Cheriyan Mathew was a failure. His business was failing, his family was falling apart, his friends were dwindling, and his health was deteriorating. Cheriyan was an alcoholic but refused to admit he needed help.

One day a friend, who was himself an alcoholic, talked Cheriyan into attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. As Cheriyan began going through the recovery steps, he came to the step where he had to call upon the god of his choice to help him. He began to wonder “Who is my god?” 

“Circumstances” led him to Bethel Baptist Church, a small church started and run by BMM missionaries. Cheriyan decided to go there for answers. As he listened to the messages, he realized his need for Jesus to be his Savior. He trusted Christ as his personal Savior, and he began attending church regularly. He gave up alcohol and began living for the Lord. His family saw such a huge change in him that his wife and his sons also trusted Christ as their Savior.

Cheriyan then enrolled in the Baptist Seminary of South India, which was led by the same BMM missionary pastoring Bethel Baptist Church.  Cheriyan was among the seminary’s first graduates.

Trusting Christ saved his marriage, but it couldn't save his business, which was already collapsing. However, as he showed himself trustworthy, he was asked if he would be the business manager for the seminary. Cheriyan accepted and has remained in that position since 2000.

When Bethel Baptist Church started a daughter church in 2007, Cheriyan eagerly volunteered to be part of the church planting team. Today he is a deacon in the new church, Bethany Baptist Church, and he continues to serve faithfully as the business manager of the Baptist Seminary of South India. One of his sons decided to enter the ministry, and he graduated from seminary in March 2016.