1982 welcomed the start of what continues to be the passion and heart beat of Pastor Paul Thangiah, the birth of the Full Gospel Assembly of God Church. What started as a humble beginning, of just 3 people, has turned into an ocean of people today. The zeal and enthusiasm came under much opposition from starvation to discouragement and being let down by people who promised to stand by till the end. What started in a small rented building, in Indiranagar Bangalore, saw an overflowing of all the rooms, and this took the Church to look for a bigger accommodation.
While negotiating the rent with the owner, he looked at Pastor Paul and said, “We do not want any sound in this place” to which Pastor Paul explained, “We get peace with expressing ourselves aloud since we are a full fledged Pentecostal Church.” It was reluctance in the beginning but later the owner loved to hear the services from the confines of his house. This building was on the main 100 feet road. Slowly the services increased with the thrust in evangelism, there were more people attending and again an over flow in all the services.
The Lord at this point impressed on the heart of Pastor to start looking for a new building but this time it would be our own building. As we began to look for a place an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Col John, decided to gift the present day church land to FGAG. This came as a huge surprise and God’s doing since this was the cry of the church. Just the day prior to the signing of the papers Col. John called Pastor Paul and to his shock told him that he felt that he did not want to give him the land and he had changed his mind.
Pastor Paul went on his knees before God, and our heavenly father intervened and assured him that Pastor Paul needs to look unto Him and not the person, to hold on to Him, and not any man. The next morning as scheduled Pastor came to pick up Col. John and while they had to drive for 20 minutes no one spoke there was total silence. After reaching the place the meeting began and it was there that Col. John told the gathered heads that last evening he had told Pastor Paul that he was not going to give him the land, but in the night, God prompted him that he had to do this and it is His will that I give the land to FGAG. This was nothing short of a miracle.
December 1995 was a landmark for FGAG as we witnessed the dedication of the church along with Dr. D.G.S. Dhinakaran, Dr. Naomi Dowdy and other friends. With joy and thanksgiving we ushered a new phase for the church that would strive in winning souls. From then on the church continued growing rapidly keeping three things as the priority for its growth: prayer, evangelism and the Word. The last 20 years the church has moved to having multiple services and outreaches. Pastor Paul initiated the Power Conferences, a series of meetings where he traveled the length and breadth of India encouraging pastors and leaders to grow big churches with the resources that can come from within.
As a church we have built 280 church buildings in Nepal and Bhutan. As we continued to bless other ministries the Lord reassured us that when the times comes for our own bigger building that He would definitely perform another miracle.
He did prove that to us when again the present building could not hold the large crowd and we have been having 12 services in different languages and we had to think of buying a big land. This time the launch was to raise Rs. 10 Crores to buy our own site to build a church. As a church we started praying and Pastor Paul kept the fervor and enthusiasm to sow into this project, Miracle 10 Crore, by encouraging the congregation with powerful sermons and other creative ideas for every month. This kept the people looking forward to the day, August 9th as a day of celebration in giving to the Lord. The day finally came and with much planning and meetings the church witnessed, like in the days of King David, people coming in large numbers to give to the Lord. It was a day of celebration with worship, dance, tambourines, flags and the whole atmosphere was filled with joy. People were encouraged to give even their gold ornaments, lands and money. People were blessed hearing the sermon and took part in a fellowship lunch. People were eager to hear what was collected and again God proved himself to be faithful to his Word and the offering was 15 crores! FGAG had created history in becoming the first Church to collect this amount in one service.
As FGAG continues to journey as a church under the leadership of Pastor Paul we know that God will do what He has promised, as we keep our eyes fixed on Him. When the time comes to turn our batons over to the next generation, they will look back and say, “Look what the Lord has done, indeed He has done marvelous things in our midst.” As the saying goes, “FGAG THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW.”