History of NECK
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Historical proofs suggest that Christianity existed in the Gulf countries as early as the third Century A.D. Moreover, it is recorded that Qatar was Bishopric as early as 225 A.D. and Bishops from Arabia attended the Nicene Council of Bishops. The Arabian Mission (American Mission) was formed in 1889 with the objectives of missionary work, education and medical care in the Arabian Peninsula. Thus bringing the ‘Arabian Mission’ missionaries on a visit to Kuwait in 1900 and having a Bible shop opened in the year 1903.
In 1910, a piece of land (the present NECK compound) was purchased by the Arabian Mission and a Men's Hospital was constructed in 1914.Soon after a Women's Hospital was also constructed in 1920. Along with the work at the hospital, Sunday worship service was started in open air and later was moved to the sea captain's home. These worship services were mainly attended by the Hospital Staff.A Chapel was later built in the year 1931, under the able leadership of Gerrit De Jong. It is recorded that teak doors, frames and windows were all made in Katpadi, India. Thus having the first worship service in the Chapel held on November 15, 1931. The church was then known as Church of Christ. The present Parish Hall was added to the Church in 1958 and gradually, a number of worship halls were constructed.
The reformed church of America established a Christian presence in Kuwait through Arabian Mission from 1910 and were responsible for the supervision of the NECK compound and its facilities until 1962. With the coming in of the Indian Christians, especially from the state of Kerala in the early 1950' for the purpose of employment, the Malayalee believers (believers from Kerala, India) formed a Congregation on January 2, 1953, giving the name "Kuwait Town Malayalee Christian Congregation". This became the first formal Malayalee Congregation in Kuwait. Over a period of time, three distinct interdenominational Congregations worshipped at the NECK campus and became the constituents of NECK. They were the following:
1. Kuwait Town Malayalee Christian Congregation (KTMCC) – 1953
2. Arabic Language Congregation (ALC) – 1959
3. English Language Congregation (ELC) – 1962
A Common Council representing three members each from these three Congregations was instituted in 1962 and the Reformed Church of America handed over the supervision of the compound and its facilities to the Common Council. From the year1997 onwards, the Common Council Secretary with the help of KTMCC representatives in the Common Council began to manage the administration of all the affairs of the NECK.
Presently, there are about 80 Churches/Congregations/Prayer Groups gathering for worship in the compound. Perhaps, NECK may be the only church in the whole world open for all the days of the week, to such a large number of worshipers hailing from over 60 nationalities / languages.