The Pentecostal Mission
The Pentecostal Mission (TPM) or New Testament Church (NTC) or Universal Pentecostal Church (UPC) or Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM), is a pentecostal denomination which originated in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. In some countries, the church is known under different names. The international headquarters is now situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. This mission was founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1923 by Pastor Paul. It now has churches in over 65 countries..
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The church was founded by Pastor Paul (Ramankutty). Ramankutty was born to Hindu parents in the district of Trichur in Kerala, India. While in Sri Lanka, at the age of 18, he became a Christian. He later began to preach and share the Christian gospel in various parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. It was through his service that the church was founded in 1923. Even after the death of Ramankutty, Over 95% of the members of this church is constituting people from the Indian Sub-Continent.
The church is led by a Chief Pastor, who is usually appointed for life. In addition, there is a Deputy Chief Pastor and an Associate Deputy Chief Pastor. Leadership is passed down after death based on spiritual urge.
These are the current office holders:
- Stephen Natarajan (Chief Pastor): July 31, 2015 – present
- Abraham Mathew (Deputy Chief Pastor): July 31, 2015 – present
- G. Jayam (Associate Chief Pastor) : March 8, 2014 – present
In the United States most of the church work was pioneered by late Pastor Don M Spiers, who had previously worked closely with Oral Roberts. After the home call of Pastor Don and Pastor Michael Thomas, Pastor Gregory Wilson is heading the ministries in USA and in other Western and African countries. Sis Lisa Billow is the senior sister for the ministry in USA.
Doctrines and teachings
The doctrines of the church include Trinity, New Birth (being born again), Water Baptism, Baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by speaking in unknown tongues, Separated life from mortal entertainments and sinful circumstances, Divine Healing, Entire Sanctification (of the Body, Soul and Spirit), Overcoming Life, Consecrated Ministry, Rapture, Great Tribulation, Resurrection, The Millennial Reign, The Great White Throne Judgement, and Eternity. TPM encourages divine healing rather than mainstream medicine. The full-time workers in the church will generally believe this to the point of not going to hospitals or doctors. Believing that their rules and regulations prevent the believer from being trapped in the world, they avoid wearing jewellery, so as to lead a simple life, and discourage watching television or movies. They preach and teach separation from the world in order to prepare for the second coming of Christ.
Criticisms and controversies
- Only TPM ministers form part of the 144,000 that will spend eternity near Christ on Mount Zion.
- TPM bans members from attending other denominations and the church refuses contact with all other pentecostal churches and has a whole range of extremely radical and church dividing exclusive doctrines.
Pastor Alwin De Alwis
In the 1960s, a sister in the United Kingdom accused Pastor Alwin of sexually attacking her. Around the same time it was rumored that Alwin had introduced a new teaching called "Edenic Perfection" where sisters had to walk naked in Faith Homes to test if the men had overcome their worldly desires. Alwin was eventually excommunicated by Pastor Freddy Paul in 1962. After his excommunication, the property rights of Faith Homes were settled legally.
Pastor Alwin introduced a teaching that made it mandatory for pastors to remain celibates. Communal living of unmarried pastors and sisters was institutionalized. Alwin introduced a lot of doctrinal statements that made it binding on the members of the church. These teachings introduced by Alwin was probably the reason for the split of CPM from other south Indian Pentecostal movements.
Death of Pastor Kanagaraj
In other parts of the world, the church is known by the following names:
- Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM) – Sri Lanka (HQ in Kokkawila, Sri Lanka)
- Chiesa del Nuovo Testamento – Italy
- Christliche Gnaden Gemeinde – Switzerland
- Deeper Truth Pentecostal Mission – Ghana
- Église de Pentecote Primitive – France
- Église Pentecostiste Lagrace – Togo
- Église Universelle De Pentecote Primitive – Republic of the Congo
- Grace New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Canada
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Puerto Rico
- Iglesia del Nueva Testamento – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico
- Neue Testament Kirche – Germany
- New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Australia, Fiji, Philippines
- New Testament Church – , Kenya, New Zealand, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, United States (HQ in Newark, New Jersey), Trinidad & Tobago, GCC Countries
- New Testament Ministries – Malawi, Tanzania
- New Testament Mission – Cyprus
- New Testament Pentecostal Mission – Uganda
- Ny Testamente Menighed – Denmark
- The Pentecostal Church of Malaysia – Malaysia, Singapore
- The Pentecostal Mission (TPM) – India (International HQ in Irumbuliyur Chennai, India)
- Universal Pentecostal Church – Hongkong, Nigeria, Republic Of Ireland, UK (HQ in Brixton, London)
Annual International Conventions are held at Kottarakara in Kerala, India (February) ; Irumbuliyur in Chennai, India (March); Kokkavila in Chilaw, Sri Lanka (December); and in Ohio, United States (July) and Toronto, Ontario, Canada (July).
The International Convention in Chennai India takes place in the month of March, the Conventions in the United States and Canada in the month of July, and the International Convention of Sri Lanka in December. The European convention is held in London in the last week of August.
Magazines in several languages are printed and distributed to subscribers. The English magazine published from India is called The Voice of Pentecost. Pilgrim's Journal is published and printed in USA. Other English magazines are: "Pentecostal Messenger" from Malaysia, "The Youth Herald" from Singapore, "Power Divine" from Sri Lanka and "Trumpet of the Lord" from the UK.
Malayalam magazine PENTECOST is one of the oldest Pentecostal magazines from Kerala. Hindi edition PENTECOST KI WANI published from New Delhi, PENTECOSTI-CHI VAANI from Mumbai and PENTECOST DA SNEHA from Dhariwal (Punjab) are also other landmark in the history of Church to spread the Gospel to northern part of India. Church Magazines are Being published in more than 40 Indian languages and many other foreign languages.
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