Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar was elected to the episcopacy at the Northeastern Jurisdiction Conference in July 2004. A native of Mulki, India, Bishop Devadhar began his assignment as the leader of the New Jersey Episcopal Area on September 1, 2004. The assignment of Bishop Devadhar to the New Jersey Episcopal Area was continued by the NEJ when it met July 2008.
Bishop Devadhar began his pastorate as a deacon in the Church of South India, at Mercara Coorg, India. He holds a B.Com. degree from Vijaya College, University of Mysore, Mulki, India, a B.D., degree from United Theological College, Bangalore, India, a M.Th., degree from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. from Drew University.
Before his election to bishop he served for eight years as the district superintendent for the Ontario District of the North Central New York Annual Conference. During his tenure as district superintendent, Bishop Devadhar was known for those men and women he brought to Central New York to share their theology, their visions, and their lives. The diversity of the views they shared brought richness in many areas into the lives of the clergy and laity he called friends. He has brought this gift of leadership training to the laity and clergy of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. Among his passions for ministry is outreach to children and young adults and the empowering of laity in the ministry of the local church, district and conference. The Bishop’s years in ministry have been marked by a great concern for the ecumenical relationships within the various Christian communities.
“I envision a Church of the Pentecost in which the Holy Spirit is igniting, gifting and empowering God’s children of all ages, backgrounds, colors and personalities to glorify their Creator as passionate witnesses for Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Devadhar at the time of his installation as the Bishop of the New Jersey Area. “Such a church does not merely serve the poor, the left out, the different, but welcomes them warmly into its hearts, homes, and worship.”
Bishop Devadhar enjoys spending time with his family. His wife Prema is his partner in ministry and they are blessed with an adult daughter, Trina. Trina and son-in-law, Gage Hemmelgarn are the proud parents of two girls, Nyla Saritha Hemmelgarn and Laili Rose Hemmelgarn. Bishop and Prema are so proud as grandparents!
Bishop Devadhar also enjoys reading and listening to devotional music. His key philosophies in life are to love everyone, for every human being is a child of God, enjoy God’s creation, and make use of it responsibly.
The name “Devadhar” means “follower of God.” Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar was born into a family of clergypersons and has been a follower of God all of his life. The Spirit has led him to make disciples all over the world. May the Lord continue to bless this time in the Greater New Jersey Conference and this union of shepherd and flock.
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
and I’ll lead you all in the dance said he.
Sydney Carter, UMHymnal # 261