Telugu Churches Pursuing Reconciliation
Oct 19, 2007
Two Telugu Baptist groups have decided to meet in Chennai, India on October 27 to restore their relationship. This effort is made under the leadership of Dr. Joseph Ravela and Mr. P. Jayachandra Rao, leaders of the Telugu Baptist Fellowship and the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches II. The officers of both groups express their desire to bring Telugu churches together, and to revive the ministries in a united spirit.
Telugu Baptist churches have split into three groups since year 1999. Former General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), Dr. Denton Lotz has initiated several rounds of reconciliation meetings. Benjamin Chan (Area Director of East Asia and India) and "Daniel Buttry (Global Service Missionary for Peace and Justice) of International Ministries (IM) have involved in this effort. Despite the BWA's decision to suspend the membership of the Samavesam of Telugu Baptist Churches, BWA and IM have encouraged the continuing dialogues of Telugu leaders.
A planning meeting was held in the Telugu Baptist Church in Guntur on September 27. Dr. Joseph shared that they had invited 40 leaders to come, but more than 70 showed up out of their enthusiasm for a new beginning.
IM has conveyed our support to the reconciliation, and we assure Telugu Baptist leaders of our partnership commitment on evangelism, discipleship training, and the holistic transformation of individuals and communities. Missionary David Perkins, who serves in India, will represent IM in the reconciliation meeting. David has managed the Tsunami relief in India, and works closely with Telugu leaders.
Please pray for our Telugu Baptist sisters and brothers, and a fruitful result of the meeting.