GUJRAT CHURCH COUNCIL
The followings is the excerpt from the Book “The United Church of Northern India Survey 1968” published by GA of UCNI in Nagpur.
During 1967-68 this council had churches in Ahmedabad, Careypur, Jhalod, Behrampur, Dohad, Klopspur, Borsad, Gamadi, Surat, Brookhill, Gilespiepur.
Partner Church: Its partner church at that time was Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
History: Soon after 1800 A. D. the first missionaries of the London Missionary Society Started work in the area which in now known as Gujarat and in 1819 the first station was established in Surat. In 1841 the Presbyterian Church in Ireland sent its first missionaries to Bombay where, with the help of Church of Scotland missionaries, work was started among Gujarati speaking people and later was extended northwards. In 1846 the London Missionary Society handed over their station in Surat to the Irish Presbyterians and in 1859 all other work which they had started in the area was also handed over.
The Church, which had already taken root in a number of centers, grew very considerably during the mass movement period when many thousands of Depressed Class people asked for instruction from one of the several Christian denominations working in Gujarat. Early in this century the Irish Presbyterian launched a special Jungle Trebles Mission and a number of congregational have been organized among people of the Bhil tribe.
Integration: The first steps towards integration were taken in 1947 and negotiations started then culminated in the final integration in 1961. In 1956 the Church Council set up a body known as General Board of Gujrat Church Council with power to take over all work entrusted to it by the Council. The General Board is made up of 24 members appointed by the Council,half of whom must be members of the Council. In practice the Council entrusts all institutional work, the administration of property, and certain evangelistic projects to the General Board, but in questions of policy concerning evangelism the final decision rests with the Church Council.All ministers serve directly under the Council and are stationed and transferred by its Executive Committee. Requests for missionaries from the overseas Church are channelled through the General Board in cases where they are required for work under the jurisdiction of the Board, but those required for ecclesiastical appointments are requested by the Church Council.