On November 1st and 2nd, South India Centennial Celebrations were held at Donald Church in Hyderabad, commemorating 100 years of IPHC ministry in India.
Beginning with John and Olivia Turner in 1921, IPHC World Missions has sent out a steady stream of intrepid missionaries called by God to serve this nation in evangelism and church planting, in administration and training, in classrooms and children’s homes. Through the grace of God and the faithful labors of gifted national ministers, IPHC in India now comprises over 2000 churches with more than 60,000 members!
“The IPHC family celebrates with our Indian IPHC family as they commemorate 100 years of the Holy Spirit’s work through our missionaries, pastors, teachers, and evangelists in India. I am particularly thankful for the excellent history of IPHC India written by Dr. Moses Kumar. Though last-minute travel complications made it impossible for me to attend personally, my heart and prayers were with our brothers and sisters on this momentous occasion,” said IPHC General Superintendent Dr. Doug Beacham
On day one of the Celebrations, the Centennial message was delivered by Reverend Russell Board, WMM Regional Director for Continental Asia. Referencing the history of the Festivals instituted by the Lord for his people in the Old Testament, the message emphasized God’s faithfulness in the past and his promises for the future.
A significant event was the signing of an Affiliation Agreement between IPHC Ministries South India and IPHC Father’s House International. This partnership links the resources and vision of the two groups to pursue a common goal of expanding and strengthening IPHC presence throughout India.
Day two saw the release of The Saga of a Century, a new book by South India Presiding Bishop Reverend BS Moses Kumar. Subtitled An Inspirational History of the IPHC in India, the book depicts the lives and ministries of missionaries who labored faithfully and sacrificially to serve the people of India in the name of Christ.
Reverend Bryan Nix, Director of People to People Ministries, followed up with a creative and insightful message about Onesimus and Philemon, reminding the attendees of the glorious gospel we have received and are called to proclaim.
That afternoon the Advantage College Convocation was held, with Rev. Terry Fowler, Chief of Staff at the Global Ministries Center, delivering the graduation address. In addition to a number of C.Th. and B.Th candidates, twelve graduates were awarded M.Div. degrees.
Bishop Joel Dibetsoe, General Superintendent of IPHC South Africa, kicked off the final session with a powerful exhortation to those receiving ministry credentials. We praise God for these laborers entering the harvest fields, including 37 new Mission Workers, 27 newly Licensed Ministers, and 9 individuals receiving Ordination.
The meeting closed with adoption of the Arise 2033 South India Goals. These ambitious targets for multiplication of churches and expansion into new territories will require strong faith and strenuous effort. But we are confident that the Lord who accomplished so much during this past century of India ministry has even greater things in store for the future.
“According to Wikipedia, “the Republic of India is the second-most populous country, the seventh-largest country by land area, and the most populous democracy in the world.”
‘Bishop King included India on his world tour in 1910.’ ‘Jack and Olivia Turner, the IPHC’s first missionaries to India, arrived in Calcutta, India, on January 19, 1921, and served for 27 years. They lived strictly on faith. Turner learned of a three-acre, walled compound in Jasidih Junction. Jasidih Junction became the first land owned by the PHC in India.’ I was privileged to visit Jasidih in January 2018 with Drs Terry Tramel and Hans Hess. It was a very humbling experience to walk on this sacred soil. So, as I celebrate the Centennial of IPHC’s ministry presence in India today, I am very mindful and my heart is full of gratitude for the heroes and heroines of the faith like Tom and Leila Robertson, Marvin and Alma Parrish, George and Hazel Byus, Effie Barker, Emma Britton Law, Emma Yeatts, K. I. Reid, Martha Cowan, Frances Carter, Hobert and Marguerite Howard, Louise Smith, Kenneth and Joan Donald, and Danny and Judith Williams who surrendered to the call of God and ministered the ‘light’ of the gospel message faithfully in India as Career Missionaries.
The growth of the IPHC in India today bears witness to the fact that “… the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend/overcome it.” John 1: 5 [NKJV] Believing that the best is still to come in India!” Written by Bishop J. Talmadge Gardner, Executive Director of IPHC World Ministries. Excerpts taken from The Simultaneous Principle, Dr. Frank Tunstall.