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July 20
India Brief
True Jesus Church in India


India is the second most populous country in the world after China, with over 1 billion people. It is a land of diverse cultures, languages, customs, ethnic groups and religions. The people are more attached to their ethnic groups than to the nation. Hindi is the official language but English is also taught in schools and widely spoken by the people. The people prefer to speak their own dialects like Tamil or Malayalam in some states. 35% of the people are illiterate.
There is religious tolerance in India. Hinduism is the main religion. Christianity is well accepted by some of the people. The Christians are concentrated in the Northeastern (Mizoram & Nagaland – 90% Christians) and Southern (Tamil Nadu, Keral, etc – 6% to 20%) parts of India.
The four southern states we have reached in India are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, the people speak mainly Tamil while those in Kerala speak Malayalam. Telegu is spoken in Andhra Pradesh and Kanada is spoken in Karnataka.
The First Seed
The gospel was preached to India by two different groups of people.
First Group
On 18th July 1931, Zaccheus S. Ponniah was ordained as deacon of the True Jesus Mission in the Federal Malay State of Perak, Ipoh. In 1932, he brought the gospel of Jesus Christ back to his hometown in Madathupatti, Tirunelveli, and the south of Tamil Nadu state. With the guidance and power of God, six churches were established within 300 miles. However, Malaya lost contact with these churches when World War II broke out. This group of believers in India attempted to contact our church in China but they were not successful because of border conflicts between China and India. Members were later scattered to other parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They brought the gospel to these new places that they settled in and churches were established in various estates. However, due to weak foundation in the truth, some of their teachings changed over the years.
Second Group
Similar to the first group, the first believer from this group also received the gospel in Malaysia. In this case, an Indian brother by the name of James (pastor of another Christian denomination) was attracted by the beautiful hymns sung in our church in Sungai Petani. He started to search for the truth and he was eventually baptized in the True Jesus Church. Thereafter, he brought the gospel back to India in 1969. In that same year, a few deacons from Malaysia preached the gospel in Madras, a Tamil Nadu state. The first True Jesus Church was established in Kerala State in 1977. The gospel was later brought to the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In the initial few years, the Indian workers set up many places of worship with the support of the International Assembly (IA) and the South-East Asia Evangelical Center (SEAEC). The churches were administered from three Centers: PAMMAL, AMBATHUR and KERALA. The Coordination Board was also established first in Ambathur and then in Pammal. To date, the churches continue to progress.
Indian Mission Committee (IMC)
In 1994, a review of the ministry carried out in India was made. Subsequently, it was resolved that the General Assembly of Malaysia and Singapore adopted the General Assembly of India for three years, from 1995 to 1997. The India mission Committee (IMC) was formed for planning and managing divine work in India. A ‘Master Development Plan for the Divine Work in India’ was drawn up. This plan assists India to ‘Self Administer, Self Propagate and Self Finance’.
India Coordination Board (ICB)
The year 2001 marked a new beginning for the churches in India. The ICB was formed. The churches under the umbrella and care of ICB will work towards the goal to ‘Self Administer, Self Propagate and Self Finance’.
India Theological Training Center (ITTC)
The first building project of IMC in India was the construction of the ITTC. Although there was also a need for other building constructions such as additional amenities and classrooms, we felt that the development of a newly pioneered area depended largely on the training of its local leaders and ministers. Hence we decided to build the training center. On 12th September 1999, India Theological Training Center was dedicated to the Lord. The construction of the Center was made possible through the contributions and prayers of every member in the world.
Our Hope and Prayer
India is a country with the second largest population in the world. Despite its Christian influence for many years, the Truth has reached only a minute portion of the population. We say we want to save more souls, we say the number to be saved must be reached. I think India is the land for this work. We pray to the Lord God to help us in this work and especially to strengthen our brethren in India to grow into maturity, to be able to shoulder the responsibility entrusted to them by the Lord.
Training has been our priority in India since IMC fostered the work in India. The whole exercise is to bring the church in India to maturity so that:
- India will be self-administering, self-propagating and self-financing.
- India will set up its own General Assembly in the near future.
- India will continue to progress for the glory of the Lord.
India Brethren

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