Ministry and Churches of Maharashtra

Maharashtra in West-Central India is a large state and is known to be the most prosperous industrially and agriculturally progressive region, especially in the western part of the state. Mumbai is the state capital and the commercial capital of the country. Many Christian missions were established in various cities and regions of the state. However, God gave Evangelist Ipe the vision to set up a Ministry in a relatively low Mission-activity area in the north-central region of the state. The connection to start this ministry came through a relationship with Kochumon Mathai, a denominational Pastor in south Kerala. God worked a miracle through Evangelist Ipe to touch this Pastor’s heart to break free from Religion, and denomination and follow Jesus Christ and do His will. He left his local Church and house provided by them and the benefits and perks that came with it and went to Maharashtra to start a ministry in 2001. It was tough initially as the people in the region spoke a totally different language. But God started working through him. In 2003 Evangelist Ipe and Sister Susie visited his mission area in Jalna-Aurangabad in central Maharashtra. On the first visit, God worked a great miracle. The area was in severe heat and drought and the Mission team prayed for rain. Overnight there was significant rainwater filled the dry water bodies. This miraculous event set the momentum to start a ministry there. Many signs, wonders and miracles took place as the Holy Spirit moved mightily and many people came to the Lord. This became a new focal area for Evangelist Ipe to invest into. God helped him invest in a Tent and he started Tent meetings in the area. Evangelist Ipe visited the region twice each year and spend weeks of ministry among the villages in Jalna and neighbouring districts.

In 2006, Ipe met with John Varghese who was the Director of Billy Graham’s Crusade organization, My Hope is headquartered in Pune in western Maharashtra. He had about 120 Pastors operating with Him. John’s contract with My Hope Ministries was coming to an end as the unit was winding up its mission work in the region and God connected him with Ipe supernaturally to help in setting up a Church group in the town of Srirampur in north Maharashtra. Thus, John Varghese took leadership in the region and utilized his established network to start small church groups in the surrounding towns and districts in a predominantly rural setting. The Church in Maharashtra grew rapidly and became the focal point for Mathai Outreach Ministries over the years and continues to prosper until today. Pastor John Varghese passed in a tragic accident in the summer of 2010. Since then the leadership has been taken over by Pastor Deepak Shelke who is also the current overseer of the New Hope Churches of India across the country and supports Evangelist Ipe in communications and networking with all the Pastors. Pastor Deepak Shelke also travels widely with Evangelist Ipe and Sister Susie when they travel to various Ministry Outreaches across India. The main Churches in Maharashtra are located in Shrirampur, Rahuri, Nevasa, Daund and Pune-Pimpri.

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