Learn how we got here.
Our story began in the 1960s when a group of devoted individuals gathered in a small apartment in Manhattan with a shared purpose: to worship God and create an organized gathering for Malayalee Pentecostals in the New York area. This gathering marked the birth of the first organized Malayalee Church in North America, which they named India Christian Assembly (ICA). Under the leadership of Rev. Achoy O. Mathews, the church began its journey. In 1968, ICA held its first convention with the esteemed guest speakers Rev. K. E. Abraham and Rev. George Varghese from India, establishing a close affiliation with the Indian Pentecostal Church of God.
During the 1970s, ICA experienced steady growth under the leadership of Rev. Oommen Abraham, Bro. John C. Daniel, and Rev. M.S. Samuel. Relocating several times, the church's services were held in different rented halls in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In 1974, ICA was incorporated under the Religious Corporation Act of the State of New York. Pastor Rev. K.E. Kurian played a vital role in the church's expansion, leading ICA to worship at the United Nations International School until 1981. During this period, the Sunday School and Bible Class Ministries were established, fostering spiritual growth and education.
The faithful members of ICA witnessed a significant milestone as God answered their prayers and provided a place of their own for worship. The church purchased a facility in Hollis, New York, and on June 7, 1981, services were held in the newly acquired location. This marked a new chapter for ICA. Pastor P.M. Philip dedicated the sanctuary, and the church adopted a new Constitution and By-Laws. Ministries such as the Youth ministry and Women's Fellowship were established, strengthening the church's spiritual impact.
In 1981, we started our Radio Ministry, 'Jeeva Vachanam,' and pioneered the first Malayalam Television ministry on Channel 44. These initiatives allowed us to extend our reach and share the message of God's love with a broader audience. The church was led into a season of spiritual revival under the leadership of Rev. John Daniel, and many new members were added to our congregation. Annual water baptisms became a joyful celebration of faith.
Throughout the 1990s, ICA continued to grow and develop its ministry platforms. The church started a separate Youth Church to accommodate the increasing number of young members. Under the leadership of Rev. Thomas V. Koshy, ICA remained committed to mission support and charitable giving, providing assistance to churches, individuals, and outreach stations in India. The church also expanded its charitable endeavors, supporting needy students, building homes for the displaced, and addressing various emerging needs.
Entering the new millennium, ICA embraced the active participation of its younger members, who played a vital role in expanding ministry platforms such as the Children's Ministry and Couples Ministry. Pastors Rev. P.B. Thomas and Rev. Anthony V. Rocky led the assembly during this period. The church remained dedicated to fruitful ministry and service, both locally and abroad, answering the call of Christ to spread the gospel.
In 2009, Rev. Samuel John took charge as pastor, leading the congregation in worship and outreach. To cater to the needs of the second generation, a second service completely in English was introduced. The church placed a strong emphasis on missions, conducting numerous mission trips and engaging in charitable projects. ICA continued to be a beacon of hope and support for those in need, both spiritually and materially.
In 2015, after over three decades of worshiping in Queens, ICA experienced God's faithfulness as they purchased a new facility in Levittown, Long Island. This significant milestone was the culmination of prayers, hard work, and God's provision. With the new facility, ICA entered a new chapter in its journey, expanding its reach and impact in the Long Island community. On May 7, 2016, we joyfully dedicated the renovated facility to the Glory of God, marking the beginning of a new era for ICA.
Under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Wilson Varkey, who assumed the role of Pastor in July 2016, ICA continued to grow and impact lives while staying true to our biblical doctrines and teachings. With a heart for the community, Rev. Wilson Varkey and his dedicated family led and shepherded the church, instilling a vision to extend the love of Jesus Christ beyond the church walls.
Under the visionary leadership of Pastor Sabu Varghese and the guidance of Associate Pastor Jose Memana, India Christian Assembly (ICA) is poised for an exciting chapter in its journey. With their passion for ministry, deep-rooted faith, and commitment to the congregation, they inspire and empower our community to embrace God's calling for our lives.
As we look to the future, ICA remains committed to its core values of worship, fellowship, discipleship, and outreach. We strive to create an environment where people can experience the love and grace of God, grow in their faith, and impact the world around them. With a passion for reaching the next generation, we seek to equip and empower young leaders to carry the torch of faith and continue the legacy of faithful service.
We invite you to be part of our ongoing story at ICA. Whether you are seeking a place to worship, a community to belong to, or a purpose to fulfill, we welcome you with open arms. Together, let's pursue the vision of reaching out to our community with the transformative love of Jesus Christ. As we embark on this journey together, we trust in God's guidance, provision, and faithfulness every step of the way.