EU & EGF Ministry – History
Chandigarh is very well known as “the City Beautiful” It is a city and a union territory that serves as the capital of two neighboring states- Haryana and Punjab. The city is unique in that it’s not a part of either of the two states and is governed directly by the Union Government.
The origin of the Chandigarh EU/EGF ministry dates back to the year 1985.Three sisters from CNI Church, Sector 18, Sis. Elizabeth Clark, Sis. Ruth and Sis. Naomi were instrumental in the early days of formation. The students were mainly from North East and Foreigners. The first local students were Mr. Charles Samuel (now Principal, Mount Carmel School) and Mr. Stanley Samuel. In early 1990’s the doctors who came to PGI for further studies started meeting together for Bible Study and fellowship and in the same time in PGI Nursing Students Hostel an EU prayer cell was also initiated. Sis. Lini Mathew, Sis. Udaya Bharti and Sis. Bijina played a vital role in the growth of the prayer cell. Bro. Michael Sunder Singh and Sis. Grace was the first staff worker family for Punjab and Chandigarh. They visited the students and graduates regularly and encouraged them.
The first EGF Bible Study was started in the open home of Br. B.S. Kumar. The resource persons were Br. Joel V David and Br. J. N. Manokaran. Six single graduates Arvind, Sanjay David, Santosh Rajan, Samuel John, Ravinder and Manna started attending regularly. Slowly EGF numbers grew with inclusion of people like Cherian John, Maj. R.Koshy, Abey Kuruvilla, Dr. Gobind Tandon and Rev. Rakesh Charles. The first formal EGF committee was formed with its first president as Bro. Joel V. David and treasurer as Br. Santhosh Rajan. Br. C.Ramakrishna also joined in 1998.
The first major event conducted by the EGF for the intellectuals was on the topic “God and Science” at Govt. Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10. The speaker was Br. L. T. Jayachandran, RZIM. Later, more events were held at regular intervals including annual Christmas Evangelistic events.
The need for a staff worker based at Chandigarh was felt and the EGF started praying for a dedicated staff for Chandigarh EGF. Ms. Christina Dhas (2001-2004) Joined as the first staff worker based at Chandigarh. Gradually EU cells started forming in sector 19, 29 & 42. And also the EGF started growing with Philemon Daniel, Manjeet Bhatti, Anupama, Ruth Vivek, Nick &Jane ,Georgey and Sherley, George and his family added to the group.
Mr. Rohit Masih (2004-06) joined as local coordinator and then later appointed as staff worker for Punjab state and served for a brief period. During those days Mr. Sathish Simon (ZS) used to make regular visits to fill void of staff. Ms. Corrie Susan (2006-08) Joined as the staff for Chandigarh. In 2008 the first EU committee was officially formed. Regular EU cells were going on in Sector 40, PGI, NIPER, Manimajra and Balongi. In this period Mr .Jaison Samuel, along with young graduates like Mr. Narayan Das, Mr. Santhosh, Mr. Aditya, Mr. Prakash and Ms. Ranjana Bhatia joined the EGF.
Mr. Jim Magh and his wife Joyce (2009-12) joined as staff for Chandigarh. New EU cells were started in PU, DAV College, Sector 26, GCG Sector 11 etc. Very innovative event like Sadhu Sunder Singh Football Tournament were conducted as pre-evangelistic efforts. Ms. Nivedita Gupta (2012-16) & Ms. Indu Bhatti (2012-14) joined as national staff workers. Mr. Aditya John (2011-13) also joined as the Coordinator for the city. During their period the EU cells in PGIMER especially among the nursing students grew strongly also the Bible study group in GCG42, NIPER, NITTTR. ICEU met every Sunday regularly. Now from 2017, Mr. Pratyush and Ms. Nidhi are the staff based in the city.
In the significant milestone, the ministry of Chandigarh got separated from the State of Punjab in the year 2010 and gained a separate status of individual statehood. Very soon the Chandigarh ICEU got affiliation in the AGM 2013 at Ahmadabad.