Tuesday, August 25, 2009
75 YEARS ! PLATINUM JUBILEE OF THE MADRAS PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLY
75 YEARS ! PLATINUM JUBILEE OF THE MADRAS PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLY
The M.P.A Ministries began as a small Sunday School in 1918. It soon grew into a church and thus was formed the Madras Pentecostal Assembly which was registered on August 17th 1934 and completes 75 years in 2009 .
The M.P.A ministries has over the past 75 years been involved in multi-faceted ministries comprising of churches , orphan homes , schools , bible school , magazines , seminars , village evangelism , gospel crusades , film ministry , music tapes , bible correspondence courses etc
It is pertinent to note that the Madras Pentecostal Assembly was the first pentecostal church in Chennai . MPA also published one of the first pentecostal magazines in India in 1938 called the 'Balm of Gilead' and started one of the first pentecostal bible schools in India in 1950 called the 'Madras Bible Institute'.
We are deeply grateful to the Lord for upholding our ministry for the past 75 years. The Lord is faithful to His promises and has been our rock and foundation. We also remember with gratitude our founders and all those who have laboured before us . We also thank God all those who have supported our ministry with their prayers and resources.
We praise God for all the souls that have been saved and delivered during the past 75 years. We thank God for all the churches that have been planted , all the pastors who have been trained and released into the ministry , all the orphans who have been cared for , all the students who have been educated , all the songs that have been composed , all the people who have watch the gospel films , all those who have studied the bible correspondence courses , all those who have heard the gospel through the various outreach ministries during the past 75 years.
THE ORIGIN OF THE MADRAS PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLY
The turn of the twentieth century saw the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in various parts of the world. In 1901 a sister called Agnes who lived in Topeka of Kansas city in the USA was the first to be baptized with the Holy spirit. At the same time many in various parts of Europe also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In India Pandit Ramabai and her group were the first to receive this blessing. But before that in 1903 ,Wales and Sweden had witnessed the Pentecostal Blessing. Two Spirit filled sisters from Sweden came to India in 1913 to see for themselves Pandit Ramabai group which had received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. When they saw that the same anointing had been poured out upon these people in India they glorified God and wanted to go back to their country immediately to share this miracle of grace with everyone.
As they were waiting in the harbour to board the ship they heard a voice saying “Go to Guindy” and God gave them a vision of another group of people who had received a similar blessing. In that vision God had shown them a brother in particular. Upon enquiry they learnt that Guindy was in Madras. Thus led by the Spirit of God these sisters came to Guindy in Madras and rented out a house to start the ministry which turned out to be a great blessing to many.
At the same time a man of God called Jacob was doing the Lord’s ministry in Lloyds Road at Royapettah. Brother Jacob was left an orphan very early in life and his foster parents brought him up in the nurture of the Lord. At the age of eight he gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and in course of time he obeyed the Lord in the waters of baptism. God baptized him with the Holy Spirit also. Filled with zeal he began the ministry in Royapettah along with Bro. Egbert, Bro. Gopal Daniel, Bro. Murugesa Iya, Bro. Somasunderam Doctor Dhyriam, Bro. Andrews and others. It was at first called “Believers Fellowship”.
The sisters from Sweden who came to Madras under the express guidance of the Holy Spirit spared no effort in finding out the man God had shown them in the vision. Soon they heard of a “Hallelujah Group” in Royapettah. When they came and saw Bro. Jacob they recognized that this was the very man God has shown
them in the vision and they were delighted in the ecstasy of this wonderful meeting. Thus a fellowship was born with these Swedish sisters Bro. Egbert went to Ceylon and started the ministry. Bro. Murugesa Iya began to work for the Lord in Moolakothalam area.
PASTOR JACOB AND PASTOR JOHN VASU
In 1918 Pastor Jacob took a house in Halls Garden at Royapettah for a month rent of 50 paise and started a ministry among the children. His deep love for children; the simplicity of his life; his gentleness towards everyone earned him the title of “India’s George Muller”, Bro. Jacob was essentially a man of prayer and as a result the ministry of Halls Garden grew steadily and to accommodate the growing number of souls that had started coming it was shifted to a larger house in the next street and a church was started under the name of “Pentecostal Meeting Hall”. That was in 1923.
A very significant thing happened in 1926 where Bro. John Vasu a staunch Hindu by birth had conviction was saved and converted by the grace of the Lord. He joined himself with Pastor Jacob and together both of them started the ministry in many parts of the city according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Jacob was indeed a man of God with a burden for perishing souls. He resigned his job in order that he might be able to serve the Lord with all his heart and got involved in the ministry with a deep commitment; he was essentially a man of prayer and his prayer proved to be a great blessing to a lot of people. He was one who could bring down the presence of God thru prayer in almost every service and no one left the serving without being moved by the power of God and the strangers who attended the service got saved .
Pastor. John Vasu, co-founder of the mission was an effective and eloquent speaker who was used to turn the hearts of many of the Lord Jesus Christ. He always preached the word under the anointing of the spirit of God, Pastor John Vasu was a powerful preacher and Pastor Jacob was a great prayer warrior and they complemented each other and together they built up the work of God effectively.
THE HEADQUARTERS CHURCH IN ROYAPETTAH
The Ministry in Halls Garden at Royapettah grew day by day. The children of God began to pray for a permanent place for worship. In answer to their prayer the Lord made it possible for them to buy a piece of land in Thandavarayan street at Royapettah: Now that the land is ready the saints began to pray for a church building.
The Lord moved the hearts of two sisters; namely sis. Dickens and sis. Robinson who came forward to help us with the necessary finance. By the grace of God the foundation stone was laid on 22.10.33 and the building was successfully completed in 1934 and our church was called “THE PENTECOSTAL MISSION” after this many other Pentecostal churches were started in the city and to our ministry began to be known as MADRAS PENTECOSTAL ASSEMBLY and it was registered with the government as a Religious society. Thus the ministry at the Head Quarters spread out in many directions. Thanks to the indefatigable endeavors of the super intending Pastor B. Jacob in the Lord’s vineyard.
After the demise of this wonderful man of God, Pastor N.G. John Vasu who was looking after the church at purasawalkam became the Superintending Pastor of The Madras Pentecostal Assembly ministries. During this period Late Pastor S.B. Daniel also was of great help in the ministry.
Pastor G.N. Chockalingam who was wonderfully saved thru a glorious vision of the risen Lord Jesus took over the Purasawalkam ministry. The M.P.A. ministry also was being established in Andhra Pradesh. After the home call of Pastor John Vasu, the Royapettah ministry was taken over by Pastor G.N. Chockalingam who served as the Superintending Pastor from 1962 to 1971.
PASTOR PRABHUDOSS VASU
After the demise of Pastor G.N. Chokalingam, Pastor Prabhudoss Vasu became the Superintending pastor and served in that capacity till he went to be with the Lord in 1995.
PASTOR STANLEY VASU
After Prabhudoss Vasu , his son Pastor Stanley Vasu has been leading the Madras Pentecostal Assembly.
MPA BRANCH CHURCHES
The first Branch church was started at 10, Mookathal street in Bro. Charles’ home and when it grew it was shifted to Nancy street. In 1942 about 1.1 acre land with Government approval was obtained by the Mission in Kadhirvedu and a church was started there. In 1935 Bro. Rajarathinam donated 4 acres land to the Mission and a ministry was started in Pallavaram. As the work of the Lord began to progress rapidly at the Head Quarters we were encouraged to start branch churches. These pastors in the branch churches carry on the work of the Lord in spite of hard ships and opposition in their respective places. Our branch churches are spread over various parts of Tamilnadu as well asAndhra Pradesh.
BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE
The Bible Correpondence Course goes by the title of “NEW LIFE” comprising five lessons in easy to understand English and “Eternal Life” in the vernacular. This course is written by Dr.Aril Edvardsen. This was started in 1971 and by the grace of God it has become very popular with the non Christians and today we have more than 100000 persons on the rolls. It is a personalized service so to speak, which has attracted a good number over the years to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His saving power.
MADRAS BIBLE INSTITUTE
The Institute had its inception in 1950. Seeing the need for national trained workers the founders Pastor Jacob and Pastor John Vasu undertook this ministry. It was one of the first Pentecostal bible schools in India. The Lord wonderfully provided a separate building for this purpose. Though the beginning was small, the Lord blessed and the institute began to grow. Students who have studied here are now in different parts of the world serving the Lord. In India some of them are playing a leading role in the propagation of the Gospel. For fifteen years from 1952-1967 Rev. Andreason, a Swedish Missionary served as the Dean of the Bible Institute. Pastor Prabhudoss Vasu served as the Principal of the Madras Bible Institute from 1971-1995 during which hundreds of pastors were trained who are now serving the Lord in various parts of the country in various ministries as well as in MPA branch churches.
In 1943 an orphanage was started by Mrs. Kirubai Vasu and it functions even today under the name of Robinson Orphanage at Pallavaram. The founders had a deep burden to care for the orphans. This project was started on a small scale with meager assistance but the Lord has wonderfully provided for the needs of the Homes.We are grateful to Intermission for partnering with us. Many children who have gone through these Homes completed their high school studies and are now well settled in life. The children are given instruction in the nature of the Lord. Many have accepted the Lord as their saviour pray for this work which fulfils the text found in Isa. 58:7-11, James 1:27. Currently we have five Orphanges under our supervision. They are located at Pallavaram, Pozhal , Anakaputhur, Ulundurpet and Royapettah. The children are properly fed, clothed and educated . God has graciously provided accommodation in all these Orphan Homes.
A school by name P.A.M. was started in the Pallavaram campus which was later recognized by the Government in 1937. In 1945 the National Middle School was started in the other part of Pallavaram which was also recognized by the Government. By the Grace of God these two schools have proved to be useful to the people in the neighbourhood. .We have a wonderful opportunity for giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to them as they come to have secular education.
Pastor Jacob , Pastor John Vasu , Mrs. Kirubai Vasu , Pastor Chockalingam , Pastor Prabhudoss Vasu have served as the Correspondents of the School. Currently Pastor Stanley Vasu is serving as the Correspondent and Manager of P.A.M and National School since 1995.
Mr. Muthuraj , Mr.George Mathuram , Mrs. Esther Rajammal , Mrs. Ahalya Jeyachandran have served as the Head Master and Head Mistress of the P.A.M School . Mrs. Thedora Samuel , Mrs .Florence Samuel, Mrs.Pankajam , Mrs.Lily Grace and Mrs.Aileen Arthur have served as Headmistress of the National School. Mrs. Theodora Samuel had helped in maintaining the orphanage and also served the School for many years in the pioneering period.
We have composed new songs and released them at the annual conventions. According to divine guidance we decided to record them in cassettes with a two fold purpose in mind. Our first desire was that every Christian home should listen to good Christian Melodies which we sincerely believe would bring comfort to the sorrowing and strength to the weary. Every Christian home should sound forth Christian Melodies that Christians everywhere may be edified by our Songs with its spiritual content also that it might be a channel of reaching the non Christians for Jesus.. We have so far produced 14 volumes in Tamil and 1 album in English which are sung by christians all over the world by the Tamil speaking believers .
BALM OF GILEAD MAGAZINE
Under God’s guidance in 1938 , Pastor John Vasu started this magazine at a time when magazines containing spiritual articles were a rarity. It is an indisputable fact that The Balm of Gilead was the first to be published from among the Pentecostal Churches. The response it evoked was encouraging beyond our expectations and many were challenged to a deeply committed Christian life by the articles of the magazine.
The magazine had a healthy growth due to the earnest efforts of Pastor John Vasu who had a talent for writing out inspiring messages; And it proved to be a great blessing to the readers and letters of appreciation kept coming in; and we give all the glory to God and God alone. At the time of its inception the Mission did not have a printing press of its own and so it was printed at the commercial presses. But in course of time the Lord enabled us to set up a printing press in 1940.
After the demise of Pastor John Vasu, his wife Mrs. Kirubai Vasu undertook to run the magazine efficiently. As she was a teacher by profession she too had the ability to write clearly and inspiringly.To God be the glory for raising up men and God from time to time who shared the vision of the founder and carried on the publication of the magazine. After the home call of Mrs. Kirubai Vasu, Pastor Basker Dawson because the editor of the magazine, after that Pastor Prabbudoss Vasu became the editor of the magazine .
Many thousands have received the blessing of God through the messages printed in it, many others who made their contribution to the growth of the magazine included Rev. Andreason, Pastor G.N. Chockalingam, Pastor T.S. Thangaraj, Mrs. M. Appasamy, as Associate Editors. The magazine also contained very thought provoking articles by prominent servants of God. Articles by our branch church Pastors have greatly enriched the magazine.
Currently the Tamil magazine called ' spiritual truths ' published by Pastor Stanley Vasu continues to be a blessing to thousands.
We thank God for all that has been accomplished during the past 75 years . We give all the glory to the Lord . His grace has been sufficient for us. Kindly continue to uphold our ministries in your prayers. God bless you.