Pastor Joseph Vijayan Theophilus was the seventh of eight children born to Mr. George Theophilus and Mrs. Brownie Sophia. He is survived by his two brothers and only sister. He was born and raised in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India. At eight years old, he joined the Sainik School in Udumalpet, and graduated from there in 1975. He acquired his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy.Upon graduation he worked as a medical representative for about a year. He came to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 19 through the influence of his elder brother’s family. Upon salvation, he resigned from his position as a medical representative, and joined State Bank of India in 1979. After working at the bank for approximately four years, he answered the call of God, resigned his job, devoted himself to a consecrated celibate life, and joined the ministry to serve his Lord full-time in 1983. Since then, by the grace and power of God, he faithfully served the Lord as a minister in the USA, India, Australia, and in various other countries, including New Zealand, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea. He served the Lord for 40 years, planting, establishing, and pastoring churches. Pastor Joseph was a man approved unto God, who knew the Scriptures thoroughly. He would teach the word of God with authority and simplicity. He cared deeply for his sheep. In addition to ministering from the pulpit multiple times a week, he had a continuous ministry towards families and individuals. He spent much time praying for and counseling his spiritual children in his local congregation and to dear ones around the world. He was also actively involved in teaching and mentoring other young ministers. He led an exemplary life of discipline in both earthly and spiritual matters. He was a simple man, who had the ability to easily connect with people of all ages from the little ones to the elderly. His most recent and final mission was serving the Lord at The New Covenant Church of God in Montclair, New Jersey. In 2011, he started the church, initially consisting of three families, in the basement of one of the believers. Over the years, he was used by God to minister unto many, especially those who were new to the faith. The church grew as he pastored and led his sheep into a deeper walk with the Lord. In the recent weeks, he had a trial of ill health with breathlessness. Even in his infirmities, his desire to continue to minister and serve by the grace of God shone through. During his trial, he kept saying “though I might look weak on the outside, the Lion of Judah is roaring within me, and my inner man is strong,” and kept proclaiming “victory is on the way and the doors of heaven are open.” He firmly believed in the Scriptures and entrusted the Lord with his body steadfastly till the end. “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” He asked to be kept alone on the last day, reflecting his life of separation in Christ. On Monday morning, September 11, 2023, the servant of God, at the age of 63, was called to his eternal home.