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Moran Mor Samuel Theophilus Metropolitan

His Holiness Moran Mor Samuel Theophilus Metropolitan was born on August 27, 1959, in Keekozhur village in Ranni District, Kerala, in a Syrian Christian family. His devout parents, who named him Samuel Mathew in memory of the Old Testament prophet Samuel and the Apostle Mathew, brought him up in the fear of God, teaching him the importance of loving both God and his neighbours.

After finishing high school at seventeen years of age, he left his home state and travelled thousands of miles to North India to serve as a missionary. For the next six years, he dedicated his life to serving the poor and spreading the message of God’s love in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka.

Having served several years on the mission field, he enrolled in theological studies, earning both the Bachelor of Theology and Bachelor of Divinity degrees from the Senate of Serampore College in 1987. In accordance with the vision of Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan, he established the Intensive Christian Training Centre (ICTC) in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu, in 1989, for the purpose of training native missionaries and priests for the Believers Eastern Church.

In 1992, he obtained a Master in Theology degree from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture (FFRRC). From 1993, he served as the founding principal of the St. Ignatius Theological Seminary (formerly Gospel For Asia Biblical Seminary) for ten years, becoming instrumental in raising thousands of leaders for the church in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other Asian countries. Even today, many of his former students and graduates remember him fondly for his fatherly care and guidance.

Ordination & Consecration: After having served in the pastorate since 1997, he was ordained a priest in 2003 by Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan. He then served as the General Secretary of the Believers Eastern Church for the next three years, after which he was consecrated to the Episcopate as Samuel Mor Theophilus by the hand of Moran Mor Athanasius Yohan I Metropolitan in 2006. In 2007, he obtained his PhD in Missiology from the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

He was placed as the diocesan bishop of the Mangalore Diocese from 2008-12, and of the Chennai Diocese from 2012-13. He was then appointed to serve as the Secretary to the Holy Synod from 2013-17, where he assisted Metropolitan Yohan I in consolidating many of the departments and activities of the Church. In 2017, he was elevated as the Archbishop of Chennai, where he continued to give oversight to the dioceses under the Mangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Vizag regions until his election as the 2nd Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church.

Metropolitan Theophilus is a hierarch who is very much loved by the faithful of the dioceses he shepherded. Like his predecessor Metropolitan Athanasius Yohan I, he earnestly believes in the church’s mission of showing the love of Christ to all people. He was instrumental in starting many social activities that include feeding the poor, educating children, and building houses for widows. He is well-known for being willing to travel long hours by bus and train, traversing through the villages of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, in order to serve his people. During natural disasters like the Chennai floods of 2015 and 2021, and the COVID pandemic, he consistently organized teams of volunteers from his archdiocese to serve the people who were affected. He is famously known for always reminding his flock that ‘God is good, all the time, even when we don’t think so.’

Metropolitan Theophilus is also a well-known speaker and writer who has written many articles on the subject of church leadership and missions. Some of his published works are given below:

  • • Leadership: Development and Practice: A Biblical Perspective (ISPCK publications) 
  • Formation and Development of Missiology in India. 
  • Nedhrutha Madhruka (Exemplary Leadership) in Malayalam 
  • Aazhameriya Diyva Saanidhyam (The deep presence of the Divine) in Malayalam 
  • Giving to God (published in Kannada) 

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