Pastor Dishan Wickramaratne is known, both at home and abroad, for his relentless passion to introduce the world to a God who loves unconditionally and without limit. Naturally gifted with the ability to connect with people, Pastor Dishan speaks straight to the heart, challenging people to “live right, walk straight, and let God do the rest.” A former Royal College rugby player, and the heart behind the radio program Think-a-Minute, Pastor Dishan is married to Pastor Jayani, and is the father of three beautiful and talented children, Shyara, Rajeev and Dilani.
OUR MISSION: “REACH THE UNREACHED – BE DISCIPLED – DISCIPLE OTHERS”
If you have never had a personal encounter with God, you have come to the right place. We are passionate about introducing you to a God who knows, understands, and loves you in ways no one else can.
If you are already in relationship with God, we would be happy to come alongside you, to help you grow in that relationship. Opportunities for growth in your knowledge and understanding of God’s word include joining a small group and enrolling at one of our Life Classes. Connect with us, to find out more.
If you are actively growing in your relationship with God and are accountable to a group of fellow believers, we would like to see you take every opportunity you get, to disciple those in your sphere of influence. We are here to help you live an exemplary life, and effectively share God’s word in practical ways.
We adhere to the Assemblies of God statement of Fundamental Truths:
1. Accordingly, we believe that:God is the one true and living God; He is eternal and exists in three persons – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2. While, as human beings, we are a masterpiece of God’s creation, our sins stand in the way of the perfect relationship we can have, both with God and with fellow man.
3. God reached out to us by giving us His son Jesus – it is only through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus’ life on our behalf, that we can be saved from having to face the ultimate consequence of our sins (eternal separation from God). Through faith in Jesus, we have the promise of spending eternity in the presence of God!
4. Baptism is a public proclamation that the Bible asks us to make, when we come into relationship with Jesus. It is an outward demonstration of a change that takes place inside of us, through knowing Him.
5. Communion is what Jesus asks us to do, in order to remember the sacrifice of His life, by which we are set free from the chains of sin and its ultimate consequence.
6. The Holy Spirit lives in us from the moment we come into relationship with Jesus – the Holy Spirit gives us the power to live a life that pleases God. We believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as described in the Book of Acts.
“GOD’S METHOD IS A MAN!”
Our story begins at when our founding pastor – Pastor Colton Wickramaratne – came to know God. Although he was the son of a devout Baptist preacher from the village of Makevita, Pastor Colton spent his early youth rebelling against God and religion, saying “I don’t want to be compelled to be a Christian… I don’t want to be brainwashed.” Living on a stash of stolen money, which was fast running out, and battling with questions about the meaning and purpose of life, Pastor Colton felt, at just 17, that he had come to the end of the road. So he bought himself a bottle of rat poison, and drifted off to a far corner of the Gampaha Botanical Gardens, to end his misery.
Little did Pastor Colton know that the God of the universe had other plans for him. When he lent his head back against the tree he was standing under, in order to consume the poison he had brought with him, Pastor Colton noticed, that the tree had an enormous poster pinned to it, inviting those who “… have come to the end of life’s journey and… don’t know what to do…” to attend a meeting at the YMCA at 6:00 o’clock that same evening.
Pastor Colton put his bottle of poison away and decided to attend the meeting, but his decision was motivated by a desire – not to meet God – but to disrupt the meeting. Despite this, God got a hold of his heart that day – and so began Pastor Colton’s great adventure in faith. Less than five years after his dramatic conversion, Pastor Colton – by this time, married to his lovely wife Susanne – was serving as an assistant pastor in Kandy. It was at this time, in 1957, that he received a great vision from God. Having seen the nail-pierced hand of Jesus at his window, and heard God’s heart towards him, Pastor Colton clearly sensed God call him into a deeper commitment. Motivated by “implicit obedience,” Pastor Colton and his wife Susanne set off to Colombo, as God had directed, to start this church.
TWO HOUSES, A STABLE, AND A NIGHTCLUB
The church first began in the home of a believer on Walukarama Road. Pastor Colton and his family lived on faith, often having to forego meals due to the lack of finances. Yet they were sustained by God at all times. Later, Pastor Colton was able to rent a small house on Deanston Place, to hold services.
As the churchbegan to grow, the need for a larger space became increasingly obvious. In 1966, another believer who had experienced a miracle from God, offered Pastor Colton his horse stables for holding services. This offer was gladly accepted, and the church began to grow in strength and number at this time. In 1971 the church moved into yet another rented space – this time it was a facility formerly used as a nightclub! It was here that ‘Miracle Prayer Night’ services were started, in 1974. Miracle Prayer Night services continue to be held, to this day.
NO. 4, 6th LANE, KOLLUPITIYA
As the church continued to grow, the need for a larger, more permanent, premises became undeniable. It was at this time that God provided the means for Pastor Colton to purchase a building in Kollupitiya, which had been previously occupied by the Embassy of Israel. With the help of all the members of the congregation who gave sacrificially, Pastor Colton was able to have the church constructed at No. 4, 6th Lane, by January 1977. The sanctuary seated 1,300 people – and it was filled to capacity!
It soon became clear to Pastor Colton that, in order to fully implement the vision God gave him in 1957, he needed to build a church that could seat at least 5,000 people, and which had teaching and training facilities as well. It was to this end that a two-acre block of government-owned land was purchased in 1991 – again, as part of an amazing move of faith. Not only did members of the church give sacrificially towards the purchase of this land and the construction of the building, God spoke to Pastor Rick Seaward from Singapore, telling him that his church in Singapore should match every rupee that was given sacrificially towards the implementation of this aspect of Pastor Colton’s vision. People’s Church officially moved to Narahenpita in November 1999. God has been faithful to us from the beginning of our journey. Today we are a thriving body of believers, active throughout the week – not only in the church building itself, but in the marketplace, in the mission field, and around the world – in fulfilling the purposes God has instilled in our hearts.