Posted on February 14, 2024 Cloud of Witnesses – Feature Samaresh Nayak

Cloud of Witnesses – Celebrating 210th Anniversary of International Ministries

Rev. Samaresh Nayak

Executive Director of the India Mission Coordination Committee


My journey with International Ministries (IM, aka ABFMS) began in 1993 when I received a theological study scholarship through the regional Bengal Orissa Bihar Baptist Convention and studied theology for four years. Beyond my local Baptist Church and the regional Convention little did I know about the work of the American Baptists. Although I was a 6th generation Baptist, I did not know that my forefathers had accepted Christ through the work of American Baptist missionaries in 1860’s. After my theological studies I joined my regional convention beginning with the role of Pastor cum Evangelist, then Stewardship Promoter, Stewardship Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and then General Secretary. During those years with the support of the American Baptists several new projects developed including stewardship project, leadership development project, Santal Mission, Mission to the Ho Tribe, community development project, Baptist Institute of Leadership & Evangelism to train the local evangelists and several other relief and development projects were supported by the American Baptists. In 2019, after serving 22 years, I completed my time with the regional convention.

In 2014, while serving as the General Secretary of the Baptist Churches Council of Eastern India (BCCEI), IM organized a mega event called “India Mission Summit” at Kohima, Nagaland. American Baptists have long been working in collaboration with churches in India. After the Summit, The India Mission Coordination Committee (IMCC) was formed to implement a Baptist Declaration approved in the Summit. I was invited to serve as honorary coordinator of the IMCC and with two Commissions of Anti-Trafficking, Justice for All and two Forums of Women and Youth. In 2019, IMCC in partnership with IM organized a second mega event called “India Baptist Summit 2019”. The goal was to bring the different Baptist groups in India together in closer fellowship with each other. I completed my third term as General Secretary of the Baptist Churches Council of Eastern India and was invited to work full time as the Executive Director of the IMCC. Another important development of this period to which IM contributed much, is the formation of the National Council of the Baptist Churches in India (NCBCI) which affiliates 28 Baptist Conventions and Councils in India, which represent more than 5 million Baptized members in the country.

God brought my wife Madhu and I together in marriage in 2000. My wife had committed her life to the mission before we knew each other and was also theologically equipped. With a strong passion, she has contributed much to the uplifting of women’s ministry and youth discipleship in our convention. She also organizes the women in weekly and monthly prayer meetings to extend spiritual support for the mission field.

I am grateful to Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chan, Area Director for his unwavering support for the past twenty-seven years of my work with the American Baptists which has not only blessed the mission field, our country India, but also my family. Rev. Chan has supported my leadership in different phases of the ministries. My story of the work of the American Baptists began with my own transformation, then transformation of the ministry and then making impact in the national level. May God add more blessings to the work of IM as it continues to serve globally.

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