The Rev. Abidhananthar John

A Note from Father Abi

Beloved Saints in Christ,

Greetings to you in the name of our Liberator Jesus Christ. By the grace of God, I am so happy to join your church family on this day as your priest. I am so humbled to be part of you, to journey with you, and to continue our worship and witness, study and reflection, faith and praxis for Christ’s mission as the beloved community of God. Indeed, I am waiting to meet all of you, as I begin this new journey with each one of you. I need to thank the vestry for their discernment and for inviting me to this call. Angeline, my wife, Sachin John, my Son, and Alfina Joyce, my daughter, also send their loving wishes and look forward to meeting the COTA family. I thank Bishop Prince Singh for all his blessings and prayers for us.

Awaiting to meet you all.

Rev Fr Abidhananthar John

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Rev. Fr. Abidhananthar John (Abi John) is an ordained priest (in the year 2004) of the Church of South India, and currently serving at the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, New York. He pastored both rural and urban congregations in the Madras Diocese and served among the grass root level Dalit Christian Communities for a decade and also served as the Director of Dalit and Adivasi concerns in the Diocese of Madras for 4 years. In the Rochester Diocese, he served at a village called Savona, at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church during 2017 and 2018. He was actively engaged with the local community and paved a way for building hopes to make the American Dream possible. His association with the fire department made some remarkable avenues in the growth of the church. Eventually he was called to be the priest in charge at Saint James Episcopal Church, Watkins Glen and Saint John's Episcopal Church, Catharine, New York.

He is blessed with his wife Angeline Priya, who is a qualified post graduate science teacher and worked in India. She was a trained trauma counsellor and has three masters in Zoology, Psychology, and English. She plays guitar and violin and is a vocalist. She has a passion for ministry and her heart beats for children and women in the margins. Both are blessed with two children, Sachidhananthar John, and AIfina Joyce. John's interest in Photoshop and videography has helped the church community in creating many videos and he is good at tracks and academics. He also plays guitar and sings. Alfina is a budding writer and a tennis beginner. As a family they are committed to serve the church with the people of God for a meaningful faith engagement.

He envisioned many programs during Covid and coached the people of God for a meaningful ministry in Schuyler County. He is a student of (late) Dr. James H Cone, the Father of Black theology, at Union theological College (Sacred Theology, STM 2014-2016) New York, which envisaged him to do a comparative study between three religious philosophies grounding three great personalities, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and Ambedkar. He also did research on Dalit Christian Reservation, Dalit Religion, and Dalit Politics in Tamil Nadu. In India he organised many seminars, rallies, and workshops to educate and empower Dalits to assert their rights. He studied at Dharma Murthy Rao Bahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty Hindu Hr Sec school, Tiruvallur, Tamilnadu.

He is a political science graduate (B.A., M.A., M.Phil.,) from Madras Christian College, Chennai, and completed His Bachelor of Divinity (M.Div.,) at Gurukul Theological College, Chennai. He was an active member of the Student Christian Movement of India and represented it in a political camp held in Italy at Agape Ecumenical Center, Prali, in the year 2002 as an exchange student. He was the best outgoing student at the College in the year 2003 and received eight awards. He was awarded the Dewick Prize for Regions by the Senate of Serampore in the year 2004.

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