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Mukkarambakkam, India — January 2010

(Click the small photographs for full-size pictures, opens a new window)

Cornerstone Christian Church, Mukkarambakkam


Mukkarambakkam

Mukkarambakkam is a village placed about an hour's drive north of Chennai (previously Madras, in 1996 it was renamed Chennai) in the Tamil Nadu region of South-eastern India. The community is made up of Dalit people, who are mostly very poor. It is set in an agricultural area.

Cornerstone Christian Church is based in the centre of Mukkarambakkam. It is currently made up of 67 families. Their aim is to reach the local area with the good news of Jesus, and God is blessing them with growth. Cornerstone also seeks to provide practical help for local people, as is seen in the running of the tailoring school for women and the well, which is available to anyone at any time.

Cornerstone Christian Church
Cornerstone Christian Church
The Cornerstone Church congregation
The Cornerstone Church congregation

Pastor Deveraj Stephen leads the church. His wife Gethsy leads the ministry among women.

Pastor Stephen, Gethsy, Sam & Dafni with Dave Town and Mike Wilson
Pastor Stephen, Gethsy, Sam & Dafni with Dave Town and Mike Wilson

Our partnership with Cornerstone church is based upon a prayerful concern for each other. All Hallows has been able to provide financial support, in particular with the construction of the current church building, well and tailoring school. Pastor Stephen and his son Sam have been to visit us in Cheadle, and members of our congregation have been to visit Mukkarambakkam, and to help at the Kingdom Builders' pastors conference in Chennai.

Cornerstone Tailoring School for Women

The tailoring school was opened in 2006, and it provides training in machine skills for local women. The women spend six months in training, after which they are qualified and able to find employment in nearby factories.

Students of the tailoring school
Students of the tailoring school

Kingdom Builders' Pastors Conference

This is a biannual conference for pastors in and around Chennai. It aims to equip pastors to teach the Bible with greater faithfulness and clarity. To that end it is centred upon expository Bible teaching, where the Bible itself sets the agenda for the content of the preaching.

Pastors at the 2010 conference
Pastors at the 2010 conference

The conferences also involve singing, praying and eating together. This has proved to be a great help in growing fellowship between pastors and churches, as well as providing a loving atmosphere in which to address some potentially divisive issues. The church is growing fast in Tamil Nadu, and it is our hope that this conference will help the church to grow in godliness and unity, as well as in numbers.

Fellowship over a fine Biryani
Fellowship over a fine Biryani

The conferences are coordinated by Pastor Stephen from Mukkarambakkam and his son Sam in Chennai. All Hallows has sent speakers and musicians to help lead the conference. The most recent conference was January 2010; Dave Town, Dave Walker and Mike Wilson went from All Hallows.

Dave preaches while Pastor Vincent translates
Dave preaches while Pastor Vincent translates