History of Epworth Methodist Telugu Church[EMTC]
The priority of the Epworth Methodist Church is to shape every member of the Church as a body of the Christ, to participate in God's mission. This means exploring new horizons when we sense God's call to do so by depending on his grace which always goes before us.
The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
• Proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ;
• Lead persons to commit their lives to God through baptism by water and the spirit and profession of faith in Jesus Christ;
• Nurture persons in Christian living through worship, the sacraments, spiritual disciplines, and other means of grace, such as Wesley's Christian conferencing;
• Send persons into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for the stranger, freeing the oppressed, being and becoming a compassionate, caring presence, and working to develop social structures that are consistent with the gospel; and
• Continue the mission of seeking, welcoming and gathering persons into the community of the body of Christ.
The Brief History of Epworth Methodist Telugu Church, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.
In the month of May, year 2000, pastorate committee of Rahator Memorial Methodist Telugu Central Church, Parel, met under the Chairmanship of Rev.Dr.StevensDolla. The pastor shared his vision with the pastorate committee about starting a Telugu worship service in Nerul, Navi Mumbai so that Telugu people will get pastoral care close to their place of residences. The Nerul Worship Center was also started for the benefit of Telugu Christians who were finding it difficult to attend the Rahator Memorial Methodist Telugu Church, Parel. The pastorate committee had decided to start the Nerul Methodist Telugu Worship Center on 18th of June 2000, in the home of one of the members of pastorate committee, Mr. J.V.Prasad. About 20 people gathered for the first worship service.
Later on the worship center was moved to St. Augustine School, Nerul (East). A plot of land was bought by the Methodist Church in India (MCI) in Sector 12, Nerul (West) for the purpose of constructing a church building. A challenge was given by the then Bishop. D.K.Agarwal that each congregation should raise Rs.500,000/- towards the church building fund. The Rahator Memorial Methodist Telugu Central Church, Parel contributed more than Rs.500,000/- towards the construction of the church.
The church building was dedicated on 1st of May,2005. Since then the worship service was being carried out at 7 AM to 8.15 AM on every Sunday. Rev.Dr.StevensDolla carried on the pastoral work with the help of Asst.PastorRev.E.Devavaram ,Rev.Arem Israel and lay preachers Mr.J.V.Prasad, Mr.C.A.Rajashekar, Mr.Sorna Daniel, Mr.L.Solomon, Mr.K.Jayanth. A very small contingent of Telugu speaking Christians and non-Christians residing in and around satellite town ship of Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra area started attending the worship service on every Sunday. The Church was meeting the needs of spiritual and social needs of the congregation.
Since 2008, Rev.Daniel Suppogu gave pastoral care to the congregation. During his period, recognizing the local needs for a separate pastoral care, he added Mrs.Rani RatnaKumari (Rani) to the Lay preachers list. Under his leadership, the church has grown in numbers and even raised huge funds for the construction of parsonage and extension of Church. Looking at the interest of the congregation for additional time for the worship, Rev. Daniel preponed the Church timings by 15 minutes, thus the new timing is between 6.45 AM to 8.15 AM. Also, his vision for making the worship centre into a full-fledged independent Church got fructified during the 32nd meeting of the Bombay Regional Conference (BRC), Methodist Church in India (MCI) held on April 24-26, 2015,at Igatpuri. Bishop Dr. N.L.Karkare handed over the certificate to the elders of the Church in the presence of entire conference. Since then "The Epworth Methodist Telugu Church", Nerul, Navi Mumbai became independent from the mother Church and started to work towards spreading the Gospel.
Upon becoming independent Church, the Bishop Dr. N.L.Karkare appointed Rev. Battina David as the first pastor-in-charge of the Church.