Bakht Singh

Bakht Singh

Bakht Singh (1902-2000) was a Christian evangelist in India and other parts of South Asia.

Early life

Bakht Singh was born to Sikh parents in 1902 in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. After graduating from Punjab University he went to England in 1926 and studied Agricultural Engineering.

His parents were not in favour of his going to England, concerned that he would change his religion. He ameliorated this concern with promises of faith and thusly attained their approval. [] ....

In England he was captivated by the British lifestyle he observed. He started smoking and drinking alcohol, visited theaters and dance halls, and wore expensive Western clothes. Eventually, he also cut off his long hair - which had been the mark of his loyalty to his Sikh religion [] .

In 1929 Singh went to Canada and continued his studies in agricultural engineering at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Local residents and devout Christians John and Edith Hayward befriended him and invited him to live with them. The Haywards ended every supper by reading the Bible. After receiving and reading a Bible from the Haywards, Singh was eventually persuaded and was baptized on February 4, 1932.

Life as a Christian

Singh returned to India in 1933 to preach the gospel and was met in Bombay by his mother and father. He had earlier informed his parents of his conversion by a letter. Reluctantly, they accepted his conversion but requested him to keep it a secret for the sake of the family's honour. He refused under the justification that to show true dedication to his faith would require practicing it openly. His parents left him in Bombay and returned home [] .

Singh began speaking as a fiery itinerant preacher and revivalist throughout colonial India, gaining a large following. He at first preached as an Anglican evangelist before becoming independent.

"Singh’s role in the 1937 revival that swept the Martinbur United Presbyterian Church inaugurated one of the most notable movements in the history of the church in the Indian subcontinent," stated Dr. Jonathan Bonk in "Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions" published by Simon & Schuster Macmillan in 1998.

Singh obtained his vision for starting thoroughly contextualized local assemblies patterned on New Testament principles after spending a night in prayer on a mountaintop in 1941. He held his first "Holy Convocation", based on Leviticus 23, in Madras in 1941. After this, the convocations were held annually in Madras and Hyderabad in the South, and in Ahmadabad and Kalimpong in the North. The one in Hyderabad was always the largest, drawing up to 25,000 participants. They would eat and sleep in huge tents, and meet under a large thatched pandal for hours-long prayer, praise and teaching meetings that began at dawn and ended late at night. Workers for the meetings were not recruited. The care and feeding of guests was handled by volunteers. Expenses for the meetings were given by voluntary offerings; no appeals were issued.



By Dr. T.E. Koshy :

Brother Bakht Singh and some of his coworkers moved to Elim, Hyderabad on September 25, 1950. In the mid 1950s the Lord provided new facilities to house the local and extra-local church ministry. He called the new place Hebron. The work of the Lord grew and multiplied. From the 1950s to the 1970s the local churches established by Brother Bakht Singh and his coworkers were the fastest growing local churches in India. These churches grew both qualitatively and quantitatively trying to show forth the fourfold purposes of the church.

Ministry Overseas

In the year 1946 Brother Bakht Singh left India for ministry in Europe, UK, USA and Canada. The Lord used him mightily in every place, particularly at the Inter Varsity students' missions conference (now known as Urbana Convention) in Toronto, Canada, where he was one of the plenary speakers. Among those who attended the conference was Jim Elliott who was martyred in Ecuador in the 1950s along with four of his fellow American missionaries. In the 1950s Brother Bakht Singh ministered in Australia, various parts of Asia, Africa and the United States of America. Wherever he went the Lord used him to spread His fragrance. He was indeed a breath of fresh air in the midst of lukewarm churches and Christians who had a form of godliness yet denying the power thereof.

The Lord received him for his ministry on three conditions:

1. Do not join any organizations—serve all equally.

2. Do not make your own plan. Let Me guide you and lead you every step of the way.

3. Do not make your needs known to any human being. Ask Me only and I shall provide for your needs.

Brother Bakht Singh agreed.

Singhs' Life, Legacy and Spiritual life:



Secret of His Spiritual Life

The Lord used Brother Bakht Singh as His chosen vessel to enrich and enhance the spiritual life of many around the world. He ministered Christ and the vision of the Church. Many asked him the secret of his spiritual life, as he was unique in many areas of his life. Let me share at least a few.

1) His total dependence upon the living God.

2) He accepted the Bible as the Word of God and encouraged every believer to have his or her own Bible and to live in total obedience to the revealed Word of God. His insight into the Word of God and his photographic memory of the Scriptures are legendary. According to Robert Finley, President of Christian Aid Mission, "I have never seen a man who has a greater knowledge and understanding of the Bible than Bakht Singh. All our Western preachers and teachers seem to be children before this great man of God, Bakht Singh of India." During Brother Bakht Singh's visit to England in 1965 Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, the famed expositor and Bible teacher and Rev. Keith Samuel, one of the speakers at Keswick Convention met with Brother Bakht Singh. I was present at the meeting. They spent several hours with Brother Bakht Singh asking him questions from the Word of God. Brother Bakht Singh's answers challenged and surprised these men. Then Martin Lloyd-Jones asked Brother Bakht Singh how he got such insight into and knowledge of the Word of God. To that Brother Bakht Singh answered simply by reading and meditating on the Word of God upon His knees. Most of his life, until he became sick, he read the Bible upon his knees and meditated upon it for hours. The Holy Spirit of God revealed wondrous things out of His Word to him.

3) He sought and did God's will at any cost.

4) He had a passion for God and compassion for souls.

5) He discovered and practiced Biblical worship and encouraged all the saints both male and female to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.

6) He encouraged fellowship among saints by introducing the love feast.

7) One of his greatest contributions was the annual Holy Convocations. The first Holy Convocation was held in Jehovah Shammah in Madras in December 1941, which lasted for 19 days. These Holy Convocations have been one of the hallmarks of Brother Bakht Singh's work and ministry. Norman Grubb, who was the International Director of World Evangelization Crusade, had this to say about his visit to the Holy Convocation in Hyderabad: "To us Westerners, the most striking part of the whole work with Brother Bakht Singh are the Holy Convocations held annually at Hyderabad. . . . Brother Bakht Singh puts on these Holy Convocations yearly where several thousand people are massed together in close quarters and all fed by the Lord for a week with no appeals to men. . . . Here is an Indian proving God."

8) Indigenization of New Testament principles in the local churches. After visiting Hyderabad in the 1950s, Norman Grubb noted in his book Once Caught, No Escape, "But in all my ministry experience I think these churches on their New Testament foundations are the nearest I have seen to a replica of the early church and a pattern for the birth and growth of the young churches in all the countries which we used to talk about as the mission fields."

9) The life of faith. Brother Bakht Singh was a man of faith. He trusted the Lord for all his needs throughout his life. The Lord honored his faith and not only provided for his needs and for the ministry but also used him mightily to challenge the people of God about the importance of trusting God for their needs.

10) The gospel processions testifying of Christ. During his gospel campaigns in every place he went, he held gospel processions going around the city/town turning them upside down for Christ. But the largest of all the gospel processions was the one that followed his casket to the cemetery where hundreds of thousands marched before and after the casket singing and praising God. Even though he died, his work and ministry follow him.

11) Life of prayer. Brother Bakht Singh was a man of prayer. He spent hours upon his knees in communion with the Lord seeking the Lord's mind regarding His will concerning the work and ministry. Therefore, the Lord also honored him and blessed him beyond any human understanding. This is one of the reasons why the Lord has used him so mightily for the edification of His Body and for the extension of His glorious kingdom both in India and abroad.

Hebron is Singh's headquarters in Hyderabad.

Singh contracted Parkinson's disease and was entirely bedridden for the last ten years of his life. There are few brethren who have dedicated their lives to help him and serve our dear brother, however it was the church at Hebron who have supported.

See also

* Sadhu Sundar Singh

External links

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* visit the below link to know / understand about the NT ChURch Doctrine

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