History will be made in Newtown when The Presbyterian Church of Wales ordains its first female minister from India.

Rebecca Lalbiaksangi has been called to the East Montgomeryshire Pastorate meaning she will become the first woman to be ordained from the Presbyterian Church of India, Mizoram Synod.

The mother-of-two worked as a missionary in Madagascar before moving to Wales in 2011 and has made Montgomery her home since 2019.

Excited about the future serving in Mid Wales, Rebecca said: “I was nurtured within the Presbyterian Church of India, Mizoram Synod but they do not yet recognise the ordination of women, so this is a really big thing for me and the church back home.

“I am so thankful for the godly and wise people who shaped my faith, and I really hope that my ordination will bring them joy and lead to other women candidating for ministry.”


Rebecca comes from Mizoram, in the northeast of India and came to Wales in 2011 with her husband, Miara Rabearisoa, whom she met whilst working as a missionary in Madagascar. They worked together at Llanfair Uniting Church, Penrhys in the Rhondda Valley where eight denominations work together, including the Presbyterian Church of Wales and then moved to Montgomery to work in the Mid Wales and Border Presbytery in 2019.  

Rebecca said: “I’ve been a missionary since 2003 and I thought I always would be. But when Covid came, I had time to reflect on my life and I sensed a vocation to become a minister.

“I shared this with my minister and other friends who agreed that this was the right thing to pursue. I trained at the Cardiff Baptist College - Cardiff University and have now been invited to the pastorate, which consists of 10 chapels around Montgomery.”

County Times:

Rebecca feels that coming back to Montgomeryshire completes an extraordinary journey that began during the 19th Century. 

“The man who brought the gospel to my homeland was D. E. Jones, from Brynmelyn Farm, Llandderfel, near Bala,” she said. “He was a minister and missionary with the Calvinistic Methodists [now the Presbyterian Church of Wales].

“In 1895, he looked after a pastorate of three chapels in Montgomeryshire, which is within the pastorate where I will be inducted. D.E Jones arrived in Lushai Hills (Mizoram) in 1897. He worked successfully in evangelising the Mizo people, introducing Sunday School, planting churches, promoting education, training, and health awareness. Jones spent much of his time translating scripture and composing and translating hymns into our language that are still sung and popular today.

“And there’s also an amazing link to my husband’s home country of Madagascar. Another Welsh missionary, David Jones from Ceredigion, took the gospel to Madagascar in 1818, leading to Christianity taking root within its national culture.

“My husband and I feel we are completing a circle that began in Wales and we are so privileged to be able to carry on the amazing work that started here a long time ago.”

Everyone is welcome to watch Rebecca’s ordination take place at the Crescent Christian Centre, Newtown, on Wednesday, October 4, at 7pm.