Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a population of 305,842 and the county seat of Allegheny County. Pittsburgh is known as both “the Steel City” for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, as well as “the City of Bridges” for its 446 bridges. In 2015, Pittsburgh was named on a list of the “eleven most livable cities in the world.” Google, Apple, Bosch, Disney, Uber, Intel and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls, with the area serving as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy. The area is home to 68 colleges and universities including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
Indian migrants began arriving in the United States as early as 1820. Though few in number at the time, the Indian population has surged since the 1990s to become the second-largest immigrant group in the country after Mexicans, and ahead of those born in China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. As of 2013, more than 2 million Indian-born immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 4.7 percent of the 41.3 million foreign-born populations. There are more than 14000 Indians in the greater Pittsburgh and every year hundreds of Indian students come to the city in seeking higher education.
Indian immigration to Pittsburgh has paralleled the city’s rise from a blue-collar, industrial-based economy to a white-collar, high-tech and medical services economy. Most Indian immigrants come to the area take professional positions such as doctors or engineers. During the 1980s the abundance of high-tech positions attracted them, and with the area’s medical schools and hospitals, the succeeding decades brought medical professionals.
The Indian families who migrated and moved to Pittsburgh have been looking for an Indian church to worship God in truth and spirit. Some American churches were trying to meet their spiritual needs but the cultural difference always stood as a barrier to go deep into the one o one relationships. This cultural aspect limited the scope of evangelizing the Indian migrants in Pittsburgh. A lot of prayers were offered to meet the spiritual need of the Indian population in the greater Pittsburgh and as the answer of the prayers pastor Saji Varghese and family moved from California to Pittsburgh to start an Indian church in the month of June 2013. Prominent among them are Mrs. Aleeyamma George, Mrs. Suma Abarham, Mr. Robin John, Mr. Kurian Mathew…
Pastor Saji Varghese and Girija Chandravathy were born in India and were planting churches in India until they moved to California for Pastor Saji’s doctorate in Christian Ministry. Pastor Saji has three children; one boy and two girls. After the completion of the doctoral program, Varghese family was getting ready to go back to India. While they were winding up, God gave him a vision to plant a church in the U.S and thus started their journey to the East Coast. He drove all the way from California through Arizona, Texas, Tennessee and Ohio. While he was in Dallas one of his friends pastor Mathew James, Philadelphia told him about the need of Pittsburgh to start a church and pastor Varghese came to the steel city one early morning 2.30 to fulfill the great commandment. God joined couple of like-minded people with pastor Varghese. In the initial days of his ministry Mr. Robin John (Pastor Mathew John’s brother-in-law) shared his one bedroom apartment with Varghese family. Later Dr. Ebenezer Singha gave one of his houses totally free to pastor Varghese and family for a while and helped to connect with Pr. Jared and Brian Bolt. Pastor Brian and his team helped to find a place to conduct worship and paid rent for Pastor Varghese for one year. With the help of those people New Life Indian Church has started on 21st September 2014.