In Memoriam: Dr. K.P. Yohannan

NRB | May 9, 2024 | NRB News

Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and director of GFA world and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church, went to be with the Lord on May 8 following a serious accident in Dallas, Texas, on May 7.

“K.P. Yohannan’s commitment to the gospel was steadfast throughout his lifetime,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “We may never know how many souls across the globe were won for Christ through his work and influence. He will be remembered as an impactful servant leader and evangelist.”

In an obituary, GFA World describes Yohannan as “a missionary statesman with an undying call to share the love of Christ with this world and to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.” He served as the director of GFA World for nearly half a century, leading the organization to carry out the Great Commission and see lives transformed through the love of Christ.

Yohannan was born in South India (Kerala) in 1950 in one of the villages where Apostle St. Thomas planted one of his seven churches in 52 A.D., and was raised in the St. Thomas Syrian Christian tradition. His mother dedicated her children’s lives to the Lord, fasting and praying that one of them would commit their life to ministry. As a young adult, Yohannan was inspired by testimonies from the mission field, and he experienced a clear and unmistakable calling from God. Filled with love and burdened for the lost, he gained courage to begin evangelizing to those around him.

In 1974, Yohannan moved to the United States and began his theological training at Criswell College, marrying his wife, Gisela, after his first term.

After pastoring a local church in Dallas for several years, Yohannan’s heart turned back to international missions. He and Gisela took initial steps to start an organization to support and pray faithfully for missionaries around the world. This commitment gave birth to what was eventually known as GFA World, one of the world’s largest missions organizations supporting Gospel workers in Africa and Asia and delivering critical relief to vulnerable poverty- and disease-stricken groups. In 2003, Yohannan was consecrated as the Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church, which today includes more than 12,000 parishes throughout Asia and Africa.

Yohannan published hundreds of books and received numerous distinguished awards and recognitions throughout his life. He served as a board member with the National Religious Broadcasters Association (NRB) from 2013–2015. In 2003, NRB presented Yohannan with its Individual Achievement in International Broadcasting award.

Yohannan is survived by his wife, Gisela, his son and daughter, and seven grandchildren. Details of his funeral and memorial services will be available in the days to come.

Together with Yohannan’s family members, loved ones, and his many co-servants for the Gospel, we grieve this sudden loss and celebrate his life of faithfulness to God.

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