Progression in holistic worship

Rev. Ci Lian Kap says Falam Baptist Church in Greenwood aims to meet the spiritual and physical needs of its growing membership

From left, Naw Eh Phaw, Olivia Parthasin Kap, Nathan Van Lian Kap and Rev. Ci Lian Kap.
From left, Naw Eh Phaw, Olivia Parthasin Kap, Nathan Van Lian Kap and Rev. Ci Lian Kap.

Falam Baptist Church began as a fellowship in Perry Township with 21 people in 2001, establishing as a church in 2006. The church, currently located in Greenwood, now has more than 900 members, the majority of which are political refugees of the Chin State of Burma. Rev. Ci Lian Kap, who was among those first 21 members, said they anticipate the church membership to grow to nearly 1,000 within the year.

Their worship services are given in their Chin language, and Kap said they are welcoming to everyone. They have services for both adults and children.

“We provide here in physical need and spiritual need,” Kap said. “We help them with housing and everything, we set up for them. We focus on their spiritual need as well. That’s why they love this church.”

When the fellowship was changed to a church, Kap became their pastor. He said he was already a minister before moving to America, and he studied in ministry in California from 2001 to 2003.

Kap resides in Perry Township with his wife, Naw Eh Phaw and children, Nathan Van Lian Kap and Olivia Parthasin Kap.

What is it about your place of worship that helps you grow spiritually?

We do have a strong praise and worship service. We are welcoming to everybody and love everybody. When they come, they feel confident that it’s their home. We are doing what we call holistic ministry that meets physical need and spiritual. We focus on that.

We have children’s Sunday school. We have six classes. We have more than 20 children teachers so we give them biblical truth here. Parents want to send their children here because it helps their spiritual growth.

What is it about your place of worship that helps you feel connected to your spouse, children, parents or family?

My wife is always helping me at the church, especially with the church members who do not speak English. When they need to go to the hospital or appointment, she helps take them.

What is one meaningful event that has taken place at your place of worship?

We always have a happy time here, all of the time: Sunday worships, Saturday worships. We always have a big event here. Sometimes we do have special occasions here like Christmas, Mother’s Day, Good Friday. We have dinner together and special guests from another place. We eat together, share together. We have Chin Baptist Association in America and we have a conference every year.

Why would you recommend your place of worship to someone?

Here, you can find the biblical truth and we meet spiritual and physical need in this church. You will find it’s a home, in biblical study and taking care of the children. We have over 200 children here. In Sunday school, we mix American ways and Eastern ways. So children can learn Asian culture and American culture. In here, we are not only focusing on spiritual needs but also physical needs because a lot of new members are new to America and they need help with jobs, Medicaid, appointments, driving and arranging apartments.