Covenant Bible Presbyterian Church is a reformed church set up by MaranathaBP Church in May 2005 together with the partnership of our missionary Dr andMrs George Skariah and has grown from two families of 7 people to more than80 people now worshipping with us every Sabbath . Located in Bangalore, theSilicon Valley of India, it is a spiritual lighthouse in this great country with morethan 1 billion people.
The Situation in India
India is a land of 1.1 billion people. Eighty percent of the total population is Hindus, ten percent are Muslims, and all other religions form the remaining ten percent. Christians, including the Roman Catholics, make up only two percent of the total population. Although Christianity came to India in the first century of Christendom, the growth of Christianity in India is very slow and the ground is extremely hard. William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions, gave his life for the evangelization of the heathen in India. However, evangelization is becoming more and more difficult these days because of the unprecedented rise of Hindu fundamentalism. It is becoming a kind of nationalism today. The previous Indian Government was headed by India’s Peoples Party or BJP, a pro-Hindu party, and the administration has helped the emergence of Hindu fundamentalism in the name of Hindu Nationalism. The Hindu fundamentalists began to attack the minority communities, including the Christians. Christian persecutions began to rise and foreign missionaries were specially targeted. Now, many restrictions are imposed upon foreign missionaries. The time has come for Indians to take the responsibility of evangelizing India. At the same time, there is a ray of hope now that the pro-Hindu Government was thrown out of office in May 2004, and a Congress led secular Government has resumed office in Delhi. Indeed, it was the work of the Lord as Christians all over India and Indian Christians outside India have been earnestly praying for a change of government. It is the opportune time now to carry forward the mission work in India.
Churches in India
Although the majority of Indians are Hindu, it has a good Christian heritage because of its colonial history. However, the traditional Indian churches, which once upon a time stood for the old time gospel, are in a lukewarm situation today. Charismatism is making inroads into most of these churches. Ecumenism has become the trend of Christianity in India. Fundamental churches are becoming extremely rare. It is sad to say that even the Bible Seminary established by William Carey in Calcutta has become a liberal institution. Nevertheless, people are very keen to get theological degrees from this institution and institutions affiliated to it, because of its fame and popularity. The Truth and Word are increasingly becoming irrelevant and out of place in churches and theological institutions.
The Situation in Bangalore
Bangalore is the Capital city of the Karnataka State of the Union of India, located in the southeast of India. Much of its 119 sq km area is dotted with lakes and gardens and the land area is thickly populated with a 5.2 million people. Bangalore is a strategically located southern city and a thriving modern business hub. Because of its IT industry, Bangalore is named as the “Silicon Valley” of India. Young professionals come in from other parts of India and even from many parts of the world to establish their business centers in Bangalore.
Like the rest of India, Karnataka is a Hindu dominated State, with many famous Hindu temples around. Christianity has its influence in Bangalore because of the colonization of the West. Due to the strategic location of Bangalore and the dominance of the English language, many missions organizations establish their base in Bangalore. There are number of denominational churches in Bangalore such as Church of South India (CSI), Lutheran, Methodist, along with several Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Many of these churches are ecumenical in their persuasion. Presbyterian and Reformed churches are extremely rare in Bangalore.
William Carey, the father of modern mission quoted in 1792, Isaiah 54:2, 3 which says, “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.” Today, we follow in Carey’s footsteps and continue the gospel work in the great continent of India.
Revelation 3:8 says, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” The Lord Almighty has opened a gospel door for us that no man can shut. The first reformed fundamental church in Bangalore, Karnataka (more than 52 million people), CBPCI will be a beacon of light and truth, bringing forth the glorious gospel of everlasting life in a vast country of more than one billion people, where less than 2% have come to the saving faith in Christ.
Our Lord challenges us in Matthew 9:27-38 says, “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” By God’s grace, 2 full years have passed since we started a new mission work in Bangalore in Covenant BPC India with Dr & Mrs George Skariah as Maranatha BPC commissioned missionaries in May 2005. We have experienced the higher hand of God in guiding us to overcome many obstacles from the successful registration of the church under a Trust in India, to the renting of the convenient and safe present mission premises, the building up of the congregation of 30-40 people and the purchase of a choice piece of land along the main trunk road, Sagapur Road, with the approval of the plans to build given by the local authorities (without any ethical compromise). The latest update in May, being the engagement of a reliable contractor to start the construction work on the land with the drilling for water first and praise the Lord that we hit a well of much needed water on 9 May 2007, and subsequent foundation and piling work on the land for the next 12 months. All these milestones are possible because of the gracious hand of God upon us.
On the spiritual aspect of the ministry, the regular Sabbath services and children ministry on Saturdays, have reached out to Kannada people in the neighbourhood. The recent VBS of more than 40 children, led by George and Bessy, who heard the Word, gospel meetings and visitations have led to the salvation of souls for both young and old.
Bangalore, the IT capital of South India, with more than 5 million people, is fast developing with many MNCs have a share in its economic pie with fast growth IT industry and other businesses. Should not the everlasting business of God in the redemption of souls take any less precedence than the profit making objective of
man? We have a higher calling and a greater and urgent work in the eternal plan of God to save souls in the last days (Matthew 24:14).
Maranatha BPC with our mission partners and supporters (i.e) have been used of the Lord to raise more than S$700,000 to purchase the 7,000 sq. feet of prime land and for the building costs for the church compelte i n 2009.by God’s sovereign grace and strength Paul in Philippians 4:13, 19 assures us, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
We want to thank God for all who have been praying, supporting, giving and going to strengthen and advance God’s kingdom in this God-honouring mission endeavours that saw a new Church building with classrooms, office and accommodation) and soon to be kindergarten for children’s ministry, and God willing, a Bible training centre in due time to equip and train indigenous preachers, evangelists and pastors for the ripe and vast harvest fields of the 19 states in India and beyond. There is great potential to start new churches in the other states as God provides His preachers and other BP Churches who are partnering to work with us on their mission endeavours as well in India . now CBPCI is fully built and growing in spirit and number by God’s mercy and grace.
Do continue to pray with us and continue stedfast in giving and prayer as we persevere with the good work of the Lord for our labour is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Dr George, a faithful and diligent co-labourer with us is the pastor- there together wit h pastor babu helping us in the kannada service and praven our staffworker as well he and is well-supported by his humble and capable wife, Bessy, and 2 children, Abigail and Nathanael, and the lay leaders and members as well co-
labouring in CBPCI. Our address is
India Covenant Centre & Ministries, Nos 101, 102, Daadys Nest,
Doddakannelli, Sarjapur Main Rd, Bangalore – 560035
Email: [email protected] ; Website: www.covenantbpci.com
Pastor: Rev George Skariah (Mobile: 98457 94495)
Supervisory pastor :Rev Dr Jack Sin
Paul challenges believers to sow the gospel seed and in Galatians 6:7-10 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”, Pastor Jack and Angie will lead a team twice a year with the special thanksgiving June service and pre Christmas service , missions outreach , and Children’s Programme and visitations of our members and friends and to witness the progress work on the church site. Pray to join us. Those interested please contact the church office at 65458627 or [email protected]
Psalm 126:6 says, “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem with the help of his father, David, and God was well pleased and glorified through it (1 Chronicles 29; 2 Chronicles 2, 3). Let us continue faithfully to pray, give and sow diligently, water and reap bountifully and be used of the Lord in these last days to save souls and edify saints, and run valiantly with patience and complete this mission race for the Lord till He comes.
Finally, we are reminded of the charge of Paul and our mission as stated in Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”