Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tribute by Dr.Paul Appasamy - Vice-Chancellor , Karunya University

I have great pleasure in recalling the contributions of Pastor John Vasu on the occasion of his birth centenary, as well as the celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of the Madras Pentecostal Assembly. My family came to know Pastor John Vasu around 1958, after my mother, aunt and uncle received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the annual meeting of the Pentecostal Fellowship at what is now known as Periyar Thidal. Dr.B.G. Drake, Jr. was the visiting American Evangelist.

Following this experience, my mother started attending the M.P.A church in Royapettah and continued to do so till her death in 1995. She served as secretary of the MPA Mission until the end despite failing health and eyesight. My uncle, Mr.E.D. Savarirayan served as a board member till his death last year at the age of 95. Our family had the opportunity, therefore, for close interaction with all three generations of the Vasu family.

Pastor John Vasu, the co-founder of the MPA mission was unlike the typical Pentecostal Pastor! He was very soft spoken and used measured words to great effect. There was always a smile on his face and he remained unruffled whatever the situation. His gracious presence changed the atmosphere of any service or meeting. He was an exceptionally good speaker who could keep the congregation spell-bound listening to every word. I still recall a sermon he gave in an evening service on Wisdom described in Proverbs 9. It is unfortunate that the technology of that time was inadequate to record his sermons for future generations.

During his tenure as Superintendent Pastor, Pastor John Vasu not only built up the branch churches of the Mission but also created the basic infrastructure that has continued nearly 50 years later.

Apart from developing the MPA Mission, Pastor John Vasu’s unquestionable leadership brought together the very diverse Pentecostal churches under one umbrella- the All India Pentecostal Fellowship. He was also well respected in World Pentecostal circles, and he was invited to speak in many countries. One of his last acts was to attend the World Pentecostal Conference in Jerusalem in 1961. He passed away the next year at the relatively young age of 53.

His wife Mrs. Kirubai Vasu had good administrative skills , who helped Pastor Vasu in many areas including women’s ministries. His only son Pastor Prabhudoss Vasu took over the mantle of the MPA Mission in 1971, after a brief period when Pastor G.N. Chockalingam was in charge. Unfortunately he also passed away at a young age, and it has become the responsibility of his son Pastor Stanley Vasu to lead the MPA Mission.

The MPA Mission which Pastor John Vasu co-founded in 1934 with Pastor Jacob now has a very good base and has expanded in many different areas. The vision and commitment of Pastor John Vasu will continue to serve as a beacon for future generations to follow and emulate.

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