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The Church of God (Seventh Day) India.

The Church of God (Seventh Day), India traces its journey over some ninety years when one of the pioneers Elder V. J. Joseph (1885 – 1968) brought the Sabbath truth to India.  Elder Joseph came to know about the Sabbath truth in 1909 when he was 24 years old during his sojourn in Burma (now Myanmar) from Mrs. Vataws, Missionary of the Seventh Day Adventist.   He established the first Church in 125th Street – Kalabasti, Rangoon, (Yangon), and worked primarily among the Telugu speaking Indian community in Burma.  He came to India, and shared the Sabbath Truth with his younger twin brother Elder V.J. Benjamin and cousin Elder V. Amos. 

The trio preached the Sabbath truth in the East and West Godavari, Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh, India. In 1933, Elder V.J. Joseph was elected as one of the Seventy Elders (Ministers) chosen by prayer and fasting during the worldwide draw held on November 04, 1933, at Salem, West Virginia, USA. (Please refer page 304 of the book “A History of the True Religion” traced from 33 A.D. to Date by A. N.  Dugger and C.O. Dodd, and Bible Advocate, page 5, November 06, 1933.) Elder V.J. Joseph had two sons V.J. Sarvotham Rao and Elder V. J. Utham Rao who helped their father in spreading the Sabbath truth.  They returned to India in 1956, and after a brief stay in Calcutta (1956 – 1968), Elder V. J. Utham Rao came to Hyderabad with his family and established the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, and worked closely under the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day), Denver, USA. Pastor Jacob S. Rao Vagiri is the grandson of Elder V. J. Joseph and third son of Elder V. J. Utham Rao.  Pastor Jacob Rao, was ordained as an Elder (Minister) of the Church of God (Seventh Day), Hyderabad, by the laying on of hands by his father and Elder V. J. Utham Rao on December 19, 1999. Jacob Rao, acted as the “INDIA REACH” – Coordinator, and arranged the first ever  National Meeting of the Elders of the various congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day) at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, during 15th – 18th February, 2001, which was sponsored by the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) Denver, USA. Elder William (Bill) Hicks (Tennessee), Director, Missions Ministries, General Conference of COG7, and Elder Josafat Santa Cruz (Guatemala), Treasurer, International Ministerial Congress of the Church of God (Seventh Day) and several Pastors representing the congregations from all over India from the North-eastern states of Mizoram, Assam, West Bengal  to down southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, attended the four-day meetings.
On Sunday, 18th February, 2001, “The Hyderabad Accord” was signed at 1:30 PM and all the delegates unanimously agreed to participate in the formation of an “Association of the Churches of God (Seventh Day) which laid the foundation for the National Conference of COG7 in India.
(GC Ministries 2001 magazine page 9). Elder William (Bill) Hicks, Director, GC Missions Ministries, appointed Jacob Rao as the Secretary/Treasurer of the National Board and later the following brethren were inducted into the Central Committee: P. Kennedy -   Chairman, T.V. RAO    -   Vice Chairman, Jacob Rao    -   Secretary/Treasurer, G. L. Hnamte - Executive Member H. Thathleia   - Executive Member, The main objectives of the “ACOG7-India” are:

1.  To promote and encourage unity and cooperation among the various churches/congregations of the Church of God (Seventh Day) to accomplish the common goals to preach the gospel.

2. To promote and encourage establishment of the Church of God (Seventh Day)

3. To identify and take up developmental projects of common interests which would serve the needs of majority of the members of the constituent Church of God (Seventh Day) in a particular region.

Today, we have over 250 churches spread across various states of India from Mizoram in the North east to down south in Kerala and Kanya Kumari.

We invite Sabbath keeping congregations/Pastors/evangelists to seek affiliation and membership of the Association of the Churches of God (Seventh Day) who share our twin pillars of faith as mentioned in Revelation 14: 12 “here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”



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