CHENGANNUR: Dr Zacharias Mar Theophilus, Suffragan Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church, who died on Sunday, had dedicated his life to the service of the marginalised sections of society and the poor.
Mar Theophilus, who fulfilled the meaning of the Greek word ‘Theophilus’ - Friend of God - took charge as the Suffragan Metropolitan of the Church in 2004 when Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom Metropolitan was the supreme head of the Mar Thoma Church.
Earlier, he had served as president of the Mar Thoma Yuvajana Sakhyam, Mar Thoma Sunday School Samajam, Mar Thoma Voluntary Evangelistic Association, Mar Thoma Suvishesha Sevika Sanghom, Mar Thoma Dayara and Sanyasini Samooham, Vaideeka Selection Committee and the Backward People’s Development Committee.
While serving as the Suffragan Metropolitan of the Church, he also held the post of president of the Mar Thoma Evangelistic Association, Theological Commission of the Mar Thoma Church and Planning Commission of the Church. He had also served as president of the National Missionary Society of India, Bible Society of India, Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) and the Theological Literature Society of Kerala. In addition, he served as secretary of the Nilackal Ecumenical Trust of all Episcopal Churches in Kerala; executive committee member of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) and executive/central committee Member of the World Council of Churches (WCC). He was bishop of the Chengannur-Mavelikkara diocese of the Mar Thoma Church for the past 10 years. He carried out various welfare activities for the poor people under the diocese, including launch of the palliative care centre at the Tharangam Mission Action Centre at Arattupuzha near Chengannur.
He also conducted several medical camps for the poor. Officials of the diocese remember him as a person dynamically involved in social service.