Indo Pak UMC is a chartered United Methodist Church with 110 members and constituents of whom half are Pakistani Christians and half are Indian Christians. This is the only South Asian church in Chicago/Illinois area with an equal membership of Indians and Pakistanis. All other churches are either an Indian church or Pakistani church with a few representatives from the other.
This ministry began in 1982 when Rev Ernest Singh and his family moved to Chicago, IL. The first worship service was held on July 4th 1984 at Des Plaines Rivers Forest Preserve with 8 adults and 8 children. Later worship services were held at Rev Singh’s apartment until the group rented Ravenswood Fellowship UMC chapel in 1985. The Church was chartered as an independent church in November 1986 as Indo Pak Church of Chicago. The name Indo Pak was chosen by the group intentionally to make sure that both nationalities felt included. In 1989 Indo Pak merged with Ravenswood Fellowship UMC but kept our own Hindi/Urdu service. On August 15th 2004 Indo Pak was christened as a United Methodist congregation and moved to its new location, West Ridge UMC. The church is located within blocks from the historic Devon area where most of the Indian and Pakistani businesses are located.
Today these two congregations share both Rev Singh and the building. Both congregations cooperate in the upkeep of the church building, salary and ministry expenses. The cooperation between the congregations as they share the building has been a very pleasant experience for both congregations as well as the district. The conference recognized the cooperation and gave the congregations an award: Loving Relationship in May 2009 by the district strategy team. To keep this relationship strong, besides cooperating in ministry and budgeting, there is a joint worship service the last Sunday of every month, where members of both congregations come together to worship.
Some of the Indo Pak members are engaged in:
* Christmas/Easter plays and dinner
* Carol singing
* Musical concerts – guest artists are invited (Sep 27th 2009 Aradhna Group)
* Phillip Abraham
* Fundraisers for
-Apna Ghar shelter
-South Asian Tsunami
-New Orleans Hurricane
-Pakistan Earthquake (2008)
-Orphanages in Indian and Pakistan
* In Bachawalpur 16 people were killed by terrorists including a Muslim guard. Indo Pak members raised over $2,000 to help the families of those who were killed.