St. Thomas Evangelical Church of India (STECI) is an evangelical, episcopal, missionary church with headquarters in Thiruvalla, Kerala
The attitude of the then leadership of the Mar Thoma Church against the reformation principles of Abraham Malpan caused a large number of people in the Church to unite and resist those destabilizing tendencies. This led to the formation of the Mar Thoma Pathiopadesa Samithy (Association for the preservation of the sound doctrines of the Mar Thoma Church) on 29 October1952 . Bible classes, fellowship groups and evangelical gatherings were held in many places under the auspices of the Samithy and people began to be conscious of the danger confronting their dear Church. The history of the Mar Thoma church for the next ten years since the formation of the Pathiopadesa Samithy was dark with high-handed repression of those holding the evangelical view, and discrimination against them in all spheres of church life. Those who held on to the reformed faith were denied all facilities to meet together or to strengthen their fellowship. They were denied all opportunities to occupy any position of influence in the Church or in any of its organizations. After struggling almost over a decade in the mother Church over purging it from the heresies that crept into it, the faithful and zealous believers in the church decided to separate from the mother church The Mar Thoma Church came into existence to be a reformed church according to the scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. Over the years a position was reached in that church where the sixty-six books of the Bible alone were not sufficient for her faith and practices. And also those who held to the sound doctrines of evangelical faith were not tolerable in the Mar Thoma church. A separation became unavoidable when four evangelically minded Presbyters were summarily ex-communicated from the church in 1960, totally against the constitutional norms and justice.
The STECI was formed for the three cardinal principles of safeguarding the sound doctrine, living out an evangelical lifestyle or holy life, and for obeying the Great commission of the Master by evangelizing the Mother land India. When the church was formally launched on 26 th January 1961, at Thymala near Tiruvalla, 25,000 believers stood up, raised their right hands and took a pledge that they and their children would stand for the Gospel. Growth of the church in the initial years was marvelous. The key verse of the STECI is, “For the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus”