- India Pentecostal Church of God
The Indian Pentecostal Church of God (IPC) is the largest indigenous Pentecostal movement in
India, with its headquarters at Hebron, Kumbanad, Kerala, India. The movement was established in 1924 and registered on December 9, 1935at Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, under the Government of India[ [http://www.ipcgeneralcouncil.org/history.asp History ] ] .
Pastor K. C. John now serves as the General President and Rev T. Valson Abraham as the General Secretary of IPC. The
not-for-profit organizationhas about 7,500 churches located in over 25 regions and states around the world. However, the state of Kerala, India has the greatest number of IPC churches: nearly 4,500 local congregations.
Reformation and revival
The process of reformation and the experience of revival continued and even coincided at times with the
Topeka Revivalin 1901, the Mukthi Mission Poona Revivalin 1905, the Azusa Street Revivalin 1906, and several more. Two important and prominent revivals took place in Kerala, one in 1873 and the other in 1895. A similar revival took place at the Mukti Mission of Pandita Ramabai, Pune, Indialater in 1905.
Pentecostal pioneers in Kerala
In 1909, the missionary
George Bergpreached in a meeting in Kottarakaraand Adoor, two large towns in India. Reverend Thomas Barretministered in Coonoorsoon after and Pentecostalism began to spread in the southern region of India. As a result, several Pentecostal congregations were formed in Kerala that year.
Four years later, Reverend
Robert F. Cookcame to Kerala to conduct further mission work. Pastor K E Abraham, a key figure in the forming of IPC, devoted his life for mission work through the ministry of Reverend Cook.
Pastor K.E. Abraham was born in 1st March 1899, in Puthencav, near
Chenganoor, in Kerala, India. His parents were members of the Syrian Orthodox JacobiteChurch. At the age of 7 he was sent to a Marthomite Sunday School. From his young age he was saved and lived as a Son of God. In 1914, he dedicated his life to gospel work in a meeting conducted by Moothamplackal Kochukunju Upadesi. In 1915 after he passed his 7th class, he was appointed as a schoolteacher. He also began his gospel work at the same time. He was baptizedin water on 27 February 1916 at the age of 17, and separated from the Jacobite Church. That same year, K.E. Abraham and later Mrs. K.E. Abraham resigned their teaching jobs.
Thereafter Founder of Ceylon Pentecostal Mission(CPM) Pastor Paul Ordinate K.E. Abraham and Kochukunju Upadesi In the late 1920s, Pastor K. E. Abraham, Pastor P. M. Samuel, Pastor K. C. Cherian, and many others decided to unite the various and independent Pentecostal churches into an organization. This soon created a large Pentecostal denomination very much like the international
Assemblies of God.
Origin and growth
To further spread Pentecostalism, Pastor K. E. Abraham, founded a bible college called IPC Hebron Bible College designed to educate and equip young converts so they may be able to grow into prominent ministers and mission workers.
In 1935, Pastors K. E. Abraham and P. T. Chacko toured North India and finally reached
Eluruon the east coast of Andra Pradesh; Pastor P. M. Samuel, after his own tour of Tamilnad, met them at Eluru. There the Indian Pentecostal Church of God was registered with the Government of India under the Societies Act XXI of 1860 on December 9, 1935.
Pastor P. M. Samuel from
Andhra Pradeshwas chosen as the first President, Pastor K. C. Cherian who had moved to Karnatakaas the Vice-President, and Pastor P. T. Chacko representing Travancoreas the Secretary of IPC.
First managing body
The following 16 people formed the first managing body of IPC:
P. M. Samuel(President), Missionary
K. C. Cherian(Vice-President), Missionary
P. T. ChackoB D (Secretary), Gospel Work
K. E. Abraham, Missionary
T. Kochukunju, Missionary
K. C. Oommen, Missionary
P. T. Mathew, Missionary
V. V. Thomas, Gospel Work
P. O. Thomas, Gospel Work
T. G. Oommen, Gospel Work
P. T. Varghese, Gospel Work
K. M. Zachariah, Gospel Work
T. V. Issac, Teacher
P. M. ThomasB A, Gospel Work
E. K. John, Gospel Work
M. Simon, Gospel Work.
Post-registration and expansion
From the Indian state of
Travancore, Pastor P. T. Chacko moved to Eluruand then to Secunderabad, Pastor P. M. Samuel to Vijayawada; Pastor M. K. Chacko to Delhi; Pastor K. J. Samuel to Lahore; Pastor Kurian Thomas to Itarsi; Pastor P. J. Daniel to Allahabad.
From 1939 onwards Pastor K. E. Abraham held the office of the President, until he died in December, 1974. With his powerful preaching and sacrificial commitment, IPC and Pentecostalism grew in various regions in India.
Pastor Abraham was succeeded by Pastor P. M. Samuel and then Pastor T. G. Oommen followed by Pastor P. L. Paramjyothi.When Pastor Paramjyothi died in 1996, Pastor K. M. Joseph, the Vice President assumed office as President at the decision of the General Council, followed by Pastor T. S. Abraham. Now Pastor K. C. John has been elected as the General President of IPC (2006-present).
Pastor K. C. Oommen sacrificially gave his house and property as a free will offering to this movement. John Ayyapillai, father of Pastor P. J. Daniel and Pastor P. J. Thomas donated 10 acres of their land to the church. It was sold and the money was spent to build "the Bungalow" as part of IPC Headquarters at
Regions [ [http://www.ipcgeneralcouncil.org/states.asp Regions ] ]
At present, the Indian Pentecostal Church of God has nearly 2,500 local churches planted outside of India.
* Eastern Region
* North Central Region
Rajasthan(West Central Region)
The IPC churches in the
North Americaare spread among four regions.
When the late Pastor George Varghese, the then General Secretary of IPC visited
New York City, he convened a meeting of the pastors in the region on October 28, 1988, and formed a pastor’s fellowship with now late Pastor A C George as the convener. Since then, the pastors used to meet on a regular basis for prayer and fellowship.
In the early nineties, Pastors A. C. George, K. V. Kurian, John Daniel and Bro. M. A. George met several times at the India Christian Assembly auditorium to discuss the formation of an IPC North American Council and an Eastern Region Council. Later on, Pastor Sunny Philip and Bro. Roy Vakathanam also joined these discussions, which ultimately led to the formation of the IPC Eastern Region. The primary objective behind forming these councils was to promote unity among the IPC churches in North America and to start new congregations wherever possible and thereby increasing the number of member churches all over America and Canada. The secondary objective was to start a theological seminary in Kerala, India, of higher academic and spiritual standard owned by the Church, financed and administered by pastors and believers in joint partnership.
Accordingly, all the IPC churches in North America were invited for a joint meeting to make a final decision on these councils and a meeting was held at IPC, Queens Village, New York. More than 40 members from across America and Canada attended the meeting, and thus the IPC North American Council was formed, with Pastor K. V. Kurian appointed as the President, Pastor Joy Abraham as the Secretary, Bro. M. A. George as the Joint Secretary, Bro. George Mathai as the Treasurer and one member from each member church as a council member. Thereafter, the IPC Eastern Region Council was formed, with Pastor A. C. George as the President, Pastor John C. Daniel as the Vice-President, Professor T. C. Mathew as the Secretary, Bro. M. A. George as the Treasurer, Bro. Varghese Pinakulam as the Joint Secretary, and one member from each member church serving as a council member. There were 10 member churches at the time of the region’s formation. This council served for three years and the membership started growing each year.
At the annual general body meeting held on May 29, 1994, a resolution proposing that the tenure of the new council should be for two years was passed. The new council was elected with Pastor A. C. George as the President, Pastor K. V. Abraham as the Vice President, Bro. M. A. George as the Secretary, Bro. George Kuruvilla (JoJo daddy)as the Joint Secretary, Bro. George Varghese as the Treasurer, and one council member from each church. Several new churches joined the region during this time, including churches from Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. At the end of the second term the number of churches in the Eastern Region grew to twenty-eight.
In January 1993, the Eastern Region Council and North American Council sent Pastor A. C. George and Bro. M. A. George to the IPC General Council meeting at Kumbanad to seek approval for both Councils and the IPC Theological Seminary. The matter was presented to the General Council and after prolonged discussions the General Council unanimously approved all proposals.
This year, as we commemorate the 15th anniversary of the IPC Eastern Region Council, I remember the services of the late Pastors K. V. Kurian and A. C. George for their tireless services to IPC Eastern Region and the IPC Churches of North America. I consider it a great privilege and honor to have worked with these great men of God in the building up of many IPC churches in North America.
Conventions and Conferences
The Kumbanadu Convention
On the third week of January of every year, one of the largest Pentecostal gatherings in the world, known as the
Kumbanadu Convention, is held at Hebronpuram, Kumbanadu, on the Thiruvalla - Kozhencherryroad, in the Pathanamthittadistrict of Kerala, South India. On April 1to 5, 1925 the first common convention of the south Indian Pentecostal churches was held in Rannyand is considered the first General Convention of IPC. From 1931 on, the annual IPC General Conventions are held at Kumbanadu.
North American Family Conference
As more and more IPC churches developed in the
United Statesand Canada, there was a need of an annual convention like India's Kumbanadu Convention. Therefore, in 1998, a group of visionary IPC North American leaders, pastors, and representatives got together in a church in New York called India Pentecostal Assembly. The chairman of the meeting, Pastor T S Abraham, finally made the decision upon the approval of the majority to begin a national conference for IPC churches of the United States and Canada and named it IPC North American Family Conference (IPC NAFC).
The first annual convention of the Eastern Region was held at Susan B. Anthony High School, New York from
September 13to 15, 1991. Pastor P K Chacko and George Oommen were the guest speaker. The second annual convention was held at Francis Lewis High School from August 20to 23, 1992. Pastors P. M. Philip, T. S. Abraham, K. M. Joseph, and Dr Idi Cheria Ninan were the guest speakers. The third annual convention was held at Francis Lewis High School from October 22to 24, 1993. Pastor Abraham Samuel, from Andra Pradresh, the scheduled speaker for the convention, suddenly became ill at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniaand Pastor M. A. Varghese spoke at the convention instead. He died during his return trip to India. Eastern Region officials had the privilege to see him off before he left America.
Every year, usually in October, there's an annual IPC Eastern Region convention that takes place in the tri-state area.
Every year the Midwest Region, conducts their regional conference during the
Labor Dayweekend. This region also conducts yearly minister's conference and other meeting. The Midwest region consists mainly with Dallas, Houston, and Oklahoma.
Branches and Subsidiaries
The Pentecostal Young People's Association
Pentecostal Young People's Association(PYPA), the youth wing and subsidiary association of IPC. Its main aim is to spiritually teach and ultimately train youth to be better Christians. With its motto "Saved to Serve", PYPA aims at attracting youth to the association and equip them for life.
Under the supervision of the Eastern Region council, IPC Women’s was formed on
November 13, 1991at a combined fellowship meeting of the minister’s council, the Eastern Region council, and the representatives of the sisters from participating churches. The meeting adopted the guidelines for the conduct of the fellowship.
In 2006, a women's fellowship was created in the Mid-west region, as well. There was a separate service for women and men during the Midwest regional convention in Oklahoma City. The current Ladies' Coordinator is Sis. Susie Varghese (Dallas, Texas).
In 1936, at the invitation of the
Swedish Pentecostal Churches, Pastor K C Cherian and Pastor K E Abraham visited Sweden and other Scandinavian and European countries for about two years as representatives of the Indian Christian community, enriching the movement in various aspects. During this trip a printing press was acquired for the church. Zion Kahalam, a Malayalammonthly, was published by Pastor K. E. Abraham for the church from Kumbanadu. Bro.Moni.Karikam currently serves as the Chief Editor, and Bro.Godson Poomoottil Varghese who currently serves as the manager.
India Pentecostal Church Of God - Websites
* [http://www.washingtonipc.org/ Washington IPC] Kerala
* [http://www.generalcouncil.com/ IPC General Council]
* [http://www.ipcsalem.org/ IPC Salem Thalappady]
* [http://www.zionkahalam.com/ ZION KAHALAM] Karnataka
* [http://www.ipcbangalore.org/ IPC EbenEzer, Bangalore]
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