APOSTOLIC DIOCESE OF CEYLON - WHO ARE WE
Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle - Chief Overseer
Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle is the chief overseer of the Apostolic Diocese of Ceylon (ADC) which is a denomination that has been established in 1991 and its revived mandate aims to establish bishopric governance within the free churches. The ADC currently episcopates over 600 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.
With the guidance of Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle The ADC also aims to operate as a solution based ministry and a tool of reconciliation between faiths. INA Diocese has appointed Bishop Kirby de Lanerolle as the secretary for inter-religious harmony. 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.
THE VISION 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.
THE MISSION 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 / Bishop 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. He is also the international secretary for interreligious harmony for the INA Diocese. WOWlife, which is his local church, is also an established 501 C3 in the USA.
Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle received the position of Coordinator to the Ministry of Christian Religious Affairs for free and independent churches in Sri Lanka by direction from the prime minister’s office in 2019.
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. Kirby 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.
He is married to Pastor Fiona Rachel de Lanerolle (Mth fuller USA, LLB, Buckingham, UK) since 2004. Fiona and Kirby are both the founders and visionaries of WOWLife ministries & the Warehouse Project.
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, a leading commodity trade house and partners in energy consultancies in Sri Lanka.
Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle 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 de Lanerolle 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 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 de Lanerolle was an avid sportsman and has won national awards in boxing & rifle shooting.
Rev. Dr. Kirby de Lanerolle was highlighted in TedX and later in 2013 in National Graphic Channel to talk on spirituality and fasting.
Rev. Kirby de Lanerolle is the head of the WOW life Church based in Sri Lanka.He is under the covering of INAD Bishop Rt. Rev Dr. Paul. T. Maran & Bishop Rev. Dr. Neil Obeysekere.
ADC STATEMENT OF FAITH
There is one true God1 who is eternal, immortal and invisible (2). 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 Spirit (4). 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…) God in his mercy sent forth his only begotten Son to be an atonement for mankind’s trespasses and reconciled mankind to the father through the finished work of the cross (7). 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 soul (9).
ADC believes the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born immaculate (10), anointed by the Holy Spirit to translate mankind from loss of dominion and authority to the King’s dominion and all authority (11).
We are saved by grace, through faith (12) 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 & judgement (13). Holy Spirit is the helper, comforter, counsellor and the resurrection power that works within the sons of God(14).
Once a believer has received the Holy Spirit he is called to set his mind on the things of the Spirit (15) so that he would not be walking in his flesh nature but being led by the Spirit and manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit (16). A believer is known by the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace…) Once the Holy Spirit is within and upon a believer he is commissioned to go forth heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and do greater works (17). 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 witnesses (18).
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 Gospel (19). As the Word is implanted in the children of God, they grow in the knowledge of the Son, in the unity of faith (22) and are transformed into His image (21). The body of Christ being transfigured from Death to life, embracing long & lasting life. The last enemy Death being conquered by the body and the church of Jesus Christ (bride) receiving the fullness of His Glory ready for the return of our Saviour King (20).
1 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.
Galatians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 5:19, John 3:16
Matthew 16:18, Psalm 8:6
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.”
2 Corinthians 3:18, Titus 2:13, Romans 8:30
2 Corinthians 3:18
REV. DR. KIRBY DE LANEROLLE’S EXPLAINS THE 4 POINTS ADC ADVOCATES FOR
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.
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
SOCIAL SERVICE PROJECT TO PROMOTE 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.