Church 185th Anniversary and Christmas Carol service on 14th December 2014 - all are welcome.

BUILDING UP THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD

A land measuring 12 grounds and 1123 ½ square feet was gifted by Mrs. P.F. Isacke to build the Wesleyan chapel to preach and expound God's holy word and for performing all other acts of religious worship. A sum of Rs.6394.84 was raised as donation from many subscribers and the Wesleyan chapel was built in the year 1829. Subsequently minor additions and alterations were done over the years. In the year 1952 the church verandah was built by Rev. John Millns and his friends. With an ever-growing congregation, there was great need to expand, renovate and refurbish the entire church. Rev. Lenoard Basker Samuel took over from Rev. Dr. Arun Gopal in 2007. When the proposal to build the house of the Lord was brought to the council, it was felt that the church should be extended. A project of this magnitude envisaged clear direction from our Lord. Though it was a huge task to do it taking into consideration the various factors, there was a clear and specific call from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: '

'These people say, the time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: Is it a time for yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" (Hag.1:1&2) ''Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take Pleasure in it and be honored" says the Lord.'' (Hag. 1:8)

The three fundamental requirements from a worldly perspective for executing a project of this kind are funds, structural expert and an architect. Amazingly, a finance professional, a structural engineer and an architect were serving the council at this point of time. Though the proceeding was never easy, the Lord worked out a perfect plan in such an awesome way that he put all barriers away as it was realized that it was the Lord who was leading the team from the front. The battle clearly belonged to Him. The core team for the project execution was put in place consisting of a Finance Professional, a Structural Engineer, an Architect and a Spokesperson. The Treasurer and the Architect provided the lead to the project. All documentation and records since 1794 were dug into. The initial work relating to documentation and drawing commenced in October 2007. With all available records, the necessary papers were submitted to the cantonment office for approval. The project team learnt to be patient as it took more than 75 days to obtain the final approval. Invariably every day, it was waiting patiently at the door step of the cantonment officer. On a particular day, it was a wait for more than six hours by the pastor and the core team to meet the cantonment officer. It was the Lord who gave the team the much needed wisdom, strength and endurance to move on despite the delay. Finally when the approval was through, it was tears of joy for all as everybody praised our Heavenly King for what He has done for the Church. .

Subsequently, the Diocese gave its approval with the new Secretary taking charge. The ground breaking function was fixed on the 13th day of April 2008. Soon after the Sunday morning worship service our Pastor along with his wife gave a call to everybody. All the Sunday school children and teachers under the leadership of the Sunday School Superintendent led the march and the congregation members both young and old followed in large numbers ushering the church into a new phase of its History. As the foundation stone was laid, one of the senior most members of the church led the congregation into praying and singing. This was the beginning of a great era in the church history.

The immediate task was to raise funds so that the project gets completed before Christmas 2008. This was quite ambitious taking into account the small size of our congregation. The challenge though was huge, was given to the treasurer. The moral and financial commitment of the Council Members towards this project was immense. This gave the core team a huge confidence in approaching people for funds. As the process of raising funds was initiated, the conviction was that as worshippers and members of the church each of us should contribute for the execution of the project.

The first phase of the fund rising started with a pledge of rupees ten thousand from members and worshippers. The challenge was that if God can do it in 1829 enabling His children to raise 6894.84 to build the church, why can't he do it now. Many families came up with a pledge. Within the first three weeks of initiating the project, a pledge of more than One Million Rupees was raised. The hand of our Lord was upon the team. As the pledge amount started trickling in, the project began. When the structural work was coming to an end on the extended side, the complex work was to remove the pillar inside the church which hindered the congregation's view of the altar. In order to control the cost, it planned to retain the old roof but replace the old beam with a new one so that the pillar could be removed. It was felt by the core team that the symmetry of the church would be affected if the old roof and the walls on the northern side was retained.

At this juncture, the Bishop and the diocesan secretary made an unscheduled visit to the Church and advised the core team to renovate the northern side through a new roof and wall. The pastor suggested fixing wire cut bricks around the church. The whole exercise would have heavy financial implications. At this point, the next phase of fund mobilization began. This time it was through the harvest festival. Though the target was huge, the core team took the challenge head-on. Many items were taken up as pledge by the congregation. The response was huge and unimaginable. There was all round participation by the church with the Church Secretary taking the lead in the auction. The first sale went for rupees 65000/- which is a record in the church history. The briyani sale that year was very special. Special because live goats were brought in from Andhra Pradesh with one of our council members taking full charge, spending a sleepless night in getting it done. The natural outcome - the target was well exceeded, which is yet another record in the history of our church. The participation from the congregation was huge and spontaneous.

The effort of the core team involved in the project was fabulous by any standard. The entire structural work with the detailed drawing in seeing to it that the old structure and the new structure were seamlessly brought together was an engineering marvel. Now the church does not have a pillar inside and can seat 350 plus people. The effort of the structural expert was well appreciated by members across the board.

The work of beautifying the church was entrusted with the Architect. The old architectural style with a far superior exterior was planned and executed by him. The wire cut brick exterior which is a tradition with Methodist churches was missing in our church. This was an innovation. Each of us can see for ourselves the wonderful way in which things have unfurled at the end.

Finally the church with all its grandeur was completed with a traditional exterior and a rich interior blending the old and the new. The central piece of the old architecture alone has been retained and the rest has been made new. The entire sound system was revamped and with an LCD Projector in place through the great effort of our Spokesperson in the core team, there was a total transformation in the way worship is conducted ever since.

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:9

By the immense grace of our Lord, the core teams' working relationship was excellent and was of the highest order as it was ordained by our Lord and well supported by the Pastor, Local Church Council and Church worshippers. The effort of the evangelist, sexton and gardener were remarkable. Lives were ready to be lost for the sake of kingdom extension. Our sexton almost lost his life when he came in contact with a live wire. Our Lord mercifully saved him with a purpose.

The congregation members need special appreciation for upholding this project before the throne of grace and for their sacrificial giving and encouragement throughout the project.

Finally the church was rededicated for the glory of God on the 14th day of December 2008, in just eight months by our Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Devasahayam with the entire congregation bursting into joyous worship and praising God who reigns forever and ever.

The church after renovation has caught the eyes of all the passers-by including the foreign tourists who frequent that area as it is at the foot of St. Thomas Mount, the very place where one of the Disciples of Christ, Thomas, was martyred.





""We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." John Stott
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