Dr. Thomson K. Mathew Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK, USA
It is widely recognized that Pastor T. S. Abraham was a great servant of God and an outstanding leader of God’s people.
The official titles he held within India Pentecostal Church (IPC), the premiere Pentecostal fellowship in the Indian subcontinent, is intimidating: general president, general secretary, state secretary, founding secretary of the Pentecostal Young People’s Association (PYPA), district pastor, principal of Hebron Bible College, president of India Bible College and Seminary, president of Bible society of India – Kerala Auxiliary, the list is long. His resume was impeccable: Raised in the home of a giant of faith, educated in the best disciplines of East and West, educator of an army of ministers now serving around the globe, chief editor of Zion Trumpet, the most influential primary source of materials related to the history of the Pentecostal movement in India, author of significant theological works, international traveler, and conference speaker.
His titles and resume, unfortunately, reflect only a fraction of the whole person and impressive personality that was Pastor T. S. Abraham. He was also the grade school student who suffered hardships in a pioneer parsonage that was built on faith. He was the young preacher who was persecuted and physically attacked by the enemies of the cross in Andhra Pradesh. He was a man, whose leadership was tested and tried in a thousand ways, causing incredible pain at times, which he absorbed like an apostle (Gal. 4:19), revealing his true character and commitment to God and His church.
I got to know Pastor T. S. Abraham in a close and personal way only after I came to America. It was my privilege to invite him to the white church I pastored in New Haven, Connecticut where he was the first preacher who proclaimed the word of God in a newly built sanctuary. Later, I was fortunate to invite him to visit us at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The days Pastor and Mrs. T. S. Abraham spent with us at home and on campus remain fondly memorable. They had a profound impact on me and my wife Molly.
Pastor T. S. Abraham was ordained in the same service with my father Pastor K. T. Mathew. They shared the nickname “Kunjukunju” and a gentle demeanor. They considered each other friend and brother. In terms of dealing with church matters, both were gifted diplomats. Pastor T. S. Abraham was there as a caring shepherd when my mother went home to be with Christ. He was also there for my father’s home-going. His words of commitment at their graves still echo in my soul.
IPC has produced many outstanding preachers and leaders, but none who projected the fellowship to the outside world with more dignity and honor than Pastor T. S. Abraham. He was a servant of the Lord (Rom. 1:1), a servant of the gospel (Phil. 2:22), and a servant of the church (Rom. 16:1).We will miss him, but await the glorious day with anticipation.