Who we are
The Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon (ADC) is a denomination that aims to establish bishopric governance within the free churches. The ADC curtrently episcopates over 500 churches establishing the Diocese as one of the largest Christian denominations nationally. As the Independent and autonomous free church movement was growing; The necessity for leadership and representation was a national concern. After discussions with the free church community and government leaders the ADC took the pioneering step to invite already existing independent churches to come under one umbrella. In July of 2015 under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Honorable Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Minister of Christian Affairs Hon John Amaratunge; The ADC launched its first steps envisioning the first Diocese for already existing free churches nationally. Within the last year the ADC is in training of close to 150 free churches to be a part of an Episcopal culture. It is the only diocese that offers episcopal governance with an institute to train and educate clergy. A part of the ADC vision is to bring back certain episcopal traditions that were lost in the progression of the charismatic revival.
The ADC is the Sri Lanka branch of the Indian National Apostolic Diocese (INAD), which is the largest government sanctioned Diocese for Free Churches in India with over 11,500 churches to its name. It is headed by Bishop Paul T. Maran, who ordained Reverend Dr. Kirby De Lanerolle as Chief Overseer of the ADC in a ceremony held in July 2015. The event was graced by the Honourable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Christian Affairs John Amaratunge, Minister of Telecommunications Harin Fernando, the then Minister of Children’s affairs Rosy Senanayake and then Minister of Special Projects Felix Perera.
The ADC is Accredited by the ICDRHRP (International Commission of Diplomatic Relations Human Rights and Peace), with good standing of 5 STAR grade. Accreditation Number : ICDRHRPIG045/01242017
A part of the ADC mission is to set up a structure of governance based on the five-fold ministry – namely Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. If these five offices are not established the body of Christ in that area becomes weakened and dysfunctional; hence the principal mission of the ADC is to identify the five-fold ministry and strengthen it within the Free Churches, as a necessary step towards promoting functionality within the Kingdom of God.
The ADC also aims to operate as a solution based ministry and a tool of reconciliation between faiths. The Sri Lankan population comprises of a variety of religions and ethnicities that coexist within one cultural spectrum, and yet the history of this nation has been marred by religious and ethnic conflict. Identifying itself as a ‘Ministry of Reconciliation”, the ADC aspires to bridge the gap in serving the nation together by promoting inter-religious dialogue through its various social programs.
The ADC further intends to provide the Churches with a proper education that is worthy of their office. Through the INAD Open University, degrees and diploma qualifications in Christian Theology and Ministry are open to pastors and preachers of the churches nationally.
OF THE APOSTOLIC DIOCESE OF CEYLON
To serve, edify and equip the body of Christ to fulfill the effective working of the Lord’s commission and to fulfill kingdom purposes.
OF THE ADC
- To strengthen episcopal governance within the free churches of Sri Lanka and to facilitate, train and educated clergy within the free churches.
- Identifying the five-fold ministry and equipping ministries according to their gifting.
- educating and training of pastors to be recognised within their sphere of influence as part of the greater Christian organisation
- advocating for free church rights within the nation
By The ICDRHRP
CHIEF OVERSEER OF THE ADC
REVEREND DR. KIRBY DE LANEROLLE
Reverend Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle was appointed Chief Overseer of ADC in 2015 by the INAD which is the largest and only state recognized Charismatic/Pentecostal Diocese in India. He has been honored with a doctorate by the INAD Open University for his fore-running teachings on “Grace” and “Lasting Life” that have revived the regional free churches.
Rev Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle has also been awarded with the title of ‘Deshabimana’ for his effort in social service that has bridged relationship between Temple and Church; enhancing inter-religious harmony within the nation. His church initiated a model example of the first Charismatic/Pentecostal mission to work together with the local Buddhist temple in serving the community for social uplift-ment. He also officiates as an all island “Justice Of Peace”.
Rev. de Lanerolle’s envisions a church culture relevant to reconciliation & nation building as opposed to division & segregation. He emphasises a solution-based gospel over a conversion-based gospel. He emphasises on the actual implementation of spiritual dynamics to everyday life, thereby empowering the believer to have excellence in their field of influence. The fruit of this can be seen in his own church congregation (WOW Life) where key influencers and voices have risen in many spheres like aviation, architecture, music, fashion, lifestyle, F&B, travel, sport, fitness, government etc..
He is married to Pastor Fiona Rachel de Lanerolle (LLB, Buckingham, UK) for the past 14 years. Fiona and Kirby are both the founders and visionaries of WOWLife ministries & the Warehouse Project. Fiona is an active board member of the ADC.
He has been in the private sector from his young days; at the of 22 and was instrumental in setting up the tea export packaging company Ambassador Tea which later went on to win the medium scale export awards for value addition consecutively in 2010 and 2011. He also set up a $25 million Alokozay Tea plant in Jebel Ali, UAE in 2003; currently he partners and owns a food fish and prawn farm in Sri Lanka.
Rev. Dr. Kirby has also served with the state sectors. He first entered service at the age of 28, when he was appointed as the Executive Adviser to a Cabinet Minister, making him one of the youngest individuals to hold an official government position ratified by the Cabinet. Spreading his reach further into the field, Rev. Dr. Kirby was also a member of the Board of the National Aquaculture Development Agency (NAQDA) and was the National Project Coordinator for Aquaculture Development for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). He was further appointed as the Adviser to the Minister of Special Projects.
The success in the Maradana area of his social initiative: The Warehouse Project led to his appointment as the Executive Adviser to the Ministry of Social Services. Within this office he initiated and established the National Volunteering Secretariat funded by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV), of which he served as Working Director. He was then appointed as a member on the National Council for Persons with Disabilities appointed by then President of Sri Lanka.
Rev. Dr. Kirby currently holds the position of Coordinator to the Ministry of Christian Religious Affairs for free and independent churches in Sri Lanka.
Rev Kirby is one of the visionaries of the prestigious “V Awards” in 2012 – which is the National Award for Volunteering Services in the country.
In his young days Rev. Kirby was an avid sportsman and has won national awards in boxing & rifle shooting.
In 2012, Rev. Dr. Kirby was highlighted in TedX for his Breatharian lifestyle – it was the first time that a Sri Lankan Christian pastor was invited to talk about spirituality and fasting.
In addition Rev. Dr. Kirby and his wife Fiona were featured on foreign media; the National Geographic Channel aired a special documentary on Rev. Dr. Kirby’s breatharian lifestyle and this was viewed by over 400 million families around the world.
He is currently the head of the WOW life Church based in Sri Lanka, with an ever increasing number of members all across the globe in over 20 nations. The church is renowned for its unique ministry and the flow of prophetic, miracles, signs and wonders which confirm the power and glory of Jesus Christ. He is under the covering of INAD Bishop Rt Rev Dr. Paul. T. Maran & Bishop Rev. Dr. Neil Obeysekere.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
There is one true God1 who is eternal, immortal and invisible2. He is the Uncreated One, Holy King, Creator, Saviour & Word3. He has revealed Himself as one being in 3 persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit4.
The Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God. All proceeding word (rhema) is in context of the written Word (logos). Mankind was made in the image of God5: spirit word in bodily form. Man’s unbelief in the goodness of God has condemned and separated him6; therefore man fell from eternal life into death (sickness, poverty, damnation etc.) God in His mercy sent forth His only begotten Son to be atonement for mankind’s trespasses and reconciled mankind to the father though the finished work of the cross7. He did so by imputing righteousness as a free gift to those who believe and receive8. Therefore it has been commissioned that the good news through the word of God must be preached so that mankind, through the process of “repentance” can receive the Word (Son) that is able to save their soul9.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born immaculate10, anointed by the Holy Spirit to render mankind from loss of dominion and authority to the King’s dominion and all authority11. We are saved by grace, through faith12 by the free gift of righteousness that is promised in the Word through the finished works of the Cross. The Holy Spirit has now been given to us to convict the world of sin, righteousness & judgement13. Holy Spirit is the helper, comforter, counsellor and the resurrection power that works within the sons of God14.
Once a believer has received the Holy Spirit he is called to set his mind on the things of the Spirit15 so that he would not be walking in his flesh nature but being led by the Spirit and manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit16. A believer is known by the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace etc.) Once the Holy Spirit is within and upon a believer he is commissioned to go forth and heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and do greater works17. It is every believer’s mandate to disciple every tribe and tongue (nations) hence advancing the kingly dominion. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is poured out on believers that they might be sanctified and have power to be witnesses18.
The Word of God clearly speaks of a heaven and a hell. Each person’s destiny in this regard is solely in the hands of a just and loving God who judges each man according to the Gospel19. When the Word is implanted in the children of God, they will be transformed into the image of the Son of God and the church of Jesus Christ (bride) will be glorified beckoning the return of our Savior King20.
- Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
- 1 Timothy 1:17 – Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- 1 Corinthians 8:6 – But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
- Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
- Genesis 3:22-24
- Galatians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 5:19, John 3:16
- Romans 5:17
- James 1:21
- Isaiah 7:14
- Matthew 16:18, Psalm 8:6
- Ephesians 2:8
- John 16:8
- Romans 8:11, Matthew 28:19-20
- Colossians 3:2
- Galatians 5:16-22
- John 14:12, Matthew 10:8
- Acts 1:4-8, 2-4, Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
- Romans 2:6-8
- 2 Corinthians 3:18, Titus 2:13, Romans 8:30
THE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HON. PRIME MINISTER AT THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF ADC, HELD IN JULY 2015
The inauguration of the Ceylon chapter of the Indian Apostolic mission is a very important day for a large number of free churches that have been functioning in our country to get the official recognition to carry out some of the duties conferred by state on Christian authorities. Therefore in a sense it gives an organizational network. On the other hand they are now free as churches to carry out their own form of worship. After all, the survival of Christianity after the Crucifixion of Lord Jesus Christ was due to these small independent churches which were strong enough to withstand the forces of persecution in Europe and then to establish the bishopric of Rome. But in the Middle East and the orient it was not so; the free churches grew and spread all the way to China. It came down to Kerala and even to Sri Lanka. You find in Anuradhapura the Nestorian Cross; if you go down the silk route the Nestorian churches and free churches flourished until Islam took over. The place of worship both of the Nestorians the Buddhists and other religions survived until in the 19th century. Nevertheless it showed a flourishing Christian culture not attached in any way to the European churches – some free churches, some belonging to a more lose configuration of what we now call the different Nestorian and other churches that were established.
Nevertheless the government headed by President Maithreepala Sirisena is committed to safeguarding and upholding the right of worship and that applies to all of you. We cannot have extremists coming and tearing down places of worship because no religion has said to destroy the places of worship that belong to other religions. The great emperor Asoka who was the greatest Buddhist emperor has stated time and again in his pillars that people of all faiths should be free to worship within his empire, and we in Sri Lanka are carrying that tradition. So if someone comes and says that their religion can exist only by destroying others then he wouldn’t belong to that religion – certainly not to Buddhism. There is no ground for us to see a destruction of any place of worship. In fact before the Portuguese came there were different conquerors in different areas but they never destroyed the places of worship of other religions. They sought to win them over.
We are committed to the International Covenant on Human Rights to uphold those provisions of the freedom of religion and even to go further in helping the religion. There are different views of how the state and religion is separated. Sri Lanka is a democratic state but we have to remember the representatives belonging to different religions; therefore we allow them to help themselves through the different ministries, the political executive ministries and their branches for Buddhist affairs, Hindu affairs, Islam affairs and Christian affairs. I hope this will enable you to play your full part in the organizations of the Ministry for Christian affairs.
I wish you all the best in carrying the message of the Lord in our country.
SPEECH OF THEN MINISTER OF CHILDREN’S AFFAIRS ROSY SENANAYAKE AT THE INAUGURATION CEREMONY OF ADC, HELD IN JULY 2015
My lord Bishop Paul T. Maran I thank you very much and I thank and praise the Lord Almighty for giving us this opportunity, for speaking to your heart to support and make Sri Lanka part of the international diocese. Nothing is an accident; everything is the plan and purpose of the Almighty God. I thank and praise the Lord for every single person especially for Reverend Dr. Kirby, for the immense work he is doing and for all the pastors and preachers. Every person is carrying the Word in this country. This is something that is much needed and I praise the Lord for strengthening you for keeping you safe and giving you divine wisdom to do the work that he has called you to do.
At a time when the value system is deteriorating, when there is no respect for humanity, when there is so much corruption and ill-gotten things happening in the country it is time for us Christians to stand up as a people separated by God to be humane, kind, loving and to share the purpose and plan of God on this earth. At this time we, the people of this nation, have become very selfish, self-centred and forgotten about reaching out and supporting others – the very fundamentals about being Christian. I think it is time for us Christians to stand up and show that we care, we are a tolerant people, we love and we are very compassionate, have mercy, and are quick to forgive and that we are very quick to bestow the Lord’s work upon the nation.
There is a verse that has actually shaped my life and has made me very grounded in the Word and to constantly look to Him in everything that I do in Isaiah 66:1-2 where the Lord speaks about the Lord being the King in Heaven – “heaven is My throne, the earth is my footstool, what kind of temple can you make for me… all I require is a contrite and broken heart.” And this contrite and broken heart is what has taken me to the people to understand their needs to empathise with them because there are a lot of people in this country, a vast majority that is downtrodden, lost and destitute. So this is a Word that has kept me very grounded and I would like all of us to look into our hearts and see where we are today in this Word. Are we a people with a broken and contrite heart? That is what the Lord loves the most, and if we have a broken and contrite heart and if we can reach out and look to others and support others; that is the greatest blessing that one could have, especially to love others.
I would further like to congratulate the Diocese and everybody who was ordained today because I think the diocese is also going to give us a legal entity. We have been fighting for many years to establish our churches and to have that legal entity, and when we are thinking on the level of government, this diocese is eventually going to give us the legal framework and the legal entity. In my capacity as minister and as a committed Christian whatever I can do within my powers I will be there to support you.
I also would like to mention the fact that we can look forward with the mercy and the blessings of the Lord because the diocese will eventually give not only a legal framework for us but also there will be a proper curriculum and proper syllabus and it would be either in the form of a Diploma or Degree – and that is what we need. As much as having our establishments legally established we need to do it completely in the proper manner in which the Lord would like us to do. So we need to have a theological backing. Even though we all might have a calling in serving the Lord, how to serve the Lord according to the Bible is very important. I congratulate the diocese once again for bringing this aspect as well. I am asking all of you to pray that this nation will be won for the Lord and that this nation will be a righteous nation with righteous rulers ruling this country.
CHIEF OVERSEER OF APOSTOLIC DIOCESE of CEYLON (ADC), REVEREND DR. KIRBY DE LANEROLLE’S SPEECH
I think it is the first time that independent churches have ever been recognised and acknowledged like the government today has recognised and acknowledged us. Thank you, sirs, for recognizing us, we are truly humbled and honoured that we had such a large government representation for the first time in history for the independent churches. Thank you; we are absolutely blessed by your visit.
Before I start I would like to talk a bit about the INA and what we plan to do here.
In Sri Lanka our first step is to make Pastors Reverends. That is what we are planning to do and under the bishopric governance of Bishop Paul T. Maran; we will actually be qualifying pastors who were not qualified before. We will be giving them Diplomas and Degrees and Masters’ Degrees from the INA Theological Open University. We want to make sure that the Pastors will be dignified persons when they go back to their communities and villages – that they will be considered as educated in their community. That is our heart from the INA to you and that is Bishop Paul T. Maran’s heart for you. He wants to train and equip Pastors. But before we go into to equipping and teaching, Pastors and Prime Minister, I would like to speak our heart as to why and how we do these things.
Firstly, Jesus says always that out of the goodness of a man’s heart he brings forth good things1. So if our heart condition is right then we can bring forth good things in this nation. And when we serve in our villages and cities, we have to serve with the right type of heart condition. I want to talk about three heart conditions that we the ADC and the INA diocese are committed to; our work will flow out of these heart conditions.
The first heart condition that is so important to talk about is just that Jesus did everything out of love2. Every service that he did was solution based; so Christianity in Sri Lanka must go back to being solution based. I am a Methodist Priest’s grandson and I remember when I grew up with my grandfather, all the Methodist mission houses were solution based. Their heart was not conversion based first, it was solution based; they loved people first. Pastors, Muslims Buddhists and people could come, and they had solutions. I really believe that if you love people, people are drawn to that love. Jesus Christ would be really disappointed if we had a different agenda than to love people. And people will come to us because we prolificate and we show love. Jesus Christ’s ministry was a solution based ministry, when they were sick, they got healed; if they were blind, they saw, if they were hungry they got fed; and I really believe that out of great love flows great miracles, and out of great love will flow great solutions. So that is the first one; that our heart condition when we are serving, to be focused not on agenda, but love. So, the first one is a solution based ministry, not conversion based. But they first need to see love.
The second most important thing is that we need to have is a culture of mutual honour, where we honour the Catholics, the Muslims and the Buddhists. When we do that, they will see that we are a Ministry of reconciliation. The ADC slogan is “A Ministry of Reconciliation.” We, The ADC and the Indian National Apostolic Diocese under Bishop Paul T. Maran, are committed to reconciliation. We are committed to reconciliation between the 41,000 denominations in the world; that is our commitment from the ADC. We are also committed to reconciliation between faiths and we are also committed to reconciliation between races. This is what our country needs and this is the solution our pastors can be for this nation.
The third most important factor is when Jesus Christ was asked in Mark 9, he said “who is the greatest in the Kingdom?” And the Lord said, “The greatest in the kingdom is a servant.”3 But notice that he said, the greatest king is the servant. It is not the greatest in a company, the greatest in a democracy, it is not the greatest in a fellowship; it is the greatest in the kingdom. You don’t lose your kingship, but the greatest king has a heart to serve. Now I really believe that this nation today is seeking after servant kings – leaders to want and have a heart to be servants. This nation today is seeking. He is the desire of nations4, the servant king; the saviour king. And if a man is representing kingship, lordship, leadership but he has a heart of a servant, I believe then we have fulfilled the greatest call at which we are commissioned.
These are the main three heart conditions that the INA diocese and the ADC are committed to; and every work that we do will be underwritten by these three main points. And of course we will support the independent churches but we will help them with the basis of these three main principles.
If we are truly servant kings, if we are solution-based and if we love unconditionally, because Jesus did not have conditions to His love, I think God will find it that we have fulfilled the calling that we were called for, for this nation. God bless you all. Jesus and I love you.
- Matthew 12:35
- John 3:16, John 15:9
- Mark 9:34-35; Matthew 23:11
- Haggai 2:7
THE CHIEF OF THE INA BISHOP PAUL T. MARAN’S SPEECH
The Bishop commenced his speech with prayer in thanksgiving to God for the setting up of the ADC (Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon) and invoked the blessings of the Blood of Christ towards the leaders of the nation.
On this wonderful day I would like to speak a few words about the Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon, which is the Sri Lanka chapter of the INA. The time has come to stand up as a Free Church and as servants of God. Since 1991, the Lord has instructed me to provide legal authority and backing to the Free Churches that have worked relentlessly to bring many into the Kingdom.
We know that the governments of the world have commissioned their full support to all established religious institutions to function in their faiths. However we believe that a proper organizational structure is necessary for the Free Churches as well, if they are to enjoy the same freedom and privileges. The INA and the ADC (Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon) work towards achieving this goal, but they need to be recognised as a licensed authority by the government. Many people carry revelation on the Word of God, but few of these have the necessary education or theological backing to fortify their place in the Kingdom. The Lord gave me the wisdom and showed me the way to educate such persons and appoint them as pastors and priests. The Lord has so far instructed me to educate and appoint about 12,000 such Independent preachers and pastors. In India the INA has given a legal framework and government approval for the Free Churches of 22 states, and this in turn has given them the respect and authority they deserved. They now operate under the umbrella of the INA, and are able to work in a safe and conflict free environment. We give all glory to our Lord God and to His Son Jesus Christ, thorugh whom all things are possible. I pray that the same blessings that the INA is now walking under will come to the ADC as well. The INA also has government approved education and degree programs for pastors and preachers. These are of very high standard; the INAD Open University Certificate is a valid qualification and even a letter of recommendation by the diocese has a far reaching influence.
I also would like to tell you about two very important people who helped to expand the INA to Sri Lanka and other nations. Firstly as a group are those that persecute us; they helped us to move forward in Christ. They are like the prodigal sons who will one day return to the Father. Because what we are doing is the work of God; we are serving God and we thank God for the prodigal sons, who are also there to assist in the mission of the Lord. The other person is the Chief Overseer of the ADC (Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon) Rev. Dr. Kirby De Lanerolle. We bless Rev. Dr. Kirby; we thank the Lord for the revelation upon his life and bless him for the work of the ADC, which we believe will one day be of a higher level even than the INA. We also thank International Overseer of the INA, Rev. Dr. Tony Abraham whom the Lord has used to facilitate this union between Sri Lanka and India.
Today the certificate that we are going to give you is even accepted by the government. The Free Churches now have an Episcopal authority which gives them structure. We bless you all in Jesus’ Mighty name.
Bishop Paul T. Maran is the head of the INA Today the Diocese has over 11,500 churches registered under its criteria with Episcopal clergy rights and a growing number in the neighboring Nations under the parental recognition of INA International synod.
PROJECTS UNDER THE ADC
THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT
AN NGO COMMITTED TO PROMOTING BETTER LIVING STANDARDS
Established since 2011 by Rev. Dr. Kirby and his wife Fiona, The Warehouse Project is non-profit organisation that is designed to serve society by providing educational and support programs to underprivileged youth. The objective of this undertaking is to facilitate creative solutions for urban community problems through arts, entrepreneurship and micro-financing, ensuring that all those in need are served regardless of class, race, or religion. Standing true to its vision, the ADC hopes to promote interfaith dialogue through The Warehouse Project, which embodies the prospect of social and religious harmony in the nation. The dedicated service of the Management team of the TWP has earned them the respect of leaders of other religious organizations that honoured the heart of reconciliation administered by the project initiative. Rev. Dr. Kirby was awarded a national accolade by the Buddhist prelates as “Deshaabimana” for his service, a title rarely given to Christians.
Sri Lanka is primarily a Buddhist nation, and yet many faiths exist within its boundaries. The true scope of interreligious harmony can only be achieved once each faith is respectful and considerate of the other. The Warehouse Project is one of the many steps that will be taken by the ADC to ensure a safe and secure environment of reconciliation in hope, faith and honour amongst the nation. This program is done in the Spirit, promoting interfaith dialogue. The TWP works with Venerable Kolonnawa Narada of the Sri Narada Foundation.
After School Educational Programmes
For the past couple of years, The Warehouse Project has been working with the temple to promote better living standards, laying the groundwork through its Education Program for the poor and needy children in Colombo. The objective is to provide knowledge in the fields of IT, English, Mathematics and Science and Linguistics while providing facilities for extracurricular activities. Currently over a 100 children benefit from the Educational Programs which focus on total personality development. The management has recruited the services of paid and voluntary teachers who conduct lessons on a daily basis. The heart of TWP is to prosper and bless the youth of nation with the right blend of education that focuses on love, care and honour. A daily meal is also provided free for the children with the program.
Furthermore, The Warehouse Project offers children around the Island annual scholarships along with additional facilities to enhance their intercultural communication skills through the performing arts. Programs are underway to promote the children’s dancing, drama and aesthetic skills to international standards.
Vocational Training and Other services
The Warehouse Project has introduced a vocational training program, in order to open up avenues of employment. School leavers are hence trained in Coffee Shop and Hair Styling programs. In addition the Project aims to support those engaged in self-employment and small business ventures and also provides medical services, legal advice and leadership training to those in need. TWP also provides dental Clinics and Eye Camps for both children and adults in the community.
PUBLISHED IN “CEYLON TODAY” ON JULY 13, 2015
Extended bonds through Christ’s love
The Indian National Apostolic Diocese (INAD) is the only national diocese for independent churches that has a legal mandate in India.
By Sheramy Pilapitiya
The Indian National Apostolic Diocese (INAD) is the only national diocese for independent churches that has a legal mandate in India. Due respect goes to Bishop Rev. Dr. Paul R. T Maran who founded the INA. He presides over 11,000 churches in India. His great and blessed vision is to organize, educate and train the independent churches, so that they can be of service to the nation and its government. He initiates in prioritizing religious harmony as well as inter denomination reconciliation and reconciliation with other religions and every race with no exception or indifference through the INAD and the ADC (Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon) Sri Lanka.
One of the main objectives of the INAD in Sri Lanka is to upgrade the existing independent churches by means of training and getting them committed to education in the faith. Furthermore, the INAD Open University facilitates effective degrees of Divinity and Theology.
On 10 July 2015, the inauguration of this very special moment was shared between the two countries.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe gladly expressed his views on how Christianity has expanded throughout many regions in the world. He also related to how Emperor Asoka, a great king of India made sure that each citizen respected another’s religion and race without any ill-treatment. Wickramasighe pointed out that this is what we should continue adhering to even in the modern world.
Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle was appointed as Chief Overseer of the ADC. He points out that love is based on three heart conditions. One is solution-based ministry and not convention-based. The second condition is that we need to have a culture of mutual honour. Thirdly, he said we must all be ‘servants’ in the kingdom of God, no matter what post or how much wealth we possess on earth. Through his inspiring speech, it was clear that no matter how heavy our pockets might be while we live this short life-span, it’s our good deeds that really count. He emphasized on humility, which is a great quality one must acquire.
Rev. Maran started his speech by saying that both the Sinhala and Tamil language are beloved children of one mother. It was definitely a moment that touched everyone’s hearts. Rev. Maran continued to say that God recurrently ordered him to start this movement in order to educate persons in Christianity and to bring them to a great level as they strive to live in Christ’s light as servants of the Lord. He ended up his speech with these words, “This is Christ’s service. This is a beautiful and mesmerizing island where the people are great. Hence, I wish Sri Lanka would flourish in love forever together as one.”
Next, Felix Perera took the limelight as he proudly spoke of God’s wondrous love for all of us. “India is our elder brother. We are glad the INAD has enabled us to build a Sri Lankan National Diocese.” After knowing Rev. Kirby since he was a young lad, he is quite astonished at his transformation from being a naughty guy who rode horses all day and was a normal youth to becoming a very influential figure in society as a great example of spirituality. Rev. Kirby began a warehouse project that fed, clothed and educated the needy in slums as well as he voiced God’s word. He definitely epitomizes true Christianity in the present day.
Today, he is happily married to a lovely woman who encourages him and has joined him to walk in the path of spirituality and to spread the love of Christ through word and deed. Perera was sure that it’s only God who can do such a change in our lives as He guides us along the right path, and not anyone else. Just as Peter, was called the ‘Rock,’ God has called forth many more rocks to spread God’s word. Perera further pointed out that we must not divide ourselves due to the race we belong. Then, we are not expressing true Christianity. “If we believe God created the world, we should not think in a racist manner. I have never got involved in astrology in my life or even in sooth-saying because I believe in God’s perfect time and plan for each human he has created. The best doctrine in the world is God’s doctrine. I think God should be given prominence more than anything in our lives.”
PUBLISHED IN “THE DAILY NEWS” IN JULY 2015
PUBLISHED IN “THE DAILY NEWS” ON 09TH FEBRUARY 2017
The Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon (ADC) gathered the leaders of all its member churches for the inaugural meeting recently. The ADC hosted over 500 clergy, making it one of the largest pastors’ gatherings of Charismatic/ Pentecostal leaders nationally. The ADC’s collective congregation is approximately 50,000 strong.
The Daily News attended this groundbreaking event. [Read Full Article]
PUBLISHED IN “DAILY FT” ON JULY 18, 2015
ALL INDEPENDENT CHURCHES IN SRI LANKA NOW UNDER ONE UMBRELLA
From left: Murugesh Shanmugasundaram, Rev. Benedict Fernando, Chief Minister of UVA Province Harin Fernando, Minister of Special Projects Felix Perera, Chief Overseer of ADC Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Founder and Bishop of INA Paul T. Maran, Rev. Dr. Neil Obeyesekere, International Overseer of the INA Rev. Tony Abraham, Secretary of the INA Rev. Prince Maran
From left: Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Religious Affairs John Amaratunga
As many as 350 independent churches from all over Sri Lanka now come under the Sri Lankan Chapter of the Indian Apostolic Diocese which was inaugurated at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel under the auspices of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Speaking at the ceremony which gathered pastors and clergy from different denominations of the Christian faith, the Prime Minister remarked that this was a historic day for all independent churches in Sri Lanka because it gives them renewed sense of freedom and status to carry out their worship.
The local representative body of the INAD is the ADC (Apostolic Directive of Ceylon). One of the main mandates of the INA in Sri Lanka is to upgrade the existing independent churches by means of training and getting them committed to education. The INAD Open University will facilitate degrees and theology which was not available earlier.
INA founding Bishop Paul T. Maran who graced the occasion was invited by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The Bishop also ordained three pastors namely Rev. Dr. Neil Obeyesekere, Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle and Rev. Benedict Fernando.
Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle, the chief overseer of the ADC cited that nearly 400 independent churches were registered last Friday. Rev. Benedict Fernando will assist Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle with the mission. Dr. Neil Obeyesekere of Grace Ministries International will depart to the UAE after the program.
Dignitaries who attended the program included Minister of Special Projects Felix Perera, Minister of Christian Affairs John Amaratunga, Minister and Chief Minister of UVA Province Harin Fernando.
For churches who would like to register they are requested to mail their details to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0779146677.
PUBLISHED IN “THE DAILY NEWS” ON 28TH JUNE 2016
In recent times a number of shocking events have taken place in our compassionate nation. A nation where good Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus want to live in harmony with each other. However there are certain elements in society who wish to break our bonds of love and friendship. These elements are determined to sow the seeds of enmity between the people of many faiths and turn us against each other. [Read Full Article]
PUBLISHED IN “THE DAILY NEWS” ON 23RD DEC. 2016
An article written by Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle
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