LAWRENCE — Sudarshana Devadhar was studying economics with a concentration in banking and accounting when the Lord called him to serve him and his people.
He heeded to the call and for more than 30 years has served in India, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Devadhar, 61, is now in charge of the 630 churches that make up the New England conference of the United Methodist Church with headquarters in Lawrence.
“I’m deeply, deeply excited to be here and do the Lord’s work,” he said. “To be faithful to my calling, I can only do it with prayers from congregations and colleagues.”
Since coming to Lawrence, he has been visiting churches from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.
“As I have said before, like Mother Teresa, I don’t want to promise you that I will be successful, but I will be faithful and I will try my level best to do that,” he said.
“To be in ministry to Christ our ultimate goal is to bring the kindness of God to people.”
Born in India to Christian parents, Devadhar has a bachelor’s in commerce from Vijaya College Mulkiin in India; United Theological College both in India; a master of theology from the Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, a master of philosophy from the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University in New Jersey and a doctorate degree also from Drew University.
In addition to his lengthy educational background, Devadhar brings a wealth of experience to the post both as a minister, teacher, lecturer and administrator.
He became a deacon in India in 1975 and named a presbyter in 1977. From 1982 to 1990, he was pastor in North Bangor, N.Y.; supervising pastor at St. Regis Falls and Canton, N.Y.; and pastor in Canton, N.Y. from 1990-1996.
From 1996 to 2004, he served as district superintendent of the Ontario District of the North Central New York Conference as well as dean of the cabinet from 2000-2001, was district superintendent for the Ontario District.