Gospel for Asia Founder K.P. Yohannan Gives the Gift of Worship on His Birthday; Hand Kissing Too

Happy Founders Day!
Forgive the late wish for a happy Founder’s Day. In the Believers’ Church, K.P. Yohannan’s birthday is considered a special day and singled out for celebration.

Founder’s Day

[March 8]

This is the Birthday of our Metropolitan. On this day, the Church shall organize compassion ministries such as providing food for the poor and beggars, social work, gift distribution to the poor and downtrodden, etc. These activities fulfill the dream of our Metropolitan to love others as Jesus loved us.

In addition to the social work, the birthday celebration video slips in a little self-worship to the festivities.  Watch the Believers’ Church television tribute to the founder of Gospel for Asia, His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Dr. K.P. Yohannan. From the Athmeeyayathra Television Facebook page:

Ring Kissing or No?
Remember the controversy over ring kissing in the Believers’ Church? One of the original complaints of former GFA staffers related to the undue reverence given to Yohannan as illustrated by the custom of kissing Yohannan’s ring. Yohannan not only denied that it was a part of his experience in India, he said he never saw it happen. Then video surfaced of newly initiated pastors kissing Yohannan’s ring.
Now in this video, we can see that at least some of his admirers continue to practice ring kissing (or at least hand kissing).

Admirer kissing the hand of K.P. Yohannan. From his 2017 birthday video.
Admirer kissing the hand of K.P. Yohannan. From his 2017 birthday video.

For GFA supporters who claim Believers’ Church is evangelical like Calvary Chapels here in the United States, videos like this must be hard to integrate into their GFA narrative. In any case, donors need to understand that when they give to GFA, they are supporting this field partner in India.

Calvary Chapel Pioneer Rebukes K.P. Yohannan's Church Rituals

GFA HQ Front
Gospel for Asia HQ, Wills Point, TX

Last night, Phoenix Preacher posted audio of Bill Gallatin, a pioneer in Calvary Chapel circles, rebuking the hand kissing rituals of Believers’ Church recently brought to light here and by former staff of Gospel for Asia. At the Northeast Senior Pastors Conference going on now in upstate New York, Gallatin said during a speech:

and you got a man in India who says he’s a Calvary Chapel and he’s wearing robes like the pope and he’s even having his own people come up and kiss his hand…and no ones even blinking.

You can hear the full audio at this link (at about 30 minutes in).
Those familiar with Calvary Chapel are telling me that Rev. Gallatin’s statement, while brief, is significant. As this kind of sentiment bubbles to the surface, it makes me wonder how long GFA will remain silent, even in response to donors and supporting churches.