The Pentecostal Mission
The Pentecostal Mission (TPM) or New Testament Church (NTC) or Universal Pentecostal Church (UPC) formerly known as Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM), is a pentecostal denomination which originated in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. In some countries, the church is known under slightly different names. The international headquarters is now situated in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. It is estimated to have around 20 million members worldwide over 65 nations. This mission was founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1923 by Pastor Paul. It now has churches in over 65 countries including Sri Lanka, India, USA, Great Britain, Nepal, Malaysia, Canada, Europe, Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland, the Caribbean Islands, Middle East, Brazil, Ecuador, Zambia, Rwanda, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mauritius, Jamaica, Seychelles, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Honduras.
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The church was founded by Ramankutty along with Alwin R. de Alwis. Ramankutty, later known as Pastor Paul 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 felt a strong calling from the Lord Jesus Christ for his life and 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 passing away of Paul, the church has continued to exponentially grow and is now thought to be one of the world’s largest pentecostal denominations.
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 to the next in seniority.
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 Deputy 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, Pastor Michael Thomas is heading the ministries in USA and in other Western and African countires. Sis Lisa Billow is the senior sister for the ministry in USA.
Pastor Wesley Peter who was the Chief Pastor of the church entered glory on the 22 July 2015.He is succeeded by Pastor Stephen Natarajan.
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.
They do not believe in wearing jewellery, and encourage divine healing rather than depending on medicine. The full time workers in the church would generally believe this to the point of not going to hospitals or doctors. They discourage watching television or visiting the cinemas. They believe that their rules and regulations prevent the believer from being trapped in the world. They preach and teach separation from the world, to prepare themselves for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
In other parts of the world, the church is known by the following names:
- The Pentecostal Mission (TPM) – India (International HQ in Irumbuliyur Chennai, India)
- New Testament Church (NTC) – United States (HQ in Newark, New Jersey)
- Universal Pentecostal Church (UPC) – Great Britain (HQ in Brixton, London)
- Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM) – Sri Lanka (HQ in Mattakuliya, Sri Lanka)
- Église de Pentecote Primitive – France
- Grace New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Canada
- New Testament Church – Trinidad & Tobago
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – Puerto Rico
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – Dominican Republic
- New Testament Church – Sierra Leone
- New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Australia
- New Testament Church – New Zealand
- New Testament Church – Papua New Guinea
- New Testament Church – Nepal
- New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Fiji
- Iglesia del Nueva Testamento – Mexico
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – El Salvador
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – Costa Rica
- New Testament Church – Kenya
- Christliche Gnaden Gemeinde – Switzerland
- Neue Testament Kirche – Germany
- The Universal Pentecostal Church – Nigeria
- The Pentecostal Church of Malaysia – Malaysia
- The Pentecostal Church of Singapore – Singapore
- New Testament Church – Middle East (Dubai, UAE)
- New Testament Pentecostal Mission – Uganda
- New Covenant Pentecostal Church – Philippines
- Universal Pentecostal Church – Hongkong
- New Testament Mission – Cyprus
- Deeper Truth Pentecostal Mission – Ghana
- Iglesia Communion Cristiana – Colombia
- Iglesia Del Nuevo Testamento – Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Église Universelle De Pentecote Primitive – Republic of the Congo
- New Testament Ministries – Malawi
- New Testament Church – Tanzania
- Église Pentecostiste Lagrace – Togo
- New Testament Church – (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- New Testament Church – Oman
- New Testament Church – Bahrain
- New Testament Church – Qatar
- New Testament Church – Kuwait
- Ny Testamente Menighed – Denmark
- Universal Pentecostal Church – United Kingdom
- Universal Pentecostal Church – Republic Of Ireland
- Chiesa del Nuovo Testamento – Italy
Annual International Conventions are held at Irumbuliyur in Chennai, India (March); Kottarakara in Kerala, India (February); Kokkavila in Chilaw, Sri Lanka (December); and in Ohio, USA (July) and Toronto, Canada (July).
A list of upcoming conventions is available on the homepage of Doctrine of Truth.
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.
Other significant conventions include Malaysia (June), Singapore (June), Canada (July), Trinidad (July), ElSalvador (July), Germany (July), Switzerland (August), Sierra Leone (August), France (August), Papua New Guinea (September), Fiji (September), New Zealand (September), Australia (September), Nepal (October) and in Dubai – UAE (November).
In November of every year, an International Youth Camp is held at Irumbuliyur in Chennai, India.
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.
New Testament Christian Academy
In 2002 the church opened its New Testament Christian Academy in Sierra Leone. The children from the Congo Cross ( a place in Freetown where the first branch was opened in Africa ) and Wilberforce assemblies of this church attend the school.
Missions Education Fund (MEF)
Missions Education Fund (MEF) was found in May 2007. MEF is 100% Christian charitable organisation that helps children from economic, social and physical poverty to receive education and enable then to become responsible, mature Christian adults. This is to Give a child hope for the future — and help break the cycle of poverty. This education sponsorship program is created, fully administered and managed by volunteers of the Grace New Covenant Pentecostal Church, Canada incorporate with New Testament church, USA.
Today, Missions Education Fund has helped over 1000 students in 19 countries including Sierra Leone, Togo, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Papua New Guinea.
Contribution towards this helps for the basic education needs of a child who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend school. These needs include but not limited to: Tuition, uniform, transportation and school supplies costs but most importantly, sponsored child will be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.
Tracts of different kinds and various life issues (topics such as peace, salvation; questions about life and healings) are also published in different languages.
Many books are published in many languages by the church. The doctrines told on the books are of depth and helps believers to prepare for the second coming of Jesus Christ. The books tells in detail about Salvation, Water Baptism, Divine healing, Life of Separation etc.,- Voice of Pentecost.
- "DoT | About". Doctrineoftruth.com. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Pentecost Voice: Late Pastor Paul'S Funeral Photo & Last Sermon". Voiceofpentecost.blogspot.com. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Oral Roberts". Futurliner.com. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "PENTECOST VOICE: Basic Doctrines of Christ". Voiceofpentecost.blogspot.com. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Universal Pentecostal Church, Brixton (Greater London)". Find a Church. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Doctrine of Truth". Doctrine of Truth. Retrieved 2013-10-19.