P. C. John
Birth and early years
John was born in 1876 (1051 Malayalam Year) at Kumbanad, Kerala to Padinjattedathu Chacko of the Kumbanattu family. After the basic Malayalam education, he started his life as a farmer. He was brought up in a Christian home environment in the MarThoma background. At the age of 16 he married to Saramma of the Kuriannoor Poozhikkalayil family.
John heard that the David Upadeshi was speaking at the Maramon MarThoma church and he went to hear him. Upadeshi spoke about David and Absalom. When the Upadeshi asked those who would be willing to accept Jesus the Savior to stand up, John stood up. From this time onward Mr. John engaged in the Christian work while maintaining his farming job.
The missionary V Nagel came to Travancore and took Bible classes. He preached on the subject of "dying with Christ" and "crucifying the flesh". These speeches and the life of Mr. Nagal encouraged Mr. John in his Christian living. Mr. John also attended the Bible classes of Mr. J.G. Gregson at Ayroor. Through these bible classes Mr. John learned about Church, leadership of the church, seven stages of the church, baptism, the Lord's Supper and other things.
A fellowship was started at Kumbanad. One day as they were in the MarThoma church the priest spoke on Mathew 13:24-30. The priest said "the good and bad people are in the church but only at the end of the world only we know who is good seed and which are tares" and the priest asked John, "Is that not right John?". For that Mr. John replied, "The field is not church, it is the world." On this Priest was very angry and hit him on one cheek. Then John showed the other cheek also. The priest hit him on the other cheek also. Then John kneeled down and started pray. At this time the priest pushed him down and hit him in both cheeks. When John reached home, his mother and wife started crying. John comforted them by reading to them from Acts 5:40, 41 "(And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.)" As his cousin P.E. Mammen heard about this, he called John and they spent a long time in prayer together. This incident encouraged many to leave of the Episcopal churches.
About this time P.E. Thomas, brother of PE Mammen went to Kunnamkulam and baptized under missionary V Nagal. After that PE Mammen went to Kunnamkulam and was baptized by missionary Handley Bird. When P.E. Mammen came back, he baptized John.
On 21 March 1899 all the believers gathered at the house of Kuttiyil Mathai and broke bread without any priest. Only four people participated in the Lords Supper. But there were others who attended the meeting. Those who attended the Lords Supper were P.E. Mammen, P.E. John, P.C. John and Melathethil P.C. Chacko.
Full time ministry
After this Mr. John had desire to go into full-time ministry. Thus he started his preaching ministry. He went to different places and preached the Gospel. In the year 1905 missionary EH Noel came to Kerala and Mr. John started to work with Mr. Noel. By this many churches were formed and more people joined in the work. Mr. John encouraged Mr. Noel in starting different establishments for the growth of the church. He also encouraged and helped Mr. Noel to start a School in Kumbanad. Mr. John was in the leadership role in the Conventions and the Representative meetings of the area churches, Youth meetings and Gospel Meetings.
When K.V. Simon and the Viyojitha churches joined the Brethren Churches, Mr. John whole heartedly welcomed them. He also accepted PI Onnoonni, one of KV Simon’s followers to assist him in the work of the Lord. When the Travancore brethren Assemblies divided into four regions (Kumbanad, Ranni, Adoor, Puthuppally) Mr. John took leadership at Kumbanad.
Mr. John had two sons and six daughters. All his children became Christians and joined in fellowship with the churches. His eldest son John Mathews B.A. worked as the correspondent of the schools and on his initiative the Malayalam School at Kumbanad became an English School and a high School. John Mathews later moved to Chethackal (Ranni) from Kumbanad. Younger son N.J. Chacko B.A.; B.T worked as the Headmaster of the Noel Memorial High School, Kumbanad.
Source: History of the Malankara Brethren Churches (Malankarayilae Verpadu Sabhakalude Charithram) by Mahakavi K.V. Simon
Chapter 16 Workers. Page 357-362 in the 1999 edition
This book was first published in November 1938 (Malayalam year 1114,Thulam). And re-published by Sathyam Publications, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India. in Feb, 1999.