History of RBC


1. Beginning of the Christianity among Rabhas:

The year between 1930-1932 was the most remarkable year of the Rabha Christians as it was the year in which the tribes knew Christianity. The gospel was not preached directly to the Rabhas but some gospel tracts were distributed which led Konaram Rabha and Mohima Rabha into conversion. One Sunday Konaram Rabha of Ambari village was going to a small town of Gauripur to buy some commodities. On the way, he met an evangelist team, who gave him some gospel tracts. He brought them home, yet he could not read since he was illiterate. So, he gave it to his close friend Mohima Rabha. Who read and explained to him what was written and it's meaning. Through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, both of them were inspired by the word of God and eventually accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. One day they were invited by Niru Rabha of Kalbhandari to offer a word of prayer for two/three years old sick child Puthiram Rabha. Niru had first consulted medicine men and women and also witchcraft who did their best but could not heal the child, yet the child rather becomes serious day by day. At last, Niru invited Konaram and Mohima who were the only Christians at that time. Niru had a little faith in the Christian prayer to heal the sickness. Konaram and Mohima prayed for the child and it was said that the child was miraculously healed. As a result, Niru and his family were converted into Christianity. A couple of days later, Shillong Pamong, an itinerant Garo preacher (Probably a Pastor) visited Debitola area and preached the gospel. Some of the Rabhas responded to his preaching and were baptized. Shillong Pamong used to visit them from time to time to take care of them. The number of Christian families has been increased to around twenty families through the ministry of Shillong pamong. Then the first Rabha Baptist Church was established at Kalbhandari, Sharat Rabha was appointed as the first Palok. After the death of Shillong Pamong, Rabha Christians were left as parentless children. Moreover, they faced severe persecutions from the local people. Since they no longer had a leader. They wanted to join other missions. Firstly, they approached the Dingdinga Lutheran Mission and then the Gaurang Mission but both missions did not accept them. Then they become helpless as they had no more leader to guide them or to look after them. Eventually, they were compelled to go back to Hindu by paying a heavy fine. Nevertheless, there were two young Christians whose faith could not be shaken by persecutions and any other disturbances. They were none other than Kamakya and Ganesh Rabha. Instead of re-converting themselves to Hinduism, they chose to leave their family, village, and society in order to remain Christians. So, Kamakya went to Tukrajhar where he becomes a cook for Win and Peter Ewing and Ganesh went to Baghpara (Garo Mission) where he becomes the Headmaster of primary school. Whenever they went these two young Christians never forgot their own people and urged the Australian missionaries to extend their missionary work to the Rabhas.

2. Ensuing of the ABMS Missionaries: The Australian Baptist Missionaries come to the Rabhas not directly from Australia. In fact, there was no proper plan from Australian Missionary Society to send a missionary to the Rabha tribes. But it was Kamakya and Ganesh who felt the use of a missionary and persuaded the ABMS missionaries to extend their work among the Rabhas. During that time the ABMS missionaries had already been working among the Garo and Bodos. The contribution made by Kamakya and Ganesh towards the Rabha Christians were remarkable and praiseworthy. In the year 1953, Rod Brown (ABMS Missionary) and two Bodo believers Subidhar and Agonsing carried out a survey of the Rabha areas. They visited 15 villages and though they met no antagonism, the people were wary. Rod Brown reported to the Mission Board that the field was challenging. The Bodo Baptist Church played a significant role in the establishment of the church among the Rabhas. Five Bodo young men come to Debitola along with the missionaries from Tukrajhar. In front of a crowd of some 300 Rabha seated on the ground in bright moonlight, the five Bodo young men stood up one after another and witnessed to them and shared their testimonies which impressed the hearts of the Rabhas very much.

3. Establishment of the Mission Centre: As already said before, Kamakya and Ganesh never forgot their own people, they always thought about spreading the gospel to the Rabhas once again. Time and again, Kamakya come to Debitola to preach the gospel with the hard trial of Kamakya. Rev. & Mrs. Kirkwood were able to open a medical work (Dispensary) under a small hut in 1957. During these days, there were no other dispensaries in the area of “Parbotjhora”. So the Rabha leaders did not complain, rather they allowed them to open medical work for the benefit of the native people. Rev. & Mr. Kirkwood came once in a week to pursue their medical work from Baghpara Mission. By the year 1957, they began to construct the necessary buildings like missionary quarters. Peter wings also helped them in constructing the buildings.

4. First Church among the Rabhas: On their return from their furlough in Australia in 1958, Rev. Rex Glasby & Mrs. Peggy Glasby and their young sons John, Peter, and Michael moved from Tukrajhar to Debitola on April 1. The fourth son Daniel was born a few years later at Debitola. Along with them their cook Prabhat Ch. Mezembrai also come, who got baptism in February 1958. Kamakya Rabha, Rev. Subidar Borgoary, and Rev. Agonsing Narzary kept on coming to Debitola to preach the gospel. As a result, in May 1959 around six families, who have gone back to Hindus in 1930-32 have turned back to Christianity. Along with them Khagen Bandabok also accepted baptism. The first church was established at Kalbhandari on May 6, 1959, the senior Christians from Tukrajhar Kamakya, Subidar, Agonsing and from Baghpara Garo Union, Rev. Kirkwood and Mahindra Marak kept on visiting them every Sunday to encourage the new believers. So the church becomes alive. As a result, some new families were added. In 1960, the gospel was spread to Sapkata village around 75 km far from Debitola by Anukul Rabha and evangelist. The people were so receptive, six families were converted on the same day. After someday, seven families accepted baptism. Then the Sapkata Baptist Church was established, Mr. Mahen Chapar was appointed as a palok and later he was ordained by the RBCU.

5. The RBCU: Rev. Rex Glasby felt the need for Church formulation for the Rabha Christians. He was the one who formulated the name “Rabha Baptist Church Union” and he himself registered the RBCU under the society of Registration Act. 1960. Now the RBCU is known as “Rabha Baptist Convention” (RBC) since February 14, 2014. Due to some inconveniences, the RBCU is alternated into RBC along with its fresh registration. The RBC is coverage to the three states Assam, West Bengal, and Meghalaya respectively.

6. Zoram Baptist Mission (ZBM) Missionary: After the ABMS missionary left Debitola in 1968 on June 8, Rev. Rokhama & his wife arrived at Debitola mission from Mizoram. He started working among the Rabhas, he introduced giving lump-sum to the pastors & evangelists. Rs. 75/- for the pastors and Rs. 50/- for the evangelists. By the hard work of Rev. Rokhama churches increased. He also founded a local committee in every church in order to look after their own church well.  See more.....