A section of the gathering during the centenary celebration of Sendenyu Baptist Church (SBC) on December 16. (Photo Courtesy: Sendenyu Church)
Kohima, December 16 (MExN): The centenary celebration of the Sendenyu Baptist Church (SBC) culminated on December 16 with calls to believers to renew their faith and commitment to the Lord.
The SBC has the distinction of being the first church to be established on Rengma soil. The 100 years celebration of the church, which began on December 14 was jointly organised by the SBC and the Council of Rengma Baptist Churches (CRBC).
The SBC acknowledged Rev Seliezhü Sorhie, an Angami Evangelist from Khedi Baptist Church in Kohima village who was stated to have brought the gospel of Christ to Sendenyu 100 years ago. The church also paid rich tributes to the first converts from the village who went on to become pioneers of Christianity.
Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) general secretary Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho delivered a powerful message on the theme of the celebration ‘He has done great things.’
“Your celebration is a reminder that God from eternity has distinct your people to be the pioneer of the great light among your tribe,” Keyho stated.
Exhorting that the SBC and its members must enlarge their tents and their thoughts in the ministry perspective, the NBCC general secretary called upon them to be the torch bearers of the Good News to the people who are still in darkness.
“Let the history we make today be His story,” he asserted.
Khedi Baptist Church pastor Rev Viwelie Khezhie in his greetings, spoke of how the Nagas have come a long way after the Gospel reached their land. He stated that attaining Centenary is a time not just to praise and celebrate but also a time to introspect oneself and make a commitment to rededicate him/herself to God.
Delegates from various Rengma villages including those from Assam state, neighbouring Angami villages and well wishers participated in the celebration.
In his message to the Sendenyu Baptist Church, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio conveyed his best wishes stating the centenary was a time of thanksgiving as well as to seek God’s blessing for the future. He acknowledged that the Nagas in general have come a long way from the traditional animistic religion since the arrival of Christianity.
“As you achieve this milestone, it is also an occasion to remember the pioneers who braved the odds of the time to embrace Christianity. Despite various forms of persecution by fellow brethren, their steadfastness, faith and good deeds have enabled you to observe this occasion. I urge you to celebrate this centenary with renewed faith and commitment to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I pray that each and everyone who attends the centenary will be blessed abundantly,” Rio stated.
Highlights of the centenary celebration included centenary monolith dedication at Phenuga Memorial Park, dedication of monument at Kehunkathun (first church site), tribute to early converts from the village, and jubilee celebration at Centenary Memorial Park at Nsonji Lake.