A brief historical sketch about the birth of St. Paul’s Tamil Church (CNI), Dombivli goes back to more than 25 years long. The Church got its inspirational root with the initiation of an ardent presbyter the late Rev. S. James Paul who was the then Presbyter in-charge of St. Paul’s Tamil Church (CNI), Byculla. His contribution was amazing in terms of building Tamil Churches (CNI) in and around the city of Bombay. Thus, he is mostly remembered, revered and loved by all particularly by the Tamil Churches, CNI, Bombay. As city expanded, people started to shift their residences to other places for various reasons. In that mood of shifts a good number of parishioners were started to settle down in central suburb of Mumbai City. Those settled people in the adjacent city of Dombivli (a few kilometres from Kalyan city) expressed their views and desires to begin a Christian worship centre in Dombivli itself. Their enthusiasm and visionary motivation had produced fruit in the form of a branch Church under the parent church – St. Paul’s Tamil Church (CNI), Byculla.
To specify, the Church at Dombivli began to meet for prayer regularly once in a month in the evening on 3rd Sundays. With generous heart the family of Mr. S.L.V. Pakkianathen a member from St. Paul’s Church, Byculla, had opened their house for the divine cause. The significant efforts and prayers of late Rev. S. James Paul and Parishioners along with the likeminded local congregation, the church sprouted well in a remarkable way. Thus, as we see today, “St. Paul’s Tamil Church (CNI), Dombivli,” was born in the mid-year of 1983 as the offshoot of St. Paul’s Tamil Church, Byculla. Soon after March 1988, being a ‘house church’ she gathered momentum in terms of good attendance and great enthusiasm by the participants. This had witnessed as a tremendous growth of the Church. The spiritual nourishment of the Church naturally enlarged her space numerically and economically that which inclined the worshipers to expand the tent of her territory. As a result, instead of meeting once in a third week, the Church started to have regular worship on every Sundays in the evening that’s too in a class room of the School known as ‘Jondhale High School,’ Dombivli (W), which is closer to Dombivli Railway Station.
The year 1991 was remarked as an important mile stone in the annals of the history of the St. Paul’s Tamil Church, Dombivli. During this time, the Church owned an independent place in the ground floor of Shree Niwas CHS, Opp. Bharat Natya Mandir, Dombivli (W) for worship. Proudly say for God’s glory that the ‘Prayer Hall’ was consecrated on 24th of August 1991 as “St. Paul’s Tamil Prayer Hall” by the Rt. Rev. Dr. S. B. Joshua, Ph.D., Bishop of Bombay, CNI. The solidarity of parent Church with the young congregation on the dedication day boosted the Church greatly more to stand on her own feet. The Church as the Prayer Hall exercised her spiritual fervour liberally. This became as a place of spiritual nourishment for many who come under its wings particularly in and around Dombivli. In April 1996, the Church was honoured by the Diocese of Bombay as “Pastorate” – being in a position to purchase a parsonage for the priest at ‘Om Uma, CHS,’ Sashtri Nagar, Dombivli (W). As a pastorate Church, St. Paul’s Tamil Church thereafter grew to the status of affording a separate priest provided by the diocese to stretch out her wings further. The Church got privileges to get committed and inspired God’s servants to serve her as presbyter’s in-charge. Along with that the God-feared elders as a pastorate committee members contributed extensively for her growth. Through earnest prayers with generous offerings of the people, the Church was strengthened economically sound to purchase further two more adjacent places that which was attached to the original main prayer hall. To the Glory of God, it was dedicated by the Rt. Rev. B.F. Gavit, and the then Rt. Rev. Prakash D. Patole, Bishop of Bombay, CNI, in the year of 2006 and 20013 respectively. The spiritual journey of faithful and devoted Tamil CNI Worshipers in Dombivli are selflessly worked for the growth of the Church that are commendable. The present Church therefore takes her stand to witness and thank God about the vision oriented mission that was carried out by the presbyter’s in-charge now and then. Therefore the Church always remain indebted to thank with whole-heartedly for the prayers and supports rendered to the Church by Bishops, priests, people, well-wishers as well as parent Church, till today. In final, it gives joy to see the involvement of the Church in the holistic ministry for the betterment of humanism through rendering pastoral counselling, charitable work, and outreach ministries to extend the kingdom of God; by that the Church fulfils the motto – UNITY, WITNESS and SERVICE.
All the Glory and Honour belong to the Almighty God! Amen!