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Asia’s largest baptist church and Asia’s second largest church
K. V. Nurumi  :  May/01/2017 07:23:PM
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Asia’s largest Baptist church and Asia’s second largest church, the new Sumi Baptist Church Zunheboto was dedicated by Rev. Dr. Solomon Rongpi, general secretary, CBCNEI on April 22, 2017 at an impressive function held inside the Church building.
Standing at a height of 1864.9 m above the sea level, this colossal structure has a height of 166’ft, length of 203’ft and breadth of 153’ft with a total plinth area of 23,73,476 sq.ft with seating capacity of 8500 seats and 27 rooms.
How it began: Sumi Baptist Church Zunheboto (SBCZ) was established in the year 1942. The pioneers of the Church laboured and constructed a church building that had enough seats to comfortably accommodate 2500 church members. However, over the years, the church membership increased and the church could no longer accommodate all the members, particularly during Sunday devotional services.
Thereafter, the deacon council, during its meeting held on 26-06-2004, deliberated this issue and resolved to extend the building with a budget of Rs.6 lakh. On 18-07-2004 this proposal was presented to the congregation for approval. However, the house turned down the proposal and insisted to go ahead for construction of the new building. Thus Dr.Nihoshe, the then deacon council chairman, sought the opinion of the congregation for construction of a new church building.
The house favoured the new proposal and approved to construct a new building which should accommodate 10,000 seats. From that day onwards, the church authorities with concerned church members had constant meeting and planned out necessary programs for raising funds. The deacon council finally awarded architect works to M/S Akitektura, Dimapur whose model was gradually approved by the house.
Construction: A four member representative from each sector, along with all sector GBs, TCM and sector prayer fellowship, convenors by designation was nominated to form a planning board and on December 5, 2005 meeting, the following members were elected as officer bearers of the new church building. Chairman- H.Kiyelu Yepthomi, vice-chairman-chairman deacon council (by designation), secretary-I.Nikheto Jimomi, joint secretary-N.Yeheto Yepthomi, finance convenor-Huskha Yepthomi and finance secretary-Y.Vihoshe Murru.
Last Devotion: The last devotional service in the old church building was held on February 18, 2007 and as the new church was to be constructed in the same site, the old building was demolished on February 19, 2007 to April 21, 2007. Rev. S. Yevito Sumi, sr.pastor, SBCZ laid the foundation stone for the new SBCZ church building on May 5, 2007.
Funding: Initially, before the planning board took over, a one-time donation was held. Later on, the planning board decided to take up detail census of Baptist membership under various categories namely, govt. employees, pensioners, number of households, business, self employed and daily wagers. Thereupon, the first household budget was formulated. All govt. employees and pensioners under SBCZ to donate one month salary. All households under SBCZ were divided into five categories such as Rs.25000, Rs.20000, Rs.15000, Rs.10000 and Rs.3000.
In 2008, free will donation was taken followed by house budget on 2010 and 2015. The rest of the fund was shouldered by SBCZ. Besides all these sources, individual believers, churches and association came forward extending their help in various ways. Inspite of all these efforts, there was some shortfall of funds to meet the expenditure. Therefore the planning board and deacon council held a joint meeting to request all the govt. employees, pensioners, self employees under SBCZ to contribute their one month salary and all well wishers to generously contribute as per their individual capacity. Thus the completion of the church building today is a testimony to all the prayers, hard work and best efforts put in by all the believers.
Initially, the targeted expenditure for this NCBC was estimated at Rs.11 Crore. But due to cost escalation, procuring and installation of various gadgets and equipments which were not projected earlier, the budget was enhanced three times and finally the total cost of the building including the above mentioned, on completion touched Rs.36 Crores.
Equipments and gadgets installed: 
1. 3 lightening arresters (Alltec USA)
2. Church Bell weighing 500 kgs. (Made in Poland)
3. 500 K.V Digital Generator.
4. 2 lifts.
5. Sound System Herman (USA-JBL) and stage lighting 9 Martin, USA supplied and installed by Lodhuram Toshniwal & Sons, Kolkata and Crescendo Dimapur.
6. 27 rooms consisting of special dressing rooms for wedding couples, sick room, children’s play room, prayer hall, library, council hall, conference hall and cafeteria.
7. 10 K.V UPS.
8. Firefighting equipments.
9. Space provisions for wedding feasts and reception.
(Courtesy-SBCZ Planning Board, NCBC)

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