Christian Leaders to Attend Lairam Gospel Centenary in India
21 November 2012: Leaders of Chin Christian organizations and churches are to attend a celebration of Lairam Gospel Centenary to be held in Lawngtlai, Mizoram State of India this Saturday.
The event, organized by the Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church (LJCBC) to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Christian church in the area, will receive pastors from Chin State, Burma, USA and elsewhere.
Rev. H. Lalsanglian, Associate General Secretary of LJCBC, said preparation is in full swing and a combined grand celebration will take place in Lawngtlai from 24-27 November.
“We request your prayers so that this celebration will be blessed for Laimi not only in India but also in other countries,” said Rev. H. Lalsanglian in his email to GCCF (Global Chin Christian Fellowship).
Rev. M. Thawng Kam, former President of the Zomi Baptist Convention (ZBC), and Rev. Dr. Lal Uk, General Secretary of the Chin Association for Christian Communication (CACC), both from Chin State, Burma will arrive on Friday.
Sources from Hakha said dozens of youths and leaders including a choir group left for Mizoram today to participate in the Lairam Gospel Centenary celebration.
It is confirmed that Rev. Dr. Chum Awi, pastor of the Chin Baptist Church, Texas, USA and of the Global Chin Christian Fellowship (GCCF) will be preaching at a morning worship service on Monday.
The ceremony will be inaugurated by Pu Lal Thanhawla, Chief Minister of India’s Mizomram State while Rev. Bony Resu, General Secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation is to unveil the centenary monument, according to the programme.
Unfortunately, Rev. Dr. Neville Callam, General Secretary of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), will not be able to join the celebration due to his visa problems, reportedly refused by the Indian Embassy.
In his congratulatory letter, GCCF Director Pastor Indiana Salai Cungcin said the centennial anniversary is a significant milestone not only for the entire Baptist churches in Mizoram but also for Chin Christians across the globe.
Rev. H. Lalsanglian said the reason for the centennial celebration is associated with the first Christian church established at Mampui near Lawngtlai in Lai Autonomous District Council, Mizoram State of India.
The Lairam Jesus Christ Baptist Church, a union of two former independent churches namely, the Church of Jesus Christ and the Lairam Baptist Church, is a conventional body of 91 local Baptist churches with a total members of 24,797.
The work of the Baptist Missionary Society of England (BMS) in the 20th century was the beginning of Christianity in the Lairam, also known as Lai District, formed under the Indian constitution in 1972.
BMS missionaries such as Rev. J.H Lorrain and Rev. F.W Savidge were the pioneers who evangelized the Lai, according to a document by Rev. Th. Vanlalzauva, former General Secretary of LJCBC.
Miss E.M Chapman, among the BMS missionaries, is given special respect and better remembered by the Lai people as a most loving one who treasured their cultures and advocated a separate mission for them.
A constituent member of the North East India Christian Council (NEICC), the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) and the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), LJCBC has extended its mission works in Burma, China, Thailand and other parts of India.
The Lai Autonomous District Council, one of the three in Mizoram State bordering Chin State of Burma and Bangladesh, is home to the Lai people, with Lawngtlai as its district capital.
Covering an area of 1870.75 sq. km, the Lai District has got a population of 73,620, according to a statistics in 2008 as described on its official website.
Van Biak Thang