Jawahar Gnaniah

Jawahar Gnaniah was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. After graduating with an M.Div. from Union Biblical Seminary in India, he married Ranjini in 1975. Together they began ministering in the unreached villages in our state. They founded the India Church Growth Mission (ICGM) in 1978, through which churches have been planted in various villages in both Southern and Northern India.

In 1987 the Gnaniahs moved to the United States for further studies at Fuller Theological Seminary with their young sons, Onesi and Danny, leaving ICGM with local leadership. Jawahar completed his Master of Theology (1989) and Doctor of Missiology (1996) and Ranjini her Master of Missiology (1996). During their time at Fuller, Danny was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, a terminal illness. They decided to stay in the U.S. in order to give Danny access to better medical care and other support. Jawahar planted the East West Community Church in 1991, and it became the first church in Southern California to bring together almost all of the major Indian language groups to worship the Lord Jesus and reach out to other Indian neighbors. Danny was a vital part of the East West community until his death in October, 2000.

On a family visit to India, Danny asked about other children like him. The Gnaniahs began to explore how to reach out to other families who were suffering because of Muscular Dystrophy, which led them to start Danny and Friends (DAF) 1992. DAF has been able to meet many needs of the MD children and families.

After deciding to remain in the U.S., Jawahar and Ranjini founded Global Friends Network in order to continue their involvement with various ministries in India and among the Indian Diaspora. In February, 2012 Jawahar became the full-time Executive Director of Global Friends Network.