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Pastor P J Thomas

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P J Thomas (April 15, 1914 – March 24, 1998) was an Indian pastor. He played a role in the development of the Indian Pentecostal Church, and has been called a man of God with a vision, faith, honesty, and humility, and a prophet for the modern day.

P J Thomas was born to P V John, a pastor, and Saramma Ayyapilla as the second-oldest among five boys and four girls. His father had a background in Hinduism, and converted to Christianity after being taught the bible verse John 3:16 by the missionary Kappiar Upadesi. Thomas attended Seampore University where he earned a Diploma in Theology, and subsequently became the principal of the Indian Pentecostal Church (IPC) free School.

Following his marriage to Aleyamma, he left for Australia to pursue his higher education, before traveling to England and then to the United States, where he attended Wheaton College in Chicago and obtained a Master’s degree in Comparative Religion. He taught at Wheaton College for a short period before returning to India in 1952. While in the United States, he was instrumental in bringing the then three senior IPC pastors, K E Abraham, K C Cherian, and P M Samuel to the U S A. He also traveled with Pastor K E Abraham and interpreted for him across the country.

P J Thomas returned to India in 1952, where the late Pastor J Varghese Persuaded P J Thomas to settle down at Thiruvalla, and arranged for the Indian Pentecostal Church to purchase and move in to the present Sharon property in March 1953. While the fame of “Sharon” increased with two revival meetings and the opening of a Bible College at the compound, the 1950s was a period of unrest within the church. P J Thomas remained neutral during a split within IPC, when the Sharon Hall was often used as a place of mediation. His decision to remain independent during the period was a result of several independent churches approaching him to for help in the building of churches and buying of burial grounds, and to give them a hand in common fellowship.

Although it had a humble beginnings the church began to grow quickly in the mid-1960s. P J Thomas called it a fellowship of churches hence its name, Sharon Fellowship Churches of India. The church, however, is commonly known as Sharon Church.






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