Posted on February 9, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature Akheto Sema

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries

Rev. Dr. Akheto Sema

General Secretary of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India


I am so grateful to the International Ministries (IM aka ABFMS) for the support given to me from 1979 to 1982 as a student in the Hong Kong Baptist College, the Chung Chi College, and the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley. IM has sponsored my travels and college/ seminary fees etc.

The longest association and friendship that I continue to have is in the person of Rev. Dr. Benjamin S. L. Chan, IM Area Director for East and South Asia. I guess from the 90’s, I came to know about him as he has traveled quite regularly to India and to the northeast in particular. I got to know him and associated with him in connection with the ministries of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI) which has a historical connection with American Baptists. I also had an opportunity to attend the World Mission Conference (WMC) in Green Lake in 1982 sponsored by IM. In 2022 I was invited by IM through Dr. Ben Chan to attend the conference again after forty years. I am so grateful to IM for the opportunity given to me to attend the WMC on two occasions. I also had the privilege to visit the IM office in Valley Forge and met key leaders in the office. I am so grateful to IM to take part in the Board of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Legacy Trust as Chairman. Indeed, it is a great joy and my privilege to enhance the partnership between CBCNEI and IM.

The Lord has blessed me to involve in teaching ministry for twenty-five years in theological colleges including Eastern Theological College (ETC) and at Clark Theological College. Later, I served as the Principal of ETC for nine years. Away from teaching in the class, my administrative work taught me how to face challenges with courage and to see that you become not a victim but an over-comer. It is where one’s leadership is also tested. I have learned how to do the best in any given responsibilities and to look for a good ending and a fruitful result. I continued  administrative work as General Secretary of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East (CBCNEI) for five years which taught me how to be mature in thinking and in action. Thus, my involvement in the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India completes 19 years. This is my brief story which God made possible. All praise to God and churches under the CBCNEI, IM and other partners.

My wife Mrs. Kuholi Akheto Chishi, retired as Director of Higher Education under the Government of Nagaland. She is a deacon in local church, a board member in the secular and theological education forum and in literature work. She has strongly supported my ministry from the beginning till today. Equally, our Son Pito Samuel Sumi who works in a Special Home for Juvenile Children as Superintendent under the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Nagaland encourages me greatly. Thanks to both of them.

*Ben Chan: Special thanks to Cathy Holmes for proof-reading the article.