Church Missionary Society in Coastal Andhra, 1850-1950: Mediating Change among the Malas

by Dr. Santha Varikoti- Jetty

Date added: 01/09/2016

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Church Missionary Society in Coastal Andhra, 1850-1950: Mediating Change among the Malas

V. Santha Kumari

1. Introduction

The history of the Protestant Christian Missions in colonial Andhra is a subject of historical importance to understand the development of Christianity in India. During the second half of the 19th century and through the middle of the 20th century, Christian missionaries played a major role in the evangelization and the subsequent upliftment of the depressed castes of India and could be regarded as the protagonists and patrons of the underprivileged communities. Christian missionaries were also great institution builders who did pioneering works in the fields of social reform and social upliftment of the depressed castes.

After the establishment of the colonial rule in Coastal Andhra, various evangelical societies were permitted to preach Christianity and establish institutions there. By the middle of the 19th century, different societies established their centres: each in a different region. Thus, the Church Missionary Society (CMS) operated mainly in the Northern Kistna (Krishna)[1]district (on the North East Coast of the former Madras Presidency),[2] the American Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rajahmundry and Guntur (Southern Kistna district), the London Missionary Society in Vizagapatnam and its vicinity, the Canadian Baptist Mission, in Cocanada and surrounding areas, the Godavari Delta Mission in the Godavari delta basin, and the American Baptist Missionary Society in Ongole and Nellore regions. They engaged in activities such as gospel preaching, spread of education, promotion of health and established institutions for economic upliftment of the native Christian converts, especially of the depressed castes.[3]

This article attempts to give a detailed account of the Church Missionary Society (CMS)[4] whose extensive evangelical activities in the district of Kistna were focused on the Mālas, a depressed caste in Andhra, who responded to the gospel messages in large numbers.  The time period of this study is from 1850 to 1950. What is being attempted in this paper is a descriptive account of the work of the missionaries on the one hand, and its impact on the beneficiaries particularly the Mālas, on the other. While detailing much on the individual missionaries who made signal contribution in the transformation of the Māla converts, an attempt is made to interpret the impact of their work.

It may be noted that during the one hundred period under review, the Māla convert community underwent tremendous changes: socio-religious and socio-economic, thanks to the educational, evangelical and philanthropical works of the CMS. Similarly, the CMS itself underwent organizational changes when it merged with other Anglican Churches in 1947, to form what is now known as the Church of South India (CSI). The latter change was partially a consequence of the emergence of local Telugu leadership within the CMS. Thus, the three main parts of the paper, will a) discuss the missionary endeavours of the CMS, b) assess its efficacy as a change agent, as reflected in the development of a native missionary leadership from among the Māla converts, and c) also in the social transformation effected in the Māla Christian community. Many historical documents,[5] both primary and secondary, have been used to reconstruct the story of the CMS’ engagement with the Mālas.


2. CMS Mission in Action in Coastal Andhra

2.1 Anglican Missionaries and Colonial Connections

Coastal Andhra was placed under the control of the East India Company in 1766 by the Nizam of Hyderabad[6] and the towns of Nellore, Ongole, Masulipatnam and Rajahmundry had three companies of the European infantry, one company of artillery with Masulipatnam as fortified headquarters.[7]  The Company initially did not permit missionaries to engage in evangelistic works, but only allowed the chaplains to cater to the religious needs of the European Christians serving in the region. Thus a chapel at Masulipatnam was built by General Pater and in the year 1810[8] a chaplain was appointed to serve the Europeans. According to the Ecclesiastical proceedings of the Home department, the Chaplain‘s duties at the military station were conducting ordinary Sunday worships and admission of the Holy Communion twice a month besides conducting occasional services such as baptisms and funeral rites besides supervising the progress of the schools for European children.[9]  It was not until the middle of the 19th century, that the presence of the Anglican missionaries was felt in Coastal Andhra as they were permitted to engage in evangelization of the natives.


2.2 Establishment of the CMS Mission

Concretizing the evangelical aspirations of the Church of England, a missionary society named ‘Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East’ was founded on 12th April, 1799 chiefly under the efforts of Rev. William Goode, Charles Grant, Josiah Pratt, John Venn and Charles Semeon.[10] A number of zealous missionary-oriented persons were enlisted in this Society and were sent to work in various parts of the world.[11] 

Between the years 1812-35, the work of the CMS was mainly concentrated in the Black town area of Madras and consisted in preaching the gospel using literary tracts.[12]  The Charter Act of 1833 provided for the establishment of two Bishoprics, viz Madras and Bombay and Rev. Daniel Corrie was consecrated as the first Bishop of Madras in 1835,[13]  who was widely regarded as the parent and guiding soul of all operations of the CMS in India.[14]  Rev. John Tucker was credited to be the chief organizer of the Society’s Telugu mission.[15]  Mr. John Goldingham, the Collector of the Kistna district at Masulipatnam contributed for the founding of the CMS mission in 1836.[16] 

Initially, the CMS concentrated mainly in the Northern Circar region of Kistna district with Masulipatnam as its chief mission station. Gradually it expanded its operations to other areas of such as Ellore, Bezwada, Raghavapuram and the adjacent Nizam’s territories of Khammamet and Dornakal. The Kistna district then comprised roughly of an area of 8,036 square miles with 11 taluks, 34 Zamindaries, and 1,796 villages and had a population of 14, 52,374 in 1871.[17]  Khammamet became a mission station in 1888 and Dornakal became a centre of the missionaries of the Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly (IMST), as sister missionary society in collaboration with the CMS.


2.3 Early Works of the CMS: Three Pioneers

In the year 1843, an English school was opened by Rev. Noble with the help of a Eurasian missionary, Rev. John Edmund Sharkey.[18]  The Noble School was at first started to be a ‘Caste school’ in order to attract the Brahmins and other upper castes into Christianity. The curriculum at the Noble School was designed to include lessons from the New Testament, the Bhagavad Gita and the Koran and the students were invited to weigh and compare the scripturals teachings. Rev. Noble had baptized two Brahmins namely Mulayya and Krishnayya,[19] besides a few others from Brāhmin and Vellama castes by 1852. But conversions were slow and few as was reported from the Noble School to Rev. T. K Nicholson: “you may preach Christianity in Masulipatnam forever, but you will never get a convert from us”.[20] 

Though there were requests for baptisms from lower castes, including from his own head domestic servant who was a Pariah (agricultural labourer or a Māla), Rev. Noble had turned them down. The particular four lower castes that were not given admission in his school were the mat-maker, the pariah, the shoe-maker and the sweeper.[21] His policy on caste dissatisfied the Madras Corresponding Committee which argued for removal of caste segregation.[22] The directive of the Corresponding Committee to admit all children irrespective of caste backgrounds was opposed by Rev. Noble and the controversy was put aside for some time with the Committee allowing Rev. Noble to follow his own way in his school, but only to be discontinued after his death.[23] 

Another notable pioneer was Rev. Fox whose missionary career lasted for about seven years and was the founder of village itinerant preaching. In 1844 he undertook preaching in the villages not only around Masulipatam, but far off places in Chintalapudi in the Eastern Godavari region and Kondapalli in Western Kistna district.[24] Rev. Fox worked as a village preacher in towns such as Kurukulapadu, Challapalli, Nidumolu, Pamarru, Gollapalli, Bezwada, Mangalagiri, Eluru, Guntur, Valluru and Gannavaram. He was said to have taken efforts to achieve good progress in evangelistic work with his utmost dedication among the Mālas and facilitated their conversion to Christianity.[25]

The third pioneer was an Anglo-Indian missionary, Rev. John Edmund Sharkey. He was educated in Madras at the Bishop Corrie’s School and spent two years with Rev. Noble for the study of Telugu and was regarded by Noble as an amiable and studious catechist.[26]  Edmund Sharkey was ordained in 1847 and was married to Miss Ann Amelia Nailor (1813-1878), the daughter of a well-to-do merchant in Madras.[27]  He continued the itinerant preaching mission of Rev. Fox and mainly occupied himself with village visitations and preaching. Mrs. Sharkey also played a leading role in opening a girl’s boarding school which became a model school in the region and was called as the ‘Sharkey Memorial School’.[28]  Rev. Sharkey was a gifted writer who was proficient in spoken Telugu and edited a Christian magazine called Hitavadi.[29] With his good command in Telugu, Rev. Sharkey undertook gospel preaching among the Mālas of Kodur, Vuyyuru, Gudivada, Pattametta (Patamata, Bezawada), Poranki, Kankipadu, Tirukotur, Bantumilli, Munipadu, Chinatlapudi, Bhimadolu and Rajahmundry in the Godavari region.


2.4 Mission Focus on the Mālas

The CMS mission first started to work among the caste Hindus and the school which Rev. Noble started had not registered a single convert.[30] But much before the conversion of Manchala Ratnam, a Brāhmin and Ainala Bhushanam, a Vellama in 1852,[31] two servants of Rev. Fox’s household were admitted into Baptism in 1844.[32] In the same year six Māla women ofKurukulapadu heard the gospel from Rev. Fox.[33]  Rev. Fox’s infant son’s caretaker, a Māla woman and her son were admitted into Baptism in the same year.[34] In 1847, the Mālas in theKondapalli village near Bezwada heard the gospel and converted into the Christian faith.[35] P. Davidu, a Súdra, Jani Ali, a Mohammadan were the first among their respective castes to convert by Rev. Noble.[36]

In their attempt to preach the gospel to the Mādigas, another depressed caste, the missionaries encountered questions such as “if we become Christians, what would happen to our dead cattle”?[37] Rev. Darling in his diary, expressed an opinion about the Mādigas, that, “only evangelization and conversion would alleviate the Mādigas from their degraded position”.[38] Though there were some Mādiga converts in the Anglican Churches, they tended to be more attracted to the American and Canadian Baptist denominations that were founded in the 1870s.[39]  Also, since the beginning of the twentieth century, other lower Súdra castes also took interest in Christianity apparently for the reason that they found the converted Christians better off having “cleanliness in place of squalor, temperance instead of drunkenness, clean-living, honest dealing and truthfulness, and above all sell-respect.”[40]

However, it was the Mālas who responded to the CMS preaching in large numbers. Nevertheless, it may be understood that the missionary services of the CMS missionaries were not meant only for the Mālas. However, due to the increased interest of the Mālas in Anglican Christianity, it may appear that the Mālas were the main beneficiaries of CMS’ social upliftment programs and had subsequently shouldered the leadership of the Anglican Community in the present day Krishna district.

It was said that the Mālas’ unique style of living attracted the English missionaries to take a sympathetic look upon the Mālas and initiate efforts to ameliorate their depressed condition.[41] The traditional allegiance of the Mālas towards the Anglican missions could be traced back to the conversion of a Māla prisoner Atuku Nancharu in 1838 in the Ceded districts.[42]  In the South of the river Krishna, the American Evangelical Lutheran Mission’s Rev. C. F. Heyer had converted a Māla, Malapati John from Polepalli as early as 1847.[43]  Following the conversion of Pagolu Venkayya in 1859, a group conversion movement had started among the Mālas characterized by an influx of the Mālas into Christianity in the CMS mission territories. 

Traditionally, the Mālas were agricultural laborers and weavers,[44] who were subjected to ‘cumulative domination,’ of low ritual status, oppressive economic status devoid of any political power, under the caste system.[45] Their dwelling places were set aside from the rest of the village which reflected an obvious distinction of ritual pollution. The houses were described as ill-lighted, unventilated, dirty and unclean.[46] They had been reduced to a degraded position and were oppressed socially and exploited economically. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that the Mālas responded more eagerly to the Missionaries’ gospel teachings as they had perceived that they would be redeemed from their distress through conversion.[47]


2.5 Expansion of the CMS Work and Mass Conversions

Preaching to the Mālas expanded beyond Bezwada to other towns in the district since the 1850s. [48] Rev. Tanner and Mrs. C. Tanner and Rev. Thomas Young Darling were stationed at these places. Rev. Darling, besides conducting the Anglo-Vernacular school, also conducted gospel preaching at the melas (religious festival gatherings) and street gatherings. Rev. Darling wrote in his dairy that he was distressed at the spiritual condition of the Mālas but never contemplated for a betterment of their condition.[49] However, later, it was he who played a leading role in effecting a ‘mass conversion movement’ among the Mālas of Bezwada, Raghavapuram and Indupalli.[50] Mass conversion movement, what missionaries have often described as ‘mass movement’ or ‘group mobility movements’ (Gumpula Sanchalanamu) means the voluntary choice of groups of people to convert en masse into Christianity. During the process of group accessions, individuals, families and village-communities moved into the Christian faith with their network of jati orfamily ties.[51]    

This acceleration in mass conversions was apparently precipitated in 1859 when Pagolu Venkayya, a Māla robber thief from Raghavapuram, was converted.[52]  He was converted under certain remarkable circumstances: upon hearing the gospel, he had apparently found spiritual satisfaction for his highest desires and finally converted.[53] The baptisms of Venkayya, his wife and five children and sixteen other men took place at Raghavapuram on March 9th, 1859.[54] This event could be termed as a great moment for the beginning of group mobility movements in Kistna district and the Godavari region.

Another notable initiative which enhanced mass conversion was the first communal meal organized by the Church in Raghavapuram in 1859 on Christmas day when people from all castes participated and served each other. It was taken as a sign of the beginning of an egalitarian coordination of all castes or a step forward towards social togetherness.

The extent of the work of the CMS missionaries was described by Rev. J. E. Padfield in 1872: “We have much cause for joy and rejoicing at the workings of the Spirit amongst the poorer portion of the rural population. From village after village the cry comes for a teacher. No sooner is a fresh post occupied than urgent entreaties come from another still further on.”[55]  Rev. John Cain was in charge of the remote station of Dummagudem on the banks of the Godavari river.[56]  The extensive village work in the four CMS districts of Masulipatnam, Bezwada, Ellore, and Raghavapuram was laid strongly by Revs. J. H. Harrison, W. Ellington, W. Clayton, W. G. Baker and H. W. Eales.[57]  

Other notable missionaries of the CMS Telugu mission were Revs. Albert Henry Arden, Martin Browne, W. G. Peel and E. Noel Hodges, Mr. Goodman, Arthur W. Poole and C. W. A. Clarke, who had occupied themselves with gospel preaching and teaching activities.[58]  In 1876, Rev and Mrs. James Stone were sent to Raghavapuram where they strived to spread the gospel not only in Raghavapuram, but also in the adjoining Nizam’s territory of Khammamet.[59] 

In the ensuing period, preaching was expanded further by Rev. Darling in other regions such as Gudur, Shemakanapalli, Devapudi, Bogalingala, Kaikaluru, Avanigadda, Pavuradapalli, Koduru, Kondapalli, Kancikacharla, Penuganchiprolu, Mylavaram, Rayavaram, Gannavaram, Gudlavalleru and Pedana. Since the year 1857, Rev. and Mrs. F. W. N. Alexander were stationed at Ellore to establish a permanent mission, where he had a service of 54 years applying diligent methods.[60] In 1864, a Church in Ellore was built and the activities of the CMS were spread to the surrounding villages of Polasanapalle, Naidugudem, Pedapadu, Siriwada, Nuzvid, Kanumolu, Bhimadolu and Chintalapudi.[61] Between 1857 and 1911, the CMS had witnessed tremendous growth of the Church in Ellore with nearly six thousand baptized converts even from far off Nuzvidu Zamindari.[62] A catechist from Tinnevelly had discovered there a number of Telugu immigrants from Mauritius, twenty-one of whom were prepared for baptism by Rev. Alexander of Ellore.[63] 

In Masulipatnam, there were two hundred and sixty native Christians at the end of 1861, twenty years after the founding of the Mission. In 1865, there were 291 Christians from the four villages around Masulipatnam. In 1869, the Church Missionary Society had about 1,650 baptized adherents in all its stations. Their number increased to 2,686 in 1879,[64]  3,500 in 1882, 9,000 in 1895 and 22,000 in 1905.[65] The Bezwada station alone had nearly four thousand Christians and two thousand catechumens by the year 1912.[66]

The Raghavapuram mission station was created in 1870 from the vast mission area of Bezwada on account of an ever increasing number of converts.[67] In 1875, the work spread to twenty seven villages with thirteen hundred Christians and a District Church Council was formed to connect with the village congregations.[68] The First Provincial Native Church Council was held in 1876 in Raghavapuram under the leadership of Rev. Darling, where Christians of all backgrounds attended.[69]  It was reported that, “for the first time in this part of India, Europeans, Brāhmin, Súdra and the Māla converts met together in consultation on the common affairs of the Church”.[70] Pagolu Venkayya gave a charismatic lead to the group mobility movements among the Mālas who simply converted in droves. Venkayya, with his earnest evangelical efforts contributed to the growth of Church membership from 260 in 1861 to 11,356 in 1894.[71] 

It was reported by Rev. Henry Elliot Fox that there were 8,000 CMS Christian adherents in the Kistna district in 1888-89.[72] During the year 1910, in the Dornakal region, there were 9,200 adult baptisms and the total number increased from 11,700 to 28,000, besides 7,000 catechumens. There were five Telugu pastors besides 100 lay teachers working in 75 villages where there were 3,384 Christians and 1,451 catechumens. During the year 1914, the baptized membership grew to 4,271 and catechumens to 2,372 under the care of 7 pastors and 115 lay teachers.[73] 

Table-I shows the growth of Christianity in the Kistna district between 1871-1951 which comprised the CMS in the northern part of Kistna district and American Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Southern part until 1901. Since 1904, the districts of Kistna and Guntur were separated and the official figures since 1911 belong to the CMS mission.


Table-1: Growth of Christianity in Krishna District, 1871-1951






















Source: Tabulated from Census Records from 1871-1951


The growth of the Telugu mission continued in villages far and wide, with the increase of native gospel workers (see discussion, below). Khammamett of the Nizam's dominions became an adjoining mission station in 1888 under the supervision of Rev. J. B. Panes who had baptized hundreds of rural Mālas.[83]  In the beginning of the 20th century, the Mālas continued to be the principal caste which converted to Christianity,[84] though there were some exceptions. For instance, in 1907 Bishop Henry Whitehead baptized 102 Súdra converts.[85]

Large scale group mobility movements took place in Khammamet and Dornakal in the Nizam State of Hyderabad led by missionaries from the Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly (IMST). The IMST was founded in 1903 under the aegis of Rev. V. S Azariah to promote missionary spirit in the Indian Church through indigenous efforts.[86]  Since 1904,  Revs. Solomon Pakianatham and Samuel Pakianatham had worked among the Māla, Mādiga, Vaddara and Erukala castes under much resistance from the Mohammadans.[87] The Bishop of Madras, Rev. Henry Whitehead collaborated with the IMST missionaries in conducting baptisms and confirmations, and training of new converts. According to a Resolution passed by the Episcopal Synod in the year 1910, the Dornakal mission was widened and included all the mission districts of the CMS Telugu areas which included the Kistna and Godavari CMS mission stations.[88] On December 29, 1912, Rev. V. S. Azariah was consecrated Bishop at St. Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta and was placed as the Bishop of Dornakal.[89] Rev. Azariah was the chief inspiration behind the group mobility movement that had brought the Christian community to nearly 2,00,000 comprising of Mālas, Mādigas and Súdras.


3. Development of Native Lay and Clerical Leadership

The CMS mission had faced a severe dearth of missionaries which was evident from Rev. Noble’s letters to the Home Committee, pleading for more supply of missionaries to the Telugu mission.[90] Thus it became indispensable to foster the growth of native preachers from the first generation converts. As noted earlier, it was because of the compelling influence of the lay, native catechists and school-teachers that the mission was able to transform individual conversions to group conversion movements. The Vernacular Theological Institution at Masulipatnam had supplied these native mission personnel.[91] Also, Rev. J. E. Harrison, who was stationed at Bezwada in 1867 had rendered remarkable help both in the fields of evangelization and in the training of a number of native gospel workers to preach among potential converts.

In the year 1864, the Bishop of Madras, Rt. Rev. Frederick Gell ordained the first two native clergymen, Manchala Ratnamand Ainala Bhushanam.[92] Later, Revs. Atsanta Subbarayudu, Ganugapati Krishnayya and I. Venkata Rama Razu were ordained as superintending pastors.[93] In the year 1884, two Māla converts, Marumudi David and Kandavilli Peter, were ordained as pastors, whose lives, in Rev. Panes’ opinion were examples for all.[94]  The native Māla convert, Rev. Dhanwada Anantam engaged himself in educational and literary work and was appointed by the Bishop Whitehead as Canon of the Madras Cathedral.[95] Table-2 gives an account of both native and foreign church leadership during the first 25 years after the founding of the CMS.   


Table-2: A Statistical account of CMS Church Leadership till the year 1878 [96]







European Missionaries






Native Missionaries






Native Agents






Native Christian Adherents
























Source: Tabulated from CMS documents


3.1 Demand for Home Rule in Church Management

As national consciousness and movement for political freedom picked up momentum in the Indian political scenario in early 20th century, there emerged a parallel call for empowerment of native missionaries in the CMS, hitherto controlled by foreign missionaries. Demand for ‘Home Rule’ arose among the native Indian clergy for progressive strengthening of the indigenous Churches and the Indian Christian communities.[97] But the movement did not irrupt all of a sudden: many steps were already underway to effect the transfer of church authority to the natives. Bishop Rev. V. S. Azariah, as the Chairman of Indian Church Department of the National Council, reminded the missions of the need to transfer control and responsibility to Indian Christian hands.[98]  Thus a process of ‘Indianisation’ occurred wherever a group of Indian Christians tried to emancipate themselves from the dependence on foreign mission organizations and occupied higher positions within the hierarchy of the Indian Church.[99] Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Anglican Church’s evangelistic and congregational work was directly under the supervision of native pastors who demanded ‘Indianisation’, in matters of Church hierarchy, administration and control of the affairs of the Church.[100] Consequently, the native Church Councils of Kistna, Khammamet, Dummagudem and Dornakal comprised of many native clergymen.[101]

The Canadian Baptist missionary Dr. J. R. Stillwell observed regarding the Andhra native churches: “as soon as there were converts, they were organized into Churches. The Telugu Churches were organized with their own pastors and deacons who had the local authority with regard to leading and developing the Churches. The missionaries were only lending moral support to the Churches to become independent and self-supporting”.[102] The process of Indianisation was furthered by the National and Provincial Missionary Councils, formed in 1914, which had separate departments to conduct surveys about the Councils’ evangelistic opportunities, Church finances, literature distribution and medical work.[103] The National Missionary Council was renamed the National Christian Council in 1923 and adopted a policy   for the unification of the Indian Churches.[104] The Provincial Councils were directed to work towards removal of the social disabilities among the Christians, to reform the social order and to raise the economic levels of the people.[105] 


3.2 Church Growth under Indian Leadership

Conversions and group mobility movements in the Telugu areas occurred at a fast pace during the time of the first Indian Bishop, Rev. V. S. Azariah.  The native clerical leadership was cultivated through efficient pastoral and educational work and specialized practical training in congregational work for, the mass movement workers were often products of village primary schools or town boarding schools. High school and college education were available to the carefully selected boys and girls who showed signs of potential leadership through conducting summer schools. That aside, retreats for village teachers who possessed pastoral and spiritual gifts and could supervise and guide mission work were arranged to develop native leadership.[106]

It is not surprising that native leadership in mission work also helped increase Church membership. Under Rev. Azariah’s guidance, the Telugu Anglican Community increased from 56,681 in 1912 to 43,500 in 1918; and from 122,500[107] in 1928 to 225,080 in 1941.[108] In other words, group mobility movements occurred again in the years between 1920 and 1930, mostly among the Mālas for whom, apparently, baptism became the dividing line between their old and new way of life.[109] There was also a corresponding improvement in the economic situation of the converts, as reported by the Mass Movement Commission in 1934[110]

The administration of the first native leader, Bishop Azariah, was also noted for efficient church management. He was responsible for organizing the CMS territories under the management of 25 Deanery Chairmen, each responsible for the affairs of as many as 10,000 Christians.[111]  At the time of the unification of the Churches in South India, the Telugu stations were under the leadership of a group of church leaders: V. S. Azariah of Dornakal Diocese, Rt. Rev. A. B. Elloitt at Khammamet, Rev. Canon W. Shuttleworth at Masulipatnam, Rev E. N. Spear at Bezwada, Miss M. H. King at Ellore and Rev. W.R. Lane at Vidyanagar.[112]  However, the District Church Councils were headed by the native clergymen such as Rev. Canon K. Adam (1914), Rev. G. Devamani (1925), Rev. P. Satyanandam (1930) and Rev. D. D. Prasadam (1940) and so on.[113]  At the Bezwada Convention of CMS Christians in April 1933, some 15000 Telugu Christians attended enthusiastically and showed signs of church leadership.[114] Again, native leaders in the Joint Committee of the Church Union Movement pressed forward for unification of the Anglican Churches at the Sixteenth Session of the National Christian Council in November, 1939 at Madras.[115] They also pressed for a ‘Forward Movement in Evangelism’ where priority was to be given for deepening of spiritual life and personal witness of the converts rather than for organization.[116]


3.3 Organizational Restructuring: Unification of the Anglican Societies-Formation of the Church of South India

Rev. V. S. Azariah played a leading role in Church unity negotiations, where deliberations were held for the amalgamation of the Church Missionary Society with other missionary societies viz, the London Missionary Society, the Society for Propagation of Gospel, the Society for Propagation of Christian Knowledge and the Anglican Methodist Church.[117] At the time of the unification of the denominational Churches of Anglican, Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in the year 1945, the Anglican membership of the Kistna district stood at 50,000.[118] On 27 September 1947, the Episcopal and Non-Episcopal denominations of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists formed into one body, the “Church of South India”, thus paving the way for the Anglican Ecclesiastical Unity of the Indian Church.[119]  In the year 1947, the Dioceses of Medak, Dornakal, Krishna-Godavari and Rayalaseema were formed and a Bishop was appointed for each of the dioceses to head the affairs of the Church and the mission schools.[120]


4. Church Missionary Society as Change Agent in Coastal Andhra

            The CMS missionaries were not only pioneers in direct evangelization but were also agents of change who had opened social upliftment avenues such as providing education, provision of health care and employment opportunities for the converts.  On a functional and practical side, conversion lifted the converted individual and his family out of the depressed condition and created a place for them in the contemporary society through regenerative institutions in the fields of education, medicine and industry.[121] The missionaries had acquired knowledge of the social, economic and cultural conditions of the converts and endeavored to integrate their evangelical activities with social work and rural reconstruction programs for upholding and strengthening of the native Church. According to Duncan Forrester, a zeal to be treated with dignity and self-respect, a quest for equality and the ability to choose one’s own destiny and a supporting missionary establishment were the powerful incentives to embrace Christianity.[122]  Conversion to Christianity was used by the Mālas as a tool to gain a dignified position in society and to advance on the social scale.[123] The educational and social reform activities came as an opportune aid to the communities at the right time which, in turn, changed the social scenario of the Indian society in the pre-Independence era of Indian History.[124] A brief description about the educational, medical and economic development of the converts would throw light on this changed social situation, thanks to the mediation of the CMS missionaries.


 4.1 Educational Work

The CMS missionaries were school masters first and gospel preachers afterwards. As mentioned earlier, Rev. Noble founded a school in 1843 in Masulipatnam which had eventually grown into a high school in 1855 and was upgraded to a College in 1864. It became the chief educational institution for the students of the Northern Circars[125] and was rightly described by the Madras Governor, Sir Charles Traveleyan as the “South Indian Cambridge”.[126] It was said that the Bishop of Madras had looked for the supply of well-trained teachers from the Noble College, for schools throughout the CMS mission fields.[127] In the year 1847, the first girls’ school in Masulipatnam was established by the missionary couple, Rev. Edmund Sharkey and Mrs. Anna Amelia Sharkey and admitted students from all caste backgrounds.[128] Education in the Sharkey Memorial School went up to the third form, where there was also a Normal training class for the training of women teachers.[129] Despite the initial resistance to admit pupils from the lower castes by Rev. Noble, they were admitted into the mission schools thanks to the initiative of Kurimella Joseph.[130]

In Ellore, Rev. F. W. N. Alexander had maintained about twenty village schools and supervised a school started by Rev. George English. There was a second elementary school in Ellore that was solely intended for the Mālas, both Christian and non-Christian.[131] An Anglo-Vernacular school was founded by Rev. Thomas Young Darling at Bezwada in 1857. Rev. J. H. Harrison had founded a caste girls’ school in 1870 with the financial assistance from the Zamindar of Nuzvid.[132]  The responsibility of conducting Zenana schools for caste women was taken up by the ladies of the Church of England’s Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS)[133] with the help of the native Christian women at Jaggiahpet, Bezwada, Amalapuram and Rajahmundry.[134] 

The following table (Table-3) presents the numerical strength of the CMS schools in Kistna district at the end of 1901, showing the quantitative progress since 1878.[135]


Table 3: Numerical Strength of CMS Schools in Krishna District, 1901

CMS Education Facilities

Upper Schools


Mixed Schools

Primary Schools


Boarding Schools









Source: Tabulated from CMS documents


Until the beginning of the 20th century, the missionaries took the burden of the education of the depressed castes and the government indirectly supported the missionary efforts through grants-in-aid and subsidies. Table-4 shows the religion-wise percentage of educated males and females in the total population in Kistna district.[136]


Table 4: Religion-wise Percentage of Educated Persons


Percentage of Educated Persons in the total Population












Source: Tabulated from Census Records


During the period of group mobility movements, the first request of the converts to the missionaries invariably was to open a school and send a teacher.[137] While the village pastors played an important role in conducting training classes for baptism, administering of confirmations and leading village worship services, they also undertook social upliftment projects sponsored by the Church. The village teachers were responsible for village elementary education, literacy classes for adults, besides suggesting simple remedies for common diseases, conducting temperance campaigns and building and maintenance of village chapels and schools.[138] Under Bishop Azariah’s leadership, villages were placed under a lay teacher who was responsible for education in the rural schools. He also appointed as many as 100 to 150 teachers in rural schools.[139] There was an increase in the involvement of lay leaders in educational work. The following Table-5 furnishes the striking feature of the fruitful work during the period of Bishop Azariah in the CMS mission stations in the year 1928.[140]


Table 5: Statistical Account of CMS Schools in Villages, 1928


Mission Stations







Kistna Church Council




















Source: Tabulated from CMS documents


The town boarding schools were a progressive step beyond the primary level for the rural Christian children and gave a chance for organized way of life with adequate opportunity for self-discipline and self-determination. It was the aim of the missionaries to impart religious and secular education to the converts’ children, both male and female.[141] The twin-aim of introducing industrial education in all boarding schools was a) to provide an opportunity to train themselves in practical occupations that would provide the learners with some form of vocational employment and b) to inculcate the Christian view of the dignity of labor and honesty in work. The missionary schools imparted manual and vocational training in practical subjects like wood work, agriculture, gardening, carpentry, tailoring, telegraphing and dress making.[142] Girl students were taught vocational subjects like plain needle work, lace work, knitting, sewing, gardening, embroidery etc.  

In 1929, a boarding school for girls was founded by Miss Young from New Zealand who was also the founder Principal of the school. The school was named as Bishop Azariah School in 1931 and provided for the educational needs of not only Bezwada town but also villages of Kanchikacharla, Mylavaram, Nuzvid, Gannavaram, Nandigama, Chintalapudi, Gudivada, Vuyyuru, Pedana and Kondapalli. During the year 1936-37, the school had on its roll 399 students including 92 Christian ones.[143]

Throughout the mission fields of the CMS, the students who finished their village schooling were sent to the high school in Masulipatam where they were trained to be clergymen, assistant-surgeons or school masters.[144]  The school education system was designed to lead either to university level learning or to some commercial or non-literary pursuits leading to skilled or semi-skilled jobs for the youth.[145]

Overall, the educational work of the CMS missionaries acted as an important mechanism in initiating social change among the Christians in all aspects of life: social, religious, economic and cultural. The expectations of the missionaries were clear in the words of Eugene Stock: a whole body of low caste or out caste people may have desired to be Christians for mixed motives…but after the instruction in the missionary schools for their children, they will distinctly rise in character.[146]  The boys and girls who received education in the mission schools in the early years had formed the base of the intelligent members of the Christian community in the later years.  


4.2 Industrial and Vocational Education

The importance of imparting technical education was all the more relevant as the converts had often suffered from economic disabilities and even ostracism by their employers due to their conversion.[147] Besides, when the missionaries, itinerant pastors and teachers came into close touch with the economic situation and poverty of the converts, they sympathetically urged the converts to engage in vocational and industrial work.

The CMS missionaries started industrial and vocational education in Masulipatnam by introducing new and improved methods in industrial training. In his letters to the CMS Home Committee, Rev. Noble emphasized the importance of reviving the Industrial school which was looked upon as an important aid to the missionary enterprise.[148] In Nicholson’s Industrial school, for instance, carpentry, blacksmith work and bricklaying were taught to the Christian children.[149] Other trades were printing work, tile-making, weaving, leather work, or similar technical arts and occupations.[150] The Dornakal Training School was started in 1907 as the Mission Boarding School of the IMST.[151] The school had a weaving scheme in which the students were supplied with yarn and were helped by the mission to market their finished articles.[152] The Central Training School at Vidya Nagar near Bezwada produced leather articles such as belts, shoes, sandals and ladies’ handbags, besides suitcases, pockets, purses and footballs for schools.[153] An Industrial exhibition was conducted in Bezwada for exhibiting such manufactured goods as soaps, inks, sizing machines, weaving appliances and cloths, which also boosted vocational training.[154] The Agricultural Institute at Bapatla gave practical education and a meaningful livelihood for the converts.[155] There were 325 students in industrial training in the CMS mission in 1932. Village schools, night schools and training schools imparted not only basic education but also vocational training which enabled the students to acquire employment in the government establishments, besides self-employment at their own places.[156]   

Vocational training was imparted to female students as well. In Masulipatnam, the CEZMS was engaged in providing industrial education to women converts and poor widows in making of crochet and lace work.[157] The lace industry of Dummagudem was noted for its immense benefits to many village homes. The sale of lace was conducted through lady missionaries and missionaries’ wives who forwarded the lace to their home countries to be sold. The money realized from the sales was put back in the lace industry for further development.[158]

The Church also arranged financial support for vocational training through cooperative banks and societies. The Bezwada and Ellore Co-Operative Credit Societies were organized by the CMS to provide loan for productive employment in fields of agriculture, industry and commerce.[159]


4.3 Employment and Economic Development

             Education has been a great factor in economic upliftment. Education of formal, vocational and industrial character created employment opportunities for the converts to achieve economic progress. The missionaries recognized that the development of a self-supporting Church could be achieved only through economic uplift of the converts. The economic development of a community presupposes the community’s own conviction and awareness of the need of education, along with its commitment to shoulder responsibilities for enhancing its capacity.

            Over a period of Christian involvement in Coastal Andhra, one could observe various levels of economic mobility. The first converts were largely illiterate people, the majority of whom were from the depressed castes and were engaged in agrarian works or were pursuing traditional caste-based occupations. The very first batch of students who got educated in mission schools were able to get employment either in the mission’s own institutions or in the government, especially in the departments of railways and education.[160] There were also upwardly mobile persons who found employment as professionals: as doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers and pastors. In a report of 1907, Rev. J. Heinrichs had observed that, “In many parts of the Telugu districts there was a desire among the Súdrasfor schools taught by Christian teachers,” [161] indicating the employment status of Christians in schools. The Dornakal Diocese had employed over 1200 men and women as teachers who had received their education in Elementary Boarding Schools for boys and girls.[162] Christians were also employed as clerks in government offices, teachers in schools, medical assistants and tradesmen in cottage industries, catechists and evangelists.[163]  According to Bishop Pickett, much economic improvement had occurred among the mass movement converts.[164] In a survey conducted in early 1930s by the Mass Movement Commission, it was found that the graduates holding responsible and remunerative positions in the society were sons and grandsons of poor and illiterate converts.[165]

            Employment opportunities were also available to them thanks to the construction projects of the colonial government, such as the construction of the Buckingham Canal as an extension of the Madras canal to Bezwada via Nellore, a network of roads and railways, works on a large number of government office buildings in different towns, etc.[166] 

The Mission and the Churches did much for the economic welfare of the converts by cultivating a desire for better living conditions, stimulating eagerness to increase one’s earnings, campaigning against extravagant practices, instructing on better health care and better sanitation, fighting evil habits that destroyed one’s earnings and fostering a sense of self respect.[167] Economic upliftment also took place through reduction in wasteful expenditure of all kinds such as alcohol consumption and marriage expenses. Reduction in alcohol consumption resulted in more effective work and better health among the men. A number of Christians testified that much less was spent at their weddings than in their pre-Christian days.[168] The Mission also seems to have facilitated economic improvement of the converts through cooperating with the government for raising the level of daily wages and eliminating the influence of middlemen.


4.4 Medical Service and Health Care Education

The medical services of the CMS were undertaken with the help of the CEZMS’s lady missionaries. The notable CEZMS lady missionaries were Miss Penny at Kammamett, Miss Turnbull, Miss Digby, Miss Alexander and Miss Symonds at Ellore who had rendered medical help for the poor outcaste women of the surrounding villages who thronged the hospitals and dispensaries. Miss Graham, a trained nurse was sent to Dummagudem to help the missionaries Rev. J. and Mrs. Cain in 1885. The mission established hospitals at Khammamett, Dummagudem and Bezwada.[169] The missionaries also facilitated both curative and preventive medical treatment in collaboration with the Government, in times of epidemics like Malaria, Cholera, Small Pox, Dysentery, Diarrhea and Plague.[170]

The duties of a medical missionary were mainly conducting itinerating trips, visiting villages, staying a day or two if needed, giving elementary medical treatment besides preaching the Gospel. While working in hospitals, the medical missionary also preached religion wherever possible, through interactions, conversations, and disseminating Christian literature such as books and tracts.[171] The missionaries also attempted to spread medical awareness among the people and advocated scientific methods in sanitary practices and preventive methods during epidemics. This seems to have facilitated women as homemakers to maintain cleanliness and adopt better health practices in homes.

            Promoting better health care was another concern of the missionaries for which they initiated a scheme to instruct students at schools drawing up even a special syllabus for it which was included in the moral education. Students were apprised of the dangers of various addictions such as tobacco, alcohol, etc. by using appropriate visual and literary materials.[172] Overall, our documents say that there was much improvement in the health of the Christian converts over a period of time.


4.5 Socio-Cultural Reforms

The process of conversion among the converts invariably involved certain transformation in social and cultural life.[173] The missionaries attempted to convince the converts of the need to discard negative habits on the one hand, and adopt positive ones, on the other. Habits such as drinking, smoking, quarrelling, cheating, gambling, witchcraft, worship of the deities and other practices were expected to be given up.[174] Special committees on Temperance, Mental and Social Hygiene and ‘Christianizing the Home’ were set up which created greater awareness of the evils of these habits among the people. Positively, the benefits of cleanliness and hygienic practices were also highlighted.[175] The impact of such advocacy was such that in one instance, the village committee forced out a liquor shop from its precincts.[176] In another case, the converts gave up the practice of beef eating.[177]

Training in cleanliness and wellness apparently changed the appearance of the villages.[178] The former filthy ambience of the Māla hamlets in Kistna district was no longer visible, at least from early 20th century, as has been noted in a missionary report which accords credit to the missionary efforts for the same change.[179] Cases of poisoning of the cattle, abusive language and drunken brawls became uncommon.[180]

A greater amount of cleanliness in dress and surroundings was observed among the converts and the change inevitably influenced the interaction of the higher castes who once commented: “We dare no longer to use foul language. The Christians would not work for us if we did”.[181] A rich landowner at Chattannavaram during his time of death asked his grandchildren never to do anything without Matangi Abraham, a poor Christian whom he trusted in all money matters because ‘he was a Christian’.[182]  Their caste employers showed them more sympathy and positively honored their teachers and pastors. Christians were found to be more reliable in credit transactions by the Cooperative Credit Societies[183]

The apparent betterment of the converts seems to have induced non-Christians to follow the religion of the Christians.[184]  The impact of conversion may appear to be exaggerated in Rev. Pickett’s words, when he referred to the early 20th century caste converts from the Kamma caste who commented thus: ‘none of our people would have become Christians if they had not first seen what happened to the Mālas.[185] About ninety per cent of all higher caste converts attributed their conversion wholly, or in part, to the influence upon them of the changes they had observed in the converts from the depressed castes.[186]

On the religio-cultural front, the Christianity as propagated by the CMS did not smack foreignness although it was propagated by European missionaries in the beginning. The Christianity of the Mālas was much more Indianized as it retained and adapted many indigenous ceremonies, customs, traditions and worship practices[187] This was reflected in aesthetics, art, music and architecture of the native Christians as noted by Rev. Padfield.[188] Church worship was found very solemn and dignified, accompanied by indigenous music and instruments. The ritual of the offertory in Christian puja was done in native style. The faithful brought rice, vegetables and first fruits of garden crops, cattle and poultry to the altar as offering in typical Indian manner.[189]

With regard to the social aspect of marriage, Christian marriage rules and rites had to be adopted in place of age-old practices of child marriage and uncle-niece marriage.[190] Only a licensed pastor would solemnize marriages between native Christians and only after ascertaining the age of the bride and the bridegroom, by referring to their record of baptisms. In the absence of such a record, Village Register of Births and Deaths were referred.[191] However, Bishop Azariah tried to integrate certain pre-Christian and Christian customs in the marriage ritual keeping the cultural sensibilities of the people.[192] In short, unlike conversion in Goa and other places during the Portuguese era, which entailed a complete abandonment of native customs, traditions and cultures, the Māla Christianity under the CMS did not cause cultural ruptures: the converts inculturated Christian worship by retaining certain indigenous customs and traditions wherever these did not contradict Gospel values.   


5. Conclusion

The missionary engagement of the CMS in colonial Coastal Andhra can be viewed from two perspectives: missionary and convert. In both perspectives, the impact has been tremendous in terms of the sacrifices and resources invested in the Mission by the missionaries (both foreign and native) on the one hand, and in terms of the signal transformation in the educational, occupational, economic, social, religious, and cultural life of the converts, particularly the Mālas, on the other. Though the CMS mission in the beginning stages of its missionary enterprise, had mainly aimed at the conversion of the caste Hindus into Christianity, it reached out to the depressed castes, especially the Mālas, with its sympathetic and compassionate approach, which eventually produced beneficial results on the Mālas.

Our study based on historical sources shows that the CMS missionaries who went to Coastal Andhra with the avowed aim of preaching Christianity to the Indians, turned out to be powerful agents of social change. In other words, they achieved not merely change of religion, but also change in material and social life. Two areas of life were powerfully impacted: socio-religious and socio-economic. Through sustained affirmative work among the Mālas they groomed leaders and responsible citizens from among them. The continuity of church work was equally ensured through grooming adequate number of native leaders and church personnel. The historical significance of the CMS’ evangelical work is also evident in the institutions which the mission set up in Coastal Andhra. Above all, they laid a strong foundation for the upward social mobility of the converts. Christianity as a ‘social religion’, not only aimed at bringing individual souls under the influence of the Gospel, but also created institutions for the betterment of the society based on its egalitarian values. End


Endnotes and References

[1] The district of Krishna takes its name after the river Krishna, but was spelt as ‘Kistna’ in colonial and mission historical documents. The latter usage would be retained throughout this article. See The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 15, Karachi to Kotayam, (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1908), 319.

[2] ‘Kistna’ District was formed in December 1859 under the Orders of Sir Charles Trevelyan, the Governor of Madras.  Gordon Mackenzie, A Manual of the Kistna District in the Presidency of Madras, (Madras: Lawrence Asylum Press, 1883),1.

[3] Depressed Castes: a term used in British records for the former untouchable castes. The current and more popular term is Dalits, a generic term to include all the depressed castes of South Asia.

[4]The Church Missionary Atlas: Containing an Account of the Various Countries in which the Church Missionary Society Labours and of its Missionary Operations, (London:The Church Missionary Society, 1879), 104,  https: // /stream/churchmissionary00chur, (accessed on 21 September 2013).

[5] The literature pertaining to the CMS’ evangelical activities were recorded in the following sources: Eugene Stock’s four volume work, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work (1899); Penny Frank’s three volume The Church in Madras: The History of the Ecclesiastical and Missionary Action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras from 1835 to 1861 (1922); The Church Missionary Atlas: Containing an Account of the Various Countries in which the Church Missionary Society Labours (1879); Hibbert G Ware’s account of the Christian Missions in the Telugu Country (1912); G. A. Oddie’s “Christian Conversion in the Telugu Country, 1860-1900: A Case Study of One Protestant Movement in the Godavari Krishna Delta”(1975); Carol Graham’s Azariah of Dornakal;  V.S. Azariah and Henry Whitehead authored Christ in the Indian Villages (1930); Eyre Chatterton’s A History of the Church of England in India Since the Early Days of the East India Company,(1924); and so on.

[6] Khadavalli Lakshmi Ranjanam, Andhras through the Ages, (Hyderabad: Sri Saraswati Book Depot, 1973), 11.

[7] Penny Frank, The Church in Madras: The History of the Ecclesiastical and Missionary Action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras from 1805 to 1835, Vol. I,(London: John Murray Publishers, 1922), 350, https: // stream/ theChurchinmadra03pennuoft #page/n5/mode/2up, (accessed on 20 September 2013).

[8] Ibid, 689.

[9] Ecclesiastical Proceedings of the Government of India, Home, No 13-18, (Calcutta: 1871) (accessed from National Archives of India on 11 August 2013).

[10] Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Vol. I, (London: The Church Missionary Society, 1899), 64.

[11] Edward Lawrence, Modern Missions in the East: Their Methods, Successes and Limitations, (New York: Harper Brothers Publishers, 1895), 34, https: //, (accessed on 15 August 2013).

[12] Eugene Stock, Vol. I, op cit, 201.

[13] Penny Frank, The Church in Madras: The History of the Ecclesiastical and Missionary Action of the East India Company in the Presidency of Madras from 1835 to 1861, Vol. III, (London: John Murray Publishers, 1922), 3, https: // (accessed on 1 September 2013).

[14] John William Kaye, Christianity in India: An Historical Narrative, (London: Smith Elder & Co Publishers, 1859), 521, https:// stream /christianityinin00kaye#page/n5/mode/2up, (accessed on 7 September 2013).

[15] Eugene Stock, Vol. I, op cit, 328.

[16]FrederickGledstone, John Goldingham, The Collector of Kistna,CLS Stories of Telugu Church Founders, (Madras: Diocesan Printing Press, 1940), 2.

[17] W. R. Cornish, Report on the Census of the Madras Presidency, 1871, Supplementary Tables, (Madras: The Government Gazette Press, 1874),1.

[18] Eugene Stock, Vol. I, op cit, 327-328.

[19]Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Vol. II, op cit,179.

[20] M. E. Gibbs, The Anglican Church in India, (Delhi: ISPCK, 1972), 153.

[21] FrederickGledstone, Robert Turlington Noble, op cit, 10.

[22] Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Vol. II, (London: The Church Missionary Society, 1899), 530.               

[23]Ibid, 571.

[24] FrederickGledstone, Henry Watson Fox, op cit, 5.

[25] Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Vol. IV, (London: The Church Missionary Society, 1899), 12.

[26] M. E. Gibbs, op cit, 152.

[27] FrederickGledstone, Life Story of Sharkey, op cit, 2.

[28]Gerald H Anderson, Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999), 614.

[29] M. Moses, Andhra Pradesh Kraisthava Sangha Charitra, (Tenali: Kraisthava Satya Grandhasala, 2004), 36.

[30] Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society, Vol. II, op cit, 58.

[31] Ibid, 178.

[32]FrederickGledstone., Robert Turlington Noble: CLS Stories of Telugu Church Founders, (Madras: Diocesan Press, 1941), 6. Also in “Report on the Church Missionary Society’s Telugu Mission, 1890-99,” (Bangalore: UTC Digital Collection), 80.

[33]FrederickGledstone, Henry Watson Fox: CLS Stories of Telugu Church Founders, (Madras: Diocesan Printing Press, 1941), 5.

[34] Ibid, 4-6.

[35] Ibid, 10.

[36]Eugene Stock, Vol. II, op cit, 179.  Also in FrederickGledstone., Robert Turlington Noble, op cit, 6.

[37] FrederickGledstone, Henry Watson Fox, op cit, 9.

[38] FrederickGledstone, The Life Story of Thomas Young Darling: CLS Stories of Telugu Church Founders, (Madras: Diocesan Printing Press, 1941), 5.

[39] A detailed study of the caste composition of the Telugu Church is dealt in my doctoral thesis (forthcoming).

[40] Carol Graham, Azariah of Dornakal, (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1946), 57.

[41] Gledstone Frederick, Life Story of Sharkey: CLS Stories of Telugu Church Founders, (Madras: Diocesan Printing Press, 1941), 7.

[42] Carol Graham, Azariah of Dornakal, op cit, 66.

[43] L. B. Wolf, After Fifty Years: Or an Historical Sketch of the Guntur Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the General Synod In the United States of America, (Philadelphia: The Lutheran Publication Society, 1896), 254.

[44]Athelstane Baines, Ethnography: Castes and Tribes, (Strassburg: Karl J Trubner Publishers, 1912), 9.

[45] T. K. Oommen, “Sources of Deprivation and Styles of Protest: The Case of the Dalits in India” in Contributions to Indian Sociology, Volume XVIII, (1984), 46.

[46] Srinivasa S Raghavaiyangar, Memorandum of the Progress of the Madras Presidency During the Last Forty Years of British Administration, The Superintendent Government Printing Press, Madras, 1892, 97, https: //, (accessed on 18 September 2013).

[47] J. W. Pickett, Christ’s Way to India’s Heart, (Lucknow: Lucknow Publishing Company, l938), 38.

[48] Bezwada was not suitable for missionary preaching due to its Brāhmin domination and therefore was one of the last places to be chosen by the missionaries of the CMS.  FrederickGlaedstone, Henry Watson Fox, op cit, 10.

[49] FrederickGledstone, The Life Story of Thomas Young Darling, op cit, 5.

[50] Gerald H Anderson, op cit,169.

[51] Group mobility movements or Mass movements may be used interchangeably in this article: J. W. Pickett, Christian Mass Movements in India, (Lucknow: Lucknow Publishing House, 1933), 25.

[52] FrederickGledstone, The Life Story of Thomas Young Darling, op cit, 9.

[53] Ibid.

[54]Ibid: holiday / Great Britain / 1859.aspx.

[55] The Church Missionary Atlas,1879, op cit, 103.

[56] Eugene Stock, The History of the Church Missionary Society: Its Environment, Its Men and Its Work, Vol. III, (London: The Church Missionary Society, 1899),165.

[57] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit,241.

[58] Eugene Stock, Vol. III, op cit, 166.

[59] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit., 241.

[60] Eugene Stock,Vol. IV,op cit, 197.

[61] M. Moses, op cit, 36.

[62] Hibbert G Ware, Christian Missions in the Telugu Country, (London:  SPG Publications, 1912), 191, https: // stream/cu31924011177197# page/n0/mode/2up, (accessed on 30 May 2013).

[63] Eugene Stock, Vol. II, op cit, 469.

[64] Gordon Mackenzie, A Manual of the Kistna District in the Presidency of Madras, Op cit, 289.

[65] G. A. Oddie, “Christian Conversion in the Telugu Country, 1860-l900: A Case study of one Protestant Movement in Godavari Krishna Delta”, in Indian Economic and Social History Review, Volume XII, (1975): 67-69.

[66]Report on the Church Missionary Society’s Telugu Mission”,op cit, 80.

[67] Hibbert G Ware, op cit, 191.

[68]Report on the Church Missionary Society’s Telugu Mission”,op cit, 80.

[69]Eugene Stock, Vol. III, op cit, 165-167.

[70] The Church Missionary Atlas, (1879), op cit, 104.

[71] G. A. Oddie, “Christian Conversion in the Telugu Country, 1860-1900” op cit, 68.

[72] Eugene Stock, Vol. III, op cit, 499.

[73] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit, 244.

[74] W. R. Cornish, Report on the Census of the Madras Presidency, 1871, op cit, 102.

[75] Lewis McIver, Census of India, 1881, Madras Presidency, Operations and Results, Vol. II, (Madras: The Government Press, 1882), 209.

[76] H. A. Stuart, Census of India, 1891, Vol. XIII, (Madras: The Government Press, 1893), 75.

[77] H. H. Risley and E. A. Gait, Census of India, 1901, Volume I, Part I, Report, (Calcutta: The Government Press, 1903), 26.

[78] J. Chartres Molony, Census of India, 1911, Part II, Imperial and Provincial Tables, Vol.XII, Table XVII, (Madras: The Government Press, 1913), 272.

[79] G. T. Boag, Census of India, 1921, Vol. XIII, Part II, Imperial and Provincial Tables, (Madras: The Government Press, 1923), 27.

[80] M. W. M Yeats, Census of India, 1931, Vol. XIV, Madras, Part I, Report, (Madras: The Government Press, 1932), 331.

[81] D. H. Elwin, Census of India, 1941, Vol. II, Part I, Tables, (Simla: The Government of India Press, 1942), 63.

[82] S. Venkateswaran, Census of India, 1951, Madras and Coorg, Vol. III, Part II-B, Tables, (Madras: The Government Press, 1953), 145.

[83]Stock, Eugene, Volume III, op cit, 478.

[84] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit, 242. 

[85] Ibid.

[86] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma: Bishop V.S Azariah and the Travails of Christianity in British India, (hereinafter, In the Shadow of the Mahatma) (Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000), 78.

[87] M. Moses, op cit, 114.

[88] M. E. Gibbs, op cit, 342.

[89] Cecil John Grimes, Towards an Indian Church: The Growth of the Church of India in Constitution and Life, (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1946), 262.

[90] John Noble, A Memoir of the Rev. Robert Turlington Noble: Missionary to the Telugu People in South India, (London: Seeley Jackson & Halliday Publishers, London, 1867),258, stream/amemoirrevrober01noblgoog #page /n8/mode/2up, (accessed on 15 August 2013).

[91]Eugene Stock, Volume III, op cit, 472.

[92] Eugene Stock, Vol. II, op cit,522.

[93] Eugene Stock, Vol. III, op cit, 165-167.

[94] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit, 241.

[95] Ibid, 242.

[96] The Church Missionary Atlas,1879, op cit, 103.

[97] Adrian Hastings, “The Clash of Nationalism and Universalism within twentieth Century Missionary Christianity” in Missions, Nationalism and the End of the Empire, ed. Brian Stanley, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishers, 2003), 21.

[98] Harlan P Beach, The Findings of the Continuation Committee Conferences held in Asia, 1912-1913, (New York: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions,1913), 105, https: // / stream/findingsofcontin00stud# page/n3/mode/2up, (accessed on 18 October 2013).105.

[99]Heike Liebau, “Indianisation and Education:  Reaction from Protestant Christians of the Madras Presidency to the Lindsay Commission Report” in ed. Krishna Kumar and Joachim Oesterheld, Education and Social Change in South Asia, (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2007), 46.

[100] Kaj Baago, A History of the National Christian Council of India: 1914-1964, (Mysore: Wesley Printing Press, 1965), 34.  Also in V. S. Azariah, Evangelization and its Challenge, Andhra Christian Council Meetings, (Bezwada: 1933), 17.

[101] Annual Report of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East: One Hundred and Forty Fifth Year, 1943-44, (London: Church Missionary Society, 1944), 61.

[102] M. L. Orchard and K. S. McLaurin, The Enterprise: The Jubilee Story of the Canadian Baptist Mission in India: 1874-1924, (Toronto: The Canadian Baptist Foreign Mission Board, 1925), 346.

[103]Kaj Baago, op cit, 20.

[104] Proceedings of the Tenth Meeting of the National Christian Council of India, Burma and Ceylon, (Mysore: Wesley Printing Press, 1946), 44.

[105] Cecil John Grimes, op cit, 143.

[106] Mass Movement Work in India: Findings of a Conference of the CMS Mass Movement Commission, Bezwada, Nov 21-28, 1928, (Kottayam: The CMS Press, 1929), 19.

[107] V. S. Azariah and Henry Whitehead, Christ in the Indian Villages, (London: SCM Press, 1930),27.

[108] M. Moses, op cit, 184.

[109] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, op cit, 191.

[110] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, No 3, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1934), 16.

[111] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, op cit, 215.

[112] Annual Report of the Committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East: One Hundred and Forty Fifth Year, 1943-44, (London: Church Missionary Society, 1944), 61.

[113] Ibid.

[114] Proceedings of the Sixth Meeting of the National Christian Council, (Nagpur: The Central India Printing Works, 1934), Appendix I,Report of the Andhra Christian Council for 1933-34, (Nagpur: Central India Printing Works, 1934), 127.

[115] Proceedings of the National Christian Council, Vol. XVIII, 1939-40, (Mysore: Wesley Printing Press, 1940), 75.

[116] Proceedings of the Sixth Meeting of the National Christian Council, op cit, 9.

[117] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, op. cit, 359.

[118] M. Moses, op. cit, 30.                                                                                       

[119] Bengt Sundkler, Church of South IndiaThe Movement Towards Union, 1900-1947, (London: Lutterworth Press, 1954), 344.

[120] Gujjarlamudi Krupachary, Telugu Sahityaniki Kristavula Seva, (Guntur: Navodaya Publishers, 1988), 44.

[121] James S Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress: A Sociological Study of Foreign Missions, Vol. III, (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1896), 23, https:// / stream /christianmissi03denn #page/n9/mode/2up, (accessed on April 6 2013).

[122] Duncan B. Forrester., “The Depressed Classes and Conversion to Christianity, 1860-1960”, in ed.G. A. Oddie, Religion in South Asia, (Delhi: Manohar Publishers, 1977), 42-43.

[123] Duncan B Forrester,“Indian Christian Attitudes to Caste in the Twentieth Century” in Indian Council of Historical Review, Volume IX, No. 1, June (1975): 7.

[124] Gordon Mackenzie, A Manual of the Kistna District in the Presidency of Madras, op cit, 289.

[125] Y. V. Krishna Rao, “Delta Shipli Sir Arthur Cotton”, in Andhra Pradesh Darshini, (Hyderabad: Vishalandra Publishing House, 1976), 303.

[126] Eugene Stock,Vol. II, op. cit, 548.

[127] John Noble, opcit, 265.

[128] B. E. Devaraj, Bharatha Desa Kraisthava Sangha Charitra, (Tenali: Telugu Theological Literature Board, 1969), 141.

[129] Eyre Chatterton, A History of the Church of England in India Since the Early Days of the East India Company, (London: SPCK Publishers, Project Canterbury, 1924), NP,, (accessed on 2 May 2013).

[130] D. Raghava Rao, Machlipatnam Charitra, (Vetapalem: Sri Sarawatha Nikethanam, 2001), 266.

[131] Henry Morris, A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Godavery District in the Presidency of Madras, (London: Trubner & Ludgate Hill, 1878), 38.

[132] “The Missionary Services of C.M.S Missionary Harrison”, in C.S.I. Mission Festival Celebrations, (Vijayawada: Krishna-Godavari Diocese, Church of South India, 2010), 26.

[133] Eugene Stock, Vol. IV, op cit, 243.

[134] Irene H. Barnes, Behind the Pardah: The Story of CEZMS Work in India, (New York: Thomas Y Crowell Company, 1897), 244, https: // / stream/behindpardahstor00barn#page/n5/mode/2up, (accessed on 10 October 2013).

[135] Statistical Tables of Protestant Missions in India, Burma and Ceylon, (Calcutta: The Baptist Mission Press, 1902), 27-29.

[136] Lewis McIver, Census of India, 1881, op cit, 220.

[137] J. A. Sharrock, South Indian Missions, (Westminster: SPG Publications, 1910), 221.

[138] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, op cit, 197.

[139] Ibid, 215.

[140] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, November ,1928, Vol. V, No 11, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1928), 6.

[141] Susan Billington Harper, “The Dornakal Church on the Cultural Frontier” in ed. Judith M. Brown and Robert Eric Freykenberg, Christians, Cultural Interactions and India's Religious Traditions, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002), 223.

[142] Report of the Public Instruction in the Madras Presidency for the year 1908-09, Vol. I, (Madras: The Government Press, 1909), 26.

[143] Report on Public Instruction in The Madras Presidency For the year 1936-37 and for the Quinquenium 1931-32 to 1936-37, Vol. II, Parts I & II, Subsidiary Tables, (Madras: The Government Press, 1938), 86.

[144] Eyre Chatterton, op cit.

[145] Austin A D’Souza, Anglo Indian Education, A Study of its Origins and Growth in Bengal Up to 1960, (Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1976), 148.

[146] Stock, Eugene, Volume IV, op cit, 171.

[147] James S Dennis, Christian Missions and Social Progress: A Sociological Study of Foreign Missions, Vol. III, op cit, 95.

[148] John Noble,op cit,258.

[149] Ibid, 268. The expertise was used in building of the schools, chapels, etc.

[150] James S  Dennis, Vol.III, op cit, 97.

[151] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, October 1928, Vol. V, No 10, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1928), 13.

[152] D. Tickell, “Poverty among Village Christians” in The National Christian Council Review, Vol. XIII, January to December 1935, (Mysore: Wesley Press, 1935), 623.

[153] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, October 1932, Volume IX, No 10, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1932), 20.

[154] Report on the Administration of the Madras Presidency during the Year 1921-22, (Madras: The Government Press, 1923), 186.

[155] V. S Azariah., “The Christian Contribution to India”, The National Christian Council Review, Vol. XVII, (Mysore: Wesley Printing Press, 1939), 120.

[156] Eyre Chatterton, op cit.

[157] Irene H.Barnes, Behind the Purdah, op cit, 174.

[158] J. W. Pickett., Christian Mass Movements in India, op cit, 129.

[159] Directory of Christian Missions in India, Burma and Ceylon, XIV edition, (Ajmer: The Scottish Mission Press, 1924), 230.

[160] Yagati Chinna Rao, “Education and Identity Formation among Dalits in Colonial Andhra” in ed. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Education and the Disprivileged: Nineteenth and Twentieth Century India, (New Delhi: Orient Longman, 2002), 102.

[161] A. T. Fishman, For This Purpose: A Case Study of the Telugu Baptist Church in Its Relation with South India Mission of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Societies in India, (Madras: Diocesan Press, 1958), 64.

[162] Eyre Chatterton, op cit.

[163] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, No 3, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1934), 17.

[164] Ibid.

[165] Ibid, 16.

[166] Report on the Administration of the Madras Presidency during the Year 1890-91, (Madras: The Government Press, 1891), 109; also see Emma Rauschenbusch Clough, While Sewing Sandals or Tales of a Telugu Pariah Tribe, (London: The Selwood Printing Works, 1899), 274.

[167] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, February 1934, Vol. X, No 2, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1934), 10.

[168] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, No 3, op cit, 19.

[169] Barnes, H. Irene., Behind the Purdah, op cit, 209.

[170] Report on Vaccination in the Madras Presidency for the year 1901-02, (Madras: The Government Press, 1903), 221; Also, The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, No 3, op cit, 17.

[171] Rutter J Williamson, The Healing of the Nations: A Treatise on Medical Missions, (New York: The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1899), 81.               

[172] Administration Report of the Abkari Revenue: 1915-16, (Madras: The Government Press, 1917) 4.

[173] Archibald G. Baker, Christian Missions and a New World Culture, (Chicago: Willett Clark & Co Publishers, 1934), 192.

[174] Samuel Jaya Kumar, Dalit Consciousness and Christian Conversion: The Work of SPG Missionaries, Historical Resources for a Contemporary Debate, Mission Theology in an Asian Context, (Delhi: ISPCK Publishers, 1999), 256.

[175] Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the National Christian Council, (Nagpur: Central India Printing Works 1940), 79.

[176] “Extracts from the Minutes of Fourth Session of the Dornakal Diocesan Council held in Bezwada on December 1927”  in The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1928, No 3, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1928), 4.

[177] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, September 1930, Vol. IX, No 9, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1930), 9.

[178] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, No.3, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1934), 19.

[179] John Craig, Forty Years among the Telugus: A History of the Mission of the Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, Canada to the Telugus, South India 1867-1907, (Toronto: 1908), 115.

[180] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, May 1928, Vol. 4, No 5, (Dornakal: Diocesan Press, 1928), 6.

[181] Ibid, 4.

[182] Ibid, 8.

[183] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, March 1934, Vol. XI, op cit, 18.

[184]Sherwood Eddy, India Awakening, (New York: Missionary Education Movement, 1911), 100.

[185] J. W. Pickett, Christian Mass Movements in India, op cit, 52-53.

[186] Ibid, 60.

[187]Heike Liebau,“Indianisation and Education: Reaction from Protestant Christians of the Madras Presidency to the Lindsay Commission Report”, op cit, 46.

[188] Eugene Stock, Volume III, op cit, 471.

[189] The Dornakal Diocesan Magazine, October 1928, Vol. 5, No.10, op. cit, 3.

[190] A.T. Fishman, Culture Change and the Underprivileged: A Study of the Madigas in South India under Christian Guidance, (Madras: Christian Literature Society, 1941), 176.

[191] L. B. Wolf, After Fifty Years: or an Historical Sketch of the Guntur Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the General Synod In the United States of America, (Philadelphia: Lutheran Publication Society, 1896), 313.

[192] Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma, op cit,196.

Dr. Santha Varikoti- Jetty

Dr. Santha Varikoti- Jetty



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