News Release

Making Connections in Hyderabad

Christian leaders meet to join forces for good.


On Saturday, 23 February Christian leaders and government officials gathered at the West Maredpally chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Secunderabad to get acquainted and share a meal. President John Gutty, head of the Church in the Hyderabad area welcomed guests from several different denominations. 

Addressing the group, President Gutty expressed his desire to create unity among the Christian community in providing service to all in the Hyderabad area. He stated, “We are all a part of God’s work; we are all followers of Jesus Christ and he unites us. We welcome you all here to discuss what we can do together.”

He explained further, “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we look to the Savior as our example and believe we have a responsibility to serve in our communities as individuals and congregations in partnership with other faiths and organizations of goodwill.”

The Portuguese and French established Christianity in Hyderabad in the sixteenth century.  Protestant denominations came with the British in the nineteenth century. Today the Telangana State is home to approximately 4,000 different Christian churches, according to David Wesley, one of the organizers of the lunch. “The unofficial estimate,” he says, “is closer to 7,000.” 

Manohar Mekala, Gosika, David Wesley, and Rathnam Ganjayee, organized the event under the direction of President Gutty to introduce some of the leaders of the Christian community to each other and talk about ways to join forces to provide service.

Guests included Archbishop Frederick Francis, President of the All India Christian Federation for the Telangana State and R. Harry Sebastian of the All India Independent Churches Union.

Echoing the sentiments of President Gutty, Archbishop Francis said, “I am glad you have gathered us here. We can do great service together. Charity is required of all of us.”   

Benjamin Raju, an advocate for pastors in rural areas also in attendance, concurred, stating that “Today’s meeting is good. We need to work together.”

Sisters Catherine and Angel of the Little Sisters of the Poor represented the charitable efforts of the Roman Catholic community. Their Home for the Aged in Secunderabad provides care for 75 individuals regardless of religious affiliation and depends on contributions from individuals and local churches. Sister Angel observed that “Charity is the main thing. We need to unite in our charitable efforts.”

Also present were B. Shankar Luke, Vice Chairman of the Telangana State Minorities Commission who said, “Any support necessary can be put forward in your efforts. We will help you.”

After lunch, each guest was given a token of appreciation for his or her “service in God’s work.”  Perhaps the most valuable takeaways from the afternoon, however, were connections made. “Most of these people had never met before today,” said David Wesley. “We wanted to gather  them around the table and facilitate cooperation.”   

President Gutty agreed, “This is just the first of what we hope will be an ongoing discussion about what we can do together to serve the people of our city.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.