History of Pentecostalism in India
Robert F. Cook and the Church of God
The Pentecostal movement experienced a great explosion in growth with the arrival of a number of foreign missionaries. Most significant among them was Robert F. Cook, from the U.S. He arrived in North India and established a few mission posts there. However, due to the lack of support, he was unable to develop his works in a significant manner. Cook relocated his headquarters to Mulakuzha. The headquarters of the Church of God in India remains there now.' He was with Assemblies of God till 1930.
The Pentecostal Mission
The Pentecostal Mission (TPM), formerly known as Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM), is a Pentecostal denomination which originated in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. The international headquarters is now situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Ceylon Pentecostal Mission was founded by Hindu convert Ramankutty, later known as Pastor Paul in 1923. Pastor Paul was born to Hindu parents in the district of Trichur in Kerala. While in Sri Lanka, at the age of 18, he became a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. Later, he felt a strong call from the Lord for his life and began to preach and share the gospel in various parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. In the initial stages, he had worked with other evangelists. Pastor Paul served as the founder chief pastor of this church.
This organization stands out among the Pentecostal churches because of its exclusivist teachings and organization structure. Some of the distinctives are that full-time workers were expected to practice an ascetic life-style including celibacy, obedience to the elder pastors, communal living (including disposal of private possessions) in faith homes. Today the church is known by different names in different countries, but all stand under the name of “The Pentecostal Mission”.
Indian Pentecostal Church of God
K.E. Abraham, a pastor that had worked closely with Cook for a number of years, decided that he no longer wanted the mission work taking place in India to receive foreign funds. With that as his main reason, he split from Cook and established this Church in 1924. KE Abraham was one of the pioneers of IPC. There were many other men of God who used by Lord for the establishment of this largest Pentecostal Denomination.
P. J. Thomas is the founder of the Sharon Fellowship Church. He received a degree from Wheaton College, in Illinois, USA, and returned to establish a new organization. Now it has more than 2050 local churches India and other 34 countries. Rev. Dr. T. G. Koshy is the president of this organization. It has a strong emphasis on theological scholarship. It currently has the only Pentecostal accredited seminary (Faith Theological Seminary,Manakkala, Adoor) that offers post-graduate degrees.
Assemblies Of God In India
The Assemblies of God has grown rapidly throughout India. With early works established in Calcutta, as well as in Kerala, the church has continues its growth. The district of Kerala has now been divided into two in order to better handle the growth. The church has also established a number of reputable Bible Schools throughout India.
The Church of God in India, the Assemblies of God, the Indian Pentecostal Church of God, Sharon Fellowship and The Pentecostal Mission (formerly Ceylon Pentecostal Mission) are some of the largest of the myriad Pentecostal organizations in India. There are numerous other groups that are either independent or affiliated to the above mentioned mainline Pentecostal groups. With strong support from churches and charities in the USA, Europe and Australia, these groups have been able to build solid organizations with presence in almost every state of India. Many of these groups are more charismatic in theology and often do not conform to the foundational teachings accepted by the mainline Pentecostal churches.
Believers Journal magazine is a Pentecost Fortnightly in Malayalam.The paper got a wide and niche readers across the world from the very beginning. Thanks to its unbiased policies and its fight against unethical practices in Pentecostal churches and organizations. Believers Journal always stands for truth and never entertain black mailing and other improper practices in journalism. The management never believes in sensationalism and always keep a mature outlook in its news and features. Believers Journal’s website www.beljourn.com is the most visited Malayalam Christian website till the time. Recently it had surpassed the 1crore visitor traffic .People like Believers Journal because of impartial reporting. The vision of this paper is to maintain and support the general well being of Pentecostal churches and organizations. Believers Journal is committed to bring the most recent news and updates related to Christianity and church to its readers.