Our History


When the Sultanate of Oman initiated its economic development in the early seventies with its rich oil income, Indians started coming to the country for employment. A major chunk of these expatriate workers were Keralites, including Pentecostal believers. Initially, the Pentecostal believers were few and far between and as a result, they joined hands with Brethren counterparts to start a combined fellowship, which continued for almost three years.

Pentecostal believers earnestly prayed for a congregation of their own. Late Bro George V Madathil along with Rev. Graham Durose, a British national, took initiatives to start the first service of Oman Pentecostal Assembly (OPA) on December 23, 1973, which was the first Pentecostal Church in the Sultanate. However, in 2004, the church had been renamed as Pentecostal Assembly Muscat to comply with a change in government regulations.

This gathering of 15 Pentecostal believers unanimously elected Rev. Graham Durose as the president and Bro. George V Madathil as the secretary of the newly formed church. Apart from the president and the secretary, the meeting was attended by Bros. M M Thomas, K O Abraham, T A Abraham, M V Varghese, P A Simon, C T Thomas, V J Mamachan, Thomas Thomas, Thomas Varghese, M M Varkey and Sis. Saramma George, Sosamma Thomas and Lizy Thomas. In the initial days, this gathering was conducted at the residence of Bro George V Madathil in Muttrah and his family had done a commendable work in arranging meetings at their residence, providing transport for those brothers who do not have a vehicle and hosting visiting pastors. Unfortunately, Rev Durose left the church within a short period.


With the formation of the church, a long cherished dream of Pentecostal believers was fulfilled, in conformity with God’s saying: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” One of the unanimous decisions taken in the first meeting was that believers attending the church would not be asked about their denominations. The teaching that “we are all one in Jesus Christ” gives a unique identity to OPA from other churches. Though OPA members belong to different denominations in their place of origin, they do not harbour factional thoughts, rather practice the bond of love in Jesus Christ.
Starting with merely a handful of members in 1973, OPA’s membership strength is running to over 1,500 now, with separate wings. Initially, worship services of the church were conducted every Sunday at Bro George Madathil’s house and subsequently at the Muttrah Chapel. However, following the setting up of a church building by the Protestant Church in Oman (PCO) in 1975, OPA’s main worship service was shifted to Ruwi Church on every Friday between 7.30 and 9.30 pm.

In the early days, majority of services were conducted in Malayalam. At a later stage, the church started separate weekly meetings for people who speak Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English languages. In 1988, OPA has formulated a constitution for the smooth functioning of the church, which was amended as and when required. The constitution mandates a council to oversee the day-to-day activities of the church. The council consists of the pastor as President, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Treasurer, Joint Treasurer and six other members. The various bodies of the church are functioning as per the constitution. The church follows the practice of selecting pastors from four Pentecostal denominations Indian Pentecostal Church, Assemblies of God, Church of God and Sharon Fellowship on a rotational basis every two years.

The church has been lending considerable financial support to charitable activities back home in India. OPA also follows a practice of giving mementos to members who leave the Sultanate from time to time. Further, merit awards are given away to honor children of church members, who topped in examinations. Top graders from classes 10 and 12 are honored every year.

In the early days, OPA children were attending Bible classes conducted by Brethren Assembly in Muscat. However, in February 1984, the church commenced its Children’s Bible Study Programme (CBSP) with ten children at Bro T K Jacob’s residence. Subsequently, when there was a tremendous growth in number of children, the CBSP was shifted to Muttrah Chapel, later to Muscat Al Amana Centre and now it is conducted at Ghala Church. Today, hundreds of children, who once learnt the word of God at OPA CBSP, are in different parts of the world witnessing the Lord.

Over the years, the OPA CBSP has achieved considerable progress. Presently, there are fourteen standards – from beginners to eleventh level with twenty nine divisions. As many as thirty one teachers provide coaching to over 250 children. Children from non-Pentecostal families also attend classes, which eventually results in saving not only the children but also the entire family for God.

The youth wing of OPA was started in 1991, with the aim of sharpening the talents of children and youngsters. From a humble beginning, the youth wing has grown considerably over the last twenty six years. It began with a governing body consisting of only the pastor and a coordinator, which was later strengthened with two other sub coordinators. However, since 2006, the council has been enriched by the presence of a secretary, a treasurer and two council members, under the chairmanship of the pastor. For spiritual edification and to keep up the spirit, the Youth Fellowship conducts its meeting every second Saturday of the month, at the Ghala main hall. An in-house publication called Manna bears testimony to the talents and dedication of these youngsters, while showcasing their writing skills.

The OPA general body decided to start sisters’ meeting, named Sahodharee Samajam, in February 1981, to put a platform to intercede and for a strong fellowship among themselves. In addition, the Samajam has been lending considerable financial support to charitable activities like building houses for the needy and conducting marriages of girls from impoverished families.

OPA formed its choir in 1984 with a team of talented singers for conventions, Bible studies and other special meetings organized by the church. The activities of the choir, which was formed with an active participation of the youth, have been commendable.

Likewise, a library was set up for the spiritual edification of the church members and to inculcate the reading habit. It has a wide collection of biblical books, audio/video cassettes, CDs and DVDs.

In a move to renew the bond of love among believers residing in different parts of the country, OPA has been conducting a National Conference during Eid Al Adha holidays since 1998. Members of the church from across the Sultanate attend this meeting, which is a rare occasion for church members from far off places to renew their fellowship. The meeting has been changed to a two-day-long National conference and camp since 2007. The OPA used to conduct prayer cell meetings, under the guidance of a leader and an assistant leader, in different areas for several years. However the church decided to discontinue those meetings as directed by the authorities. Presently believers in small groups gathered in Ghala Church and Bible Society Hall, Ruwi to pray for the sick and those facing troubles and tribulations within the country and outside.

The OPA has been conducting annual conventions and Bible studies, which are taken by reputed preachers and pastors from India and abroad. These special meetings help members to grow spiritually.

Also, since 1998, a worship service-cum-family get-together meeting called ‘OPA Family Conference in India’ has been started for former OPA members and those on vacation. It has been conducted in Thiruvalla for the convenience of its members on the third Saturday of June every year. From 2017, this conference is held in Vettiyar at the office Premise of OPA CESS. Annual General Body meeting of OPA CESS is also held on this day. The Chairman of this conference is nominated from former OPA Pastors on a rotational basis and a coordinator is also elected in the same meeting.

OPA also gives away merit awards to honor the children of former members, at the family conference. Top graders from classes 10 and 12, in three categories CBSE, ICSE and Kerala State Board are honored. Since 2006, a similar conference is being conducted in the United States, which is conducted alternatively in one of the American cities for the former OPA members in USA and Canada in July.

Journey of 50 Golden Years...