A Very Special Calling

October 24, 2014

by Len Lathrop

Hudson’s First Baptist Church has a new pastor and they held a ceremony on Sunday evening to make it official.  The First Baptist Church was 200 years old in 2005, which makes the beautiful, white church in the original center of Hudson 209 years old today. When the Hudson First Baptist Church was celebrating its 65th year in 1870, Baptist missionaries Rev. Dr. and Mrs. E. W. Clark traveled to Nagaland, India, to bring Christianity to that small corner of world, where they began their work in what is now the largest Christian country in the world.

The coming of Pastor Moa Imchen and his family to First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH is a remarkable story.  It is a story of the faithful coming full circle.  Both Rev. Moa Imchen and his wife Akum Longcharare are the results (while several generations removed) of the work and teaching of those American Baptist missionaries in Nagaland.  Now, God, in his amazing way, is bringing Rev. Moa as spiritual leaders to serve at First Baptist Church of Hudson, NH.

Now, we invite you to meet the Reverend Moa Imchen, who was installed as the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hudson on Sunday amid hymns of faith, greetings and blessings from pastors from four different states, but who have passports with many different stamps from many different countries.  All knew Rev. Imchen and talked about serving God and bring His word to others.

Rev. Moa Imchen and his family came from San Francisco to Hudson in July of 2014.  Moa’s educational preparation for ministry began at Eastern Theological College in India.  Moa taught Old Testament and biblical languages at a seminary in India before coming to Union Theological Seminary, in New York. It was here that he studied for his Master of Sacred Theology in Hebrew Bible.  He is finishing up his Ph.D. dissertation in biblical studies, specializing in Old Testament at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA.

He was ordained at First Chinese Baptist Church of San Francisco in 2010.  He served as English Pastor at the Chinese United Methodist Church in San Francisco beginning in September 2009 and led his last official worship service there on April 20, 2014.  He also served as Assistant Minister at First Baptist Church, Antioch, CA from 2004-2006.  Besides his church ministry, he also taught biblical Hebrew at San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA, from 2006 to 2009.  He also has been engaged in preaching ministry at several other churches in the Bay area.

When asked about finding his career in service to God, the Reverend had a very different story. His parents were the proud parents of four girls. However, in Nagaland, having a son was very important in the social system of their land.  His parents went to the tribal elders and asked them to pray to God for a son – with the promise that if God granted them a son they would make sure he went into the ministry and dedicate his live to teaching the word of God.  He was born with his career path chosen for him. Today he will admit it has worked out, but he has many stories about testing his faith as he grew up with the things that most young men try. But, in the final analysis, he always was brought back to God.

Moa, who possesses excellent communication skills, explained his work he experienced straight from the seminary. He encountered drug abusers and troublemakers on the streets of Nagaland. It was here that he learned to work with people and reinforced how important God’s message is to everyone.  He had to wear Converse sneakers and t-shirts and jeans to get them talk to him.  But while the church fathers weren’t real happy with his work, he continued and helped many people with their struggles.

While this story needs to be wrapped up neatly so we can get this paper to press, it really has no ending except to say,  “Welcome to Hudson.”  To learn more about Nagaland and the work of the missions there visit www.firstbaptisthudson.com and go to the “pastor” page.