Since there have been many debates on whether the TPM approved or disapproved of married pastors, I thought I’d post this history of the TPM as told to me by a current TPM member:
Ceylon Pentecostal Mission (now TPM) Founder Pastor Paul or Ramankutty had accepted several married people into full-time TPM ministry and even had children.
Pastor Paul ordained Pastor K.E. Abraham, who was married, as the founder of Indian Pentecostal Church (IPC). This event has also been mentioned in Pastor Paul’s biography.
Though Pastor Paul advocated pastors to take the vow of celibacy like the Apostle Paul, he never demanded celibacy from anyone or rejected anyone for priesthood on the grounds that they were married.
If Pastor Paul had rejected anyone from ministry for being married, then it would violating the principles of 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.)
Chief Pastor Alwin de Alwis introduced some controversial doctrines in the latter part of 1950’s and early part of 1960’s. Pastor Alwin supposedly taught that the only reason for marriage is lack of self-control and that an essential requirement for being a pastor was celibacy. These were not the teachings of Pastor Paul, so Pastor Freddy and the council of senior ministers rejected these.
Pastor M. Daniel formally excommunicated the sitting Chief Pastor Alwin of CPM on charges of sexual impropriety while both of them were in France. After Pastor Paul’s son Freddy Paul became the Chief Pastor, the first announcement he wanted to make was that it would be perfectly acceptable for pastors and sisters to marry and remain in the ministry. With that in mind, he called a meeting of the senior ministers. However, the majority of the senior pastors suggested that if they make such an announcement, majority of the young male workers and female workers might pair up and request to be married.
Remember, they were/are living in a communal environment (faith homes). That would have caused irreparable reputational damage to the then CPM in the eyes of the world. In addition, their argument was that CPM has a tradition of celibate ministers and if many ministers got married, it would completely change that tradition.
Therefore, the decision was that they would not make such an announcement and would just remain silent on the issue of celibacy. That is why, I think, we are not able to find any official statement on this issue from TPM. They also decided that if anyone wanted to get married and wanted to continue in the ministry, he/she would be heavily discouraged or encouraged to leave the ministry and then marry. However, if any one insisted that he wanted to marry and continue in the ministry then he will be allowed to do so.
After the Pastor Alwin crisis, several pastors left the ministry to get married. Some of the pastors in India got married and continued in the ministry. The TPM church in USA has married ministers.