congregations around Nagercoil were organized into Nagercoil Synod and Malayalam congregations in Kerala into Trivandrum Synod in 1956. All these three Synods were formed together as India Evangelical Lutheran Church during its General Assembly held on 8 and 9 of January 1958. IELC celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2008 remembering her forefathers and Missionaries with thanksgiving to God. The theme of the Golden Jubilee was, “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s Word to you. Think about how their lives turned out, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).
The vision of IELC is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ through the Congregations and the Social Service units among different ethnic groups of India by word and deed.
Congregations are primary units of IELC. The members of each congregation are involved in gathering, fellowshipping and worshipping the Triune God. Pastors are assigned to conduct worship services and do spiritual and social ministry in the congregations and among others around the location. Human care is integral part of the Mission of IELC.
- Diaconal Service of IELC as one of the ministries of the Church done by the laity (work of service – diakonia Rom. 12:7; Eph.4:12) assists the Pastors in spiritual and social concerns of individuals, families and society in general.
- Educational Service of IELC aims to provide quality education to all children irrespective of caste, creed, color and social status and trains Pastors, deacons and deaconesses.
- Medical Service of IELC aims to offer health care of all sections of the society and training in Healing Ministry.
- Literature Service of IELC does printing and publishing of educational materials, Christian Nurture books, worship manuals, periodicals and other literature related to Christian faith and practice.
- Special Service of IELC is committed to cater to the needs of children and women in crisis and victims of disasters.
- Evangelism Service of IELC in involved in social transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ leading to nation building and extension of God’s Kingdom.
Preaching Stations 635
Concordia Seminary full time faculty 8
Concordia Teachers Training Institute faculty 5
Active Pastors 210
Pastoral Probationers 32
Deaconesses and Bible Women 18
Evangelists (un-ordained and lay fulltime) 46
Volunteer Evangelists 350
Elementary and middle schools 61
High Schools 12
CBSE English medium School 1
Schools for the Handicapped 8
Child Development Centers 4
School of Nursing 1
Girls Boarding Homes 2
Boys Boarding Homes 3
Printing Press and Training Institute 1
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod – LCMS the founder of IELC through its Missouri Evangelical India Mission (MELIM) is the major partner of IELC offering grants for chapel construction, medical equipments, education resources, infrastructure development and training programs.
Wheat Ridge Foundation assists in helping the poor to develop their livelihood through ‘Cow for Widows’ project.
Lutheran Partners in Global Ministries helps poor children to get education through Boarding Homes.
Compassion International provides food, clothing, shelter and educational needs of the socially disadvantaged, physically challenged, hearing impaired, visually disabled and mentally challenged; IELC is catering to about 1,500 such children.
HCDI partnering with IELC in education of sex workers’ children and rehabilitation of sex workers in Mumbai.
KNH provides food, clothing and educational needs to polio affected children; IELC is catering to 126 such children.
Christopher Blinden Mission supports IELC School for the Blind.
IELC as a member of United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India, a consortium of all Lutheran denominations in India taps resources for training and social empowerment programs from Lutheran World Federation.
Satya Sachi is an official monthly periodical of IELC. It publishes news from congregations, articles on social and spiritual issues in Tamil, Malayalam and English.
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church
JEYPORE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- Orissa
Objectives of JELC- School and Training Institutes for the tribal children the Church’s sustaining work in the emancipation of the status of the Adivasi in commendable. Initiatives such as Research and Development, Mapping of Resources, Identification of Training needs, Identification of Model Parishes, Infrastructure Development, Environmental concerns and Dialogue with people of the other Faiths are presently undertaken by JELC. Translating Bible in the various tribal languages.
Rt. Rev. Bidhan Kumar Nayak Bishop,
Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church,
Bishop’s Office, Pohl & Bothmann Bhawan, PO:Jeypore-764 001, Dist-Koraput, Odisha
Tel: 06854-231440(O), Fax: 06854-232637/231989
Email : email@example.com
The Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC) was established in the year 1882 in the undivided Koraput district in Southern Odisha by the then Breklum Mission of Northern Germany under the pioneering leadership of Pastor Christian Jensen. Pastor Ernst Pohl and Herman Bothmann were the first missionaries to found JELC what was then called Schleswig Holstein Evangelical Lutheran Church (SHELC). It is because of the visionary mindset of many missionaries and the acceptance of Indian congregations, JELC flourished in the later years growing deep in spirituality. The intervention of Christian mission obviously threshed upon education, health care and social empowerment as a result of which, number of schools were established along with couple of hospitals and theological institution. Quantum of congregations increased and more pastors were trained to fulfill the need of the new congregations. JELC was already moving towards a bigger set up. With the emergence of the exit of foreign Christian missionaries, the Indian church leadership came into play during 1960s, the mission thereafter is considered as Indian Missionary era. Preaching, education, health care continued and JELC was trying to systemize a self-defined administration in the church. However, beginning of this century, the mission took a new dimension as a strong sense of self reliance was realized by the JELC leaders and with the challenges thrown by the then Nordelbisches Missions Zentrum (NMZ), JELC entered into an era of Partnership with the then Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church (NEK). JELC is indeed grateful for the partnership with the Nord Kirche and Zentrum für Mission und Ökumene (ZmÖ).
JELC having its Central Office in Jeypore operates in the districts of Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kalahadi, Bastar district of Chhatisgarh and Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh. The congregations of JELC are basically Dalits and Adivasis. The communities are challenged with number of issues related to Displacement, Illiteracy, inadequate Health Facilities, Social Discrimination and Climate Change and so on. Being in the midst of such challenges and struggles of the people, the church metaphors its mission classification and rises to be the voice of voiceless by playing significant role for promoting values of social justice.
To have clear and larger focus on Adivasi issues and to promote Adivasi leadership in the church, JELC formed a special Adivasi centered body called Adivasi Christiya Samaj (ACS) which is having its headquarter in Doliambo working for the development of Adivasis Deaneries. The church is committed to take up Adivasi issues.
The Jeypore Evangelical Lutheran Church is affiliated to the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Geneva, The United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India (UELCI), the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), The Utkal Christian Council (UCC).
JELC is running number of social projects supported by ZMÖ, LWF, Compassion East India, CASA and others.
A short look into the functions of JELC
Synod is the highest decision making body of JELC which meets once in 2 years. To execute policies, the important affair of the church, the Church Council (executive body of the Synod) meets once in 6 months and in time of emergency.
For an effective work of the church, JELC works in and through its deaneries. Each deanery comprises several parishes and many congregations form one Parish. Some of the Primary Schools run by JELC exist since Pre-independence time (India got independence in 1947) and infact; those were the first schools to be established in the region.
Number of Deaneries – 17
Number of Parishes – 81
Number of Congregations – 426
Number of Deans – 16
Number of Pastors – 90 Pastors (10 Women and 80 Men)
Number of Evangelists – 27 and 170 Prayer Conductors
Number of Schools – 43
For programmatic approach, JELC functions through four major program departments – The Sunday School, The Women’s Desk, The Youth Desk and The Partnership Desk.
For special focus on social issues, JELC runs number of projects and programs namely – Social Action of Life Transformation (SALT) supported by CASA, Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC) supported by LWF, Agriculture Project by LWF, and Churches Adaptation in Response to Environment (CARE) by LWF, Child Development Centres by Compassion East India.
In the wake of the self reliance realization, JELC committed itself to work through a Seven Point Mission Program namely
• Nurturing/Spiritual renewal of the baptized Christians.
• Trigger social-economic and political empowerment
• Strengthening of congregation and parishes transform them into resource center
• Health concerns – HIV/AIDS
• Human Rights – Dalits and Adivasi concerns
• Environmental concern
• Ecumenical and Inter-faith dialogue
Institutions Owned/Operated by the Church
Number of Primary Schools + Elementary Schools – 33
Number of Middle English Schools – 4
Number of High Schools – 5
Theodore Public School (English Medium)
Christian Hospital, Nabarangpur
Christian Hospital, Bissamcuttack
Community Development Centre, Doliambo
Education and Leadership Inspiring Mission, Duruguda
Odisha Christian Theological College, Gopalpur
2 Homes for widows – (Kotpad and Koraput)
12 Boarding homes for Boys and Girls.
The everyday affairs of the Church are normally discussed and executed by the Bishop and the Office bearers in consultation with the person concern.
Malabar Independent Syrian Church
MALABAR INDEPENDENT SYRIAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- Kerala and Gulf
Objectives of MISC- Medical Mission, Education, Christian Education, Publications and Literature.
Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios
Metropolitan, Malabar Independent Syrian Church
Trichur, Thozhiyur, Kerala – 680 520.
Tel: 0487-2681085 | Cell: 09447992783
Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
MALANKARA JACOBITE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Area of Operation- Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gulf and The USA.
Objectives of MJSOC- Healing Ministry, Social Work, Education, Christian Education, Theological Education.
H.B. Baselios Thomas I.
Patriarchal Centre,Puthencruz-682 308
Tel: 0484-2732804 | Fax: 0484 –2732804
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
MALANKARA ORTHODOX SYRIAN CHURCH
Area of Opetation- India, America, Canada, Europe, Africa and Australia.
Objectives of MOSC- Sunday School, Bala Balika Samajam, Martha Mariam Samajam, Youth Movement, Prarthna Yogam, Mar Gregorios Orthodox Christian Student Movement, National Association for Mission Studies, Divyasandesham (communication), Choir Association, Snehsandesham (department of Mobile Mission of Malankara Orthodox Church), Shushrushaka sangham (Akhil Malankara Orthodox Shushrushaka Sangham), Servants of the Cross, The St. Thomas Orthodox Vaidhika Sangam (The St. Thomas Orthodox Clergy Association), Mission, Hospitals, Counselling, Environment Concerns.
H. H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews III
The Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan,
MOSC Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam P.O. Kottayam 686 004 Kerala
Tel: 0481- 2578500 /2578499
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Mar Thoma Syrian Church
MAR THOMA SYRIAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- India, USA, Europe, South Asia, South Pacific, East Asia
Objectives of MTSC- Mission and Evangelism, Health Education, Christian and Theological Education, Youth and Children Ministries, Environmental concerns, Liturgy and Literature, Social and Justice Ministries, Women concerns, Pastoral Ministry, Communications and Ecumenical Relations
Most Rev. Dr. Theodosius Mar Thoma
Metropolitan, (Niranam-Maramon & Kottayam-Kochi Diocese)
Mar Thoma Syrian Church Poolatheen, Tiruvalla 689 101, Pathanamthitta Dist, Kerala
Tel. : 0469-2630313 (O), 2601210 (P)
Fax : 0469-2602626, Cell: 7045875688,
Email : email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church was believed according to the tradition to be founded by St. Thomas, an Apostle of Christ on his visit to India, in 52 CE as an integral National Identity of the one “Apostolic and Catholic Church as declared in the Nicene Creed”.
The Mar Thoma Church is Eastern in worship, Episcopal in tradition, Orthodox in doctrine, democratic in administration, oriental in worship practices and ecumenical in vision. Some of its salient features are strong Biblical emphasis, evangelical outlook, missionary zeal, theological concerns and social commitments. Being an indigenous National Church, it is autonomous, self-supporting and self-propagating.
The Mar Thoma Church upholds the Councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. It is one of the founding members in the work of ecumenical organisations like the World Council of Churches (WCC), National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Kerala Council of Churches (KCC), and Participant in the National Missionary Society (NMS) and the Bible Society of India. It is in full communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Church of South India (CSI), the Church of North India (CNI) and the Malabar Independent Syrian Church.
The object and mission of the Church is to keep and safeguard the faith as revealed by Christ and taught by the Apostles, to promote the spiritual life of the faithful through the administration of the Sacraments and the preaching of the Word, and to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to bear witness as per the instructions received by the faithful.
The Church is at present blessed by the able leadership of thirteen bishops and is headed by the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan who is the 21st Malankara Metropolitan to occupy the Holy Apostolic, Throne of St. Thomas. The Mar Thoma Sabha Office situated at Thiruvalla, Kerala functions as the headquarters of the Church while the Sabha Prathinidhi Mandalam (Representative Assembly) is the chief executive body. The Malankara Sabha Tharaka serves as the official organ of the Mar Thoma Church.
The Mar Thoma Syrian Church is a global church having its presence in every continent through its 12 dioceses which include nearly 1200 parishes and congregations. The church is served by about 1000 clergy (Vicar Generals: 11, Active Clergy: 821, Retired Clergy: 165) who administer to the needs, spiritual and otherwise of the laity which number approximately 1.5 billion members.
The faithful community is nurtured and nourished through various organizations like the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association (1888), the Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam (1905), the Mar Thoma Suvishesha Sevika Sangham (1919), the Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelists Association (1925), the Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam (1933), the Mar Thoma Students Conference (1910) and the Department of Sacred Music and Communications (1969).
The Church, through its various social welfare institutions, works for the upliftment of women and children in difficult circumstances, people with addiction related problems, the differently-abled, persons with mental illness, people living with HIV/AIDS, the tribal community, fishermen community and the geriatric community. In addition, the Church also runs several student centres, guidance centres, counselling centres, rehabilitation centres, palliative care centres and childrens homes.
Through the centuries, the Mar Thoma Church has always engaged in social, political and religious issues which affect the people and has overcome great trials and tribulations, since its infancy till the present, while staying true to its calling, faith and heritage, ever upholding its motto ‘Lighted to Lighten’.
Mennonite Brethren Church
MENNONITE BRETHREN CHURCH
Area of Operations- Andhra Pradesh and part of Karnataka
Objectives of MBC- Mission and evangelism, Health, Education, Christian and Theological Education, Youth and Children Ministries, Environmental concerns, Liturgy and Literature, Social Service, Dalit and Tribal Welfare Ministries, Women concerns, Pastoral Ministry.
The missionary work of Mennonite Brethren church started in 1889 when Abraham Frieson, and Maria Frieson arrived in India from Russia. Later on Mr. & Mrs N.N.Heibert came to India in 1899 from the M.B.Conference of North America. The planting of local churches as agents of evangelism is the central objective of mission programme.”(by G.W. Peters) Therefore they sent early missionaries to preach, to teach and to heal the people that means a preacher, teacher, and a nurse were sent in this staff (by J.A. Toews). With support of local preachers they used various methods such as touring villages, special campaigns, monthly gathering and conventions, etc., to reach non-Christians. In short they did healing, teaching and preaching ministry.
Right now we have one M.B.C Bible College affiliated to senate of Serampore, 8 high schools, one junior college, and one M.B.Medical centre, and we have planned to establish MB Christian Medical College. It is in process. M.B.Church is geographically located in four districts in Andra Pradesh, Sholapur, and Bombay in Maharastra, Raichur, Koppal, and Ballari district in Karnataka. We are planning to extend to North India. At present there are 1000 churches and 2, 03,074 church members.
Mennonite Church in India
MENNONITE CHURCH IN INDIA
Area of Operation- Concentrated in Chhattisgarh and scattered in India
Objectives of MnCI- Mission and Evangelism, Health, Education, Christian and and Theological Edcuation, Youth and Christian Ministries, Environmental concerns, Liturgy and Literature, Social Service, Dalit and Tribal Welfare Ministries, Women concerns, Pastoral Minstry.
MENNONITE CHURCH IN INDIA DHAMTARI, CHHATTISGARH
Mennonite Church in India, Conference Dhamtari celebrated its Centenary on 2nd January 2012. In 1899 the first missionaries came to Dhamtari, and mission work started. Within a year about 43 people accepted Jesus as their Saviour and were baptized on 23rd December 1900. In 1906 Balodgahan village was bought by the missionaries for the mission centre. The first Holy Communion was celebrated in 1902. In this year 51 people accepted Jesus as their Saviour. In 1912 the first Conference was held at Balodgahan and four congregations participated in it. They were Sunderganj Mennonite Church Dhamtari, Bethel Mennonite Church Balodgahan, Zion Mennonite Church Sankara and Mennonite Church Maradeo. In 1913 first Indian was ordained as Deacon. During this time Hospital started and first Church building was also dedicated. At the end of 1919 the total membership of Mennonite Church was 703. The first Bishop of Mennonite Church in India was ordained on 9th March 1024. The golden jubilee of Mission was celebrated in 1949, and this time the membership of Mennonite Church in India had grown to 1579. Till 1979 there were 16 congregations, two Bishops, 13 ordained Pastors 10 Deacon and one deaconess. The total membership was 2194. In 1999 the Centenary of Mission was celebrated in Sunderganj Mennonite Church Dhamtari.
The first Indian moderator for conference was elected in the year 1950 and new constitution was also applied. There were 11 congregations till 1952. The first Indian was ordained as Bishop in 1955 and Rev P. J. Malagar was the first Indian Bishop of Mennonite Church in India, Dhamtari.
Mennonite Christian Service Fellowship of India was formed in 1963 and Bishop P. J. Malagar was its first director. There are more than 10 conferences as member in MCSFI including Brethren in Christ Churches.
The two service boards were formed in 1960, they were known as Mennonite Medical Board and Mennonite Board of Christian Education. In Dhamtari Christian Hospital a Nursing Training School was opened in 1968, now it has grown into huge Nursing College. The ground breaking ceremony for Christian Academic was done on 1st January 1932, which is now known as Mennonite Higher Secondary School. Now we have more than ten schools including an English Medium school where more than 1500 children are studying.
The Mennonite World Conference was held in Kolkata in 1997, and Asia Mennonite Conference was organised in 2005 in Hyderabad.
There are now 22 congregations, 20 ordained pastors, 4 evangelists, 23 Deacons and 3 Deaconesses. We celebrated Centenary of Our Conference in 2012 under the Leadership of Bishop C F Nath as Moderator and Rev M K Masih as Executive Secretary.
2. Activities / Mission/ Program
The Mennonite Church in India has now 22 congregations and, each has its own buildings. Every Sunday worship services are organised. In most of the congregations Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools, Youth Fellowship and Women Fellowship are organised. The Cottage Prayer Meetings are also regular feature of the congregations. For the women every year, Women’s conference and every two year All India Women’s Conference is organised. The Youths have their Youth Retreat each year, and All India Youth Conference is every three years. We do organise Rally and seminar for Sunday School Students every year on 2nd October. Sunday School Teachers and Vacation Bible School teacher’s trainings are held so that they equip themselves for the better results. The members of the Local congregations do the evangelistic work, though it has become difficult in this area. The Medical and the Education Boards are doing their work. There are two hospitals and ten schools under MCI.
3. Contribution to the Ecumenical Movement
MCI has been part of the Ecumenical Movement through participating in the programs of MCC, NCCI, YMCA, SCMI and RCDRC.
Methodist Church in India
METHODIST CHURCH IN INDIA
Area of Operation- India
Objectives of MCI- Christian Education, Youth and Women’s Fellowship, Pastoral Aid, Dalit and Adivasi concerns, Mission and Evangelism, Communications, Environmental Concerns.
Rev. Dr. Newton M. Parmar
General Secretary, MCI
Methodist Centre,21 YMCA Road,
Mumbai Central, Mumbai – 400 008, Maharashtra.
Tel: 022-23074137, 23094316 (O),23018754
Cell: 9825055180 | Email: email@example.com;
The Methodist Church is a church of Christ in which “the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments duly administered.” This church is a great Protestant body, though it did not come directly out of the Reformation but had its origin within the Church of England. Its founder was John Wesley, a clergyman of the church, as was his father before him. His mother, Susanna Wesley, was a woman of zeal, devotion and strength of character who was perhaps the greatest single human influence in Wesley’s life.
Nurtured in this devout home, educated at Oxford University, the young John Wesley, like a second Paul, sought in vain for religious satisfaction by the strict observance of the rules of religion and the ordinances of the church. The turning point in his life came when at a prayer meeting in Aldersgate Street, London, on May 24, 1738, he learned what Paul had discovered, that is not by rules and laws, nor by our own efforts at self-perfection, by faith in God’s mercy as it comes to us in Christ, that man may enter upon life and peace.
The gospel which Wesley thus found for himself he began to proclaim to others, first to companions who sought his counsel, including his brother Charles, then in widening circles that took him throughout the British Isles. His message a double emphasis, which has remained with Methodist to this day. First was the Gospel of God’s grace, offered to all men and equal to every human need. Second was the moral ideal which this Gospel presents to men. The Bible, he declared, knows no salvation which is not salvation from sin. He called men to holiness of life, and this holiness, he insisted, is “social holiness”, the love and service of their fellow men. Methodist meant “Christianity in earnest.” The General Rules which are still found in the Discipline are the directions which Wesley gave to his followers to enable them to test the sincerity of their purpose and to guide them in this life.
Wesley did not plan to found a new Church. In his work he simply followed, like Paul, the clear call of God, first to preach the gospel to the needy who were not being reached by the Established Church and its clergy, second to take care of those who were won to the Christian life. Step by step he was led on until Methodist became a great transforming movement in the life of England. He gathered his people in groups, in classes and societies. He appointed leaders. He found men who were ready to carry the gospel to the masses, speaking on the streets, in the open fields, and in private homes. These men were not ordained ministers but lay preachers, or “local preachers”, as they were called. He appointed these men, assigned them to various fields of labour, and supervised their work. Once a year he called them together for a conference, just as Methodist preachers meet in their Annual Conference sessions today.
Wesley thus united in extraordinary fashion three notable activities, in all of which he excelled. One was evangelism: “The world is my parish”, he declared. His preachers went to the people; they did not wait for the people to come to them, and he himself knew the highway and byways of England as did no other man of his day. The second was organization and administration, by which he conserved the fruits of this preaching and extended its influence. The third was his appreciation of education and use of the printed page. He made the press a servant of the Church and was the father of the mass circulation of inexpensive books, pamphlets, and periodicals.
From England, Methodists spread to Ireland and then to America. In 1766 Philip Embury, a lay preacher from Ireland, began to preach in the city of New York. At about the same time Robert Strawbridge, another lay preacher from Ireland settled in Frederick County, Maryland, and began the work there. In 1769 Wesley sent Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmore to America, and two years later Francis Asbury, who became the great leader of American Methodism.
Methodism was especially adapted to American life. These itinerant preachers served the people under conditions where a settled ministry was not feasible. They sought out the scattered homes, followed the tide of migration as it moved west, preached the gospel, organized societies, established “preaching places”, and formed these into Societies. The Methodists numbered some fifteen thousand members and eighty preachers.
In the beginning Wesley had thought of his fellows not as constituting a Church but simply as forming so many societies. The preachers were not ordained, and the members were supposed to receive the Sacraments in the Anglican Church. But the Anglican clergy in America were few and far between. The Revolution had severed America from England, and Methodism to all intents and purposes had become an independent church. Wesley responded to appeals for help from America by asking the Bishop of London to ordain some of his preachers. Failing in this, he himself ordained two men and set aside Dr. Thomas Coke, who was a presbyter of the Church of England, to be a superintendent, “to preside over the flock of Christ” in America. Coke was directed to ordain Francis Asbury as a second superintendent.
At the Christmas Conference, which met in Baltimore, December 24, 1784, some sixty preachers, with Dr. Coke and his companions, organized the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. Wesley had sent over The Sunday Service, a simplified form of the English Book of Common Prayer, with the Articles of Religion reduced in number. This book they adopted, adding to the articles one which recognized the independence of the new nation.
Our present Articles of Religion come from this book and unite us with the historic faith of Christendom. Our Ritual too, though it has been modified, has this as its source. However, the forms for public worship taken from the Book of Common Prayer were not adapted to the freer religious life of American Methodist and never entered into common use. Instead, Methodism created a book of its own, its Discipline. This contains today the Articles of Religion, Wesley’s General Rules, the Ritual and other forms of worship, and a large section which deals with the ministry, the various church organizations, and the rules governing the life and work of the church.
In this history of Methodism two notable divisions occurred. In 1828 a group of earnest and godly persons largely moved by an insistence on lay representation, separated and became the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1844 there was another division, the cause being construed by some as the question of slavery, by others as a constitutional issue over the powers of the General Conference versus the episcopacy. After years of negotiation a Plan of Union was agreed upon; and on May 10, 1939, The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and The Methodist Protestant Church untied to form The Methodist Church.
The Methodist Church believes today, as Methodism has from the first, that the only infallible proof of a true Church of Christ is its ability to seek and to save the lost, to disseminate the Pentecostal spirit and life, to spread scriptural holiness, and to transform all peoples and nations through the gospel of Christ. The sole object of the rules, regulations, and usage of The Methodist Church is to aid the church in fulfilling its divine commission. United Methodism, thanks God for the new life and strength which have come with reunion, while realizing the new obligations which this brings. At the same time it rejoices in the fact that it is a part of the one Church of our Lord and shares in a common task. Its spirit is still expressed in Wesley’s words; “I desire to have a league, offensive and defensive, with every soldier of Christ. We have not only one faith, one hope, one Lord, but are directly engaged in one warfare.”*
(*From: The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 1976 Historical Statement, pp 7-11.)
THE METHODIST CHURCH IN INDIA
The Methodist Episcopal Church began its work in India in the year 1856, when William Butler came from America. He selected Oudh and Rohilkhand as the field of effort, and being unable to secure a residence at Lucknow, began work at Bareilly. The first War of Independence broke up the work at Bareilly, but in 1858 Lucknow was occupied and Bareilly re-occupied and the work of the Mission started anew.
By the year 1864 the work had grown to such an extent that it was organized under the name of the India Mission Conference. Additional stations were occupied in Oudh, Rohilkhand, Garhwal and Kumaon, and by the year 1870 The Methodist Episcopal Church had established work both along evangelistic and educational lines, that was to furnish the foundation for the largest and most successful Mission of the Church.
The year 1870 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of Methodism in India. On the invitation of James M. Thoburn, who was already an acknowledged leader in the Mission, the famous evangelist William Taylor was invited to India to hold special revival meetings. On his arrival he started his work at Lucknow, but subsequently went to Kanpur where markedly successful results led to a request from the converts that a Methodist minister be stationed at that city. The work had thus far been confined to the territory East and North of the Ganges, but by reason of this request from Kanpur it was carried beyond that river. This was the first step in the process of an expansion that resulted in putting The Methodist Episcopal Church on the map of all Southern Asia. The work of William Taylor, resulting in a spiritual revival in every city he visited, brought together groups of men and women who asked to be organized into churches. Thus there came into existence Methodist congregations in Kanpur, Bombay, Poona, Calcutta, Secunderabad, Madras, Bangalore, Nagpur and other cities. It was this that changed the course of Methodism in India and led our Church out of its provincial boundaries and made it a national factor.
In 1873 the churches established by William Taylor were organized into the “Bombay-Bengal Mission.” The next step in the development of our Church in India was taken in 1876 when the South India Annual Conference was organized, taking in all the territory outside the bounds of the original Upper India field. This was followed in 1888 by the organization of the Bengal Annual Conference, and by 1893 the work had so far expanded that the Bombay and North-West India Annual Conferences were also set apart. Between the years 1871 and 1900, The Methodist Episcopal Church, from being a mere provincial organization with a dozen mission stations, became a great national Church throughout all Southern and South-Eastern Asia, with work carried on in twelve languages, extending from Manila to Quetta and from Lahore to Madras. In the same period our Christian community had increased from 1,835 to 1,11,654. No more romantic chapter can be found in the annals of missionary history than this that tells of such phenomenal expansion and growth under the blessing and guidance of God.
In 1904 the field was again sub-divided by the organization of the Central Provinces Mission Conference, which was followed by setting the work of Burma apart and organizing it as a Mission Conference. In 1921 two Annual Conferences, namely Lucknow and Gujarat, were brought into existence and another division of the field was made in 1922 when the Indus River Annual Conference was organized. In 1925 the Hyderabad Annual Conference was separated from the South India Annual Conference. In 1956 Agra Annual Conference was separated from Delhi Annual Conference and Moradabad Annual Conference from the North India Annual Conference. In 1960 the Karachi Provisional Annual Conference was organized. Thus in 95 years from 1865 to 1960, the one Conference in India had grown into 13, covering the whole of Southern Asia.
But while the work in India itself had been growing so rapidly, the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church had also spread far beyond the bounds of India. Under the leadership of James M. Thoburn, Burma was entered in 1879, where John E. Robinson became the pioneer missionary, and in 1885 the work in Malaysia was begun by the establishment of a mission at Singapore, the pioneer here being William F. Oldham. But this was not the limit of expansion. In 1899, when the Philippines came into the possession of the United States of America, the farsighted James M. Thoburn promptly entered Manila and established the work of our Church in those islands. Here another of India’s missionaries, Homer C. Stuntz, became one of the great pioneer workers. All these missionary leaders later became Bishops of the Church.
The year 1870 is remarkable in our history not only because of William Taylor’s visit but for another reason as well. It was the year that marked the coming of the first missionaries of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Two young ladies arrived that year: Isabella Thoburn, to start her wonderful work of education among India’s girls and women; and Clara Swain, to inaugurate our medical work among the women of this land, she being the lady doctor to undertake such work in Asia. It was fitting that the first missionaries of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society should come to India, for Mrs. Lois S. Parker, who with her husband Edwin W. Parker had come to India in 1859 and Mrs. William Butler who had served in India still earlier were the leading spirits in the organization of the Woman’s Society in Boston, USA, in 1869. The growth of the work supported by our Woman’s Division (formerly Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society) has been even more phenomenal than that of our Board of Foreign Missions, and in all lines of missionary endeavour it has met with remarkable success.
The Methodist Church in India has emphasized some departments of missionary endeavour more than others, but it has been wide in its scope from the beginning. Evangelistic, educational, medical, literary and industrial lines have all been followed up vigorously, and our field has not been limited to any particular class of people. We were, however, early led into an evangelistic work in the villages of Northern India that resulted in the baptism of large numbers of people from among the depressed classes. Thus started our Mass Movement work, which has brought several hundreds of thousands of converts into our Church in the rural areas. During the twenty years from 1904 to 1924 The Methodist Church baptized six hundred thousand of these people, but even so it has been able to receive only a fraction of those who were willing to be baptized and throw in their lot with Christianity. In this mass movement work God has granted to our church a very large place of leadership but the opportunities demand of us larger resources, more missionaries and Indian evangelists, a more adequate educational work in the villages and a more consistent and vigorous policy.
The Methodist Church has been fortunate in the leadership granted it in India. The zeal and foresight of the founder, William Butler, was followed by the daring faith and statesmanship of James M. Thoburn, the energy and practical wisdom of E.W. Parker, the evangelistic fervour of Francis Wesley Warne, and the devotion, vision, and versatility of scores of others, who in the various parts of India gave themselves with unremitting toil to the task of the Church. Nor should we fail to mention the devoted labours and Christian spirit of the ever-increasing number of Indian men and women who in the ministry and among the laity have given themselves with faith and courage to the tasks of the Kingdom. Beginning with the saintly and enthusiastic Joel Janvier, a preacher lent to our Church by the American Presbyterian Mission when William Butler started his work, Indian brethren and sisters have borne the heat and burden of the day in Christ’s vineyard in India to their great credit, and the glory of their Lord. The Methodist Church in this land has indeed been blessed in the type and number of its indigenous workers.
Indian Methodism’s Episcopal leadership has been developed on the field itself. Of the fourteen men who have been elected Bishops for India, twelve had previously served on the Indian Mission field. In 1888 James M. Thoburn became the first Missionary Bishop for the Methodist Episcopal Church in India. In the year 1900 Edwin W. Parker and Frank W. Warne were elected for India, and in 1904 William F. Oldham and John E. Robinson. In 1912 John W. Robinson and William P. Eveland were elected, and in 1920 Frederick B. Fisher and H. Lester Smith. In 1924 came the election of Brenton T. Badley and at the close of 1930 the Central Conference of Southern Asia elected Jaswant Rao Chitambar, as first national Bishop, marking the beginning of a new era. This was hailed with great satisfaction all over the field, and also brought encouragement to friends of the Church throughout America. At the close of the year 1935, J. Waskom Pickett, after and unique experience in mass movement work, was elected Bishop by the Central Conference.
The year 1939 marks a turning point in the history of worldwide Methodism, by reason of the union of The Methodist Episcopal Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and The Methodist, Protestant Church, to form The Methodist Church. This union affected the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church in India only by the inclusion of one mission station, Dhulia, belonging to the former Methodist Protestant Church, and the addition of their one missionary family and two lady missionaries, resident there, to the missionary personnel of The Methodist Church in Southern Asia. This union, long prayed and worked for, strengthened the work in India as elsewhere.
In the latter part of 1940 was recorded a serious loss to the church in the death of Jaswant Rao Chitambar, Indian Methodism’s first national Bishop. A few months later Bishop John W. Robinson, who had officially retired at the General Conference of 1936, but in 1939 was assigned to an Area by the Uniting Conference, laid down his Episcopal duties at the Delhi Central conference, after twenty-nine years in the Episcopal office. These two vacancies were filled at the Central Conference session held at Delhi, December 28, 1940, to January 7, 1941 by the election to the Episcopacy of Shot Kumar Mondol of the Bengal Annual Conference and Clement Daniel Rockey of the North India Conference. The election of Bishop Mondol as the second national Bishop of Southern Asia Methodism was widely welcomed, and Bishop Rockey, as a second generation missionary, came to the Episcopal office with a wide experience and a remarkable use of the vernacular of Upper India. Bishop Badley after 20 years in Episcopal service retired from the Episcopacy at the Central Conference held at Lucknow in January 1945, and his place was filled by the election of John A. Subhan of the Indus River Conference. Bishop Subhan was the third Indian to be elected to the Episcopacy in our Church and the first Muslim convert to hold this high office among us.
At the Central Conference of 1948-49, the Burma Conference, which had for years been a member of the Southern Asia Central Conference, asked for permission to join the proposed South-East Asia Central Conference to enable it to organize. The Central Conference met in Singapore in early February 1950. Burma then ceased to be a member of the Southern Asia Central Conference.
On August 15, 1947 India celebrated her first “Independence Day” making it a national holiday. On January 26, 1950 India became officially a Republic. The leadership of all departments of political life became Indian. In keeping with this, on the retirement of Bishops Pickett and Rockey on November 11, 1956, two new Indian Bishops were consecrated, namely, Mangal Singh with his experience in schools and pastoral work coming from the Delhi Conference and Gabriel Sundaram with his years of experience in the educational work of the church from the Hyderabad Conference. Thus all four of the College of Bishops for India were now Indians.
The partition of the country in 1947 and declaration of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic led the Indus River Conference to ask the General Conference for a separate Bishop for Pakistan.
The Council of Bishops approved the appointment of Bishop Rockey to supervise the West Pakistan Area. At the Central Conference in 1960-61, recognition was taken of the fact that the work in Pakistan had been organized as the Pakistan Provisional Central Conference in 1960 with the creation of the Karachi Provisional Annual Conference. Bishop C.D. Rockey continued to administer the work there.
From October 31 to November 3, 1956 was celebrated the India Centenary of Methodism marking the completion of 100 years of service and beginning the second century. The centenary meetings were held in Lucknow in a big tent (pandal) on the athletic field of the Lucknow Christian College and attracted visitors from all parts of India, also a large number of American visiting pastors and laymen. Some visitors came from other countries where Methodism is at work. Official visitors were also welcomed from sister churches in India. There was a stirring, instructive and inspirational programme ending with a very impressive Communion service at which about 3,000 people partook of Communion in unison and in solemn silence. As a particular feature of the Centenary a most attractive and inspirational exhibition featured the growth of individual and group abilities in a way that opened the eyes of all to the latent and developing skills and abilities in our Christian community.
The Centenary was immediately followed by the Central Conference which met in the auditorium of the Isabella Thoburn College. The consecration of the two newly elected Bishops. Mangal Singh and Gabriel Sundaram, took place in Central Methodist Church, Lucknow, on the 11th November 1956.
Official Episcopal visitors to the Central Conference were Bishop Arthur J. Moore, representing the Council of Bishops and President of the Board of Mission; Bishop Ivan Lee Holt representing Ecumenical Methodism and Bishop Raymond L. Archer who had just retired from the supervision of the South-East Asia Central Conference.
In the Central Conference of 1964 at Lucknow the two national Bishops, namely Shot K. Mondal and John A. Subhan retired. These vacancies were filled by electing Bishops Alfred J. Shaw and P.C.B. Balaram. The 1968 Central Conference elected three national Bishops namely Joseph R. Lance, Ram Dutt Joshi and Eric A. Mitchell to fill the vacancies caused by the retirement of Bishops Mangal Singh and Gabriel Sundaram and the sudden demise of Bishop P.C.B. Balaram. In the 1972 Central Conference Bishop Shaw retired and M. Elia Peter was elected Bishop. Following the 1976 Central Conference Bishop R.D. Joshi passed away. The Council of Bishops reactivated Bishop A.J. Shaw to supervise the Bombay Episcopal Area until Bishop Shantanu Kumar Parmar was elected on January 5, 1979.
The Methodist Church in India has always believed that its largest usefulness depended on adjusting itself in every possible way to indigenous conditions on this field. As a consequence our missionaries here saw very early in our history the need of a District Conference. The idea was adopted and the success was so signal that the General Conference afterwards put the District Conference into the regular structure of the Church. The same thing happened when in 1885 Indian Methodism brought into existence the Central Conference. By 1920 the value of this addition to our ecclesiastical organization had been recognized, and the General Conference arranged for organizing Central Conferences in each of Methodism’s great mission fields. And a third piece of India’s church organization later demonstrated its value on the field, viz., the Executive Board. We are seeking to promote our work in keeping with the great indigenous developments and national movements of the present time. To give the Indian spirit and genius the best possible opportunity of expressing itself is a definite policy of The Methodist Church. From the beginning our aim has been not to perpetuate a mission, but to establish a Church that shall combine the best that the West can bring and the best that the East can give, to the glory of God and the establishment of His Kingdom of earth.
Many years ago The Methodist Church in India got a vision of the need and possibility of organizing a Society in order to carry on a missionary work within its own borders by means of an indigenous agency and the use of funds collected in this country. This resulted in bringing into existence the ‘Desi’ Missionary Society in the Upper India field. After several years, there came a wider vision of a missionary work by Indians for India, organized so as to take in all the Conferences. This resulted in the organization, in 1920, of our Methodist Missionary Society, with Indians as its office-bearers, directed by a board composed of both Indian men and women. The first Corresponding Secretary was Jaswant Rao Chitambar with Mrs. Nathaniel Jordan as the first Recording Secretary and field chosen was Bhabua in the Province of Bihar, Rev. W.H. Soule, a member of the Central Provinces Conference, was appointed the first missionary and a very promising work was opened up, with Bhabua as headquarters.
In 1938 Rev. and Mrs. I.B. Kristmukti from Gujarat were commissioned as our missionaries to work among the non-Christian Indian Gujarati community who are settled down over the years in Southern Rhodesia, Africa. They sailed in May 1938, and with their headquarters at Umtali worked among them for eight years when in 1946 they returned on furlough and the work was discontinued thereafter.
At the end of 1956 the Bhabua field was incorporated in the Lucknow Annual Conference and the Methodist Missionary Society was thus enabled to devote its attention to the missionary work in Nepal and Sarawak in Borneo. Rev. and Mrs. Terence Joseph were appointed missionaries from our Church to that foreign field.
The Central Conference of Southern Asia in session 1960-61 reorganized the Methodist Missionary Society by creating in its place the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia; Bishop Gabriel Sundaram was appointed as the chairman of the Board whose headquarters then remained in Lucknow. For the quadrennium 1965-1968 Bishop Alfred J. Shaw was appointed as the chairman of the Board.
In 1963, the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia took a further step in its missionary enterprise by loaning the services of Rev. D.L. Jordan to the British Methodist Church as a missionary to Fiji Islands to work among the Indian Christian and non-Christian communities.
The Central Conference in 1960-61 approved consultation toward the taking over of the work in Andaman Islands which up till this time had been associated with the work of the Burma Annual Conference. The General Conference in session at Pittsburg, USA in 1964, voted to transfer the work in Andaman Islands to the Central Conference of Southern Asia, and accordingly the territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was accepted as part and parcel of the Methodist Church in India by the Central Conference of 1964-65, and the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia gladly accepted the work as part of its home mission project. The Andaman Islands mission field continued to be administered by the Board of Missions (MCSA) and the successor MCI body, the Council of Evangelism and Missions, until 1985. The 2nd Regular Session of the General Conference of the Methodist Church in India held in January 1985 at Jabalpur passed legislation whereby the Andaman Islands mission field was transferred to South India Conference. At the time of this transfer the work in Andaman Islands consisted of four established local congregations at Haddo (Port Blair), Bamboo Flat, Shoalbay and Namunagar, comprising a total Methodist community of 800 members inclusive of baptized children and probationary members.
Mission work in Goad commenced on 1st January 1968 while Bishop A.J. Shaw was chairman of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia; the Rev. and Mrs. George Samraj were appointed as first missionaries. George Samraj died in October 1973; however, the work was carried on by his wife who was subsequently ordained by Bombay Annual Conference. The Goa Mission field was transferred to South India Conference in 1979 and thereafter came under Conference jurisdiction. At the time of this transfer, Methodist work in Goa consisted of the Church at Panjim, two other preaching centres at Margoa and Ponda, together with three Methodist Primary Schools in and around Panjim.
Since 1928 the Methodist Church was engaged in negotiations with other Churches in North India to enter into an organic union. By 1966 the Fourth and final agreed plan of Church Union in North India was prepared. This plan was commended to the Annual Conferences of the MCSA by the Central Conference of 1968. The Annual Conferences accepted the Plan by more than two-third majority. However, the Special Session of the Central Conference in 1970 voted against the plan of union. Subsequently, following a ruling by the Judicial Council, the Central Conference of 1972 appointed a committee to continue conversation with the newly formed Church of North India to clear specific matters relating to the Methodist Church. These negotiations did not bear any fruit because the Church of North India had already moved with their new Constitution following the Union in 1970.
The Central Conference of 1976 then resolved to consider the status of an Affiliated Autonomous Methodist Church in India with the United Methodist Church, U.S.A. Under the authority of this Conference, a draft Constitution and a draft Plan of the new Church were prepared by the Committee on Structure of Methodism and Church Union (COSMACU); these were adopted unanimously by the 2nd adjourned session of the 29th Session of the Central Conference held in May 1979 at Bangalore and ratified by more than 2/3 votes by the subsequent Annual Conferences held in 1979. In response to the Petition of the Executive Board (MCSA), on behalf of the Southern Asia Central Conference, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church: 15-25 April 1980 at Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. granted the necessary Enabling Act authorising the Central Conference of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia to reorganize and become the Methodist Church in India and to become an affiliated autonomous Church of the United Methodist Church. The 30th Regular Session of the Central Conference in 1980 at Jabalpur received the Enabling Act and took the requisite steps to reorganize and approved the Declaration to become an affiliated autonomous church. This was communicated to the 1980 Annual Conferences for their endorsement. The Adjourned Session of the said 30th Regular Session of the Central Conference held on 7th January 1981 at Women’s Christian College, Madras, did in fact reorganize the church and inaugurate the Methodist Church in India.
Accordingly, the Methodist Church in India became a self-governing church in whose establishment the United Methodist Church had assisted and with which it is cooperating through the Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. The formal status of the Methodist Church in India in relation to the United Methodist Church is therefore that of an Affiliated Autonomous Church according to Para 670 of the UMC Book of Discipline, 1976, Edition.
The historic Services were held in Ecumenical Methodist Church, Madras. Thereupon the first General Conference of the new Church was constituted and was in session, 7th 15th January 1981. Bishop James M. Ault, representing the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church, attended this first General Conference of the Methodist Church in India, and presented the official message and greetings of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. At that first General Conference of the Methodist Church in India, active Bishops J.R. Lance, E.A. Mitchell, M. Elia Peter and S.K. Parmar declared that they had chosen to become Bishops of the Methodist Church in India. The General Conference resolved that in addition to the four active Bishops of the MCSA who had been accepted as bishops of the MCI, two additional bishops be elected making a total of six active bishops in the new Church. In the ensuing Episcopal election, Rev. Dr. Karriappa Samuel and Rev. Elliot D. Clive were elected Bishops of the Methodist Church in India.
The 2nd Regular Session of the General Conference was held in January 1985 at Jabalpur. Bishop Eric A. Mitchell was retired during this session. However, the Conference was not able to elect a new bishop or to complete its business. Accordingly an Adjourned Session of the 2nd Regular Session was authorized and Bishop Mitchell was reactivated for the interim period. The Adjourned Session of the General Conference was held 6-13 October 1985 in New Delhi. Bishop Elias G. Galvan represented the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Stanley E. Downes was elected third bishop of the Methodist Church in India.
In May 1857, Joel Janvier, preaching to the first congregation of our Church in India, took as his text, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Within ten minutes of the close of the sermon that little flock had been scattered by the soldiers and many of them killed. But the blood of the martyr is the seed of the Church and today that “little flock” numbers than half a million persons, with Christian work extending from Lahore to Madras and Quetta to Rangoon Malaysia and Philippines. Under the blessing of God, we have been able to establish a living Church, indigenous to the soil, working in ever-increasing harmony with Indian ideals and methods, and every year, commanding a greater measure of India’s appreciation and support in twelve distinct languages aside from various dialects, we are giving the Gospel message to India’s millions.
The establishment of the Methodist Church in India on 7th January 1981 as an “autonomous affiliated” church in relation to the United Methodist Church USA, ushered in a new era for Indian Methodism. There began the travail of coming to terms with a new identity and status as an independent church rooted in India yet belonging to the church universal; of building on the heritage of the past and becoming relevant to the contemporary Indian context; of articulating and expressing our Mission in India; of ordering our life and work so as to be faithful to the Divine purposes. One of the first steps in this ongoing process was publication of the MCI Book of Discipline in February 1982 (first Edition). The Constitution and Bye Laws of the Methodist Church in India were adopted by the first General Conference after having been framed and processed through previous Central Conferences. The Executive Council authorized publication of the First Book of Discipline which action was formally ratified by the Adjourned Session of the 2nd Regular Session of the General Conference held in October 1985 at New Delhi.
As the Methodist Church goes forward with its work a new era of vision and achievement has begun; we realise more fully than ever before the unchanging truth of the declaration; “Not by right, nor by power, by my Spirit, said the Lord of Hosts.” In His name have we set up our banners; in Him is our trust. These were the banners that were set up at the first General Conference at Madras: “Looking Back with Praise”, “Looking Ahead with Faith”.
Beneath these banners the Methodist Church in India marches on. Bishop Warne in saying good-bye on the last visit to Mary Reed, patron saint of the Leper Asylum at Chandag Heights, gave this parting word: “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.” Miss Reed’s response; “Henceforth!” bespeaks our confidence in the future. This is the grateful tribute that was emphasized at the Centenary of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia in 1956 at Lucknow and again at the inauguration of the Methodist Church in India in 1981 at Madras.
i. Total No. of Members (including children) 8,00,000
Total No. of Males 3,50,000 Females 3,00,000
ii. Total No. of Communicant (full/baptized and confirmed) members 6,00,000
Total No. of Male Communicant Members 3,50,000
Female Communicant Members 2,50,000
iii. No. of Dioceses/Prebyteries/Associations/etc in your Church:
12 Regional Conferences 6 Episcopal Areas
iv. No. of churches/congregations 3,000
v. No. of Ordained Ministers 2,500
Male Ordained Ministers 2,400
Female Ordained Ministers 20
vi. No. of Missionaries/Evangelists 450
vii. No. of Educational Institutions of your Church:
Schools 137, Colleges 30, Professional Training Institutions 05
3. Affiliation to different bodies NCCI, CCA, WCC, WMC
4. Activities/Mission/Programme: Evangelism, Educational Institutes, Medical Centers, Social, Literary, Agricultural, Socio-economic, Vocational, Technical Institutes, Industrial and many other activities.
5. Contribution to the Ecumenical Movement:
– Late Bishop Dr. Taranath S. Sagar President of NCCI (2008 – 2015)
– Members of Christian Conference of Asia
– Members of Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action
– Members of Holistic Child Care
– Members of World Council of Churches
– Members of National Council of Churches in India
– Members of Ecumenical Church Loan Fund
Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church
NORTHERN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, Bengal, Assam and Nepal
Objectives of NELC- Mission and Evangelism, Education and Health, Development Programs such as Agricultural Development, Irrigational projects, Construction of Community Infrastructure and Emergency Relief.
Rt. Rev. Isilash Basumatary
Moderator, Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bandorjuri Mission
P.O. & Dist. Dumka 814 101 Jharkhand
Tel : 06434-236225,
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Presbyterian Church of India
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF INDIA
Area of Operation- India
Objectives of PCI- Mission and Evangelism, Theological Education, Communications, Women and Youth Fellowships, Peace and Justice Ministries, Spiritual Renewal Ministries, Unity and Dialogue, Socio-economical and Political concerns, Self-Reliance Projects, Ecumenical Relationships, Relief and Emergency Services, Rehabilitation and Rescue homes for women and drug addicts, Endowment funds to support children, Healing Ministries.
Rev. S.T. Kaia
Administrative Secretary, PCI
General Assembly, Central Ward,
Shillong 793 001, Meghalaya
Tel: 0364–2226828, 2221127, 2505655, Fax: 0364-2228166, Cell: 9862956584
Email : email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
The Presbyterian Church of India is the fruit of the missionary labour of love of the Presbyerian Church of Wales (earlier known as the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church). The Welsh Church began its missionary work in the Khasi Jaintia Hills area in 1841. From this area the ministry of evangelization was expanded to the Sylhet-Cachar Plains, the Lushai Hills, and the Cachar Hills. As the work made rapid progress, the Assembly of the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Church was constituted in 1896, which had jurisdiction over all the mission fields of the Presbyterian Church of Wales in North-East India. Since the Church grew in character and membership, two new Assemblies came to be created in 1924: the Lushai Assembly and the Sylhet-Cachar Plains Assembly. The existence of the three Assemblies led to the constitution of a higher body, the Synod of the Presbyterian Church in Assam in 1926.
The on-going expansion of the Presbyterian Church in Assam resulted in the inauguration of a fourth Assembly in 1930, the Cachar Hill Tribes Assembly. However, when the country was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947, a very large portion of the Sylhet-Cachar plains went to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Hence, the Sylhet-Cachar Plains Assembly could not continue to function. The Christians belonging to the Indian geographical area of the Assembly, then formed themselves into a District meeting under the direct supervision of the Synod. The expansion of the Church in different areas and the historical events taking place, led to the amendment of certain provisions of the Constitution time and again so as to make it relevant to new and changing contexts. In 1953 the highest Church body, the “Synod”, was renamed “Assembly” while each of the constituent Assemblies was called “Synod”. Six years later in 1959, the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Assam received new members from South Manipur within its fold.
The Constitution once again underwent amendments in 1968 and the name of the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Assam was changed to the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in North East India (APCNEI).
The year 1969 witnessed major events: (1) The setting up of the Central Office of the Assembly in Shillong with full-time Administrative Secretaries, (2) the formation of Working Committee to help in the smooth running of the Assembly and, (3) the departure of the Welsh missionaries after 128 years of glorious missionary service. As the Assembly continued to grow, other important events followed the formation of the Presbyterian Youth Fellowship of the Assembly in 1974; affiliation of APCNEI with National Council of Churches in India and with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1977; with the Council for World Mission in 1978; the inauguration of the Manipur Synod in 1978; membership of the Christian Conference of Asia in 1985; The formation of the Presbyterian Women’s Fellowship of the Assembly in 1986; and membership in the Reformed Ecumenical Council in 2003.
The year 2010 witnessed the merger of two Global Reformed bodies i.e. World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) into one ecumenical body known as World Communion of Reformed Churches; and with Churches Auxillary for Social Action (CASA) in 2008.
With God’s blessings as the Church continued to grow, it was but natural for it to assume the name Presbyterian Church of India in 1992. The number of the constituent Synods of the Assembly increased from four to seven with the creation of Ri Bhoi Presbyterian Synod and Biateram Presbyterian Church Synod in 1996 and with the bifurcation of the Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Mihngi and Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod into two Synods viz., Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Mihngi and Khasi Jaintia Presbyterian Synod Sepngi in 2002. In the same year in 2002, the name of the “Assembly” was also changed to “General Assembly” and the formation of Regional Assembly was given constitutional provision in 2004. Zou Presbyterian Church Synod was again established in 2006. The Presbyteries in the Karbi Anglong were put under the General Assembly Administrative Area and named as Karbi Anglong General Assembly Administrative Area.
The Presbyterian Church of India is beginning to play an important role in the worldwide Church. It has also entered into partnership agreements with sister Churches. The growth and challenges of the twenty-first century context necessitate amendments to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church of India.
Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches
SAMAVESAM OF TELUGU BAPTIST CHURCHES
Area of Operation- Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu
Objectives of STBC- Mission and Evangelism, Church Plantation, Healing Ministry, Social Work, Education, Women’s Gospel Ministry, Christian Education, Theological Education
Rev. Dr. J. M. Franklin
General Secretary, STBC,
Post Box No. 4 ABM Comp.
Kavali – 524 201, Nellore Dist. A.P.
Tel: 08599-279315 | Cell: 09010062290; 9848578475
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
South Andhra Lutheran Church
SOUTH ANDHRA LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- 44 parishes covering the southern part of Andhra and few areas of Tamilnadu with diaspora congregations in Chennai.
Objectives of SALC- Mission and Evangelism, Medical Mission, Education, Christian Education, Technical Education.
Rt. Rev. E. Vijaya Bhaskar
9-92, West Mission Compound,
Tirupati-517 502, Chittoor Dt., A.P.
Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church
TAMIL EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
Area of Operation- 118 pastorates all over Tamilnadu and in certain parts of Karnataka, Kerala, Pondichery, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Objectives of TELC- Educational Institutions, Hospitals and orphanages, Social Work activities such as Emergency Relief Operation, Self-Employment project, Community Economic Programme, Local Rescue Generation Project, Ecological Programmes, Addiction Concern Programme and Tribal Welfare Project.
Rt. Rev. Dr. A.Christian Samraj
Bishop of Tranquebar
Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church
Door no.1, Bishop Bungalow,
Mellaputhur, Trichy 620 001, T.N.
Cell : 09176199945
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Organisation of the New Apostolic Church
THE NATIONAL ORGANISATION OF THE NEW APOSTOLIC CHURCH
Area of Operation- India
Objectives of NANOC- Bakery Ministry, Youth and Children Ministry, Education, Christian Education, Orphanages, Social-Justice Ministries, Old Age Ministries, Healing Ministries, Ecumenism Project, Ministry for the Homosexuals and Transsexuals.
Bishop Fred C. Marihal,
The National Organisation of the New Apostolic Church
C.C.B. 1123, 53/12-B, Shahunagar, Belgaum 590 010.
The Salvation Army
THE SALVATION ARMY
Area of Operation- India
Objectives of SA- Health Service, Community Development, Evangelism, Emergency Services, Women’s Ministry, Opposing and Preventing Global Sexual Trafficking, Millennium Development Goals, Relief work and Shelterbox Ministries, Coastal Ministries
Colonel S.P. Simon
National Executive Officer The Salvation Army National Secretariat,
37, Lenin Sarani (1st Floor), Dharmtala, Kolkata 700 013, W.Bengal,
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
India is the Salvation Army’s oldest mission field. Frederick St. George de Latour Tucker of the Indian Civil Service, read a copy of the War Cry, became a Salvationist and as Major Tucker (later Commissioner Booth Tucker), took the Indian name of Fakir Singh and commenced the Salvation Army’s work in Bombay on 19th September 1882. The adoption of Indian food, dress, names and customs gave the pioneers ready access to the people, especially in the villages.
In addition to evangelistic work, various social programmes were inaugurated for the relief of distress from famine, flood and epidemic. Educational facilities such as elementary, secondary, higher secondary and industrial schools, cottage industries and settlements were provided for the disadvantaged classes. Medical work originated in Nagercoil in 1895 when Captain (Dr.) Harry Andrews set up a dispensary at the headquarters there. The medical work has grown from this. The Salvation Army is registered as a Guarantee Company under the Indian Companies Act 1913.