Gampaha

Makevita church

Makevita church

22nd February 2014 at Ja-Ela, The Assemblies of God of Ceylon officially inaugurated the Centenary Celebration with a colorful regional event and rally recently held in Ja-Ela. This inaugural event focused on the humble beginning of the Assemblies of God in the little remote village of Makewita situated 6KM from Ja-Ela on the Gampaha road. More than 3500 participants from the Gampaha and North Western Regions gathered at Calvary Centre Ja-Ela on the 22nd of February. The programme named “Makewita and Beyond” was jointly organized by the Regional Committees. Members of the Executive Presbytery, Credentials Committee and other senior leaders were also present at the event. Colorful dance items and musical items, and a wonderful atmosphere of worship were experienced by those present.

The historical segment which was presented focused on the little beginnings and how the insignificant village of Makewita became the center for the Assemblies of God in Sri Lanka. Makewita was a remote village in those times. But like Ephratha in Bethlehem it was a strategic place in God’s agenda. Samuel Wickramaratne, Pastor Colton’s father arrived in this village along with his family from Colombo and began ministering to people. They settled down in Makewita because of a divine vision in their heart. Pastor Samuel stood by the roadside played his violin and boldly preached the gospel, which influenced many. He soon found some people hungry for more of God; they wanted something more than traditional Christianity. The Samaratunga family, and in particular the Alwis family became the first believers of this little church. On August 5, 1934 a Sunday, Sister Rosalyn De Alwis proposed that from now on we must establish a denomination – the church is known as the first Assembly of God Church. The Makewita church eventually became the headquarters of the Assemblies of God.

Home of Madam Anna Lewini

Original Location of Madam Anna Lewini in Makawita

The arrival of Madam Anna Lewini to Makewita and her stay in Kaluwelgoda is also significant. This means she had a direct input to the work in Makewita. The work of Rev Elphege and Ila Fernando were also specifically mentioned as they were mostly instrumental in laying the foundation for the formation of the ministry of the present Gampaha and North Western regions.

The present Makewita believers and Pastor were also recognized and appreciated. Living relatives of the Alwis family, Samaratunga family, and Adihetti Family were also present.

Pastor Colton was invited to share God’s word. He challenged the church to a fresh commitment and serve God filled with the Spirit and wholeheartedly. He shared how an uneducated, humble man in Makewita by the name of Juanis Weerasinghe (Juan maama) was used by God to operate in the gifts of the Spirit and performed signs and wonders. The alter was flooded with those who came running to commit themselves anew to serve God. The celebration event concluded with the release of 1000 balloons with scripture passages written on them.

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