Sam Thomas John, Lead Pastor & Founder
Sam was born as an answer to prayer after doctors told his parents that they wouldn’t have children. His parents were involved in pastoral ministry in the underground church for 40 years in Saudi Arabia and India. Both had secular jobs and the family of six returned back to India in 1991 and ministered in the Indian Pentecostal Church of God in India. Despite this godly environment Sam did not have a relationship with God and strayed away from his roots. During an Inter Collegiate Prayer Fellowship camp Sam came to faith and understood the meaning of his salvation by the end of that camp. Since then he was actively involved in his Dad’s church at various levels from the worship team to administrative tasks, prayer meetings and village outreaches. Closely involved in the worship team as a drummer, Sam ministered at different schools and colleges and occasionally sang for a praise and worship band, Faith Warriors.
Completing his Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Commerce, Sam founded India’s first Christian metalcore band Whitenoiz that gained mainstream recognition in the music circuit and toured across India as a semi-professional vocalist. In the process they released their debut album titled ‘Sovereign Name’. During this time, he got married to Bibby and have two adorable children Seth and Shekinah. Pursuing work, they relocated to Bahrain for three years and got involved in setting up a para-church organization. In 2014 they moved to Canada.
Sam had a specific vision to start this underground church to reach out primarily to people with musical influences who wouldn’t normally walk into the confines of a church. Sam sees music as a connecting factor between people and hopes to establish their link with their Creator. Along with friends in accord they started taking prayer walks and drives in and around Toronto for about two years before opening the doors to Church Underground. Currently employed in the banking industry Sam continues to pursue his profession with ministry in Church Underground as Lead Pastor. He is a licensed pastor with the Canadian Christian Ministers Federation.
His mentors include Pastors C.O.John from IPC Bangalore, Peter Duraisami- Scott Mission & Church on the Rock International Ministries, Tommy Green- Revolution Reality & Sleeping Giant, Alan George- Life Church Campus Pastor, John McDonald- Canadian Christian Ministers Federation and many others who are continously pouring into his life.
Rajeev Cherian, Director Operations
Rajeev Cherian was born and raised in Bahrain before he moved to Canada. Raised in a Pentecostal family he was always surrounded with a ministry oriented household. The eldest of three boys, Rajeev found a liking for heavy music particularly rock and metal in his early teens. In his late teens he had the opportunity to study in Florida, US. During this phase he got involved with the growing music scene and discovered friends with similar musical taste and inclined towards the life of metal. Even though he had an early experience with God and was baptized Rajeev had no inclination towards God until he came across the band Mortification. This bands lyrics and approach challenged his lifestyle and encouraged a change in his relationship with God leading him to a committed and conscious walk with God.
Rajeev moved back to Bahrain and continued his education and work life. During this time, he got married to Leena and was blessed with two wonderful children Leanne & Ryan. In 2008 they moved to Canada and overcame one challenge after another experiencing miraculous moves from the hand of God. Some of them include Leanne’s language delay from the age of six to Rajeev battling cancer. In all this the family only grew closer and are living as a witness to His Name Alone. After meeting Sam in Canada they realized that they had a similar vision and passion for wanting to make an impact in the lives of those who are particularly involved in the world rock and metal music. Rajeev reckons that music is a gift from God and is a powerful tool with the One who gave it. After waiting on the Lord, he has finally pursued his call to Church Underground alongside Sam as Director- Operations.