First Agape Baptist Church
First Agape Baptist Church began September 26, 2010, with two Bhutanese families meeting in an apartment. Since then, we have reached many more Bhutanese refugee families and are meeting at Rehoboth Baptist Church.
Rev. Tek Dharnal began this church because he saw a need for a church for the many Bhutanese refugees who are living in East Atlanta. Rev. Dharnal says that the Bhutanese people are easier to reach than Muslims, but many are of Hindu background and they are often resistant to hearing about “another god” because they are already worshiping 33 millions gods as part of their Hindu faith. Their culture is very religious and includes over 15 big festivals a year which are connected to idol worship. It is important for Christians who want to reach the Bhutanese people to realize that they are a very disciplined and modest people and that they will quickly identify someone as irreligious and ungodly if they are dressed in what they would consider to be an immodest way.
Rev. Dharnal would love to have mission teams come to assist with evangelizing the community and leadership training. Rev. Dharnal wants First Agape Baptist to be a church that is equipped to train Bhutanese believers to become strong Christian leaders in their communities who would follow his example and plant churches to reach the many Bhutanese refugees in America.
Tek Dharnal and family
God used a miracle in Tek Dharnal’s family to get his attention. In 2002, his eldest daughter was born with a health condition that the doctors said was terminal. God miraculously touched her, however, and since then Tek has been serving the Lord. Tek and his family were living in Bhutan in 1990 when they, along with 120,000 other Bhutanese, were forced to leave and live in refugee camps in Nepal. During Tek’s time in Nepal, he attended Bible school and training and felt God’s call to ministry. Tek went on to plant three churches in Nepal—one in a refugee camp and two in other areas of Nepal.
After 17 years of prayer, in 2008 God opened the door for Tek and his family, as well as thousands of other refugees to come to the United States. Soon after arriving in Atlanta, Tek began serving as associate pastor at Atlanta Nepali Baptist Church. Tek realized that there was a large pocket of Bhutanese refugees in the East Atlanta area and felt led to start a church there.
Through the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, God put a burden on Tek’s heart to preach the gospel, reach the unreached, plant a church, bring up a leader within that church to take over, and then go somewhere else and do it again. Tek is married and has three children. His parents and a younger brother also live with him.
Tek Dharnal, First Agape Baptist Church
Address: 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy., Tucker, GA 30084