Kothagudem is a small but cosmopolitan, industrial town in the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, located about 270 km from the capital city of Hyderabad. It has a population of 79,727 evenly divided between males and females, according to a 2001 GRIndia census. Also, the census estimated that 70% of the population is literate.
Kothagudem is known is also known as the “coal town” of South India. It has a Thermal Power Station, Heavy Water Plant and several other industries. It is endowed with rich forests, and landscape that has drawn the National Geophysical Research Institute and Geological Survey of India to establish one of its branch offices there. Also, Kothagudem boasts of having the Kothagudem School of Mines, which is the only mining school in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Joyce Meyer Ministries has been doing evangelistic work in and around Kothagudem since 1994. Since then, six church branches have been established with an overall assembly of 1,500 believers. Pastor Vijay and his wife are the awesome individuals who are overseeing these churches. Together they help facilitate churches in Kothagudem, New Gollagudem, G. R. Basthi, Gareebpete, Ramavaram, and Rudrampur which are all approximately five kilometers apart.
To make this happen, Pastor Vijay visits many churches each Sunday. He visits three churches on a Sunday, starting his first service at 7:30am and finishing his last service by 7:30 pm.
New Gollagudem is a slum area with a population of approximately 8,000 people. Most of these people are dependent on agricultural labor for work. In this area, Pastor Vijay and his wife run both a Women’s Program on Wednesday mornings and a Youth Program on Friday evenings with nearly one hundred and thirty young people attending the program at the church.