Paola Mora Zepeda
Nashville Zomi Church Celebrates Growth, Church Status
Members of the Nashville Zomi Church, along with friends, and Kentucky-Tennessee Conference officials, rejoiced in a special dedicatory service as the company transitioned to church status on Sabbath, January 28, 2023. More than 200 people joined the celebration.
The Nashville Zomi Church started meeting on January 4, 2014, at the house of Lam Dal, current Nashville Zomi Church treasurer. The church started with only five members, but doubled their numbers within one year.
“We grew up with a Seventh-day Adventist background,” Dal said. “[When we came to the United States], we wanted to continue going to church, but the worship style is very different, and we did not understand English very well at that time. [So], we saw the need to focus on the Zomi community.”
In 2016, they briefly joined with the Atlanta Zomi Group, visiting each other often. However, since the groups were in two different conferences, they could not properly combine as one. Thus, in 2017 the group stayed in Nashville and integrated with the local Karen group.
Three years later, January 25, 2020, the Conference officially recognized the group as the Karen-Zomi Company. At this point, the two groups were still meeting at the same place, but working separately due to a difference in dialects. The Karen Company was led by Eh Moe Chirk, pastor, and the Zomi Company was led by Pau Sian Tuang, elder. In September of 2021, the Conference recognized the Nashville Zomi Company as a church. During this time, they were under the leadership of Pau Suan Khai, who continues to be the current pastor. Currently, the Nashville Zomi Church has 53 baptized members, and averages 65 people in attendance each Sabbath. “Our mission has always been to spread the three angels’ messages to the Zomi community in Nashville,” said Bsniang Hau, Nashville Zomi Church elder. “There are about 2,000 Zomi people in this area, and we want to be able to connect with them.”
The dedicatory service included four baptisms, a special song from the Zomi Bowling Green Church choir, and a church history presentation by Hau. The Conference administration was also present, and had a special prayer for the church’s journey ahead.
Kentucky-Tennessee | March 2023