Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.Phone: 773-465-3113
Mission StatementTheir website says, "We are a people of mostly Indian and Pakistani origin, who share a common language and culture. We want to grow in Christ through prayer, worship, fellowship, Bibly study, and Christian service. We believe that God has called us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all of God's children."
HistoryOrdained by the Reformed Presbyterian Church in India, Rev. Ernest C. Singh came to the United States for the first time in 1977 in order to continue his studies at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. After earning his Master of Divinity, Singh went home to northern India, but with hopes of returning to America to create space for the Indian and Pakistani Christian communities to worship together.
In 1982, Rev. Singh and his wife Sheela Singh moved to Chicago, and a short time later he organized the first worship service of what would come to be known as the “Indo-Pak Fellowship,” officially named in July 1984. For a little over a year the small but growing Indo-Pakistani Christian community worshipped together in individual members’ homes. In 1985, Rev. Ernest C. Singh established a relationship with the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, where the Indo-Pak Fellowship worshipped for nearly twenty years. A multi-ethnic Church, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church conducted trilingual services in Japanese, Hindi/Urdu, and English in order to serve Japanese Americans, Indian-Americans, Pakistani-Americans, African-Americans, Anglo-Americans, and others.
While Rev. Ernest C. Singh and the Indo-Pak Fellowship enjoyed and appreciated their time as part of the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, August 15th, 2004 marked the beginning of a new and exciting phase for the Indian-American and Pakistani-American Christian community of Chicago. On a sunny summer evening at Chicago’s West Ridge United Methodist Church, Bishop Joseph C. Sprague and District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Martha L. Scott joined Rev. Ernest C. Singh and the members of the Indo-Pak Fellowship in officially chartering the new “Indo-Pak United Methodist Church”. Joining them in celebration were many members of their old worship community – the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church –as well as members of the West Ridge United Methodist Church. The multi-cultural, multi-linguistic group participated in the service by singing traditional Indian and Pakistani hymns, with transliterations for those who do not read Hindi/Urdu. The high-energy service included two baptisms and the reception of eight new members, representative of the Church’s ongoing expansion.
Worship ScheduleEach Sunday evening there is a worship service at 5:00 p.m. Depending on who shows up for the service, Rev. Ernest Singh delivers the service in either Hindi/Urdu or in English for American born members. Afterwards there is a fellowship hour in the basement with snacks and refreshments.
Youth FellowshipDuring the evening worship service, the Indo-Pak United Methodist Church offers Sunday School for members between the ages of 7-22 years old. For teenage members, the Indo-Pak United Methodist Church and the West Ridge United Methodist Church offer joint confirmation classes every Tuesday afternoon. In addition, on Friday evenings Pastor Singh holds an informal youth gathering at his home for prayer, Bible study, and pizza.
South Asian Christian Youth ConferenceIn July 2004, the Indo-Pak United Methodist Church organized and hosted the second annual South Asian Christian Youth Conference. Rev. Ernest Singh explained that since Christians are a minority among the South Asian community, the Indo-Pak Church felt it was important for young people in America to have the opportunity to gather with other youth of similar cultural and religious backgrounds. The 3-day retreat was held at a Methodist campground outside of Chicago, with staff including several Methodist ministers as well as an art therapist. Approximately 65 South Asian-American youth from around the country participated in the retreat, and the Church hopes to attract more youth for the third annual Conference next summer.