St. Paul’s Church, Vasudevanallur
St. Paul’ Church in Vasudevanallur that was extended and brought under Sivagiri Pastorate in Pottalpatti Circle is and an old Church that was in the Sankarankovil circle. During the times of presbyters Rev. Barren Brook and Rev.Ragland the members were worshipping in a tile roofed building. When Jesudason Nadar in Kannanoor came forward to bear the cost of the church and it was built and dedicated on 3.3.1985 by the Rt.Rev. Jason S. Dharmaraj. The Church grew and so the church was extended and dedicated on 29.07.2012 by the Rt.Rev. JJ Christdoss. The foundation for the Bell Tower was laid laid on 02.11.2012 by Rev. Kingsly John and work was completed in 2013.Since, in 01.04.2014 Vasudevanallur has become a independent Pastorate, the Rt.Rev. JJ Christdoss led the first Harvest Festival and dedicated the Bell Tower on 21.03.2014.
PAUL’S CHURCH, RAMANATHAPURAM
Ramanathapuram was the first Christian in 1957 when Paalsamy became Paul Stephen and married Mary Thangathai. The Presbyter from Pottalpatti used to come and celebrate Holy Communion service in Mr. Paul Stephen’s house. Then Ramasamy Nadar who became Rajan joined the Church through his marriage. In 1979 the number increased and four families were visited by the Pastorate Chairman from Sivagiri once a month when Holy Communion was given. In 1981 they rented a house and it was then Rev. Devaraj Gnanasingh acquired a piece of land for constructiing a church that was completed in 1993. By then the church increased through Sunday services, fasting prayer & All night Prayers.
This growing Church started its journey with families who worshipped in houses. In 2002 foundation was laid for a church building. Construction started in 2004 and work was completed in 2007. Now there are seventeen families mainly from Hindu poojari families.
St. Peter’s Church in Sokkalingapuram comprises of a congregation zealous for the Lord in the midst of fanatic communities. The Church started functioning in a rented house with six families, who were marginalised by the other villagers. God found them faithful. A Church was built in 1937 and dedicated. The front porch was completed in 1986.
Even before 1940, St. James’s Church in Panaiyoor was functioning in a small hut along with a school for children. Gradually the thatched hut was tiled. With the efforts taken by Mr. J. Rathinasamy a church was built and dedicated by the Bishop. Jason S. Dharmarajon 14.06.1989, when Rev. P. Abraham Peter was Presbyter.
ZION TABERNACLE, DURAISAMYPURAM, IDAIKAL
The Christians in Duraisamypuram had been trekking to Kadaiyanallur, Senkottai and other places for worship. Duraisamypuram is 7 Kms far from Zion Nagar Partorate in Tenkasi Circle. In May 2010, a thatched tabernacle was erected in a rented piece of land and worship was started there by Rev. ID Stephen, North Church Council Chairman, Unfortunately in a few months the thatched shed were destroyed due to natural calamities and service was conducted in rented buildings. Later the elders in Zion Nagar donated money and bought a 5 cent land. A church was built and dedicated by the Bishop Rt.Rev. JJ Christdoss.
EAST PARAPADI PASTORATE
Parappadi village is situated in the Nanguneri – Tisayanvillai road about 11km from Nanguneri. In Parappadi a Government High School is functioning at Annanagar. People had to attend their worship at Holy Trinity Church, Parappadi. During Rev. SAE Joshua’s period as Pastorate Chairman of Parappadi, fervent prayers and frequent visits of Ms. Kaniammal and Ms. Swarnarathnam brought in a worship center in the house of one Mr. Rasalaiyan. This continued for one and half years. On 15th of August 1993 a thatched roof shed of 15’ x 8’ was constructed in the locality and worship service was conducted. On 31st August 1993 the first Communion Church was conducted by Rev. Jebamoney and the church was named as Marurooba Alayam. This continued for next five years with morning and evening services conducted regularly. 13 families took part in the services.
In 1998 September, 22nd during the tenure of Parappadi East Pastorate Chairman Rev. S. V. Appadurai Gnanaraj, the foundation stone was laid by Chairman of South Council of Churches Rev. V. Vedhamuthu Ponraj. Since the locality of the church was in common market place efforts were taken with the then Collector Mr. Niranjan Madi to get approval for 7.2 cents and permit was obtained for church building. Following philanthropists contributed for the construction of the church along with members of the church who contributed their mite.
- V.V.Sugumar of Thisayanvillai – Rs. 3,00,000
- Alex Edward of Shalom Hospital, Parappadi – For Alter and Flooring
- D. Premsingh Premdurai – for Chruch Bell and lands surrounding the Church
- Raja Bakthsingh – Rs. 50,000
On 29th May, 1999 the church building was completed and it was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Jason Dharmaraj, Bishop in Tirunelveli. In 2012 under the Bishop Rt.Rev.Dr. JJ. Christudoss the church was declared as Parappadi East (Annanagar) Pastorate as the head quarters of all eight churches in Parappadi East locality with Rev. ARGST Barnabbas as the Presbyter. Those churches are :
- Parappadi East (Annanagar)
In the tenure of Rev. John Samuel foundation stone was laid for a 1140 sq.ft. Parsonage and Mr. M. Samuelraj and family took charge of constructing it and the work is in progress.
Catechists who served:
- A. Tharmaraj Jacob : 1993-94
- D. Bakthasingh Daniel Mathivannan : 1994-96
- A. Samuel Rajasingh Arul : 11.11.1996 –
Deacons who served :
- D. G. Charles : 2012-13
- S. Augustine : 2013-14
- J. Richard Samuel : 2014 –
- AGST Barnabbas : April 2012 – May 2013
- V. John Samuel : May 2013 –
RESURRECTION CHURCH, AINTHANGAL
Ainthangal is a location Nanguneri – Viyayanarayanam Road 2.5km from Navy INS Kattabommban camp. Vijanarayanam kulam receives water through five canals and hence the place gets the name Ainthangal.
Long time ago it is told that a team of Christians from Nazareth stayed in the village for one week and evangelized in the area. Then a Missionary from Nazareth performed ministry there. This was followed by the family of Mr. Michael Raj from Vadivaalpuram stayed in the village and evangelized there.
Then a British Missionary encouraged the converts to construct a church there. In 1919 foundation stone was laid but construction was sluggish. This again started by 1929 upto lintel level and stopped for want of funds. Since five families joined the church worship services were conducted in a school building. The roof and floor construction was again revived during the period of Rev. M.K. Israel Thanaraj in 1978. Mr. M. Israel, Catechist and few teachers of the Parappadi School assisted in the construction work. On 15th April 1979 on the day of Easter the church was dedicated to Resurrected Lord’s Glory by Rt. Rev. Daniel Abraham, Bishop in Tirunelveli and the church was named as Resurrection Church (Uyirthezhuthalin Aalayam). In 2008 the Church front Tower was constructed and dedicated by Rev. Augustin Gnanaraj.
At present there are 25 families members in the church of which 7 families are staying elsewhere for their work. Mr. Mohan Justin is the Catechist at present. The following is the list of Catechists:
- Michael Raj
- M. Israel – 1978 – 96
- Mohan Justin – Since 1996
ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, SADAYANERI
Sadayaneri is a primitive village situated six kilometers in the north-east of Parappadi East Church. European Missionaries Rev. C.J. Renius and Rev. Edward Seargent ministered in this village during 1847-49 and 1843-52 respectively. In July 1849 the church was formed by Rev. D. Yesudasan of Suvisheshapuram church and took over as the fifth Presbyter. The first baptism took place on 10th September, 1856 for three persons and in 1860 for two more persons. This initiative led to construction of a thatched shed was constructed for worship. In 1875 a thatched roof church was constructed. In 1880 a missionary home was constructed. By 1990 there were 10 male and 5 female congregates attended the worship. In 1915 a tile roofed church was constructed in the third step.
During the period of Rev. V. A. David, in 1925 they mobilized allotment of 1 acre and 50 cents of land around the church. During the tenure of Rev. I. J. Iyyadurai, on 3rd July 1929 this church was rededicated by Rt. Rev. Western, Bishop of Tirunelveli Diocese as the fourth church. In 1971 there was migration of many members to other churches. In 2005 under Rev. P.D.Muthuraj the church was further extended and rededicated for the 5th time by Rt. Rev.S Jayapaul David.
List of Catechists :
- Name not known
- Thomas 1944-54
- Tharmaraj Joseph 1954-1971
- S. J. Pandian 1971 – 1997
- Mani 1997-2007
- S. J. Pandian 2007 ST. THOMAS CHURCH, KAILASANATHAPURAM Kailasanathapuram is a hamlet situated in 8 km North East of Parappadi East Chruch. This place is also called by few as kulathukudiyiruppu. It is believed as per the oldest believer Mr. T. Stephen that Christianity took roots in the village 100 years ago and the worship was conducted near his grandfather’s house in a thatched hut which can be claimed as the first church. One day a cyclone carried away all the thatch roof leaves. They used the left out palmariah beams to expand a school in a nearby village called as Peria Nadar kudiyiruppu where they also conducted church services on Sundays. This is considered as the second church. After few years with the encouragement given by members of Parappadi church who visited the village for Full Moon night ministry they once again built a thatched roofed church at the present location in this village so that they can worship here. This is the third church. Since 1966 the elders M/s Arulappa, Yovaan, and Thavamani took initiative to construct a pacca church but it was sluggish because of financial crisis. This was actually completed in 1968 and it was dedicated on 18th December 1968 by Rt. Rev.AG Jebaraj, Bishop in Tirunelveli. This is the fourth church. Since it was dedicated near St. Thomas Day the church also bore the name of St. Thomas Church. After forty years of its inception with increase of members the church was expanded and rededicated by Rt. Rev.S Jayapaul David on 27th May 2008. At present 10 families are attending the service and the Catechist is Mr. Rajkumar.
List of Catechists :
- Not Known
- C. Rajkumar – 1997 CHRIST CHURCH, COLONY
- This locality was allotted to Srilankan Refugees by Government and situated in Nanguneri – Thisayanvillai root. Evangelical work in this colony was started by Ms. Vimala of Emankullam in Parappadi Pastorate which yielded in conversion of three families. The Tirunelveli Diocesan wing REAPHART also sent missionaries to this area. During the period of Rev. D. K, Stephen a land was procured for church construction. With the prayer support of the church members and the efforts of Mr. Titus, Mr. Star Jagendran and Mr. Simon a thatched shed was constructed in the land sold by Mr. P.Jeyaraj for low value and contributions from Ms. Vimala, Ms. Ponthilakar (Nazereth) Rs.10,000 each. The work was finished on 1st October 2006 and the regular worship was conducted with Mr. A. Samuel Rajasingh Arul as Catechist. During the same period of Rev. D.K. Stephen foundation was laid for church construction on 12th August 2008. The Family of Mr. Raja of Emankulam contributed for the church construction. On 1st June 2010 the church building was completed and it was dedicated to God’s Glory by Rt. Rev. Dr. J.J. Christdoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli. At present seven families attend worship with Mr. Joyson Gunaraja as Catechist. BETHESDA CHURCH, VEPANKULAM Veppankulam is a village 2 km from Parappadi. There were few converts due to the Evangelical Ministry of Parappadi Church members. Worship was conducted in the house of one Ms. Seethaiammal since 2004 during period of Rev. P.D.Muthuraj. In 2006 during the period of Rev. D.K.Stephen, Mr.Jeremiah donated a portion of land for church construction in which a thatched shed church was built with the donation from Ms. Rebecca who gave her gold ornaments. After few years this shed was also damaged and since 2008 the services were conducted in the house of Mr. Abraham. In this period four adults and one child were baptized.Since believers from three villages congregated it was decided to locate a common place for worship and Mr. Alan Jacob of Parappadi Church donated a portion of a land of 10 cents. In that place Rev. D. K. Stephen laid foundation for a new church. On 01.06.2010 the new church was dedicated to the Glory of God by Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. J.J. Christdoss. Now 15 families from Vepangulam and Pandichery villages assemble for worship. At present the Catechist is Ms. Pushpakala Jeyaseelan, Presbyter is Rev. John Samuel. List of Catechists :
- Chelladurai – Parappadi East (Annanagar) 2. Pushpalatha – Parappadi
CSI St. JOHN’S CHUCH
Malayankudiyiruppu is a village situated 4km away from Valliyur – Thiruchendur road. Few Malayalees from Kerala stayed there for agriculture in the past and hence the place was named as Malyalee kudiyiruppu and changed to Malayankudiyiruppu. The first missionary in this place was Mr. S. Thaveedu. He was from Srilanka and did ministry in many parts of Tirunelveli and finally settled at Malayankudiyiruppu and did ministry in thatched shed till his in 1900 and buried there and his grave is still identified as a monument. During his tenure the worshipers used come prepared with food on Saturday itself so that they could join Mr. Thaveedu and go in for evangelizing surrounding villages.
After his demise there were frequent quarrels between this village with people of surrounding villages. The believers prayed earnestly outside the church and for a sign to confirm peace with surrounding villages. As they were praying the locks on the church door were miraculously opened. After this incident there was great peace established with their neighbours.
During 1910 the place was evangelized by few missionaries from Parappadi and Suvisheshapuram leading to construction of a renewed thatched shed church for worship. Few renowned people of the church who joined the ministry were Mr. Jacob, Mr. Rajayyah and Mr. Aseervatham. Mr. Rajayaah who is 110 years old and alive now narrated all these details.
Church Details :
- First Thatched shed : ~ 1910
- Church with Stone work : 30.10.1929
- Present renovated Church : 30.05.2002 (Dedicated by Rev. Simson Sigamony during the period of Rev. S.V. Appadurai Gnanaraj)
- Tower dedication : 23.05.2003 (Dedicated by Bishop Rt. Rev. Jason Dharmaraj during the period of Rev. S. V. Appadurai Gnanaraj and Mr. Aseervatham as Catechist
- At present 51 families are members of the congregation of which 30 families are temporarily migrated to other places for job.
List of Catechists :
- S. Thaveedu – Srilanka
- Ponnaiah – Malayankudi
- Yovel – Moolaikaraipatti
- Joseph – Yemankulam
- James – Parappadi
- Ponniah – Katakshapuram
- Gnanasigamani – Suvisheshapuram
- Vincent – Thengalam
Kamaraja Nagar village is situated at 3 km south of Parappadi East on Nanguneri – Thisainvillai road. It was named after National Leader Kanaraj after his to this place and their request. It is believed that in 1960/61 the church had its beginning in a shed for Khadi Spinner. They started with night prayers in the street corner which later became a worship center at the shed with Mr. Gnanaiah as the Catechist.
In 1968 the foundation stone for a church was laid under the period of Rev. Samuel Jayaraj with Mr. Joseph Swamikkan as the Catechist who took the entire cost of construction of the church. This church was dedicated by Bishop of Tirunelveli Diocese Rt. Rev. Garret. It was rededicated by Rt. Rev. Dr. J.J.Christudoss, Bishop in Tirunelveli during the tenure of Rev. ARGST Barnabbas as the presbyter. 28 families were attending the church with Mr. Y. Selwyn as the Catechist.
- P. James
- Y. Selwyn
- Chelladurai – Parappadi East (Annanagar) 2. Pushpalatha – Parappadi
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EAST SADAYAMANKULAM PASTORATE
All Saint’s Church, East Sadayamankulam
Industry and agriculture had earned the name “Little Colombo” to this fertile little village Christianized by Tirunelveli Apostle Rev. Rhenius. Today 90% of the villagers are Christians in this village.
When Rev. CTE Rhenius established the Church here in 1820, there were 4 Christian families only. The original thatched roof church had been burnt several times and church property stolen. The congregation were devout and enthusiastic. The foundation stone for a new church was laid by the Rt.Rev.AG Jebaraj on 22.02.1954 and dedicated after a long time on 01.11.1962.
The church tower was built and dedicated on 01.11.1972 by the Bishop BS Garret. This was one of the few churches to have the public address system as early as 1972 and the first in that area. The church was extended and dedicated on 9.11.2006 by the Madurai – Ramanathapuram Bishop Rt.Rev. Thavaraj David Eames. Since 01.04.2014 Keelasadayamankulam became a separate Pastorate with the following branch churches: 1. Mela Sadayamankulam 2. M. Samathanapuram, 3. North Idayankulam 4. Pulavankudiyiruppu 5. Govindaperi 6. Uganthatchiyapuram.
JOHN’S CHURCH, MELA SADAYAMANKULAM.
The non-christians of Venkatarengapuram and Mela Sadayamankulam were evangelized by believers from Karisalpatti and became Christians. They started worshipping in a Church cum school thatched building in the eastern side of the village. On 04.09.1941, a new church was dedicated in the western side of the village by the Bishop Rt.Rev. Selwyn. The Church tower was dedicated by the Rt.Rev.S. Daniel Abraham on 27.09.1980. Later the church was renovated and dedicated on 31.05.1991 by the Rt.Rev. Jason S. Dharmaraj. The steeple was dedicated on 27.05.2005 by the Rt.Rev. S. Jeyapaul David. Today the Church has 110 families.
JOHN’S CHURCH, M. SAMATHANAPURAM
The village, named Memorial Samathanapuram during the Centenary celebrations of the CSI Tirunelveli Diocese was Christianized in 1880 by the Apostle Rhenius, who dedicated a thatched church on 24.07.1890. The present church was dedicated on 18 July 1966, extended in 2006 and compound wall was built in 2009. There are 160 families worshiping the Lord.
A church cum school had been established here in 1836 by Apostle Rhenius. In 1942 five Christian families came together to buy a land and built a tiled building. In 2002 a new church was built. The school and the Church started functioning in separate buildings. The church has been extended recently.
STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PULAVANKUDIYIRUPUU
This village had been evangelized by Apostle Rhenius between 1823 and 1827. There were a thatched church building and a small school. The church was damaged between 1935 and 1940, another thatched church was built, which was also damaged. In 1955 another thatched building was erected and services were conducted.
In 1976 a few CMS families joined the church. The congregation felt the need for a bigger church. With efforts taken by Rev. Balraj, on 23.12.1979, the new church was dedicated by the Bishop. Daniel Abraham. In 2005 compound wall was provided on the eastern and southern sides. In 2008, the old church was demolished , foundation laid for new church and it was dedicated on 13.05.2012 by the Rt.Rev.Dr. JJ Christdoss. Now there are 27 believing families in the church.
CHRIST CHURCH, GOVINDHAPERI
Apostle Rhenius visited Govindhaperi in 1824. Raman was the first convert who was baptized as John. In the same year a thatched church was erected between 1960 and 1961, the church was rebuilt and tiled. In 1975, the church was extended with an alter. Between 2009 and 2010, the steeple was built and dedicated. Today 80% of the villagers attend service in the church.
MATHEW’S CHURCH, UGANTHATCHIAPURAM
St. Mathew’s church is an ancient church in the diocese. Apart from a brass lamp with the inscription that it had been donated in 1918, there is hardly any other detail available regarding the origin of the Church. Many had left this village near the South Western Ghats and there are very few families now.
Keerankulam is situated near Munanjipatti, which is in the route of Tirunelveli to Sathankulam. The Rev. CET Rhenius preached the Gospel to
the villagers at Munanjipatti, where they used to buy things at ‘Santhai'(market).The villagers accepted Jesus as their Saviour, when they lived in the village called ‘Vadalivilai’. When they accepted Christ, they shifted to another place and named it as ‘Keerankulam’. Then they built a small church with bricks and dedicated it on 8th September, 1957, named it as St. James Church. Then the Alter was extended and Tower was built. When Mr. D. Asirvatham Solomon was Catechist, a small house was built for Catechist and now it is used as Parsonage.
From 1/4/2010 Keerankulam became a Pastorate Centre and Rev. TB Swamidoss was the Pastorate Chairman, resided at Kodankulam. The Rev. JKT Barnabas, Rev. CET Sureshkumar, Rev. Jebasingh, Rev. T. Samuel were served as Chairmen. At Present Rev. DJ Jebaraj is serving. There are nine Branch Churches are there.
1. Mela Chettikulam
In 1939, there were 5 families worshipped in the thatched shed, which was dedicated in 1939 by the Rt.Rev. Bishop Neil. In 1970 they converted the Church into tiled roof in 1970 with the help of Mr. Victor and it was dedicated by Rt.Rev. AG Jebaraj. Due to severe drought many were left the village. In 1987 the church was electrified and got EB connection with the help of Mr. John Abraham.
The foundation stone was laid by Rev. P. Arul Vedanayagam, Council Chairman South West Council in March 2001 for extention and renovation. The tower also was built and dedicated in August,2001 by Rt.Rev. Jeyapaul David.
The foundation stone was laid by Rev. CET Sureshm kumar for Mission house and in 28.08.2014 it was dedicated by the Rt.Rev. JJ Christdoss. Mr. T. Samuel raj is serving as a Catechist for the last 15 years and 32 families are there.
In 1936 Mr. Thangaiah, Teacher led Mr. Aandi. S/o Chollamadan, since the wife of Aandi was cured from severe diahorea disease. When she
was healed four of their family members Called Kandan, Velliayan, Ramasamy, Chinnamadan were followed Jesus Christ. In 1956 the Land Lord Aalappan gave a piece of land for their worship. So, they built a small thatched shed, but Mr. Vellaiyan, with drunk quarrelled with others and was hindrance to worship. So, Aandi gave his place for worship, in 1956. Then the Church was built and dedicated by the Rt. Rev. Selwyn. At present 25 families are worshipping.
In 1925 there was a small thatched shed church. Then in 1948 Rev. Selwyn (Later became Bishop) did missionary work. In 1955 a small church was built and dedicated by Bishop AG Jebaraj.
Mr. Arumainayagam, Mr. Muthu, Mr. Joel & Mr. Jebaraj served as a Catechist and now Mr. Pitchumani is serving as a Catechist. There are 17 families are worshipping.
This Church is situated in Kariyandi. It was established in 1922 and dedicated by Rt.Rev. Daniel Abraham. Ten families are worshipping the guidance of Mr. Samuelraj, Tr.
The Church was established in 1949 and they built a small thatched shed church. After two years they demolished the old one and built a new one and it was dedicated on 26.03.1951, (Maundy Thursday) by Bishop Selwyn Durai. Mr. Daniel was catechist during the church construction time and now Mr. Samuel is serving as Catechist.
In 1975, ten families came together and prayed in a house. Then the Church was built and dedicated in 25.12.1978 by Rt.Rev. Daniel Abraham and named it as St. Paul’s Church. Rev. Peter Devadoss was presbyter, Mr. Joel was the Catechist. Fifteen families are there worshipping.
It is world known for Birds Sanctuary. Every year birds come from foreign countries in the season, since there is a big pool for them and enough trees for them to construct nest to lay eggs, multiplying and fly return to their home countries every year. So, the Tamil Nadu Government made it as Birds Sanctuary and gives necessary protection.
In 1933 Rev. GT Selwyn gave Adult Baptism to 81 persons in a same day and the Church was established. In 08.07.1998 Rev. TOM Goldwin laid a stone for the present church, and it was dedicated on June, 2001 by Bishop Jeyapaul David, when Rev. Fredrick Ratnaraj was Presbyter.
This village belongs to ‘pillaimar’ community in the early period. But Arumuga Nadar belongs to Aaikulam near Ariyakulam purchased the fertile land for agriculture and settled at Thennavaneri. Since Arumuga Nadar alone cultivated his form, the pillaimar community disliked his growth over there village. Due to this reason, there was a riot between two community and the matter went to District Collected. He gave a protection to Arumuga Nadar. Later, he became Christian and his family came one by one to Christianity in 1920. Then they built a church with stones and dedicated in 1972, 15 families worshipped. When the Church grown in to 40 families, they constructed a new church and it was dedicated in 23.05.2012 by Rt.Rev. JJ Christdoss. Now Mr. Dharmakkan is serving as Catechist.
The church was established during the period of Rev. GT Selwyn. The whole village became Christians. In the later period there was a problem created within the church and they were backsliden except 7 familes. The Rev. GSA Packianathan laid foundation stone for the present church in 17.04.2004. Then the church was built with the help of Maharaja Nagar Pastorate and dedicated by Bishop Jeyapaul David in 03.08.2005. Mr. D. Arputham Daniel is serving as Catechist.
KEELA PAPPAKUDI PASTORATE
This Pastorate was bifurcated from Mukudal in 1.4.2012.
Gospel was preached by Rev. CTE Rhenius in 1832. The thatched shed was buil and used for worship.