A HISTORICAL SKETCH OF BORO BAPTIST CHURCH ASSOCIATION
a. The beginning of Boro Baptist Church Association
The origins of Boro Baptist Church Association are found in two important foreign missions - the American Baptist Mission and the Australian Baptist Missionary Society. The American Baptist missionary AJ Totle sent Umon K Marak, a Garo convert who preached the Gospel among the Boros of Tukrajhar area on the northern side of old Goalpara district, some 250 kilometers from Guwahati; Marak later founded the Goalpara Boro Baptist Church Union (now known as Boro Baptist Church Association) in 1927. However, the American Baptist Mission could not continue the mission work for a longer period of time due to shortage of workers and finally transferred it to the Australian Baptist Missionary Society (now known as Global Interaction) in 1946. The Australian Baptists began work among the Boros of Tukrajhar region from 1947, though the American Baptist Mission had transferred the Tukrajhar Mission station to the Australian Baptists in 1946. The first set of Australian Baptist missionaries Rev. Wilfred and Mrs. Gwenyth Crofts were sent to Tukrajhar on 17 May 1947, just three months before India received its independence.
The Australian Baptist Missionary Society continued their mission work among the Boros for twenty-one years. Since the year (1968), the leadership has been provided by the Boros themselves. The Boro Baptists rightly consider 1927 as the year of the beginning of Boro Baptist Church Association.
2. NETWORKING WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN BODIES
BBCA networks with the likeminded churches and organizations.
3. Governing Body
- Horicharan Basumatary : President
- Binoy Basumatary : Vice President
- Rev. Prosenjit Basumatary : Secretary
- Upen Basumatary : Treasurer
- Rev. Dhojen Borgoary : Member
- Heman Borgoary : Member
- Mrs. Anju Basumatary : Member
- Libiyon Iswary : Member
- Sanjeeb Iswary : Member
- Monen Narzary : Member
4. NAME OF PRESENT OFFICE BEARERS (2019-2021)
- Mr. Nabin Basumatary
- Mr. Binoy Basumatary
- Rev. Prosenjit Basumatary
- Mr. Sonjeeb Iswary
- Mr. Monen Narzary
- Mr. Libiyon Iswary
- Mr. Upen Basumatary
5. THE ACTIVITIES OF BORO BAPTIST CHURCH ASSOCIATION
(a) Mission Work:
The church growth movement in Lower Assam was led by Boro Baptist Church Association especially from 1980s when the great revival (spiritual awakening of the churches) came upon the churches of the Association. The immediate result of this was the formation of Gospel Fellowship in 1980 consisted of lay people who were committed to the presenting the Good News. Later Mission department was started in 1991 to intensify the mission work.
(b) Pastoral Ministry:
Home Mission, began in 1991, and encouraged supporting the mission involvement of the member churches of the Boro Baptists. Full time area Pastors, Porisarika (Women Pastors) and Sunday School Promoters used to give pastoral services to the churches and mobilize the churches to be self-supporting through systematically giving tithes for mission works besides paying yearly budgets to the Association. Besides, looking after spiritual growth of the member churches, these Home Mission workers have administrative works as they are representatives of the Association to the churches in terms of proper co-ordination and supervision of various works.
Since inception, the Association has used education as central importance in its approach to the people. The American Baptist missionary Rev. AC Bowers and the Australian Baptist missionary Rev. PN Ewing contributed much to the Boro people through establishing schools. The Association continues to engage itself with school education - in this case JD Williams English School, established in 1984, promotes quality education for all round development of the whole person and preparation of responsible citizens of the society and future leaders.
(d) Medical and Health Ministry:
Medical mission has been part of the Association’s activities since the beginning. From the day of the pillbox ministry, which the early Australian Baptist missionaries carried out, the Association’s Crofts Memorial Hospital has grown into a good hospital to be reckoned with, now. The Crofts Memorial Hospital, established in 1956 and named after the first ABMS missionaries Wilfred and Gwenyth Crofts, is now rendering low cost, effective quality health care, health awareness and community service to all people irrespective of caste, creed and color. In addition, the Association’s Bethel Prayer Tower, established in 1998 provides another healing ministry through opening 24 hours for prayer by lay people who are committed to prayer and fasting praying sincerely for the sick and suffering irrespective of race, creed or class.
(e) Relief & Development:
The Association’s relief work goes back to the Australian Baptist missionaries who carried out Christian humanitarian works during rioting which took place in 1950. Later it actively provided relief services to the victims of 1996, 2011 and 2012 riots in Lower Assam. Through Swrang Family Development Project, begun in 2002 with the support of BWAA and Goalpara Integrated Community Development Project; started in 2005; with NEICORD’s support; worked for development through empowering people/capacity building activities. From 2009, through Boro Baptist Aid and Development the Association serves as a channel for expressing Christian social concerns and alleviating human needs during times of sicknesses and natural calamities.
Rev. Prosenjit Basumatary
General Secretary, BBCA