Church of God News
Church of God in India to Celebrate Arrival of First Missionary 100 Years Ago
The Pentecostal churches in India and abroad are planning to commemorate the 100th year of the arrival of Church of God Missionary Rev. Robert F. Cook in South India.
The centennial celebrations will begin January 2013 and conclude at the end of the year. The Christians in South India, especially the full-gospel believers in the land of Kerala, fondly and respectfully called him “Cook Sayip.” Rev. Cook obeyed the call of God to go to the land of India with a heavy burden for souls, and an unwavering dedication to evangelize the unreached in that vast land. He sincerely desired to help the needy and uplift the downtrodden. Rev. Cook left Los Angeles with his wife Ann and daughters Blossom and Dorothy, arriving in the city of Bangalore in October 1913. He suffered both physical and spiritual hardships for the sake of the gospel during his 37 years of ministry. Cook moved from village to village proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, and praying for the deliverance of the socially and spiritually oppressed masses.
During the celebrations, the Cooks will be gratefully remembered and honored for their significant contributions towards evangelizing India. The Robert F. Cook Centennial Committee (RFCCC) will pray and challenge the full-gospel believers in India to finish the work that missionary Cook began a century ago. They also will be asked to take the message of salvation and freedom to the “unreached people groups,” who are spread throughout India. In addition, the office building of the Church of God Kerala State, Mt. Zion, built by Robert F. Cook, will be converted to the “RFC Pentecostal Heritage Center” to preserve the history and legacy of the Church of God in India.
Rev. Cook’s obedience to the call of God impacted the lives of thousands in his lifetime, and continues to influence millions even decades after his death. The founding, as well as the establishment of the Church of God in India, is one of the most significant contributions of this missionary hero. With a humble beginning in the region of Travancore, presently known as the state of Kerala, the Church of God in India has spread to over 20 states in India and continues to grow steadily. As the Keralite Pentecostals embark on a year of celebrations in various locations throughout the world, the members of the Church of God, in collaboration with many other full-gospel denominations, are planning to conduct several missions-oriented conferences and conventions during 2013. Several Pentecostal denominations, such as the Indian Pentecostal Church, Assembly of God, Sharon Fellowship, New India Bible Church, and Pentecostal Mission Gospel Church will participate in the celebrations. One of the projects in progress is the translation of Cook’s autobiography into Malayalam, a major language spoken by 40 million people in India.
Rev. Dr. Tim Hill, general director of Church of God World Missions, will officially inaugurate the Centennial Celebrations at the Kerala State Annual Convention in January 2013. The celebrations will conclude in December 2013 with a well-planned social work project in Kerala.
Professor Sushil Mathew, General Coordinator – RFCCC
© 2012 Church of God World Missions