Close to 300 leaders and delegates from the 17 Baptist Associations came together at the Kok English School, Khowai, Tripura, for the 78th Annual Assembly of the Tripura Baptist Christian Union (TBCU) from April 15-17, 2016. The theme of the gathering was ‘Be Strong and Courageous’ – Joshua 1:9.
APBF General Secretary Rev. Bobby Resu was invited to be the main speaker during the gathering.
Tripura is a beautiful small state located in north-east India, measuring about 10,491 sq. km only, bordering Bangladesh with a population of roughly 4 million. Christians are about 5% of the population, of which Baptists are the largest group, numbering close about 100,000. The gospel first came in with New Zealand missionaries in 1911. The TBCU was formed in 1938. Currently it is led by Rev. Dr. C.K. Debbarma, as its General Secretary. TBCU is headquartered at Agartala, the capital city of Tripura and is composed of 17 associations and 850 local churches. It runs a Bible College which offers Bachelor degrees, led by Rev. Rajani Kaipeng as principal. St. Paul School located in the TBCU compound is run by TBCU and considered one of the best schools in the whole state with over 1500 students. The Union plans to re-start a hospital to serve the people of the state. TBCU continues partnership with New Zealand Baptist Churches and also with Baptist Church of Mizoram and Evangelical Church of Maraland, and now with other Baptists of north-east India.
Being a minority has its challenges, and case in point is the Agartala City Baptist Church which could build its sanctuary in 2013, after nearly 20 years of procuring land due to resistance from the neighbourhood. Yet there is much excitement about sharing God’s love and that is seen in the growth of the churches.