“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psalms 133:1)
It was in late 1960s a heavy influx of Malayali expatriates to the United Arab Emirates began. By 1970 people began to arrive in Al Ain which is the second largest city under the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Among the Christians arrived Br. (late) P.V. Samuel (a Pentecostal) and Br. (late) K.K. Jacob (an evangelical) were the born again believers with spiritual enthusiasm and zeal. Soon after their arrival they began an interdenominational prayer fellowship in the house of Br. Jacob with a few other people. Br Samuel was leading the meetings. Gradually the number began to increase. In the year 1975 it has been moved to the house of a Pentecostal believer also known as Electra Georgekutty. By 1980 the Pentecostal members become more. Bros. P.V. Samuel, T.V. George, Georgekutty and wife, Thomas Iype, M.P. Abraham, K.S. Jacob, Abraham (Strawbag) and (late) John (strawbag) were the Pentecostals who attended the meeting then. In the mean time by the dawn of 1980 a few other Pentecostals arrived from various parts of UAE. They began a new Pentecostal prayer meeting comprising of Bros. A.O. Abraham and wife, Kuruvilla Varkey (Joy Thanuvelil), (late) Mathew Thomas, P.C. Thomas (Joy) and P.C.Jacob and his wife. After a while Mathew Chandy and wife joined them. The newly formed group contacted the Pentecostal brethren of the other prayer group and all the brethren felt the need of an exclusive Pentecostal Congregation based on the scripture “the true worshippers must worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23 - 24). Accordingly a combined meeting of the Pentecostals held in the house of Br. Georgekutty which resulted in the official formation of a Pentecostal Congregation named “The Al Ain Pentecostal Church of God”. Br. T.V. George had been elected to lead the services until further arrangement and a policy of understanding had been written and accepted by the general body. The emphasis and the highlight of the POU was that “the Church will remain independent in all respects and the visiting pastors of all Pentecostal Church denominations will be accepted and treated equally without any prejudice or discrimination”. However Br. P.V. Samuel and other Pentecostals in the Oasis hospital compound abstained from this new fellowship due to personal reasons of their own. After a few months the Church hired a flat in Al Ain city for various meetings of the Church. In 1981 Br. T.V. George has been ordained by Pastor P.M. Philip in order to facilitate him to administer the Lord’s Supper as well as Water Baptism.
In 1983 Bros. K S Jacob and family, Thomas K Iype and family, M.P. Abraham and Cheriyan (Thiruvalla) together with the Pentecostal brethren in the Oasis hospital compound formed a new congregation under the label of Church of God Full Gospel with K.S. Jacob as the minister in-charge. While both these congregations were functioning smoothly, a legal crisis did arise in UAE concerning the prohibition of Christian worships in the unauthorized facilities such as flats and residences. The Church became in great trouble. Though we approached the Oasis hospital authorities they refused on the ground that a Malayali Pentecostal Church is already having a facility in the compound. (The Church of God had been granted a worship facility in the Oasis compound by the initiative of Br. V.C. Thomaskutty). When it became difficult to continue the worship in the flat we put forward a proposal of a formal merger with the Church of God. As there was neither dispute nor enmity in between these two congregations, the merger was easy and smooth. Since then the Church worship is going on in “The Evangelical Alliance Church” located in the Oasis hospital compound. Br. P.V. Samuel also joined the Church later and took the charge of Bible study and served in that position until his return in 1988. In the meantime the Church has been renamed as “Al Ain Pentecostal Church".
The Church had suffered a few schisms during the three decades of its history. The notable break away was the one in 1989 under the leadership of Br. A.O. Abraham. However none of the split seriously affected the Church membership and on the other hand God almighty abundantly blessed us. Later in 1990 the church group was institutionalized as a church of independent existence according to a written constitution. By the grace of God a tremendous growth has been recorded throughout the years of its history. Although about a dozen Pentecostal fellowships sprang up in and around Al Ain area in recent years "The Al Ain Pentecostal Church” still remains as the largest congregation in the area. Bros. T.V. George, (late) K.C. Jacob, A.O. Abraham, C.C. Abraham, P.C. Jacob, K.S. Jacob, Elias Oommen, Thomas K. Iype, K.B. James, Lawrence Yohannan and Varghese Mathew served as ministers and Bros. V.C. Thomaskutty, M.P. Abraham, Baby Rajan, Boban George, Baby Roy and Thomas Mathew as associate ministers.
The church constitution was amended in 2002 & 2010 and the amended constitution was approved by the church general body held on February 2010. According to the amended constitution The church, Christ being its head, is run by the holy spirit of which six permanent members constitute the Elders council to discuss the governing of the church and the suggestions would be introduced to the Elders board of thirteen members which includes the Elders council and seven elected/nominated members to approve the decision taken thereafter. According to the new amendment Pastor should administer the Lord’s Supper, Water Baptism and Child dedication. At present Pr. Elias Oommen serves as the Pastor, Pr. Varghese Mathew as the Associate Pastor and Br. Prakash Samuel as secretary.
When we stand here in 2013 and look back all we have to say is that despite of all the toils and snares the Lord has brought us safe thus far. We have nothing to boast and we do give all glory and honor unto God almighty who led us victoriously throughout the last three decades. Many of our dear brethren were instrumental in planting the Church, many watered it and many nourished and cherished it in different ways but it is God who gave us the increase (1Cor 3:7). As per the will and wish of our founding brethren the Church remains as an independent congregation despite of several attempts to affiliate it with certain denominations. But by the grace of God almighty, the Alain Pentecostal Church is a congregation where the brethren belongs to various Pentecostal denominations worship the Lord together in perfect harmony, spiritual freedom and unity. We remember the farsightedness and the spiritual perspective of our founding brethren with a heart of gratitude. Many of our brethren who labored for the Church and many who worshipped together with us have been promoted to glory now. Many others dwell in different parts of the world and we do remember them all with a heart of gratitude and Christian love.
This is Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in the eyes of man. To God be all the glory for the great and wonderful things He had done in our Church life.