History

Medak Cathedral

History

BRIEF HISTORY OF MEDAK DIOCESE

The Franciscans of the Catholic Church brought the Christianity to the Deccan Area in 1535. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad was only formed in 1886.The Church Missionary Society started its work in Aurangabad in 1860. The beginning of Wesleyan Methodist work in Hyderabad was started by a "Layman" by name Sir Arthur Cotton an Engineer by profession working for the Govt. of Madras on the Godavari river. He began the mission with two other missionaries EE Jenkins and George Fryer who travelled in Telangana and were responsible in starting work in Sironcha in 1863. Later on William Taylor a missionary of Methodist Episcopal Church triggered a great revival in Hyderabad during the years 1872 - 1874. The work began in Hyderabad as "Hindustani Mission". Meanwhile the Methodist Missionary Society began its work as "Godavari Mission" which is named after the river. After fifteen years of thorough survey i.e. in December 1873 Missionaries Henry Little and William Burgess came from Madras to Secunderabad. It was in the year 1878 i.e. Eight years of Ministry the first "Methodist Telugu Service" was held in Ramkote in the house of Mr. Joseph Cornelious. The first church was in Trimulgherry.

The firstbaptism was adminstred by Burgess on the 25th January 1880 his first convert was Andrew s/o Chakkariah who became the forerunner of the lakhs who are today Christians in Medak Diocese. In 1880 a Church building rose in, Rev. Benjamin Wesley and Rev. Benjamin Pratt (who joined the Mission in 1880) made a long tour by which they made their first Mission Camp at Siddipet, then Karimnagar and Medak. As a part of the church union, Medak Diocese was formed with the two thirds of Hyderabad Dist., and some Anglican Churches in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The word `Medak' is a polished word of "Methuku" (literally it means a grain of cooked rice). Medak diocese was born on 3rd October 1947 with the installation of its first Bishop Rt. Rev. Frank Whittakar, a Minister of Wesleyan Methodist Church. Today Medak Diocese is spread into five revenue districts of Telangana i.e. Medak, Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Nizamabad and Adilabad.

Rev. Charles Walker Posnett was the architect of Medak. His slogan was "My best for my God" and that he demonstrated by constructing this beautiful edifice The Cathedral' which stands to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the time of this construction i.e. 1914 - 1918, there was severe famine and during this period this project contuined as "food for work". Conversations for establishing a United'Church in South India went on for 28 years between the Church of India (Anglican). The South India United Church (Congregational and Presbyterian) and the Methodist Church in South India (to which Medak Diocese belonged). The Methodist Church gave its consent to the scheme of union in 1943. In 1947 the Church of South India was inaugurated. The two thirds of the erstwhile Hyderabad Methodist distirct along with some Anglican Churches in Hyderabad and Secunderabad became the present Medak Diocese. On October 3rd 1947, The Rt. Rev. Frank Whittaker became its first Bishop. In 1948 the constitutional rules for the Medak Diocese were framed in accordance with the constitution of C.S.I.

After the formation of the Diocese of Medak, we have had five stewards under whom the Diocese had the privilege of their devoted services. The Rt. Rev. Frank Whittaker was the first Bishop who laid a strong foundation for Structural Administrative Organisational work. The second Bishop the Rt. Rev. Eber Priestley was a man of prayer and piety. The third Bishop Rt. Rev. H.D.L. Abraham was as bold as Martin Luther, the reformer and faithful as Abraham, the Patriarch. The fourth Bishop Rt. Rev. B.G. Prasada Rao, son of the soil was a Pastoral Bishop. The fifth Bishop Rt.Rev. Dr. P. Victor Premasagar revived the Evangelists Training School and introduced Higher Education. A Theological Teacher and Moderator of Church of South India. The present Bishop The Most Rev.Dr. B.P. Sugandhar, also the son of the soil popularly known as dynamite and a gift of God to the diocese is the 6th Bishop.

The diocese of Medak is one of the dioceses of the Church of South India. It is an autonomous body and the Government of the Church in the diocese of the Medak is democratic in nature and is run by its council known as the Medak Diocesan Council which is the supreme and final authority in the Diocese of Medak. For administrative purposes, the diocese is divided into three:- 1) The Town District Church Council 2) The Medak Disctrict Church Council 3) The Godavary District Church Council.From the time of its formation till now the Diocese is progressing in all the spheres. Especially in the field of Mission and Ministry. To cater the spiritual needs of the people various ministries like Pastoral Ministry, Ordained Ministry, Evangelists, owning a self Evangelistic Training School at Medak are taking in an effective way.. Equal opportunity is given to the Laity from Micro to Macro levels. For the first time the diocesan volunteer workers committee held its meeting in Medak on 15th June 1954. Apart from this we do have Lay Deacons and honorary ordained ministers. Extension work in the diocese is being taken special care. Chinnoor Mission is an example of it. Medak Diocese is always in the fore front for indigenisation, jathra is a good example of it. Every corner of the diocese jathras are celebrated viz. Christu Punuruthana Jathra, Siluva Gutta Jathra etc.

Central Service is another unique feature in Mission and Ministry of Medak Diocese. With a great objectivity of unity, prayer, service and witness, the Women's Fellowship was formed under the leadership of Dr. Mrs. Constance Whittakar. For the first time in October 1949 the Diocesan Council has appointed the Diocesan Standing Committee on women's work. From the time of its formation till now under the guidance of different Bishoppamma's Women's Fellowship has made a Sandyanilayam, Aashirwada kendra, Naatu Badulu etc. In the area of socio-economic concern and Educational Ministry beginning from Nursery, Education Ministry is extended to various levels like PG, MBA, B.Ed, and so on. Healing Ministry is never looked down to say CMC Dichpally is a great example. Ecumenical relations are maintained in good harmony. Contribution to the Synod is remarkable. Presently the Moderator of CSI is our beloved Bishop Thandrigaru The Most Rev. Dr. B.P Sugandhar. Contributions to the Theological Education notably Rev. Dr. P. Victor Premasagar, Rev. Dr. R.Yesuratnam and Rev. Dr. P. Surya Prakash, who is well known not only for his scholarship but also for Ecumenical Leadership right now Indian Liason Secretary in Germany.

Medak Diocese is blessed by God in over all spheres and God has made it a channel of blessing to the humanity.

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