Ambassadors for Christ was started in Australia by a war veteran, Mr. John Ridley. Few others joined him with the sole burden for ‘Revival in the church and Evangelism through the church’. They were conducting institutes on Evangelism for pastors and lay leaders. As the days went by, their vision widened and they started inviting people from other countries to infuse their vision and burden in them.
Way back in the year 1962, Mr. John Paul from Madras came in touch with this movement and was invited to attend their Institute on Evangelism at Australia. Rev. Ian North, an evangelist from Australia who has had several years of evangelistic ministry in India also came in touch with the Ambassadors for Christ in Australia. While he was there in Australia, Mr. Rodric Roberts from North India was invited by AFC Australia to attend the Institute on Evangelism. Later, all the three came together in India in the year 1964 and the AFC work was started in India under the leadership of Rev. Ian North, with the burden for “Revival in the church and Evangelism through the church.” The Lord had His hand on the ministry of this team and confirmed it through opening doors for team ministry throughout the land of India. This team was accepted by many different churches and denominations in this vast country. Rev. North had his base in Coonoor on the beautiful Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu. In the year 1969, the fellowship was registered as a Society and the ministry got more firmly established.
Mr. Augustine Salins, who was an independent evangelist then, was invited in the year 1969 by Rev. North to join the team and Mr. A Salins prayerfully accepted his invitation. God has been leading choice men of God in the team of AFC India these years and has been building up the team. As the years went by, Rev T. Sunder Tholar and Mr. Cyril D. Kunder from Karnataka and Mr. Fred Stephen from Tamil Nadu joined the team. The Lord started using these evangelists greatly.
As the work developed, Rev. Ian North clearly felt that he should handover the leadership of the team and return to Australia. So, in July 1971 the AFC India team prayerfully and unanimously elected Mr. Augustine Salins to take over the leadership of the team. In the year 1975, Mr. O.M. Prasada Rao from Andhra Pradesh joined our team. The team later felt the need to shift the Head-quarters from Coonoor for better facilities for operation and shifted to the present base at Bangalore in the year 1976.
The Lord’s call came to Mr. K. Paul Devakumar in 1971 to labor in His vineyard from his secular job of teaching statistics at a Government Medical College in Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu. After much prayer the Lord gave him the courage to obey His call to join with the Campus Crusade for Christ. The Lord used him in Campus Crusade for Christ in a wonderful way in different parts of our country. In 1976, Mr. Augustine Salins along with other staff challenged Mr. P. Devakumar to join AFC India for a wider ministry. They shared their burden for a real revival in the churches. After much prayer, the Lord clearly led Mr. Devakumar to join AFC India in August 1976.
By then the team was well known all over India and they were having invitations for ministry from almost all the states of India from different denominational and language backgrounds.
Mr. Augustine Salins was to retire in the year 1979 on attaining 65 years of age but because of the respect and love of the team for Mr. A. Salins and also as there was a provision in the rules, he was requested to continue to lead the team for some more time.
Mr. A. Salins had several setbacks in his health. His weakening health and increasing age gradually prevented from being involved in active evangelistic ministry. But he had been shouldering the heavy responsibility at the headquarters besides the supervision and guiding the building up of the Retreat Centre. Later his health was failing rapidly and he requested that he be permitted to go on leave pending retirement. The team prayed over the matter and unanimously elected Mr. K. Paul Devakumar to take over the leadership from him. Mr. A. Salins went on leave and Mr. P. Devakumar took over. Later in March 1983, Mr. A. Salins retired and Mr. P. Devakumar took over as the Director of the team and Mr. A. Salins left for Australia to spend several months with his daughter.
We have avoided the names of all those who have joined us and left us in the middle for the purpose of space. Each one of them also played a part in building up the team but they had to leave because of deviation in their callings.
Now we have 10 evangelists posted in different parts of India. We have our Director, Mr. K. Paul Devakumar at our National Headquarters in Bangalore. We have placed Mr. Rodric Roberts in Varanasi (U.P); Rev. T. SundarTholar in Udupi, Karnataka; Mr. Cyril D. Kunder in Mysore, Karnataka; Mr. Fred Stephen in Coimbatore (T.N); Mr. Fred A. Rajarathnam in Madras (T.N); Mr. O.M. Prasada Rao in Narsapur (A.P); Mr. Christopher Mohan in Secundrabad (A.P); Mr. Ch. Akbar in Nagpur, Maharashtra and Mr. P.S.W. Prabhu Kumar in Cuttack, Orissa. We are engaged in different types of ministry like, City-wide Evangelistic Campaigns, Church Revivals, Conventions, Retreats, Youth Meetings, Counselor’s Training, Village Evangelism, Teaching Programs, Family Life Seminars, etc.
At our headquarters in Bangalore, we have an office where Mr. Varghese Mathew and Mr. David Rajendran are working with our Director as Accountant and Office Assistant respectively. We have a Library and Free Public Reading Room at the headquarters where we have over 2200 books. Many people come to read these books and also the newspapers and periodicals. An experienced Librarian, Mr. K.J. Jacob handles it all and witnesses to those who come in and counsels several over their various problems. We have 4 other people who are helping us in the Office and at the Retreat Centre.
Teams of Nationals Accelerating the Spread of the Gospel Through Local Churches Nationwide