148th Anniversary of St. Luke’s Church, Jalandhar Cantonment, North India celebrated on
16th January, 2005



By Rev Isaac Newton Johnson    B.D
Founder President – Voice of Christians Evangelical Church


Ludhiana, India --  March 14, 2005 --  This  had been the tradition  of British Empire  that whenever  they invaded other countries and conquered them around the world in the nineteenth and twentieth century,  they  built large Churches for the spiritual encouragement of their military  forces and  gave  all honour and glory to their  living  God of Israel.  “They that honour Me, I will honour them”( 1 Samuel 2:30).  This was  the basic secret of  expansion of  British  regime around the world in the span of 200 years of their militarism and colonialism while  they exported coal, cricket and Christianity to the world.   They ruled the world with the iron fist and there is a common saying that the sun never set in the British Empire.  

 

During the expansion of British Empire in India in the previous two centuries, whenever they  established any cantonment  in India, they built up large military Churches and cemeteries which were entirely meant for Army officers and soldiers.   St. Luke’s Church at  Jalandhar Cantonment in Panjab State of  North India is  also one of them  built up by British Government  during 1856.   This Church was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Thomas, Bishop of Madras on 16th January 1857 by the authority of the Right Reverend Daniel, Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India  on the application of Reverend Richard Painting, M.A.  Chaplain Minister officiating at Jalandhar Cantonment as per this Church record.  

 

We have celebrated 148th anniversary of St. Luke’s Church, Jalandhar Cantonment  on Sunday 16th January,  2005 with much enthusiasm and praise.   Our  Hindu and Sikh brethrens also visited the Church and pay their obeisance at the altar.  I have been privileged  to  deliver the key message from the Holy Bible titled “Christian Heritage” on this occasion.


(Pictured: Rev Isaac Newton Johnson preaching  from the upper Pulpit)

 

As St. Luke’s   Church was exclusively built for  British Army officers and soldiers in India,  the  local  Indian  congregation  was not allowed to worship in the Church.  The British Infantry  graveyard  was also earmarked  near the Church, where hundreds of graves of British soldiers are found who died in the military action in India during British Regime in the last two centuries.  This is the largest and oldest Church in Panjab state of North India, which houses many of the historical monuments, war plaques and commemorative and so many memorial stones engraved in the walls of the Church who had laid their lives for the cause of British Empire during British Rule in India.   This Church  is an impressive example of neo-gothic architecture and  the largest ecclesiastical building surrounded by huge lawns.  Click at www.voiceofchristiansministries.org/archive17.html to view the Church inside.

 

St. Luke’s  Church was  an Army Church and it’s Priest-in-charge and Chaplain had also been  an Army Officer in the rank of Captain.  All the expenses for its maintenance were made by the State “32-Ecclesiastical” and it was managed by the Ecclesiastical Department of the government during the British Rule in India up to August, 1947.  

 

The charge of St. Luke’s   Church was given to the local Indian congregation at Jalandhar Cantonment in  1947 during  the partition of India, when British government quit India and this  Church came  under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Amritsar, Anglican Church of India (CIPBC) in  North India.

 

I have  been the first non-Anglican  evangelical  preacher who was brought in by Late Right Rev Babu Masih, Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Amritsar, Anglican Church of India  in Septebmer, 2002 at Jalandhar Cantonment for the spiritual ignition   of the diocese.  He was handicapped due to an accident, which he met in 1998 and could not walk since then.  He was in search of a young born again evangelical Panjabi preacher who could lead the diocese in the years to come.  He met me in a  prayer meeting in April, 2002 at Jalandhar, where I was one of the speakers.


(Pictured: From left Rev Isaac Newton Johnson , Late Bishop Babu Masih (center) and Freedi Joseph, Chief Editor, Masihi Sansar in April, 2002).
 

Incidentally, by His grace I completed my two years of Bachelor of Divinity in April, 2002 and   Late Bishop Babu Masih proposed me to ordain as  Priest in his diocese, which I accepted  prayerfully.  He gave me the Book of Common Prayer to study and to implement it in the worship service.  It is a  sacred  beautiful book  of  English Christian literature ever written, containing holy sacraments and rites to implement with  time bound  occasional messages to be delivered  in the mainline Churches.   He taught me Anglican rites (though I was strongly backed   by the Pentecostal  experience) and   ordained me as Deacon on  September 29, 2002 in St. Luke’s Church, Jalandhar Cantonment  and appointed me Spokesman of the diocese.   Subsequently he  ordained me as full Anglican Priest  on March 1, 2003 and appointed me as Priest-in-Charge of the whole Anglican Diocese of Amritsar.   My ordination ceremony as Deacon   can be viewed  at  www.voiceofchristiansministries.org/archive11.html

 

 

When Bishop Babu Masih expired on November 30, 2003 after his brief illness, I was given the charge of St. Luke’s Church to conduct worship services and  Rev (Deacon)  Sunil Kumar (aged 34)  son of Late Bishop Babu Masih was appointed my assistant (resident priest) by the diocese and to look after the Church property.   He has so nicely worked under my supervision and maintained the Church property in such a orderly manner that today I can claim   that this is the only 148 years of old magnificent former British Military Church left behind in North India  depicting the might  and  majesty  of the British Empire.


  (Pictured: Rev Isaac Newton Johnson speaking from  the lower pulpit made of pure brass and in the back ground  (Rev) Deacon Sunil Kumar sitting on the altar).


   Rev (Deacon) Sunil Kumar was ordained as full Anglican priest on December 19, 2004 by our  Most Rt. Rev Samuel P  Prakash,  Metropolitan, Anglican Church of India and was given the charge of this Church  to him keeping in view the long standing services of  his late father and my teacher (Guru) Late Bishop Babu Masih to the Anglican Church of India.

 

People  of different  faiths also come in this historical Church to  pay their obeisance and seek blessings.  Last year during  the parliamentary election in India,  Mr. Gurjit Singh Rana  a Congress Party candidate  from Jalandhar constituency  attended Easter worship service April, 2004  and  paid his obeisance at the altar, sought  blessings.     


(Pictured : Mr. Gurjit Singh Rana is being blessed by Rev Isaac Newton Johnson in St. Luke’s  Church and thereafter being addressed  the congregation. Mr. Rana won the Parliamentary election from Jalandhar constituency in 2004.).

 

Mr. Naresh  Kumar Gujral son of former Prime Minister of India Mr. Inder Kumar Gujral of   Bhartiya Janta Party (A Hindu National Party)  from Jalandhar constituency also   visited the   Church to pay his obeisance and sought  blessings during the Easter festival.  
 


(Pictured: Mr. Naresh Kumar Gujral is being blessed by Rev Isaac Newton Johnson  in St. Luke’s Church, Jalandhar Cantonment in April, 2004) 

 

 

I praise the Lord  that He has given me an open opportunity   to preach the Word of God continuously for thirteen months from November, 2003 to December, 2004 in St. Luke’s Church  after the sudden death of my Bishop Babu Masih.  I, inherited from him twenty Church members as he was handicapped  and there was no out reach work in the Church members.  But all honour, glory and praise goes to the Lord Jesus Christ  who has used me immensely during this  period by doing miracles.  He healed the sick, blessed the barren women  with sons, destroyed  the demonic forces and softened the hearts of the people  to repent and   accept Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.   Now the Church has more than one hundred Church members  and I praise the Lord for this new harvest He has given me.  


(Pictured: Rev Isaac Newton Johnson giving baptisms and Rev (Deacon) Sunil Kumar assisting him).

 

“For if I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woo is me, if I do not preach the Gospel!!”1 Corinthians 9:16

 


Rev Isaac Newton Johnson is an Indian Evangelist since 1976 working with non-Christian brothers in North India. He is international media missionary and Christian speaker. He has been invited by SungKwang Presbyterian Church, Guri, Seoul, South Korea in June-July, 2004 as Guest Speaker from India. He preached in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Korean brothers there. Five brothers and one sister of Indian origin accepted Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and baptized during his ministry in South Korea. He has founded “Voice of Christians Evangelical Church” at Ludhiana, India in 1999 (A House Church) working among poorest of poor people, imparting education to them and sharing the good news of Lord Jesus Christ. (Pictured: Rev Isaac Newton Johnson being honored in SungKwang Presbyterian Church, Guri, Seoul, South Korea in June 2004). He needs committed prayer partners and Church ministry supporters around the world to proclaim the Gospel in India and to the end of the earth.

Rev Isaac preaches in English, Hindi, Panjabi and Urdu languages simultaneously without interpreter.


He can be contacted at: isaacnewtonjohnson@yahoo.co.in
Website: www.voiceofchristiansministries.org 


 
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