Bakht Singh- A Life Testimony

Bakht Singh Chabra (1903-2000) is considered one of the most exceptional preacher, bible teacher and evangelist from India. He is also one of the pioneers of Indigenous Church planting movement and contexualization of gospel of Jesus Christ to Indian culture.  Born in 1903 to a religious Sikh parents in Punjab (now a part of Pakistan), Bakht Singh became follower of Jesus Christ during his visit to England and Canada for higher studies. This life testimony offers glimpse into life of Bakht singh (known as Brother Bakht Singh).

His Childhood years

Brother Bakht Singh was educated in a Christian missionary school. But since then he had resentment towards Christians. He lived in a boarding home for 5 years. On one side of this boarding home, the Hindu students lived and on the other side the Muslims lived. He talked to everyone except Christians. Deep from within, he was very bitter towards Christianity and Christian people. He was very orthodox in his own religion and spent many hours in the Sikh temples observing all the religious rites. Sikhs are very well known for their social service to the people in society. So he also took an active part in such work but he could not find real joy in observing such rites or doing such service. When he passed his school he was given a leather bound Bible, which he tore into pieces. He kept the leather cover as it was beautiful.

A Strange Dream

During his school days, he used to have a dream. The Dream was that he was climbing a high and steep hill. With great difficulty and struggle he would reach the top but as soon as he reached there, somebody would come along and hurl him down. As he fell, the sharp points of the rocks would dig into his ribs. Thus he would be in great pain, so much so that he would cry out in his dream. But in the end he would find himself lying on a bed.

Life in England:

After his college years he had an ambition to go to England to study. His father was a wealthy man and wanted him to join his business. He has six brothers but Bakth was the favorite of his mother. His mother said to him one day, “I will help you to go to England but promise me that you will not change your religion.” Bakth Singh was a proud Sikh man, and he promised his mother that he will never do that. His father too, agreed to send him with all the money he needed and he also promised to live economically. In September 1926, he reached England and joined Mechanical Engineering in the Engineering College of London.

Slowly he adapted into the Western world. He did not relish the food so much but he learnt to use the forks and spoons. He slowly also shaved his hair which a conservative Sikh would never do. He travelled all over Europe and England, visited museums, art galleries, worn expensive clothes; had eaten grand meals; had made friends with rich and poor, high and low; had taken part in social functions, indulged in amusements; had acquired as much education as he wanted; yet he was unhappy. He also tried smoking expensive cigars and alcohol just so that he could be just like his other English friends.

Then he thought perhaps it was not happy due to the fact that he was not fully civilized! So he asked his English friends, professor and fellow students. But none of them were really happy. He thought if India had the education and sanitation it would become like a heaven, but then he saw England which had all that but still there were greater evils  in the society, he did not understand. He concluded the world is filled with “vanity of vanities”.

A trip to Canada:

In 1928, a group of students were going to Canada and so he too decided to join them. On the 10th of August, he saw a notice showing that a church service would be held in the first-class dining saloon, at noon. He thought he should also go along with his friends but he was afraid, as he had never been to a church before. He thought to himself he has been to so many places, so a Church will do no harm to him. And so he tagged along. At the end of the service he saw people kneeling down and praying. He thought “These people do not know anything about religion. They have exploited my country and I have seen them eating and drinking. What do they know? After all my religion is the best religion.”

But he found one man kneeling on the right and another on the left and he thought it would not be right to disturb them. He began to say, “I have been to mosques and Hindu temples. I have taken off my shoes and washed my feet to show respect for those places. I must honor this place too out of courtesy.” So breaking his national pride, he knelt down.

This was the first time Bakht Singh was attending a Christian service. He had never read the Bible before nor had anyone spoken to me about salvation. When he knelt down he felt a great change coming over him. His whole body was trembling. He could feel divine power entering into him and lifting him up. The first change that he noticed was, that a great joy was flooding his soul. Then he realized that he was repeating the name of Jesus Christ. He began to say, “Oh, Lord Jesus, blessed be Thy name, blessed be Thy name.” The name Jesus became very sweet to him.

After this experience in Canada, Bakth Singh started going to churches on week days when they were empty and sat there. He felt the calmness, joy and peace in his heart. One year passed by, but he never told anyone about his  Christian experience, nor did he have the courage to do so, but the desire of smoking and drinking was all gone. In 1929, he came back to Canada to finish a course in Agricultural Engineering. There on 14th Dec. 1929, he asked a friend to give him a Bible. This friend was surprised but gave him a pocket New Testament (which Bakht singh kept with him for the rest of his life).

The next day when he was reading the Gospel of John, in chapter 3 the words “Verily Verily I say unto you” convicted him. He for the first time learned that he was the greatest sinner and his heart was filthy. He felt remorse for the blasphemous words he used for Jesus and Christians. Tears started to flow, As he was crying, the Voice said to him, “This is my body broken for you; this is my bloodshed for the remission of your sins.” He knew that the blood of Jesus only could wash away his sins But he did not know exactly how. There on that day, he accepted Jesus as his Savior and God, an unexplainable joy and peace came to his soul. He felt a real assurance that all his sins were washed away. He continued worship Jesus. In the next 2 days he received Bible (Old and New Testaments) as a Christmas gift. He engrossed himself reading this Book for hours, sometimes 14 hours in a stretch. He also read the New Testament many times.

On 4th February, 1932, Bakht Singh was baptized in Vancouver, Canada. After his baptism, he wrote a letter to his father about the conversion. It was a long letter with many Bible references. Just during that time his father had met a missionary who was talking to him about the Christ and the Bible. So the missionary gave an Urdu Bible to his father. He read the letter and the Bible references and was convinced that his son has a real conversion and that he too started believing in Jesus Christ.

Ministry in India

He returned back to Mumbai, India in 1933, where he was not well received by his family members. His parents would only accept him, if he could keep his ‘newly found faith’  a secret. Upon his denial, his family deserted him. Suddenly he bacame homeless, but the joy and love of Christ was too much to contain. He started preaching on the street of Mumbai. Soon, he started attracting thousands of people all around India. Large crowd gathered around wherever he went. His revival meetings were always followed with Signs, Wonders, Healings. He went on to plant many churches in all over India. Later on, his family also accepted him, many of whom also became followers of Jesus Christ.

Bakht Singh was a friend to Christian leaders such as Billy Graham, Francis Schaeffer, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Jerry Falwell, and John Stott etc. His impact in India for Christ has been immense, more than any other Indian Christian leader. You can read more about his life and ministries here and here. Bakht singh died on September 16, 2000 at age of 97, but his life and legacy still lives on through changed lives…

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28 Comments

  1. Jessie
    October 22, 2010

    My favourite Man Of God

  2. jms
    September 19, 2011

    god fearing servent and without god willing he cannot do any thing even profitable

  3. K.P.RAO
    January 17, 2012

    Bakht Singh,a true servant of GOD.If all the preachers of this day are like him then many will come to the feet of JESUS.He led the people towards the Almighty,without any stage shows as prevailed nowadays.He is true disciple of Jesus.He forsaken everything for the name sake of Jesus.As Jesus called a man to follow him leaving everything in the scriptures,Bro Bakht Singh obeyed and followed in our days.

  4. Merina
    July 27, 2012

    We must live a life of true christian to set an example to others, non-believers, so as to lead them to the true path, just like bro. Bakht Singh. God bless

  5. Charles benjamin
    February 21, 2013

    The message of Christ was central to all his actions. I am proud to say that he was my Dad’s friend and a frequent and welcome visitor to our home in Hyderabad.
    I have yet to meet a man with a greater sense of humor.
    When The Lord is your boss , your trust is in Him. “Faith”.

  6. Dinakar
    May 21, 2013

    I don’t know much about Bro. Bakth Singh earlier, after going through this biography and the churches that he setup, he is India’s gretest Christian evengalist. He influenced so many people for full time God’s service. God used him mightly in India. Praise God.

  7. September 10, 2013

    I recognised that prayer is heart to christian life from bro .bakthsingh life.praise the lord

  8. April 15, 2014

    He is none other than God to awake ourselves and the whole world.

  9. October 4, 2014

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I
    believe that you need to publish more about this topic, it might not be
    a taboo matter but usually people do not speak about such topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

  10. S. Chinnapparao @ Benny
    December 19, 2014

    Christian should be like that.

  11. suman
    January 12, 2015

    Man of God!! Bakth Singh!!

  12. benny
    February 2, 2015

    very nice man of god ,,preaching in the street awesome ..i love him … i want to be like him ……………………………..AMEN

  13. Sunil.Karning
    May 1, 2015

    A man of God in the 21st Century
    I respect and love him the most
    Wants to follow and obey God as he obeyed.,

  14. rajesh menda
    June 25, 2015

    wonderful testimony which changes my life

  15. sarojakatipogu
    July 30, 2015

    actually i am a Roman catholic but one of my friend told me about Bro.Bakht singh really heart touching. especially five divine principles of life.

  16. Pav
    August 17, 2015

    I’d never heard from this guy until today (my wife told me to looking his up). Why is he not known so well amongst other Sikh believers. I’m going to find out more about his testimony life and faith.

    • Sammy
      February 28, 2017

      Dear Brother/ Sister, I suggest you to read his book titled, “How I got Joy unspeakable and full of glory and skill of his loving hands”.

  17. Ramesh
    September 22, 2015

    Great man of God by whom I was highly inspired.

  18. arunkumar
    March 12, 2016

    Praise the lord.choose such brother.

  19. shalem raj
    March 15, 2016

    Bro. Bakht Singh,a true servant of GOD without god willing he cannot do any thing even profitable…

  20. Daniel M.S.N. Reddy
    May 8, 2016

    Bro. Bakth singh was a true man of God, a Prophet, an Evangelist and a mighty apostle in 20th century in the hand of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was used as a strong weapon By the Lord Jesus Christ to win the perished souls from the clutches of satan.

  21. Sunil Kama
    June 6, 2016

    Faithfulness Servant of God.

  22. Solomon Swarna
    June 7, 2016

    No Wonder People Call Him “Apostle of 21 st Century” . Very few in the Christendom have walked so closely with God . One of the Coworker said that while Preaching Bro Bakht Singh used to say ” My God is closer than my spectacles” . By Listening to Audio sermons and Reading His Books one can understand the depth of Insight and how simple he makes it to understand. His Prayer life, labour,sacrifice has seen the result of more than 10,000 local churches in India and Regions beyond. I call him “ENOCH OF 21 st CENTURY” who walked with God.

  23. Hindus and I have written stories and book let's explaining the truth of them Bible I would like to know about you people and your ministry We are going to have a special meeting on Xmas day for the non Christians Please pray for
    December 16, 2016

    I was very much impressed by your ministry. I HAVE BEEN REACHINGMANY

  24. Marie Theresa MacDonald
    December 19, 2016

    Enter Your Comment…ThankYOU GOD The
    FATHER,SON and HOLY SPIRIT for YOUR Gift of Bro BAKHT SINGH to Christianity and the World.
    l’m deeply moved by his immense devotion and service to those in YOUR vineyard.

    Bhai Bakht ji, you r now in your Heavenly Home. Plz intercede for us with Our Divine LORD, so that we may remain faithful witnesses to HIM.

    BTW, l’m a devout Roman Catholic. Pope Francis looks upon all Evangelicals as CHRISTIANS, fellow pilgrims and equally dear to The LORD. Makes perfect sense.

    I have also closely read about your inspiring disciple, Dharam Prakash Sharma, whose book was gifted to me by a fellow Roman Catholic.

    You are now united with JESUS.Please take note of our love and gratitude for your yoeman service to our SAVIOUR’s ministry here on earth so that by our words and deeds , we may follow in your noble path of sharing HIS WORD among our fellow men. AMEN.

  25. Sammy
    February 28, 2017

    A true man of God. I feel blessed to have born during the time of Bro. Bakht Singh. One should read his book titled, “How I got Joy unspeakable and full of glory and skill of his loving hands”. Faith and Just faith will make us fully depend on Lord Jesus Christ.

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