The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) joins the Asia Evangelical Alliance (AEA) and the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) in mourning the passing of Rev. Dr. Francis Sunderaraj, a Christian leader and servant of the body of Christ in India, Asia and the world.
WEA Secretary General Bishop Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher paid tribute to Sunderaraj saying, “Many holy men and women of global stature have served in the International Council of the WEA over the years. Dr. Sunderaraj was one of them, serving on the IC for a long time and representing Asia’s and India’s passion for world mission in the best way possible. I could experience this myself already as a youngster when meeting him for the first time in India in 1986, together with the President of the WEA at that time Theodore Williams who was also from India. His Bible studies at several WEA General Assemblies proved his love for Holy Scripture and helped to shape my own way of preaching the gospel. He also always assured that the Methodist perspectives stayed a vital part of the overall mix of the worldwide evangelical movement. May God bless the Church in India for the gift to our global family.”
AEA Chairman Mr. Godfrey Yogarajah, who also serves on the WEA International Council, and AEA General Secretary Dr. Bambang Budijanto issued a joint tribute.
The Asia Evangelical Alliance (AEA) expresses our heartfelt condolences at the passing away of Rev. Dr. Francis Sunderaraj, a former General Secretary fo the AEA.
His contribution to the evangelical movement in his home country of India, Asia and beyond is illustrious and noteworthy. He will be greatly missed.
Dr. Sunderaraj was a chemist, a pastor, a preacher, teacher, educationist and the author of books and resources for the building up of the Church in India and beyond.
He was used by God in pastoral ministry both in India and Malaysia with the Methodist Church. Later, he served with the Evangelical Fellowship of India – first as the Secretary for Christian Education and subsequently, as General Secretary.
He became the 3rd General Secretary of the Asia Evangelical Alliance, formerly known as the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia, and served in that capacity from 1994 until 2001.
We remember his wife Mrs. Sheila Bhanu Sunderaraj, children Ruth Mallika and Vinodh and their families and pray that the peace of God would surround them, and His presence would be their comfort during this time of grief.
“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” (Romans 14:8)
Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary of the EFI, also issued a tribute, writing:
Evangelical Fellowship of India deeply grieves the passing of Rev. Dr. Francis Sunderaraj, our former General Secretary and beloved leader.
Dr. Sunderaraj was a man of faith and integrity. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart and served Him to the best of his capacity during his lifetime through preaching, teaching, training, counselling and writing. He served on the Boards of many Christian institutions including the Union Biblical Seminary and authored books and resources on the Evangelical movement in India.
To read the full EFI tribute, click here.