A Church is Born: Church of South India Inauguration

First Protestant Missionaries > Messengers

His first church at Tranquebar was soon followed by this second structure. Ziegenbalg's work aroused tremendous enthusiasm in Denmark, in Germany and in England where the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge undertook financial aid for the mission.

Among his successors was Christian Schwartz, one of the great missionaries of all time, who arrived at Tranquebar in 1750.

His memorial, erected at Tanjore by an Indian ruler, evidences the love in which the Indians held him. With the spread of English influence in India, the Anglican Church accepted his labors as its own. His life became the inspiration for Wesley, for Carey and for other pioneer missionaries of the nineteenth century

Under his influence there came to Madras, in 1817, James Lynch, the Wesleyan, to begin a work famous for its lay evangelism

Which in succeeding years was to penetrate even into the smallest villages of Mysore.

James Wilson from the United free Church of Scotland, representing the Presbyterians of Scotland and England, followed in 1829.

Dr. John Scudder, whose widow and sons are shown in this old photograph, was America's first medical missionary. He sailed under Congregational auspices for India, but, being banned by his non-British birth, he landed in Ceylo in 1819 where he served until this ban was lifted in 1836. Later when his own Reformed Church established its missionary society, he transferred to it. Generations of Scudders, loved and revered by Christian Indians and non-Christian Indians alike, have carried on the Scudder tradition in India to this day.

This cemetery at Madura is mute evidence of the price paid to establish Christianity in South India. The missionary's life among the Marathi averaged five years three months. Often reinforcements could not arrive fast enough to fill the places of those who fell. For the first twenty years the number of missionaries who lost their lives exceeded the number of new members won. From the labors of such as these there developed in South Indian interpretation of Christianity which, no matter what its occidental source, had a common and distinctive Indian character of its own.

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