Ministry with Madam Lewini

Anna Lewini

Anna Lewini

Anna Emilie Lewini arrives in Ceylon for the first time. (Born July 22 1876) in Denmark into a theatrical family of partly Jewish ancestry, she had been an actress, both on stage and in at least one silent film. Copenhagen was the cultural capital of Scandinavia and in the entertainment field could compete with Paris. The period 1890-1920 was considered the golden age of Danish theatre. However, she was radically converted under the ministry of Thomas Barratt who preached in Copenhagen in 1908-9 soon after returning from India. Saved on 27th April 1909 and baptized in the Holy Spirit on May 13th 1909, by the time she came to Ceylon in 1919 Ms. Lewini was a mature woman in her forties with 10 years of solid Pentecostal experience and witness behind her.

Sam Wickramaratne

John Samuel Wickramaratne

She held meetings at the Tower Hall in Borella, and in the group that responded was another Baptist lay-preacher, John Samuel Wickramaratne (Pastor Colton’s Father) who had already received the Holy Spirit baptism 2 years prior. She was apparently accompanied by two other missionary ladies, Sisters Pauline and Margaret, about whom nothing else is now known.In this group were some of the later leaders of the main Pentecostal churches in our country.

Glad Tidings Hall Borella 1922

Glad Tidings Hall Borella 1922

8a - Anna Lewini and Sam Wickramaratne (dark coat)

Sam and Lillian Wickramaratne

Anna Lewini was called by the Lord to return in 1923 to continue her work as a missionary, and stayed for twenty-five years. Anna, describing her call of the Lord said, “I believe God wants this place as a center for the Pentecostal power”. The congregation she established met at Glad Tidings Hall, Borella, and later, Anna Lewini with Pastor J S Wickramaratne moved to Makevita, Ja-Ela. The church they planted there played a strategic role in the days to come.

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