United Methodist church opens in Nepal
2/5/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York
YORK (UMNS) - An indigenous couple has founded the first United
Methodist church in the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal.
and Karuna Bhujel also are missionaries with the United Methodist Board
of Global Ministries, according to the Rev. S T Kimbrough Jr., a board
Kimbrough and another board executive, the Rev. David
Wu, attended the Jan. 19 dedication of the new church building in the
village of Tanmuna, about a 45-minute drive from the city of Biratnagar
in eastern Nepal. The tiny country is located in the Himalayas, between
India and China.
For many years, United Methodist missionaries
have worked ecumenically there through the United Mission to Nepal,
particularly in the area of medicine and health care, and will continue
to do so. But the work of indigenous missionaries such as the Bhujels
represents "a new kind of outreach to the Nepali community," Kimbrough
With financial support from the Board of Global Ministries,
the Bhujels entered the master's degree program in theology at Trinity
Theological College in Singapore, graduating in 1999. It was during that
time, according to Kimbrough, that they became interested in Wesleyan
theology and the idea of introducing such theology in their own country.
Tanmuna church, which seats about 200, was built by the villagers,
largely out of their own resources, he said. Pastors from the nearby
Lutheran and Baptist churches were among those participating in the
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