CELEBRATING 150th Anniversary (1860-2010)

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by Elder H M Sabir

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Nabha Road was with Scotch Army from 1860 to 1947 for worship. After the division of Hindustan this became part of Pakistan and Methodist Church took over this place for regular prayers. The Church wasn’t being looked after well during this period. At that time there was no Presbyterian Congregation in Lahore. In 1956 God sent Rev Newton Labhoo Mall to lay the foundation of Presbyterian Church in Lahore, who started the prayer sessions in YMCA building and individual homes and established United Presbyterian Church in Lahore. At that time there were two missions active in Lahore; American Presbyterian Mission and Associate Reformed Presbyterian Mission which were collectively given the name of Lahore Christian Council.

In 1957 along with a few people Rev Newton requested the Methodist church to give them 5 Nabha Road Church for regular prayers, which was lying vacant since long, which they accepted and this became the first regular church of United Presbyterian Church. The Church started operating with a few members. Some of the initial members who helped Rev Newton were:

01. Mr. A R Gulab
02. Mr. R B Mall
03. Master Badar Ud Din
04. Chief Post Master Inayat Masih
05. Capt Rahmat Ullah
06. Mr. D C John
07. Mr. Nazir Alam
08. Mr. J D Saleem
09. Master Sadiq Dilawary
10. Mr Rasheed Khan
11. Mr. Yaqoob Mall

In 1958 Mr. David brother of Rev Newton was murdered so he went back, but the members kept their worship sessions regular. In 1960 all members met Rev Dr K L Nasir (Principal – Gujranwala Seminary) and requested to provide this church a regular pastor. He choose and sent Rev Bashir S Imam Din from Sargodha to 5 Nabha Road.
Church was in shabby condition when Rev Bashir S Imam Din started serving the church and there was no pastor house as well, so he resided in Cap Rahmat Ullah’s residence at 17-F Gulberg. Pastor house was constructed from 1961 to 1964. Rev Bashir shifted to the Pastor House in 1965 along with his family.

Till then first session of the church was constituted, who were:

01. Elder D C John (Secretary)
02. Elder Nazir Alam (Treasurer)
03. Elder A R Gulab
04. Elder R B Mall
05. Elder Inayat Masih
06. Elder Badar Ud Din
07. Elder J D Saleem
08. Elder Rasheed Khan
09. Elder Capt Rahmat Ullah
10. Elder Sadiq Dilawary
11. Baba AllahRakha (Church Bearer)

At that time Mr S Lyall Bhatti and Mr L M Samuel were also active members of the church. Till 1967 following new elders were added to the session:

1. Elder Anwer Alam
2. Elder L M Samuel
3. Elder K Aron
4. Elder Victor B Jamal Ud Din

In 1968 Dr K L Nasir introduced International Council of Christian Churches in Pakistan founded by Dr. Carl McIntire, which was opposed by the majority here and the congregation divided into two parts. Half of the congregation moved to 59 Nicholson Road amongst which few were:

1. Elder A R Gulab
2. Elder R B Mall
3. Elder Rasheed Khan
4. Elder J D Saleem
5. Elder Capt Rahmat Ullah
6. Elder J Manzoor Ul Haq
7. Mr. S Lyall Bhatti

In 1971 few more elders were added to the session:

1. Elder H M Sabir
2. Elder Khalid Hadayat
3. Elder Madan Khushal

In 1974 Rev Bashir S Imam Din suffered a paralysis attack and he was unable to server the lord. In this period some more elders left the church and the session was left with:

1. Elder K Aron (Secretary)
2. Elder John B Mall
3. Elder F William
4. Elder H M Sabir

These elders kept serving along with Rev Bashir till 1980. In 1981 Elder H M Sabir and Rev Rehmat Masih knocked down an attempt to take over the church. When the Gujranwala Presbytery felt that Rev Bashir was not unfit to hold on to the church and serve any further, he was sent on retirement. Then Elder H M Sabir along with his wife Mrs. Zarina Sabir Met Elder J D Saleem and Elder Elder Parvez Rahmat Ullah and Mrs J M Manzoor Ul Haq in 59 Nicholson and informed about this attempt and requested to help in protecting the solemnization of the church, and proposed to reconcile. They agreed to this proposal and it it was announced in both churches. After a little retaliation from both congregations a reconciliation could be made possible. A new session was constituted in 1982 comprising of the following members.

01. Elder Parvez Rahmat Ullah (Secretary)
02. Elder H M Sabir (Treasurer)
03. Elder J D Saleem
04. Elder R B Mall
05. Elder K Aron
06. Elder J Manzoor Ul Haq
07. Elder John B Mall
08. Elder Iftikhar Bhatti
09. Elder Fazal Elahi
10. Elder E Saleem Bhatti
11. Elder Francis Imam Din
12. Elder Asif Feroze Bhatti
13. Elder Yousaf Lal Din
14. Elder J R Mall

Major repairs of Church were made between 1988 and 1991

Since there was no appointed pastor in the Church hence guest speakers were invited frequently for sermons amongst which Prof Daniel Baksh and Prof Jackob E Lal are the prominent names. Rev Hanook Haq was also invited a couple of times to deliver the sermon. In 1983 Rev Rehmat Masih was appointed as regular pastor in the church. He served the church for 3 years, while the session decided to carry on the repair work at church for which Building Fund Account was established. Till 1988 Rs.350,000/- were collected in Building Fund and the repair work was initiated. The contract was given to individual but he left the task unfinished. Finally two session members; Elder H M Sabir and Eder Fazal Elahi were handed over this responsibility, who diligently completed this task by sacrificing times from their jobs and home. A daily labour work used to start with a word of God and Prayer.

The whole congregation took active part in this construction work by physical and financial involvement. Elders used to visit people to collect donations for the renovation work. Personal vehicles were used often to bring the raw material for this renovation. Sundays were celebrated as work days by the congregation and labour was helped in this way. By 1991 this work came to an end and regular worships started to be held inside the church building.

Next was the pastor house for which an old member Miss. John took the initiative by donating Rs.100,000/- and the whole congregation also pooled in an this was also done very proficiently.

In 1993 session requested the Gujranwala Presbytery for a regular pastor. They chose Rev. Majid Abel, one of the best students and fresh graduate for Nabha Road Church. He was installed as a pastor in the church and the church started to grow and prosper. During the tenure of Rev Majid Abel, there was a remarkable growth in church congregation and the church prospered as a whole. During this time following new elders were added to the session:

1. Elder Jamshaid Rahmat Ullah
2. Elder Pervaiz Saleem
3. Elder Jalal Masih
4. Elder N P Dass
5. Elder Hermond Javaid Bhatti

In the beginning of 2002 Rev Majid Abel shifted from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to Naulakha Presbyterian Church. To overcome the deficiency of a fulltime pastor the session requested Col (R) Ernest Shams to be the pastor of the church which he accepted and became pastor in Sep 2002. His Seminary and Military trainings helped him in turning out to be a good church leader. During his short tenure of 7 months the church choir gained a lot of strength and won Helen Rocky trophy for the first time.

In April 2003 Rev Hanook Haq became the fulltime pastor of the church. Rev Hanook Haq with the support of his wife, beautified the

premises and improved the overall look of the church. He also added a lot of new members to the church.
In 2009 two new elders were appointed by the session:

1. Elder Asher Moon Bhatti
2. Elder Shehbaz Masih

Rev. Hanook Haq still serve the church with dedication and we all pray to God to give him strength and wisdom to manage the church in a way God wants it to be. (Amen)

  St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
5 Nabha Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: 92 42 3735 1769, info@pcpnabharoad.com
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