Homage to a Hero
Dr. John K. Mathew
The influx of people to kumbanad during the days of the funeral of Pastor T. S. Abraham was a clear evidence of his influence upon people. Literally people from all walks of life be it pastors, priests, politicians, professionals, and peasants appeared at Kumbanad to pay their homage to that great personality, who lived among them as an ordinary person! What makes him unique is that he nested in the hearts of people with a simplified life. Pastor T. S. Abraham a man of few words eloquently spoke to all of us simply with his life. His life was his message.
Pastor T. S. Abraham was a man of head, heart and hand. The man equipped himself with sound education both from the East and the West, touched the lives of the high and the low. All that he earned out of learning made him a man of humility. Humility was the hallmark of his whole life. When everyone focussed their attention to this man and he stood at the center of limelight, deep in his heart he was humble. His look, language and life as a whole exhibited the truth that he was humble inside out.
In a culture in which mouth, money and muscle rule and dominate, he remained to be a man of heart. He always listened to the silent beats of his heart. Inside his custom tailored safari, T.S. Abraham was handsome and he always carried two pens in his pocket. A blue pen and a red one. His blue pen produced some good books - the product of his intellectual caliber- of which the ‘Minister's Manual’ is a masterpiece, a widely sought after book, so many pastors refer this on a daily basis, including me. Seldom did he use his red pen and without any grain of ambiguity I can assure that it protected our faith and our church at large.
His heart was revealed to me so many times, especially when he had to deal with his opponents and critics. Always he was cool and remained to be a shepherd no less and no more. I have seen so many people approaching him for recommendations and certificates. While they wait for few minutes, he returns from his office and they would be surprised to see a well written (typed) letter that contains vocabulary totally unknown to them, but suitable for their purpose! Yes, T.S. Abraham was a man of ‘busyhand’, in that he did the work all by himself of several people.
I came in to close contact with him in 1987, when I was elected as the treasurer for the State PYPA. The same year I was appointed as a teacher at Hebron Bible College, which paved the way for me to have an encounter with a man of heritage, Pastor T. Stephen Abraham, the son of late Pastor K. E. Abraham, founder of the India Pentecostal Church of God. Those years were crucial in moulding history of IPC, that Pastor T. S. Abraham faced a lot of challenges to his ministry and it continued for a long time and came to a point that his opponents strategized with goal that he should renounce IPC Presidency but God almighty enabled him to serve his church as its President twice. From my experience with him I will underscore one thing- that Kumbanad never has been the epicenter for any politics rather kumbanad politics always was defensive in nature.
There is no equal for him in the Pentecostal realm, especially in terms of his heritage. For the same reason his absence is a big loss. There is much to write about him. After a long life and ministry that light has dimmed, looking back on memories, fond memories. He is now resting in the presence of his master, whom he faithfully served for more than half a century. Yes it is inevitable that they need rest from their labour. Actually we lost two iconic heroes this year, Rev. Billy Graham, a Pastor to the Presidents and Rev. T. Stephen Abraham, a Pastor to the Pastors. Both of them fought the good fight, finished the course and kept the faith.
In fact, as Rev. Billy Graham has said, we do not have to believe the news that they are dead, they are alive, more alive than ever before.
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many torighteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” Daniel 12:3.