ZOU PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH SYNOD
The Zou Presbyterian Church is one of the constituent bodies of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of India, which has its headquarters at Shillong in Meghalaya State manned by two Administrative Secretaries.
The administrative set up of the Zou Presbyterian Church Synod is highly centralized. The Synod, having its headquarters at Churachandpur, the second capital of Manipur State, is the highest decision making body of the Church.
Origin of Zou Christianity and the Zou Synod memories in brief
The first known Evangelist to the Zou people was a Mizo tribesman named Hrangsuaka. In 1922 he visited the unreached Zou tribe villages from his station at Hlangbung. For easier evangelism Mr. Hrangsuaka seek the permission of Mr. Tonghao chief of Singngat village to let him stay in his village so he settled at Singngat in 1924. In 1935 Hrangsuaka went to Khienglam Zou village and he worked amongst the Zou people till 1937. Till that time there were no known baptized people for the Zou tribe. In 1946 another Paite Missionary teacher Mr. Pumzaneng opened a Lower Primary School at Munpi Zou village. In 1947 another Lower Primary School was established. Thus from this three fact the Zou Christians began to exist. There are not much of known records of the Christians in particular. The infant Zou Christians were under the direct administration of the North East India General Mission. In 1st March, 1953 the NEIG Mission Assembly was held at Saikot where Presbyteries were formed dialect wise such as Paite, Kuki, Mizo, Vaiphei, Hmar, Gangte but the Zou’s could not form their own Presbytery.
As the Zou Christians could not meet the pre-requisites to form a Presbytery, and as the feeling of Tribal Identity was very strong on those days. The secret of a Zou Christian Association originated from the Ideology of (L) Mr. Ngulzakhup the 1st Ordained Elder of the Zou tribe under NEIG Mission. Thus on 22nd January 1952 the Jou Christian Association came to existence at Daijang village under the Chairmanship of (L) Elder Ngulzakhup, (L) Mr. Kamzakhup Secretary. The first Zou Christian Association was held on the 10th February 1953 at Ngoiphai village, PO Churachandpur.
The ZCA was recognised by the Evangelical Assembly Church and Pastor Luaia and Evangelist Hrangkap were assigned to look after ZCA and Ordained Mr. Ngulzakhup to be the first Elder in Zou Record. Pastor Luaia administered the first Lord Supper to the Zou People on 22nd February 1955 at ZCA 2nd Annual Session at Khianglam PO Churachandpur.
The first confirmed Evangelist amongst the Zou Tribe was Rev. Kamkhojam. The first Pastor the Zou Tribe have was Pastor Vungdal of Simbuh village.
In 1957, the ZCA changed its nomenclature for Zou Christian Association to Manipur Christian Conference at Behiangtung PO Singngat Sub-Division.
Thus in 1958 its annual Session held at Milongmun MCC change its name Manipur Christian Conference and join the Presbyterian Church.
Then in the year 1958 the Zou Tribe (MCC) with some Vaiphei and Thadou tribe had a Conference at Tolphei village and declared themselves as the Manipur Gam Presbytery. So at Saipum Village they resolved to joined the Mizoram Presbyterian Synod.
In 1959 Rev. Tongkhosat Thangngeu was sent to enquire the status of the Manipur Gam Presbytery the Session that was held at Daijang village PO Churachandpur. In 1959 at the Daijang Session Mr. Thongzakhup, Mr. Lianzahao and Mr. Soikhothang were ordained as Church Elder.
On 24th April 1959 the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in North East India accepted the Manipur Gam Presbytery and Tuithaphai Presbytery as its member of the Manipur Presbyterian Church.
The two Presbyteries were formally inaugurated on 11th October, 1959. Thus the Assembly sent the first Assembly Officer Rev. G.R. Sargley on 9th September 1959 to administer them.
On 15th June Mr. Kamkhojam went to Aizawl Theological College for Theological training. On 15th March 1964 the CHT Synod ordained Pro Pastor Kamkhojam. In 1972 at the Mizoram Presbyterian Church Synod Session, Rev. (L) Ginzapau and Rev. (L) Khupdoukham were ordained by the Mizo Synod.
The Zou had their first New Testament Bible in 1967. The Manipur Eastern Presbytery and the Khuga Sadar Presbytery was inaugurated on the 30th January 1969 after Bifucua from the Manipur Gam Presbytery at Lamka Presbyterian Church Tuithaphai.
The First Zou Holy Bible was released in 1992 at the Manipur Gam Presbytery Head Office Compound by Dr. B.K. Pramanik General Secretary Bible Society of India.
Thus after being with the Manipur Presbyterian Church Synod for more than three Decades the Zou Presbyterian Church formed a joint Presbytery and submitted a regard to the PCI Assembly and on the 7th May 2004 the PCI General Assembly approved the foundation of a Synod. Thus the PCI General Assembly Resolution No. 11 Dated 7-05-09 the Zou Presbyterian were granted Provisional Synod.
The Officer of the Provisional Synod are as follows:-
Moderator Rev. Stephen Chinzathang
Elect Moderator Rev. P.C. Manga.
Secretary (Sr) Upa S.K Khama
Secretary (Jr) Upa Suankhanmang
Finance Secretary Upa M. Kamzadou
Treasurer Upa Khaihenthang
Statistic Rev. Kamkhosoi
PCI Rev. Laldawngliana
Sr. Executive Secy. Rev. Hangpi Manlun
Executive Secy. Rev. Khamchinkhai
Thus after being under Provisional Status for two years the Provisional Zou Presbyterian Church Synod was granted Full Fledged Synod on the 10th September 2006 and was dedicated by Rev. C. Rosiama, Moderator General Assembly Presbyterian Church of India at the Central Church Zou Presbyterian Church Synod.
The Zou Synod is moving and as of the 8th Session 2012 the Present position of the Synod are as follows :
a) Church Court
i) No. of Presbyteries 3
ii) Districts 10
iii) Churches 64
iv) Branch Churches 4
v) No. of Houses 1,867
i) Active Ministers 16
ii) Retired 3
iii) Probationary Pastors 2
iv) Elders 185
c) Total Members in the Church0000
i) Communicants 8,841
ii) Non-Communicants 1,385
iii) Males 5,060
iv) Females 5,256
Total No. of Members 10,316
i) Pastoral Fund 99,68,015
ii) Mission and Evangelism 7,89,349
iii) ZPWF 5,62,676
iv) ZPYF 2,01,898
ACTIVITIES AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SYNOD
(a) Pastoral Ministry:
The Zou Synod has now Sixteen Ministers and two Probationary Pastors.
1) Rev. Kamkhosoi Office
2) Rev. Tualzachin Lentang District
3) Rev. Stephen Chinzathang Office
4) Rev. Awnkhankhup Lamka District
5) Rev. P.C. Manga Office
6) Rev. Khamchinkhai Shillong
7) Rev. Hangpi Manlun D.Th. Student
8) Rev. Lamsuonthang Tuiningkual District
9) Rev. Zamlianpau Imphal District
10) Rev. Kapsuanthang Zoutang District
11) Rev. Khupkhansuan Singngat District
12) Rev. Mangsuanthang Tuivai District
13) Rev. M.G. Nehlian Central District
14) Rev. Thangboi Khuongsai Delhi
15) Rev. Ginzalal Bangalore
16) Rev. Mangmuanthang Gunpang and Suolam District
b) Probationary Pastor
1. P/P. Kaimuanlal Suolam District
2. P/P. Khamminlian Singngat District
c) Mission Evangelism:
i) We have four Mission Fields which included Mangjing Mission Field from the Assembly Mission & Evangelism grant.
a) Mangjing (b) Paspati (c) Serou and (d) Imphal Mission Field/Meitei Mission Field.
ii) We have Parterships with Friend’s Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB), Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM) and Myanmar Zou Synod
d) Christian Education:
The Synod has 10 Mission School and 8 Grant School.
e) Women Ministry:
Zou Presbyterian Women Fellowship run an Orphanage Home (Tuunnu Limbel) and Tailoring Training Centre for a new Mission vision to reach unreached people
f) Youth Ministry:
The Zou Presbyterian Youth Fellowship Organised Lakutpi (A great song Festival) to produce more singers who had talents and Praise the Almighty God.