Our Founder Pastor
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 church began 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.
Our Senior Pastor
LIVE RIGHT, WALK STRAIGHT. GOD WILL DO THE REST!
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.
“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 a 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:
5. Every person can have restored fellowship with God through ‘Salvation’ (trusting Christ, through faith and repentance, to be our personal savior), (Luke 24:47;John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; Titus 3:5-7)
6. We believe and practice two ordinances
- Water Baptism by immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4)
- Holy Communion (the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation, (Luke 22:14-20; 1 Corinthians 11:26)
7. We believe the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in the New Testament times, (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 1:8)
8. We believe the initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ as experienced on the day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles, (Acts 2:4)
9. We believe sanctification initially occurs at salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christ like, (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12)
10. The church has a mission to seek and save all who are lost in sin. We believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
11. A divinely called and scripturally ordained Leadership Ministry Serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, to build up or edify the body of believers–the Church and to meet human need with ministries of love and compassion. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
12. Divine healing of the sick is a privilege for Christians today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins), (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; James 5:14-16)
13. We believe in The Blessed Hope—When Jesus raptures His Church prior to His return to earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
14. We believe in the millennial reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel and the establishment of universal peace, (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27;Matthew 24:30;Revelation 1:7;Revelation 19:11-14;Revelation 20:1-6)
15. We believe a final judgment will take place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire. (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:8)
16. We believe and look forward to the perfect new heavens and a new earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’ (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-27; Revelation 22:1-21)