August 12, 1984 Rev. Nibaron Das (Bishop) started a Methodist Church at his Mohakhali residence with 12 believers gathered for worship. Since that day the church has grown with the work expanding to villages and many persons being baptized. There was tremendous financial crisis and traditional opposition very strong, but with patience and endurance the church grew. The priority and desire of the church is to extend the Kingdom of God to all people, languages, cultures and religions, and the commitment made to plant churches and establish the Methodist Church in Bangladesh is at great risk.
Priorities in northern Bangladesh included Dinajpur, Joypurhat, Naogong and Gaibandha where the tribal peoples are majority. Thousands of tribal people including Santal, Mahali, Orao, Mundari, Malo, Pahan live in these areas and they are very receptive to the gospel. Many Hindus live in the southern part, especially the districts of Gopalganj, Khulna, Jessore, Shatkhira, Narail and Faidpur. We asked God to open the door to this area to bring the people into His Kingdom, and now we have over 100 churches within these areas. Other areas where the church has expanded include Dhaka, Gazipur, Tangail and Mymensingh.
The Bangladesh Methodists are grateful to Korean friends who have extended their cordial cooperation. Without their fervent prayers and financial assistance it would have been impossible to continue the growth of the Methodist Church in Bangladesh.
The church has a total of 185 churches, 18,698 members. A theological training center, Kumran Bible School located at Kamalpur, was initiated by Kumran Methodist Church. The school currently named Methodist Theological Seminary has been upgraded and now has a three-story seminary building, which houses classrooms, dormitory, library, staff quarters and guest room. Accommodation capacity of the dormitories is 45 and over 30 courses are offered to students. Since 1992 120 students have graduated with degrees, and have ministered to churches in rural areas under the Bangladesh Methodist Church. Bishop Nibaron Das is honorary principal, with a manager and staff. The school continues to be supported by the Synpoong Methodist Church, Kumran Methodist church and Korean friends. The academic council hopes to offer a Bachelor of Theology curriculum in 2003.
Since 1984 a Church Plantation and Evangelism program was developed, and on July 1, 1997 a four-story Dhaka Central Methodist Church building was consecrated. Only a few years ago Bishop Das was a simple ordinary pastor of a small church but by the grace of God he has been chosen to become a senior pastor of the biggest church, also one of the biggest evangelical denominations throughout the 200 years of Protestantism and first bishop of Bangladesh Methodist Church.
This week we pray for
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