India Pentecostal Church of God


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, 1935 at 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 organization has 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.

History

Reformation and revival

The process of reformation and the experience of revival continued and even coincided at times with the Topeka Revival in 1901, the Mukthi Mission Poona Revival in 1905, the Azusa Street Revival in 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, India later in 1905.

Pentecostal pioneers in Kerala

In 1909, the missionary George Berg preached in a meeting in Kottarakara and Adoor, two large towns in India. Reverend Thomas Barret ministered in Coonoor soon 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. Cook came 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 Jacobite Church. 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 baptized in 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 Eluru on 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 Pradesh was chosen as the first President, Pastor K. C. Cherian who had moved to Karnataka as the Vice-President, and Pastor P. T. Chacko representing Travancore as the Secretary of IPC.

First managing body

The following 16 people formed the first managing body of IPC:
# Pastor P. M. Samuel (President), Missionary
# Pastor K. C. Cherian (Vice-President), Missionary
# Evangelist P. T. Chacko B D (Secretary), Gospel Work
# Pastor K. E. Abraham, Missionary
# Pastor T. Kochukunju, Missionary
# Pastor K. C. Oommen, Missionary
# Pastor P. T. Mathew, Missionary
# Pastor V. V. Thomas, Gospel Work
# Pastor P. O. Thomas, Gospel Work
# Pastor T. G. Oommen, Gospel Work
# Pastor P. T. Varghese, Gospel Work
# Pastor K. M. Zachariah, Gospel Work
# Evangelist T. V. Issac, Teacher
# Evangelist P. M. Thomas B A, Gospel Work
# Evangelist E. K. John, Gospel Work
# Evangelist M. Simon, Gospel Work.

Post-registration and expansion

From the Indian state of Travancore, Pastor P. T. Chacko moved to Eluru and 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).

IPC Headquarters

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 Kumbanadu.

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.

India

* Andhra Pradesh
* Eastern Region
* Gujarat
* Karnataka
* Kerala
* Madhya Pradesh
* Maharashtra
* Meghalaya
* Nepal
* North Central Region
* Orissa
* Punjab
* Rajasthan (West Central Region)
* Tamilnadu

Persian Gulf

* UAE
* Bahrain
* Kuwait
* Qatar/Doha
* Oman
* Yemen
* Saudi Arabia

North America

The IPC churches in the North America are spread among four regions.
*Eastern Region
*Midwest Region
*Western Region
*Southeastern Region

Europe Region

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 - Kozhencherry road, in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, South India. On April 1 to 5, 1925 the first common convention of the south Indian Pentecostal churches was held in Ranny and 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 States and 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).

Eastern Region

The first annual convention of the Eastern Region was held at Susan B. Anthony High School, New York from September 13 to 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 20 to 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 22 to 24, 1993. Pastor Abraham Samuel, from Andra Pradresh, the scheduled speaker for the convention, suddenly became ill at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and 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.

Midwest Region

Every year the Midwest Region, conducts their regional conference during the Labor Day weekend. 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

The 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.

Women's Fellowship

Under the supervision of the Eastern Region council, IPC Women’s was formed on November 13, 1991 at 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).

Publications

Zion Kahalam

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 Malayalam monthly, 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

North America
* [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]

References


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