Bakht Singh

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Bakht Singh
Bakht-singh.jpg
Grave of Bakht singh

Bakht Singh Chabra (Also known as Brother Bakht Singh) (Punjabi: بخت سنگھ; Hindi: बख़्त सिंह) (1903–2000) was a Christian evangelist in India and other parts of South Asia. He is often regarded as one of the most well-known bible teachers and preachers and pioneers of the Indian Church movement and Gospel contextualization. According to Indian traditions, he is also known as 'Elijah of 21st Century' in Christendom. According to his autobiography, Brother Bakht Singh first experienced the love and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ when he was an engineering student in Canada in 1929. Even though previously he had torn up the Bible and was strongly opposed to Christ and Christianity, he developed a great love for the Lord Jesus Christ and an intense desire to read and study the Bible. After hearing the Lord's voice and having been convicted of his sinful life, he confessed his sins and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and dedicated his life to serving Him. He was India's foremost evangelist, preacher and indigenous church planter who founded churches based on New Testament principles. He began a worldwide indigenous church-planting movement in India that eventually saw more than 10,000 local churches. Singh died on September 17, 2000, (http://www.brotherbakhtsingh.org/briefbio.html) in Hyderabad, India. He was 97. [1]

Childhood years[edit]

Bakht Singh was born to religious Sikh parents in 1903 in the Punjab region which is now part of Pakistan. He studied in a Christian missionary school, but was never influenced by the Christians, and in his heart he always despised Christians.[citation needed] He was actively involved in social work through the Sikh temple. After graduating from Punjab University he went to England for higher studies in 1926 and studied Agricultural Engineering. His parents were not in favor of him going to England; they were concerned that he would be influenced by Christians. Bakht Singh promised his parents that he would not be converted. [2]

Life in England and Canada[edit]

In England, he enjoyed the freedom of, and was greatly influenced by, the British lifestyle. He quickly adapted to this lifestyle, started smoking and drinking, traveled around Europe, and indulged in all kinds of fun and entertainment. He shaved his long hair, which was a mark of his loyalty to Sikh religion. Years later[when?] he went to Kings College in London, and in 1929, Bakht Singh went to Canada and continued his studies in agricultural engineering at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He was befriended by John and Edith Hayward, local residents and devout Christians, who invited him to live with them. The Haywards always read the Bible at every supper; they also gave him a Bible. He liked their company and he visited church and started reading the Bible. After seeking for some time, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and God; he was baptized on February 4, 1932 in Vancouver, Canada.[3]

Christian work in India[edit]

Bakht Singh returned to India in 1933 and met his parents in Mumbai. He had earlier informed his parents about his conversion by a letter. Reluctantly, they accepted him but requested him to keep it a secret for the sake of the family's honor. Upon his refusal, they left him. Suddenly, he was homeless. But he started preaching the gospel in the streets of Mumbai. Soon he started attracting large crowds.

Bakht 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.[4]

He started 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 Chennai in 1941. After this, the convocations were held annually in Madras and Hyderabad in the South, and in Ahmedabad 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. The care and feeding of guests was handled by volunteers. Expenses for the meetings were given by voluntary offerings; no appeals were issued.[citation needed]

Testimonies[edit]

J. Edwin Orr, British Church Historian: "Brother Bakht Singh is an Indian equivalent of the greater Western evangelists, as skillful as Finney and as direct as Dwight L. Moody. He is a first-class Bible teacher of the order of G. Campbell Morgan or Graham Scroggie."

Dave Hunt, author and writer, "The arrival of Bakht Singh turned the churches of Madras upside down. . . . Crowds gathered in the open air, as many as 12,000 on one occasion to hear this man of God. Many seriously ill were healed when Bakht Singh prayed for them, even deaf and dumb began to hear and speak."

Dr. Bob 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."

Norman Grubb missionary statesman, author and teacher: "In all my missionary 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 mission fields."

Jonathan Bonk, "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."

Ravi Zacharias,the most prominent Indian-born Christian teacher and apologist of our day, "I was a young Christian when I heard of Bakht Singh. His impact for Christ in India and worldwide has been immense."

Death[edit]

On September 17 (http://www.brotherbakhtsingh.org/briefbio.html), 2000, Singh died in his sleep and was buried at Christian Cemetery, Narayanguda.The funeral was attended by nearly 250,000 people.[5]

Works[edit]

  • Bethany (1971)
  • God's dwelling place (1973)
  • The return of God's Glory (1973)
  • The skill of loving hands (1978)
  • The joy of the Lord (1984)
  • Forty mountain peaks, a study of Isaiah chapters 24-66 (1971)
  • David Recovered all (1967)
  • The true salt (1973)
  • My Chosen (1964)
  • The overcomers secret
  • The Voice of the Lord (1970)
  • The Holy Spirit His Works and significance (1974)
  • Walk Before Me Studies in the life of Abraham (1975)
  • Fullness of God
  • Much Business (1977)
  • The Greatest secret: Power of His resurrection
  • Salt and Light (1964)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bakht Singh, an Apostle of Christ from India
  2. ^ Brother Bakht Singh Website
  3. ^ Koshy, T.E. "Bakht Singh of India". Authentic Publishing, March 1st, 2008.
  4. ^ Bonk, Jonathan. "Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions". Published by MacMillan, 1998.
  5. ^ http://www.gloryofhiscross.org/apostle8.htm

External links[edit]