20 April 2023

In February 2023, the New Apostolic Church India witnessed the retirement of two of its Bishops. Samanta Kumar and Immanuel Jonathan were retired on health grounds after more than two decades of service in India and abroad. The retirement blessing is an important milestone for ministers who have devoted their lives to serving their congregations. We hope this new chapter allows them time to rest and reflect, and reap the rewards of their dedicated service.


The Faithful and Steadfast Bishop Samanta Kumar

On 12th February, Bishop Samanta Kumar received his retirement blessing in a festive service held at our congregations Jagdalpur Central. He had requested an early retirement after the reoccurrence of a spinal cord condition which severely impacted his ministerial life. He received his retirement blessing from District Apostle Helper David Devaraj surrounded by his family and congregation.

Bishop Kumar, born on 22nd May 1969, was inspired by his grandfather, a pastor in the CNI church, to study theology and serve the Lord in ministry. His ministerial service in the New Apostolic Church started in 1995, and he was ordained as a Bishop by Chief Apostle Richard Feher in the year 2000. He worked closely with many congregations in Bhubaneswar, Balangir and Bargarh, expanding his reach to southern Odisha and Chhattisgarh. He played an active role in regional choir practices, church administration, teaching and mentoring and translation work. Now he is dedicated to spending time on his health and recovery while continuing to nurture his faith within the congregation.


The Passionate Bishop Immanuel Jonathan

On 25th February, Bishop Immanuel Jonathan received his retirement blessing from District Apostle Helper David Devaraj. Immanuel Jonathan was born on 23rd February 1968 in Bidar and received Holy Sealing on 15th March 1974. He completed his Diploma in Aeronautical Technology and worked for a short period of time in aircraft maintenance before dedicating his time to ministerial life and the completion of God’s work. He married the cheerful Deena Jyothi on 26th October 1994 and was blessed with two sons and a daughter.

He worked primarily in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu as well as the Union territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He also served our members in Sri Lanka since 2014. Bishop Jonathan was also largely involved in the music program as well as teaching and translation work.


With Deep Gratitude

The members of the New Apostolic Church India wholeheartedly thank the Bishops Samanta Kumar and Immanuel Jonathan for their contributions during their two decades of devoted service. We also thank their families and congregation for the sacrifices they have made and support they have provided. We wish them good health and happiness as they enter a new phase of their lives.


Rededication of the Koudgoan Church

Following the retirement blessing of Bishop Jonathan, the DAH David Devaraj held a re-dedication service on the 26th of February for the Koudgoan congregation in Bidar. The members of the congregation had raised a large percentage of the funds to renovate their church building and with some help from the Church the building was finally completed.

The bible verse for the Divine Service was taken from 1 Samuel 3:10 “Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’” Through his message, DAH  Devaraj reminded us that God speaks to us when we come to church. Church is a place where salvation is offered to humankind. It is in church that God reveals Himself to us and calls us to eternal life.  Just as God called Samuel, He also calls unto us, it is our responsibility to listen attentively and heed His voice.

No matter what stage or phase of life we are in, we are sure to find solace and support in the house of the Lord. May it be our experience and endeavor to surrender our lives unto the Lord and trust in His plan for us.