International Assemblies of God leaders gathered in Chennai, India, to dedicate the construction of the largest A/G church in the world. When construction is completed, the New Life Assembly of God, a 30-year-old congregation that began with only 7 members, will seat 55,000 members.
The U.S. A/G general superintendent Thomas E. Trask, Eurasia Regional Director Jerry Parsley and Southern Asia Area Director David Grant traveled to Chennai for the ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the All-India General Council in February.
According to the A/G news site, “Trask unveiled the building's cornerstone, Parsley ceremonially broke ground and Grant cut a ribbon on the new 40-acre site. The land purchase cost $1 million, raised through the sacrificial giving of members who typically earn $150 per month.”
Trask said New Life’s remarkable growth lies in the apostolic lives of the congregants.
"It's a modern-day Book of Acts," Trask says. "It's a Pentecostal church that is alive. People are being saved, healed, delivered and baptized in the Spirit."
Parsley agreed, saying the New Life’s vision for growth and mission helped raise the current tradition of sacrifice.
"Before they even had 200 people -- when they still had a dirt floor and thatched roof -- they were taking missionary offerings," said Parsley.
Grant said such great Christian advancements in India were only possible with the power of the Holy Spirit.
"We are in the greatest moment in time we've seen in India," Grant said. "Yes, there's persecution, but in the midst of persecution there's an incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Ten years ago we never dreamed this would be possible."
Currently, there are some 40 million Christians in India – only 4 percent of the population. Of them, 500,000 are adherents to the Assemblies of God.