FATHER BISHOP Dr M EZRA SARGUNAM
Bishop Ezra Sargunam is a second generation Christian. His father was a little boy when he and his non-Christian parents became Christians. Later in life, his father came under the influence of great missionaries like Amy Carmichael and Rev T Thomas Walker. Bishop Ezra Sargunam was born on July 19, 1938 in an obscure village in the State of Tamil Nadu, South India. He was christened “Ezra” because his father happened to read about the life and ministry of the scribe Ezra (Nehemiah 8), during his morning devotion several hours before his birth. At the age of 17, he accepted Jesus Christ and had the assurance of salvation at a Billy Graham crusade in Madras (now Chennai). Interestingly, Bishop Sargunam was a seminary student then.
He did his graduate and post-graduate courses in Theology in Madras, Allahabad and at the Serampore University as well as in California, USA and was conferred the “Doctor of Divinity” (honoris causa) degree for his dissertation on International Development and Church Growth. He became a Pastor in 1957 at the age of 19.
He was married to Mangalam, a wonderful woman of prayer, in the year 1962, who remained a great support to him in the ministry, until she went to be with the Lord on 29th February 2008. He has two married daughters and four grandchildren.
His Vision as a Church Planter
Bishop Sargunam received the initial vision and passion for church planting quite early in life at the age of 19, when he was an evangelist at a village called Porur on the outskirts of Madras, where the first ECI church was planted during 1957-58. It is from this village the ECI church planting movement spread throughout the length and breadth of India. The Porur Church is now one of the largest congregations of ECI with a membership of over 2000. Almost 90 percent of them are first generation Christians. The believers have recently built their third sanctuary.
As the Executive Vice President of the United Minorities Forum, Tamil Nadu-Pondicherry, and as a member of various inter-religious, cultural and social organisations, Bishop Sargunam has played a key role in promoting religious and social harmony among various peoples of India, especially in the South.
As a social and political activist, Bishop Sargunam has participated in various demonstrations in support of human rights and the rights of the Dalits, minorities and the oppressed people of India.
Social Justice Movement of India
Bishop Sargunam is the Founder-President of a socio-political organisation called Social Justice Movement of India. SJMI organises seminars, conferences and demonstrations to uphold justice, liberty and equal opportunity for the oppressed and suppressed of India.
His fearless resolve to even lay down his life for the religious and social rights of the oppressed people was manifest when he braved the fascist Gujarat government and sat on a twelve-day fast in protest against the desecration…