Pastors

Rev. George K. Stephenson

Senior Pastor

Born as the 2nd son in Melpadam, India (A small village in the paddy rich Allapuzha district of Kerala State) of Pastor and Mrs. K J George on October 25, 1952 Pastor George Stephenson comes from a very humble beginning. His Grandfather, late Pathichira Yohannachan was a well-known Prophet of his time. In his early childhood, he understood the price of poverty when he lost his older brother at a very early age to starvation. Despite the early setback, a very committed father and a prayer warrior mother brought up Pastor Stephenson in a very dedicated and spiritual atmosphere. He committed his life to the Lord and accepted Him as his personal Savior at an early age of 12. The same month, 13 days later the Lord baptized him in the Holy Spirit and also a week later he confessed his Savior in water baptism. After his High School education, Pastor Stephenson went to do his BA from Bishop Moore College after which he pursued his passion for the Lord by going to Bible School in the famous Hebron Bible College in Kumbanad.

Pastor Stephenson started his ministry by pastoring a church in Mavelikara, Kerala in 1975. He got married to Aleyamma in December of 1976 and followed her to the USA in late 1977. In July 1978, the pioneer Pastor of International Christian Assembly of God (ICAG) in Chicago, Pastor K A Thomas handed the reigns of his church to the young Pastor Stephenson and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. God blessed Pastor Stephenson with two children, Susan and John (Santhosh). Pastor Stephenson finished his Masters in Divinity from Trinity International University in Banockburn, IL and also finished his courses in Clinical Pastoral Education (Chaplaincy) from the University of Chicago. He was ordained as a Pastor with the Assemblies of God Fellowship in the USA in 1980. In 1989, ICAG moved to a new facility in Schiller Park, IL where it still continues to minister among the community as the largest full gospel Pentecostal church among Malayalees in Chicagoland. In his early days, Pastor Stephenson was involved in the ministry among the young generation. He was the PYPA Joint Secretary in the Indian Pentecostal Church for two consecutive years (75-76). He still has a great passion for the lost and has used the resources and his God given talents for the furtherance of the Gospel of the Lord. He started a radio program titled Gospel Echo on WEEF radio (1413 on the AM dial) in Chicago in the late 80’s and continued it for 8 years. Upon the guidance of the Lord and the unction of the Holy Spirit he started ministering through the medium of Television via Gospel Echo TV. It is heard bi-weekly on Sundays in the Chicagoland area on WFBT TV for the past 8 years.

In August 2000, Pastor Stephenson lost his wife Aleyamma to cancer. After lot of prayer, God joined him to his new bride Joyce in July 2005. Pastor Stephenson and Joyce continue their ministry together in ICAG. Their passion is to do the work faithfully that the good Lord has entrusted in their hands at all cost. The Great commission (Matthew 28: 19-20) is what they were called and devoted their life for his work.

Pastor Thomas Mathew

Assistant Pastor

Founder & President, ARAVALI TRIBAL MISSION

Pastor Thomas Mathew was born and bought up in a nominal Orthodox Jacobite family. As the first born of seven
siblings, his parents wanted him to become an Orthodox priest. By God’s grace, both of his parents were the first
from their village to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in the early 1960’s. Because of their new faith,
they faced many difficulties from relatives as well as the Orthodox church. Nevertheless, they followed Christ
faithfully and by God’s grace, all of their children are born again, spirit filled Christians serving the Lord in different
parts of the world.Pastor Mathew was saved at a young age and dedicated his life for the Lord’s ministry. He started a ministryin his own village by distributing tracts and by open air preaching. God would lead him to study the Word in
Shalom Bible School, Kottayam, Kerala and also attend Doon Bible College, Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradhesh, where he
completed his bachelor’s degree in theology. After his education, he had the burden to pioneer a work in an area
unreached by the Gospel. After much prayer, the Holy Spirit led him to the state of Rajasthan, one of the hardest
places for the Gospel to penetrate in India. Today, thousands of villages still remain unreached.

In 1975 he married Saramma Thomas, who was herself, born in a Pentecostal family and involved in many youth
activities at her church in central Kerala. She dedicated her life to be a missionary’s wife in Rajasthan and they
both started this journey by faith as a family, looking to Jesus who is the author and finisher of their faith. For
many years, they faced great opposition and trials in the mission field of Rajasthan, including financial struggle,
starvation, and persecution by enemies of the Gospel and Hindu fundamentalists. For example, in 1977 they went
without food for 14 days while Saramma was 8 months pregnant with their first child. But the Lord was faithful to
provide for them and protect them during this time. In the mid 1980’s, with a vision from the Lord, Pastor Mathew and family moved to the Aravali mountain region,where thousands of people were living in the jungles without the light of Christ. In order to live among the tribal people, Pastor Thomas and Saramma sent their 10-yr old son and 8-yr old daughter to complete their schooling in Udaipur, while they lived 100 km away from the city. They undertook this challenge to live there without a proper house with water or electricity or any other normal luxuries of life.

For the last 23 years, by God’s strength and mercy, the mission work is going very well and hundreds of villagers
have become followers of Jesus Christ. The Lord has expanded the ministry over several villages with 40 church
gatherings and five worship centers. There is also a small Bible School for village youth, a children’s home with
35 children, and 80 children attend non-formal education centers. The Lord is adding more souls to His kingdom
through his miraculous power.

For more information about Aravali Tribal Mission:
Tel. 847-910-0638
www.atmrajasthan.org