Lords unseen hand guides, directs and preserves His children by working out
circumstances, very often, in the most unexpected ways".
The CSI Congregation of Great Lakes,
Michigan was formed on May 06, 1990 by the ingenious efforts and initiative of
Rev. Christopher J. Kurian, a Presbyter
of the CSI Madhya Kerala diocese. One
evening, in April 1990, I had a surprise telephone call from the Presbyter, who
was obscure to me in person. During the course of the conversation, he
delineated to make arrangements for a Holy Communion service. Though I felt
pessimistic at that time, I assured him that I would reciprocate if my efforts
work out well.
With prayer, I called a few of my
friends- Bajee Thomas (Mallappally), Joy John (Mundiappally), Mathew Varghese
(Thalavady), & Johnson Stephen (Quilon), whom I knew were CSI members in
Kerala, and informed them of my dialogue with Presbyter. The information given
to me by them enabled me to contact some more CSI families-
George Chandy (Kottayam), Saraja Samuel (Mallappally), Shaji Thomas
(Mallappally), Jayaraj Thomas (Trivandrum) and Varghese Kurian (Kottayam).
Subsequently, reinforced with optimism, I called Presbyter and asked him to come
to Michigan. Mr. Thomas Koshy, a CSI member from Christ Church, Chicago, took
the initiative to bring copies of the CSI order of service and drove Presbyter
to Detroit. With the help of Bajee Thomas, we visited all the CSI families on
the same day itself, though the visits lasted till early morning.
The following day, Sunday, May 06,
1990, at 9:30 a.m., a Holy Communion service was conducted with the
participation of nine CSI and four non-CSI families in the basement of Mr.
Johnson Stephen. That blessed service planted a seed of CSI in Michigan. After
the service, a meeting was convened where I was entrusted to coordinate another
meeting at a later date to attempt to form a CSI congregation in the Detroit
After two weeks a prayer meeting was
arranged at the residence of Mr. Joy John. After the prayer meeting, our
discussion focused on forming a CSI Congregation in Michigan and our decision
was unanimous. We decided to bring Rev.Christopher Kurian once a month for Holy
Communion service and to have cottage prayer meetings on the other Sundays.
Prayer meetings helped families to come together as one family and that
good-fellowship laid the foundation for the future. Mr. Jayaraj Thomas and Mr.
Mathew Varghese conducted prayer meetings and helped in conducting worship
services. Later three more families joined with us. Mr. Santosh Abraham, Mr.
Santosh Mathew and Mr. Itty Mathew. Our desire for a permanent church building
was fulfilled when we received information that the First United Methodist
Church of St. Clair Shores, a magnificent facility might be available for us to
use between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. every Sunday. Rev. Christopher Kurian was
notified of our situation and all the formalities were accomplished on the
Pastoral level through his initiative.
In September 1990, our congregation
was inaugurated. All the pastors and members from the local congregations of
Indian origin as well as the pastor and members of the United Methodist Church
participated in the inaugural service. This was the first worship service ever
held in the Detroit area with the participation of all the churches of Indian
origin. By this we were reverberating the CSI motto and the message that
"we are one in Christ".