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 was founded in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1923. In some countries, the church is known under other 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 along with Pastor Alwin R. de Alwis. 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. 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. The CPM espoused an ascetic approach to spirituality. The church also instituted indigenous forms of worship. Ministerial responsibilities.Some of the distinctives are that fulltime ministers 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. TPM churches are run by full-time ministers who are celibate and predominantly single. Married couples who enter full-time ministry can become celibate, and may be sent to different locations by the TPM leadership if they so choose. These full-time ministers are required to forsake the world, its attractions, and even their own families.The church was founded by Pastor Paul (Ramankutty) 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:
- Abraham Mathew (Chief Pastor): September 05, 2018 – present
- M.T Thomas (Deputy Chief Pastor): September 05, 2018 – 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.
Associate or deputy chief pastors
- Pas. C. John (1973–1977)
- Pas. S.B. Earnest (1977–1987)
- Pas. Philip Chandapillai (1977–1984)
- Pas. T. Geevarghese (1984–1986)
- Pas. Don M. Spiers (1987–2004)
- Pas. A. Joy Fitch (2006–2011)
- Pas G Jayam (2014-present)
- Pas. M T Thomas(Deputy Cheif Pastor - 2018-present)
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/NTC teaches and encourages "divine healing" rather than mainstream medicine. The full-time workers in the church will generally believe this to the point of DEATH by not going to hospitals or doctors. They believe this is their "home calling". Believing that their rules and regulations prevent the believer from being trapped in the world, they avoid wearing makeup or jewelry and are opposed to any kind of prosperity, so as to lead a "simple life", and discourage watching television, video games, movies. and any other entertainment though to be "of the world" (Ephesians 5:16-17) . They preach and teach separation from the world in order to prepare for the second coming of Christ.
Church services are held at minimum 3 times a week (Wednesday Bible Study, Saturday Tarry Meeting, and Sunday Service) in most areas.
On Sunday, the church holds Sunday School, where teachers are taken based on their spirituality and they teach the children about the Bible. There are weekly tests, a midterm, and a final exam based on the curriculum taught each week. In the U.K., the Sunday school is stricter, where they have a "children's day" which is where the Sunday school children and teens and youths perform on stage. They have to memorize scripture, bible verses and a script which talks about a doctrine of the church. Every year there is a different theme, for example gods love, or gods grace. Depending on the theme the class teachers make a script, then they send it to the center Faithome, Brixton, and then they will make changes or edit the script, to make it more " according to the church doctrines". The Sunday school children are then forced to learn the script, recite it in classes, sing solos of old church songs. There is also a church orchestra (aka Sunday school orchestra) where the children play a song , at the end everyone joins in to sing the song. At the end there is refreshments provided by the church believers.
Criticisms and controversies
- Only Apostles form part of the 144,000 that will spend eternity near Christ on Mount Zion.
Pastor Alwin De Alwis
Alwin was eventually excommunicated by Pastor Freddy Paul in 1962. After his excommunication, the property rights of Faith Homes were settled legally.
Pastor Paul introduced a teaching that made it mandatory for pastors to remain celibates. 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.
Annual International Conventions are held at Kottarakara in Kerala, India (February) ; Irumbuliyur in Chennai, India (March); Kokkavila in Chilaw, Sri Lanka (December); and in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania, United States (July).
The International Convention in Chennai India takes place in the month of March, the Conventions in the United States 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. The Irumbuliyur Convention is a large gathering, one of the largest, it has over 1,00,000 worshipers, believers and new souls. The USA Convention in Pittsburgh is the second largest convention in TPM, over 4000 people come to worship the lord from all over the world. As the International Conventions have more people , the church gives the priority to the international souls and they receive free accommodation and food inside the campus.
International Youth Camp
Annual International Youth Camp will be conducted in Headquarters (Irumbuliyur in Chennai, India) usually takes place in the month of october. Youths from different countries would join and worship the Lord.
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, Tamil edition named PENTECOSTIN PEROLI, 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.
In other parts of the world, the church is known by the following names:
- Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (CPM) – Sri Lanka (HQ in Mattakkuliya,Colombo 15, 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 Comunion 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
- New Testament Church – Nepal
- 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)
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