Our History

The Church for the Nations was founded on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The history reveals how individuals responded to the call and guidance of God to establish a sanctuary in the city of Geneva. Though there are a few individuals who were at the forefront, it must be noted that they played a facilitative role and worked collaboratively with others as they sought the will of God concerning the steps to take on a number of issues. This document gives a detailed account of the history of the Church for the Nations.

 

God prepares Pastor Philip Kuruvilla

Pastor Philip was born in South India in Aluva, Kerala to Rev. C. M. Kuruvilla and Rachel. His father ran an orphanage - Aluva Settlement - and pastored a Pentecostal fellowship. Pastor Philip least expected and desired to be a pastor. He got saved at the age of 7 years and was baptised with the Holy Spirit at the age of 10. He went through the formal educational system. His career plan was to be a nuclear scientist. He worked as a Scientific Assistant in the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Trombay, Bombay (Mumbai). While working here, he heard the call of God and he responded.  He left his job and moved to the United States of America in 1970 to learn the Word of God. Later, he got a job in the United States of America with the United Nations as Statistical Assistant. In 1982, he moved from the United States of America to Geneva, Switzerland in response to the call of God. There were a number of other believers who were in Geneva when Pastor Philip moved to this city.

 

Setting up a sanctuary in Geneva

Pastor Philip Kuruvilla, together with his wife Alice and a handful of believers,   founded the Church for the Nations in July 1992. This is the date when this Church was formally launched but there were a number of preceding activities. The day that Pastor Philip set his heart to obey the call of God, the Lord provided miraculously a place for worship. This was during the first week of July 1992. Dr. Ambrose Wasunna (from Kenya) who worked for the World Health Organization and his wife Marigold strongly supported the site identified. Pastor Philip, Ambrose and Cynthia Wallace visited the place together and claimed it by faith. It was a factory warehouse in total disarray. A group of brethren from the Philippines, in particular Bong, Mario, Neny, Rafael and Pastor Jim Viray of "Come to Jesus Fellowship", together with Christophe Guessaz, David Philip, Denny, Alice, Yoli, Agnes, Dori, Esther, Rosita, Rowie, Susie, and Virgie joined pastor Philip and worked extremely hard under the leadership and guidance of pastor Philip to convert this factory warehouse into a glorious sanctuary to worship the Living God. The point we are stressing here is that these believers started with nothing and they can only look back and affirm: "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us(1 Samuel 7: 12).
The founding members of the Church for the Nations were:

  • Pastor Philip, his wife Alice, his daughter Tissa and his son David
  • Ambrose Wasunna and his wife Marigold
  • Cynthia Wallace
  • Christophe Gueissaz
  • Bong and Rowie Ferranco
  • Yoli Valeriano
  • Susie Gavinio
  • Mario and Cora Cipriano
  • Neny and Sally Argañoza
  • Virgie Estrella
  • Agnes Santos
  • Dori Cipriano
  • Esther Peliño
  • Herminia Milan (Nanay)
  • Rosita Mercado
  • Seth Osafo
  • Rafael and Marilyn Federigan

These founding members prayed, supported the vision, looked for and prepared the first place for worship. 
While preparing the first place for worship, meetings were held at Pastor Philip's apartment at 62 rue de Vermont, Geneva. The first worship meeting was held on 9 July 1992 at 7:30 p.m. Seventeen persons attended this service. Sunday services were held in Pastor Philip’s apartment and mid-week services were held either in Pastor Philip’s apartment or in Yoli's apartment until the place of worship was fully prepared, furnished and ready for use.
The first worship service in the renovated hall at 9A rue Chandieu was held on the Sunday morning of 26 July 1992. Twenty-five people attended the service. Rowie Ferranco led the worship and there was glorious presence of the Lord. Pastor Philip spoke, with a focus on the glory of Solomon's temple and the latter glory of the Lord that was about to come upon the Church. The first baptismal service was held in the Lake Geneva in August 1992 in which Sisters Assi and Dori were baptized in water.
God moved mightily in this fellowship, manifesting His Glory and the power of the Holy Spirit. Deliverance, signs, wonders, healing and baptism in the Holy Spirit were manifested in the sanctuary. Many people were saved as the Lord constantly added souls to His Church. Due to the love, prayer, commitment, faithfulness and teamwork of the members, different ministries emerged and the church grew rapidly, both spiritually and physically. Many people from Geneva and its environments came for deliverance and healing, and the Lord set the captives free.
It is important to note that responsibility for preaching was shared among believers. For example, Ambrose and his wife Marigold, Seth and Rose, Cynthia, Bong, Alice, Neny, Christophe and others preached on different occasions. The Lord also brought men and women of faith from different countries and places to preach at the Church for the Nations.

 

Time to move to a bigger place

The Church continued to grow and by 1997, the sanctuary was full. There was a need to move to a bigger place. The Lord provided a new place at 47bis rue de Lausanne in June 1997. It was a furniture factory and warehouse. By faith Pastor Philip gave a prophetic word to the Church for the Nations to occupy this place. The Lord led Pastor Philip to request Bruno to take the responsibility of renovating the building. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Bruno, Christophe Gueissaz, Viju and several other members worked tirelessly at renovating the new place. They completely transformed it from being a furniture factory and warehouse into a beautiful place of worship that we now have.Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Philip announced that the first prayer meeting would be held in the new hall on Friday 25th July 1997. On the Friday morning of 25 July 1997, the Lord brought a Brazilian pastor to take over the old church 9A rue Chandieu. We therefore moved with confidence to the new sanctuary on Friday night of 25 July 1997 and were indeed able to pray there as had been announced. Since moving to the new site at 47bis rue de Lausanne, the Church for the Nations has continued to grow, experiencing the power of God, seen in God adding souls to His church. The Church for the Nations has maintained emphasis on reliance on God and the Holy Spirit and the need to know and make Jesus Christ known in Geneva and beyond. In addition to registered members, the Church for the Nations receives and ministers to a number of visitors during the week. We thank God for choosing to use the Church for the Nations to manifest Himself and expand His kingdom. Our fellowship is humbled as it remembers: "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us" (1 Samuel 7: 12). Despite challenges, we have experienced the presence of God and we bear witness that God is good and faithful.
All Glory and Honour belong to the Lord Almighty!
 
Change in Pastoral Leadership in 2013
 
After 21 years of leaving an indelible mark on CFTN as the founder, Pastor Philip Kuruvilla went to be with the Lord on 27th February 2013 during his missionary trip to the Philippines. He left behind a legacy that continues to inspire the CFTN Family as we march forward in victory. In obedience to the vision for CFTN, God used Pastor Philip to win souls for His Kingdom. He operated in the gifts of healing, discernment and deliverance. 2013 has been an extraordinary year of transition for the CFTN Family following his death. Pastor Philip’s wife, Alice Philip who was the Associate Pastor, was officially ordained and installed as Pastor of CFTN on May 12, 2013 by Pastor Eddie Wassmer. Her two appointed Assistant Pastors, Nenito Argañoza and Vincent Parker were also ordained the same day.