Christianity in Kerala has a strong tradition that, St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, arrived at Muziris on the Malankara Coast in 52 AD and planted several churches in Kerala. Now, a few million people in Kerala belong to various Christian denominations. In the beginning of the 20th century, a spiritual awakening happened among the traditional Christians, initiated by the public preaching of the Bible. Quite a few prayer groups sprang up simultaneously in the villages of Travancore attracting many. They experienced a spiritual revival and were filled with the Holy Spirit. This led to a new form of gathering, which came to be known as “Prayer Fellowships”.
Pioneers of IPC:
In 1923, a young school teacher from Mulakuzha, K. E. Abraham, experienced the in filling of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues. His contemporaries P.M. Samuel (Keekozhoor), K.C. Cherian (Kidanganoor), P.T. Chacko, K.C. Oommen (Kodumthara), P T Mathew, V.V Thomas, T.K Mathew, and a few others received the same experience in different prayer fellowships.
The Chief architect of IPC was Pastor K.E. Abraham, who broke from the Jacobites tradition over theological differences and turned to be a charismatic speaker and writer K.E. Abraham and likeminded co-workers formed a Pentecostal fellowship and started calling their churches as South India Pentecostal Church of God. Later as the churches began to grow in other states of India, it was renamed as the Indian Pentecostal Church of God in 1935. Pastor P M Samuel became the first President of Indian Pentecostal Church of God (IPC) in 1935.
The Holy Bible consisting of sixty- six (66) books including the Old and New Testament, is the inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to Man, concerning the will of God in all things necessary to our faith, conduct and salvation. The Bible as the authoritative revealed will of God, the all sufficient rule for faith and practice.
The first convention of this newly formed church was held in 1924 at Ranny. Later this became the famous Kumbanad Convention, which is held every year with the largest Pentecostal gathering. The IPC General Convention is usually held in the month of January.
In 1935 they registered ‘The Indian Pentecostal Church of God’ as a Religious Society at Eluru, Andhra Pradesh. The first President was Apostle P.M. Samuel.
IPC is a democratically functioning organization. For the smooth functioning of the administrative affairs of the organization it has Constitution and Bye Laws.
It is the apex body of the organization elected by a rigid election process once in three years. General management of the church is done by the General Council. The Spiritual administration of the church is carried out by the General Presbytery. All State/Regions/Mission Centers of IPC are governed under constituted authority of General Council. The Key members of the organization consist of General President, General Vice President, General Secretary, General Joint Secretary and General Treasurer.
The Church is divided into states in India and Regions outside India for the expansion of the ministry. The management of a State/Region is carried out by the State / Region Council, whose members consist of ministers and Believers, elected by the State/Region. The Key members of the State/ Region consist of President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary and Treasurer.
Each state divided into District/ Centers. More than 15 local churches and not less than 300 believers form a Centre. The administration and management of a District of IPC is conducted by a District Council elected by the general body of that centre.
The Local Church & Council:
A congregation having 21 or more baptized members accepting the doctrine of the Bible as specified in the Article of Faith of this constitution and who abide by all other Articles of the constitution is a local church of IPC. The management of a local church is carried out by the Council of elders elected by the General Body of that local church. The local church council have a president who is the pastor of that church, a secretary and a treasurer elected from among the believers.
The IPC General body consists of the credential holding ministers of IPC and representatives elected by the members of the local churches.
The Sister Concerns:
Youth Wing – Pentecostal Young People Association (PYPA) is the youth movement for training the youngsters in the spiritual activities for evangelism and church growth.
Women’s Association – Sodari Samajam is the platform for sisters to foster their spiritual activities among sisters.
Sunday School Association – Ministry among children to equip them systematically in God’s word and providing spiritually nourishment.
International Head Quarters:
The Headquarters is situated at Hebronpuram, Kumbanad where we have General Council Office. Apart from that we have dedicated prayer team continually praying in the Prayer Chamber.
Growth & Development:
IPC made a remarkable progress in founding churches and taking the gospel to different parts of Kerala as well as other states of India and abroad. Today IPC is the main stream Pentecostal church and has made presence in over all states of India, besides the Middle East, America, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Africa etc.
The church has grown to establish local congregations in about 10,000 units around the world. An elected General Council looks after the organization and State/ Region Councils administer concerned areas. For the furtherance of mission and development IPC has Mission centers established.
Office – bearers:
Pastor P.M. Samuel from Andhra Pradesh was chosen as the first president, K.C. Cherian as the vice President, and P.T. Chacko as the secretary. Pastor P.M. Samuel was followed by Pastor K. E .Abraham, Pastor T.G. Oommen, Pastor K.G. Koshy, Pastor P.L. Paramjyothi, Pastor K.M. Joseph, Pastor T.S. Abraham, Rev. Dr. K.C. John and now Pastor Jacob John serves as the General President of IPC.
General Executives: 2016-2019
General President – Pr. Jacob John
General Vice- President – Pr. Wilson Joseph
General Secretary – Rev. Dr. Pr. K. C. John
General Joint Secretary- Pr. Thomas Philip
General Treasurer – Br. Saji Paul