Development of True Jesus Church in India
The Gospel was preached to India by two (2) different groups of people.
On July 18, 1931, Zaccheus S. Ponniah was ordained as a deacon in the True Jesus Church Mission, Ipoh, in the Federal Malay State of Perak. He had originally come to Malaya around 1930 to work and he accepted the gospel during his period of stay. In 1932, he brought the gospel of Jesus Christ back to his native village in Madathupatti, Tirunelveli, south of Tamil Nadu state, India. With the guidance of God and the power of the Lord, six local churches were established within 300 miles. Afterwards, contact with Malaya was lost because of the second World War. Attempts were made later by this group of believers to contact our church in China, but they were not successful because of the border war between China and India at the time. Members were later scattered to other parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They brought the gospel to these new places where they settled and churches were established on various tea plantation estates. However, due to the lack of foundation in the truth, some of their teachings changed over the years.
In 1969, the gospel was again brought back to India by a believer who received the gospel in Malaysia. This time, it was an Indian brother by the name of James who was touched through hymn singing at our church in Sungai Petani. His process of searching for the truth began and he eventually got baptized in our church. He then brought the gospel back to India in 1969. In that same year, a few deacons from Malaysia preached the truth of gospel in Madras, in Tamil Nadu state. Church centers were established at Pammal, and at Ambatur (1969). Later, the first church was established in Kerala State (1977). The gospel was later brought to the other states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The initial few years saw many places of worship being set up with the support of the International Assembly (IA) and the South-East Asia Evangelical Center (SEAEC). Since then, a coordination board had also been established. Until now, the church continues to progress.
Today in India there are fourteen churches, four prayer houses and five places of worship located across three states in South India. The membership totals 1,568. There are also fifteen deacons, four deaconesses, five preachers, and a full-time holy worker serving in India. Pioneering work is being carried out in Northeast India. Thank God for His guidance every step of the way. May all the glory and praise be unto His holy name!