About Horeb Church

 

 

St. George horeb Jacobite Syrian church is located in chennithala thripperumthura panchayath Mavelikkara thaluk of Alappuzha district Kerala India, under the holy apostolic see of Antioch and all the east. Chennithala is a village where Hindus, Muslims and Christians live together in religious harmony. There are many ancient Hindu temples. Christians of all denominations have their place of worship in Chennithala. Chennithala Horeb church also known as Chennithala Kochupally or Chennithala Puthenpally.

The present Christian community in Chennithala is the generations of Christians converted by St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, who came to malankara and established a church in Niranam in A.D.58, which is one among the seven& half (Ezhera pally) churches in malankara. The Christians of chennithala performed their religious rites in Niranam St. Mary's church (Niranam Pally) 10 KM north from Chennithala. They had to cross the river Pampa even when it was in spate and facing many other difficulties to attend the Holy Qurbaono regularly and to perform their many religious rites. They decided to have a church of their own in Chennithala. Thus the first Christian church in Chennithala was the present St. George Orthodox Church ( Chennithala Valiyapalli) established in 1864 and H.G. Mathew Mor Athanasios offered the first Qurbono in the church.

 

The first vicar of the Chennithala St. George Syrian Orthodox church was Rev.Fr. Kuruvila of Nadayil family. He died and buried in the Holy Madhbaha of valiyapalli . The second priest was Rev. Fr. Geevarghese Thattupurakkal, who died on February 17th 1882.

 

The dark period of malankara sabha was during the rule of malankara metropolitan Vattasseril Mor Dionysius. In 1911 May 21, H. H. Moran Mar Ignatius Abdullah Patriarch came over Malankara and excommunicated Vattasseril Mor Dianysius. This made a rift in malankara sabha, known as Bavakakshi those who supported Patriarch and Metran Kakshi those who supported Vattasseril Metran. Thus two fractions come into existence. The Methran fraction brought the disgraced and disqualified Patriarch Abdul Masiha in 1912 and ordinate Paulose Mor Ivanious as the Catholicose of Malankara in 1912.

 

This ordination of Catholicose divided the malankara Christians into two groups. In Chennithala St. George church also it reflected and existed two groups. Each group tried to take the church under their custody. Civil and criminal cases also started in Chennithala church in 1918. During this time Rev.Fr. Michael of Kayamkulam (latter H.G.Miachel Mor Divanious) gave proper guidance to the Bavakakshi.

 

In 1920 Mr. N.C. Mathai Nadayil and Mr. M. J. Thomas Mayara became deacon and they led the faithful. Both deacons died before becoming priests.

 

Though civil and criminal cases continued, the Bavakakshi people wished to have a church of their own. This in 1921 a temporary shed was constructed and his grace Mor Athanasious offered first Holy Qurbono. The new church was named as Horeb Church. The first vicar was Rev. Fr.Michael of Kayamkulam.

 

In 1931 Mr. K. J. Mathai of Kavumkalil became the fifth priest of Chennithala church and he was the vicar of Horeb church till his death in 1971.

 

In 1927 Rev.Fr. Michael became the bishop of Kottayam, Kollam, Niranam and Thumpamon dioceses as Michael Mor Divanasious. The construction of the present church was started in 1931. Mr. M. J. Varghese of Mayara was the trusty and Thekkekuttu Mr. K. C. Koshy was the secretary that time. Mr. M. J. Varghese concentrated all his attention in the church construction. The new church was dedicated in the name of St. George on May 8th 1934 by His Grace Michael Mor Divanasious. From this time onwards Chennithala horeb church began to grow spiritually and physically. The common Vattipanacase was there which Horeb Church was witness.

 

In 1912 onwards Chennithala Horeb church members buried their departed ones in the Valiyapally cemetery. In 1959 they completely prohibited the above right. As God was with us, we got a plot adjacent to the Horeb church donated by Mr. K. C. Koshy, Thekkekuttu and has been using as cemetery.

 

 

In 1957 Mr. M.P. George of Pallivadakkethil was ordained as the sixth priest of the church. At present he is H.G. Geevarghese Mor Policarpose of Evangelic Association of the East.

His Grace was born in 1933 in Mulanilkunnathil House (Nadayil Kudumbam). He was ordained deacon in 1956. He was consecrated Cor-Episcopos in 1978 during the time in which he served for the Evangelistic Association of the East. He was consecrated Metropolitan in 1990 as bishop of Evangelistic Association of the East at Damascus by H.H.Ignatios Zakka I Iwas.

His Grace was the Patron and President of The Evangelistic Association of the East (E.A.E), the first Missionary Association of the Syriac Orthodox Church, under the direct control of the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.

His Grace Geevarghese Mor Policarpose passed away on 06 March 2011 and buried at at St. Antony's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Cathedral, Jeppu, Mangalore.

 

 

In 1958 Mr. T. K. Daniel Kumareth became the seventh priest of this church.

 

In 1960 a shrine of cross was built in Oripuram on the side of Mavelikara - Thiruvalla rod. That plot was donated to church by Mr. Mr.Skaria, Malevadakkathil. This was the first shrine of cross in Chennithala. Horeb church has now five shrines of Cross.

 

In 1971, while the preparations for the golden Jubilee celebrations were going on Rev.Fr. K. J. Mathai, vicar of the Horeb church died. Following his death only priest of the Methran faction were sent to Horeb church as vicar. The sons of Horeb accepted that half hearty.

 

The grudge towards the Metran faction was like ash covered fireball. By this time the Holy Throne consecrated H.G. Kuriakose Mor Kurilose as Metropolitan of Southern Dioceses. When His Holiness the Patriarch excommunicate Ougen Catholicose , the sons of Horeb rose equal to the occasion and did not allow the Methran faction priest to enter the church premises and arranged a Patriarch faction priest to offer the Holy Qurbono. It was on 26th January 1975. All members of the parish, young and old women with their new born babies attended in the liberation for Holy Qurbana. The Metran faction of Niranam diocese tried to capture Horeb church. But they could not make the sons of Horeb to retreat. Struggle continued for six weeks. Then the church was under police observation.

 

The beloved son of Horeb Mr. N. C. Varghese Nadayil exchanged his 30 cents of "Punja" field for 12 cents of land adjacent to the horeb church. A temporary shed was made by the church members in the memory of Dn.N. C. Mathai, brother of Mr. N. C. Varghese Nadayil. On 9th March 1975 H. G. Kuriakose Mor Kurilose consecrated the chapel and offered the Holy Qurbana. All people were happy to have a Bishop of their own faith.

 

From 1975 onwards, the Horeb Church was progressing under the leader ship of Rev. Fr. T. K. Daniel and he was the vicar of Horeb church till his death in 2001.

 

On 17th January 1997 Mr. M. J. Daniel S/o. John M.D. Mayara was consecrated as 8th priest of this church. Since 2002 Fr.M.J.Daniel is the Vicar of Horeb church.

All spiritual Organizations, such as Sunday School, Martha Mariam Vanitha Samajam, Youth League, Prayer Groups and Vishwasa Samrakshana samithi are very active..

At present the church has 225 member families. The present church could not accommodate all its members. So the construction of a new church is in progress under the leader ship of vicar Rev. Fr. M. J. Daniel .

 

 

Consecration of Newly constructed Church  held on 09 and 10 May  2011. H.B. Catholicose Baselious Thomas I  lead the consecration ceremony and H.G.Yuhanon Mor Militheos, H.G.Mathews Mor Theodosius, H.G. Mathews Mor Aprem, H.G. Kuriakose Mor Greegorios,  H.G.Geevarghese Mor Coorilose ,  H.G. Issac Mor Osthatheous and H.G. Geevarghes Mor Bernabas were assisted.