Pentecostalism in Kerala

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Pentecostalism was established in Kerala at the start of the 20th century.


Indigenous Pentecostalism in India first emerged from the Syrian Christian community in the state of Kerala. Christianity in Kerala claims its origin in AD 52[citation needed] when the Apostle Thomas arrived and preached the gospel to Jews and the native high caste Brahmins.[citation needed] In addition, there were evidences of migrations of Christians from Syria in the fourth century and the eighth century to Kerala.

The Pentecostal message from the West arrived in Kerala in 1909 through the visit of George Berg. This American missionary of German descent arrived in Bangalore in 1909 and preached in a convention in Kerala. The first Pentecostal congregation was formed through the efforts of Berg in Kerala only in 1911; this was among first generation Christians. Berg was the first missionary to reach out to the natives who[clarification needed] did not speak English.

In 1913 Pastor Robert F. Cook also came to India as a missionary. He came to Kerala and began his ministry there in 1914. By 1923, Cook had established 36 churches in Kerala, known collectively as the South India Full Gospel Church. Pastor K. E. Abraham, who was associated with Pastor Cook until 1930, was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1923, an event considered as the foundation for the establishment of the India Pentecostal Church of God. In 1930, Pastor K.E Abraham who believed that local Keralite churches must be independent from foreign organizations for effective evangelization within India, split from Pastor Cook and formed the South India Pentecostal Church of God. He later changed the name of the church to India Pentecostal Church of God.

In addition to the work begun by Abraham, Pentecostalism grew rapidly in Kerala through the ministries of the Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM), the Church of God (Cleveland), and the Assemblies of God.


  • The Pentecostal Mission (TPM)
  • The Indian Pentecostal Church of God
  • Assemblies of God
  • Church of God (Full Gospel) in India
  • New India Church of India
  • New India Bible Church
  • Sharon Fellowship Church
  • Church of God in South India
  • New Life In Jesus Embassy Church

There are hundreds of other independent congregations throughout Kerala. Its strength varying from 20 to 50000 members. These independent groups are formed mainly due to personal visions of individuals and some are formed due to the dissatisfaction of the activities of the main groups.


  • Faith Theological Seminary
  • Sharon Bible College
  • Doulos Theological College
  • Calicut Theological College
  • Light for India Bible College
  • Bethesda Bible College
  • Harvest Theological College
  • Mahaniyam Bible College