ABOUT DR. THOMAS MATHEWS (1944-2005)
In 1963 Pastor Mathews heard the testimonies of persecution in Rajasthan, which challenged him to choose this difficult state as his mission field. He came alone to Udaipur (Rajasthan) with a Bible, two rupees, and a dhoti, but when he went there were thousands to see him off and great records of his contributions in the north Indian mission.
Theological Education and Church Growth
It is significant to note that Mathews knew the magnitude of quality theological education. For many, theological education and church growth are two unconnected ends of Christian mission. The difference between him and many of his contemporaries is that Mathews saw theological education and church growth as two inseparable aspects of Christian mission. He believed that quality education will result in quality churches. It was his great ambition to produce capable young people from north India as preachers, teachers, church planters, and researchers. Along with Thampy Mathew, Thomas Mathews established the Filadelfia Bible College (FBC). FBC has produced over eight hundred graduates. It is amazing to see that more than eighty percent of FBC graduates are church planters in northern India.
Mathews was a mission leader with a wider perspective. It is true that he was very busily involved in mission. However, he took time to write books in English as well as in Hindi because he knew the implication of printed letters in mission. By realizing the fact that Hindi is rarely found in Christian literature he worked hard to learn Hindi and later he became a famous orator in this language. He also began the periodical, Angel, in Hindi. His ‘Bhavishyavani ki Ruprekha’ (An Outline of Prophecy) and ‘Prakashitvakya Ek Saral Tika’ (Revelation Simplified) were his masterpieces in Hindi. As there are only few quality Christian writers in Hindi, Mathews’ contribution to Christian Literature in Hindi is priceless.