300,000-Strong Congregation Announces Plans for 40 New Megachurches

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CBN News

HYDERABAD, India – Calvary Temple is India’s largest church with more than 300,000 members. Now, it’s on a mission to build 40 more megachurches in the next 10 years.

Most roads in Hyderabad on Sundays lead to Calvary Temple. Shortly after 4 a.m., side streets around the church here are already jammed.

As church volunteers coordinate traffic, shuttle buses, auto rickshaws, and motorcycles ferry thousands of people, all trying to get here two hours ahead of Calvary’s first of five services that begin at 6 a.m.

By sunrise, the faithful have taken their seats.

The main sanctuary holds 18,000 people supported by adjacent Bethlehem Hall with 15,000 and a third structure accommodating more than 3,000 more.

Hundreds more watch on television screens scattered around the sprawling Calvary campus.

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Pastor Satish Kumar preaches all five services with the last one ending at 8 p.m.

“I’ve been given the grace to pastor this church which is beyond my dream and imagination,” Pastor Kumar told CBN News.

Calvary Temple started in 2005 with about two dozen people. Today, it boasts more than 300,000 members making it one of the largest churches in the world.

They have 11 satellite churches with plans for more nationwide expansion.

“God put a burden in my heart to establish 40 mega churches just like what you see here during the next 10 years,” said Kumar.

Pastor Kumar says the church adds some 3,000 new believers each month in a sign that the Lord is moving mightily across the country.

“God’s hand is upon India, it’s a time for India to reach the lost, not only within the country but across the globe,” Kumar said.

In addition, the church produces over 650 TV programs each month in 17 of the country’s major languages for broadcast on national television.

“It’s not only within the nation, but also in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gulf countries,” said Kumar.

Millions more follow on social media. The reason for the church’s success?

“Preaching the pure Word of God is what attracts people, and practicing the Word of God is what keeps people within the church,” said Kumar.

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That practical demonstration is on full display here each Sunday.

Narayana Podhili works as a civil engineer during the week. On Sunday, he leads an army of 150 church volunteers who spend hours chopping, slicing, peeling, and stirring – all to prepare free breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for 50,000 people.

“We are committed to come here every Sunday at 3:30 a.m., 4 a.m., and we keep working till evening,” Podhili told CBN News as he marshaled his forces.

Nagavalli Mendem has served in the Calvary kitchen for seven years after making a promise to God that if He healed her cancerous tumor, she would serve the church in this capacity.

“Because I made that promise, God healed me completely without surgery,” Mendem said. “God cleared the tumor in my chest and healed me. As a thanksgiving to Him, I serve here at the Lord’s house.”

She and volunteers feed more than 200,000 people each month.

To read the full story, visit our content partners at CBN News.

Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. Copyright © 2024 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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