Who We Are
Major Role of Pakistani Lutheran Church Mardan in Union of Church of Pakistan
1st November 1970 is the historical and memorable day in the history of Christian Community (Church of Pakistan). On this day the four major denominations 1- Anglicans, 2- Lutherans, 3- Presbyterians, & 4- Methodists, decided to participate in the union of Church of Pakistan. For the last sixty years struggles were made for the Union. Struggle for the union started in the year 1910 at Edinburgh Conference, in 1919 in South India another meeting was held and in 1920 Lambeth Conference was held. These conferences are the foundation and base of the union of Church of Pakistan. In 1929 struggles for union were again started in South India. And at the time of partition of united India these struggles were at their peak. In the year 1950 a book was published for the Church Union plan. Many conferences and struggles were made for the union of Churches, and in the year 1965 last meeting of the negotiating committee, for the union, was held.
In August 1970, unexpected meeting was held with The Rt.Rev.Arne Rudvin Bishop of Pakistani Lutheran Church Mardan, representative of three Lutheran societies i.e. Denmark, Finland and America. As a result of this meeting Pakistani Lutheran Church Mardan, which had five congregations in the NWFP at one hand, three Missionary societies and two Lutheran congregations on the other hand, decided to be a part of the union plan of Church of Pakistan.
As struggles, conferences and meetings were being held since 1910 for a united Church, no effective decisions could have been adopted since then, but when the Pakistani Lutheran Church Participated in the Plan of Union, the Church of Pakistan was created. Pakistani Lutheran Church played the role of Pioneer of Church of Pakistan. If the PLC would have not participated in the union, the Church of Pakistan would have not been created and the dream since 1910 would have not come true.
The Lutherans participated in the union with their open mind and heart and accepted all the decisions without any objection. And this fact about the Lutherans has been accepted in the constitution of Church of Pakistan. Which provides as under.
“The constitution of Church of Pakistan was formally accepted at the service inauguration on All Saints Day, 1970 by official delegates from the following Churches of Pakistan.
CIPBC (Anglican Communion in Pakistan), Diocese of Dacca, Karachi and Lahore.
UMCP (United Methodists in Pakistan), Conferences; Indus River Annual Conference, Karachi Provisional An. Conf;
UCNIP (United Church of Pakistan), Church Councils: Rajshahi and Sialkot;
PLC (Pakistani Lutheran Church);
Note: – This body accepted the Constitution without participation in the negotiations on the plan. and St. Andrew’s Church of Scotland, Session, Karachi.
The Church of Pakistan was formally declared to be the legal and spiritual heir and successor of each and all of the Churches. This act of covenant was declared to be irrevocable, and the Union was considered indissoluble.
The Inauguration of the Church of Pakistan was made on the basis of the Plan of Union been issued in 1951, 1954 and 1957. Work on these Plans was begun at the Round-Table Conference in the year 1929, but its sources can be traced to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Churches that found expression in the Edinburgh Conference, 1910, the meeting in Traquebar in 1919, and the appeal of the Lambeth Conference in 1920, This Plan profited from the experience of the Church of South India (Inaugurated In 1947) and from the work on schemes of union in Lanka and West Africa.
The Churches that contributed in the Plan are the Baptists, Brethren, Disciples, Anglicans, non-Episcopal Methodists, and Episcopal Methodists, and the United Church (mainly Presbyterian and Congregational). The Lutherans accepted the Constitution without having participated in the negotiations.”
After 1970 in the Union of Church of Pakistan:
After union PLC was run, from it’s headquarter ’’Bishop Manzil’’ (Bishop’s Residency) Baghdada Mardan, by Rev. Albert T. Chand & Rev. Isreal Kumla, who were the colleagues of Late Rt. Rev. Jens Christensen. Both of them were permanent residents of Mardan & were in regular contact with the Rt. Rev. Arne Rudvin. After Rev. A. T. Chand, Rev. Khair Ul Din, came as a representative of Lutheran in the year 1977, whose colleague was Rev. Isreal Kumla.
Rev. Khair Ul Din wanted that the two traditions in Frontier i.e. the Lutherans & Anglicans mutually should establish a united church, in the shape of a new “Diocese”. Rt. Rev. Arne Rudvin Moderator Church of Pakistan announced a new Diocese in 1980. This Diocese came into existence with the mutual understanding of Lutherans & Anglicans. Rev. Khair Ul Din left Bishop Manzil Baghdada Mardan and went to Peshawar.
Rt. Rev. Arne Rudvin Moderator Church of Pakistan being a Lutheran and very close to Mardan, he sent a Lutheran representative Rev. Gear Valle, who was at Karachi in those days, to Mardan. Rev. Gear Valle served here in Mardan, he was the Dean of the Mardan Deanery, he was also Priest-in-Charge of Malakand Parish, Swat parishes, Swabi Parish, and Tarbela Parish.
In the year 1988, under the directions of & donation sent by Rt. Rev. Arne Rudvin, a piece of plot was bought for a colony to be made for the Christian community of Mardan, for which a committee of the local people was formed, and Rev. Majeed Masih was the head of this committee.
After Rev. Geir Valle, Rev.Anwar Sharik was the Dean of Mardan Deanery. After Rev. Anwar Sharik, Rev. Majeed Masih was appointed as the Dean.
Due to the wrong & mala fide decisions taken by the management the Bishop Manzil Baghdad Mardan was demolished, and the names of the institutes and Churches were changed. Against these decisions the members of Pakistan Lutheran Church Mardan protested but their protest was suppressed by force.
In March 2007 the elders & members of the Northern Areas gathered and expressed their views, thoughts and feelings about the undue, unjustified and wrong policies of Peshawar Diocese, its administration and management.
We cannot live with the Peshawar Diocese any more, hence we declare, announce and restore the old Pakistani Lutheran Church, which shall now be called the “Northern Diocese Mardan, Church of Pakistan 1970”