God, in His mercy, chose Pastor K.E. Abraham as the founder of The Indian Pentecostal Church Of God. Born on March I, 1899 to Godly parents of Jacobite faith at Mulakuzha, boy Abraham was saved at the age of seven in 1906 and was baptised in water on February 27, 1916 by Mahakavi K.V. Simon. As a young man Brother Abraham ministered among the youth and many young people were saved. As a minister of the Gospel he had built a small place of worship adjacent to his house at Mulakuzha in 1920. Those who were saved through his ministry were baptised by him and the congregation began worshipping in this place.
Some American missionaries who had come to South India in the early years of the century had published some Gospel tracts about the baptism of the Holy Spirit before they left India in 1914 when the First World War began. Brother Abraham got some of these tracts and came to know about the doctrine of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Lord filled Brother Abraham with the Holy Spirit on Sunday April 22, 1923. As this experience was new to the congregation with Brother Abraham, it was hard for them to accept it. After about six months of waiting and praying, the Lord did a great miracle in their midst which convinced the people about the power of God and about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The majority of the congregation received the baptism of the Holy Spirit by the end of 1923, and the Lord enabled Bro. K.E. Abraham to start afresh his congregation as a Pentecostal gathering in January 1924. This was the origin of the great Pentecostal Movement in India.
Being a school – teacher, Bro. Abraham was confined to school work during week-days. But during week-ends he used to visit other places and preach the full Gospel. By his ministry in different places, many had come to the saving power of Jesus Christ and the baptism of the Holy Spirit and small assemblies were established at Vettiyar, Pandalam, Punthala, Kumbanad, Elanthoor and other places, besides Mulakuzha. Though the congregations in these places had fellowship one with the other, they had not taken a name, but were known as “Brothers at Kumbanad”, “Brothers at Vettiyar”, “Brothers at Pandalam” and so on.
Monthly fellowship meetings of these assemblies were held regularly from April 1924. Representatives from these assemblies began to meet from time to time and discuss about the progress of the work. As the founder and leader of the fellowship, Bro. K.E. Abraham presided over the monthly meetings and the meetings of the church representatives.
In July 1924 a marriage had to be performed in this fellowship for which they needed a marriage register of a church. So, guided by the Spirit of God, Brother Abraham chose the name The South Indian Pentecostal Church of God. Marriage Register was printed and the first marriage in this church was solemnized on July 31,1924.
God raised other ministers in this fellowship. Most of them were baptised in water or led to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Bro. K.E. Abraham. Some of the ministers were Bros. K.C.Cherian (Mezhuveli), K.C. Cherian (Vettiyar), P.M Samuel (Keekozhoor), K.C. Oommen (Kumbanad), K.M. Zachariah (Punnakkad) and P.T. Varghese (Chethakkal). By the end of 1926 there were over 20 local churches and 25 ministers in this fellowship
The first convention of this fellowship was held at Ranni during April 1 to 5, 1925. Pastor K.E. Abraham, the leader of the fellowship was the main speaker along with Pastor A.J. John.
Though The South Indian Pentecostal Church of God had fellowship with The South Indian Full Gospel Church led by Pastor Robert F. Cook and also with the brothers from Ceylon during these early days, The South Indian Pentecostal Church of God under the leadership of Pastor K.E. Abraham always kept its identity and stood for Biblical truths and Apostolic pattern.
In May 1930 Pastor K.E. Abraham and family moved from Mulakuzha to Kumbanad. The Lord gave Pastor Abraham the vision about a Bible school to train up young people for the ministry. So in June 1930 he started the Hebron Bible School.
The Pentecostal work began to spread to other parts of Travancore as well as neighbouring States of Cochin and Tamilnadu. To co-ordinate the small assemblies in all these places a governing body comprising of 12 ministers in the fellowship was formed which was called ” The South Indian Pentecostal Church Ministers Council” (SIPC Ministers Council). This Council had no President but only a Secretary. Pastor K.E. Abraham was chosen as the Secretary. On December 20, 1933 “The South Indian Pentecostal Church of God” was registered at Aranmula with the Government of Travancore.
Within a short period the work spread to Mysore, Madras, Hyderabad and some places in North India. Hence the Body of Representatives that met in May 1934 found it necessary to change the church-name to “The Indian Pentecostal Church of God” after deleting the word “South” from the original name.
In 1935, at the end of the Bible School term (June, July and August) Pastors K.E. Abraham and P.T. Chacko, after a tour of North India reached Eluru on the east coast of erstwhile Hyderabad State; Pastor P.M. Samuel, after his tour of Tamilnad, met them at Eluru. “The Indian Pentecostal Church of God” was registered with the Government of India under the Societies Act XXI of 1860 at Eluru on December 9,1935 with the Registration Number 9/1935-36. Brother B.S. Lukeson, a clerk in the Registrar’s office and Bro. K.R. John, a supdt. in the Irrigation Department at Eluru assisted Pastors K.E.Abraham, P.T.Chacko and P.M .Samuel for the registration.
Pastor P.M. Samuel who was in Andhra Pradesh most of the time was chosen as the President; Pastor K.C. Cherian who had moved to Karnataka as Vice-President; Pastor P.T. Chacko representing Travancore as Secretary. The expenses for the registration was met by Pastors K.E. Abraham, P.T. Chacko and P.M.Samuel.
In 1936, at the invitation of the Swedish Pentecostal Churches, Pastors K.E. Abraham and K.C. Cherian visited Sweden and other Scandinavian countries and a few other European countries for about two years. During that time the Lord gave a deeper vision to IPC Ministers about the work in India. From the State of Travancore, Pastor P.T. Chacko and family moved to Eluru and then to Secunderabad; Pastor P.M. Samuel and family to Vijayawada; Pastor M.K. Chacko and family to Delhi; Pastor K.J. Samuel and family to Lahore; Pastor Kurian Thomas and family to Itarsi; Pastor P.J. Daniel and family to Allahabad. These were the pioneers of IPC work outside Travancore, the cradle of Pentecostalism in India.
From 1939 onwards Pastor K.E. Abraham held the office of the President, till his Home-call in December 1974. Pastor Abraham was succeeded by Pastor P.M.Samuel and then Pastor T.G. Oommen followed by Pastor P.L. Paramjyothi. When Pastor Paramjyothi entered glory in 1996, Pastor K.M. Joseph, the Vice President assumed office as President at the decision of the General Council. Pastor P.T.Chacko was the General Secretary at the time of the Registration of the Church.
Other ministers who had served as secretaries in latter years were: Pastors K.C.Oomen, K.J.Samuel, T.N. Abraham, P.M. Philip, V.A. Thomas and George Varghese. Pastor T.S. Abraham serve as the General Secretary of the Church from 1990 to 2000. Pastor John D. Sunder Rao is the Vice – President and Bro. Thomas Vadakekut is the General Treasurer.
The Lord began to bless the work and churches were established in the various parts of India. In due course of time, IPC believers who went to the Arabian countries, the United States of America and Canada established local churches there also. At present, The Indian Pentecostal Church of God has nearly 4200 local churches spread throughout the various states of India and places outside India.
THE INDIAN PENTECOSTAL CHURCH OF GOD
(Registered in 1935 at Eluru, A.P., under the Societies Act XXI of 1860. Register No. 9/1935-36)
MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION
Article I. Name
» The name of the Society shall be “The Indian Pentecostal Church of God”.
Note:- The Indian Pentecostal Church of God is an association consisting of several local churches in and outside India and the letters I.P.C. shall denote The Indian Pentecostal Church of God. Wherever in any document, article or Memorandum ‘The India Pentecostal Church of God’ is used the same shall mean “The Indian Pentecostal Church of God”.
Article II. Objects
a). To take over the management of ‘The South Indian Pentecostal Church’ together with its properties, movable and immovable which is being worked under the style and name. The Indian Pentecostal Church of God’ since the year 1934.
b). To strengthen the bonds of love and charity among its members and to make them follow the exact ways and principles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
c). For the diffusion of useful knowledge including the Full Gospel of Christ.
d). To extend and establish and also to run schools, Orphanages, Widows’ Homes, Invalids’ Houses and other charitable Institutions.
e). To affiliate to this Society any other Society, church or congregation in India or abroad having the same or similar faith and principles as The Indian Pentecostal Church of God.
f). To acquire and manage movable and immovable properties and to construct, improve, alter and extent any buildings that may be found necessary for purposes of the Society.
g). To sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of all or any of the properties, movable or immovable, belonging to the church.
h). To accept donations if any offered of the free will of any member or other persons interested in the progress at the Society.
i). And generally to do all such other acts as shall be found necessary incidental or conductive to the attainment of the above objects.