Bunyan Joseph

Bishop Bunyan Joseph (20 August 1894 – 25 October 1986)[7] was the first[1] and only elected[9] Bishop - in - Anantapur-Kurnool Diocese[10] who was consecrated on 27 September 1947[1] and was among the 15[11] inaugural[12] Bishops when the Church of South India was inaugurated at the CSI-St. George's Cathedral, Chennai. He was presented[9] for consecration by The Venerable F. F. Gladstone and Canon T. Sithers.[4] to the Presiding Bishop Cherakarottu Korula Jacob,[5] who as the first Moderator, consecrated Bunyan Joseph.


Bunyan Joseph, CSI

Ayyagaru
Bishop – in – Anantapur-Kurnool
(now Rayalaseema Diocese)
Native name
మహ ఘనుడు బన్యన్ జోసెఫ్ అయ్యాగారు
ChurchChurch of South India (A Uniting church comprising Wesleyan Methodist, Congregational, Calvinist and Anglican missionary societies – SPG, WMMS, LMS, Basel Mission, Arcot Mission, CMS, and the Church of England)
DioceseAnantapur-Kurnool Diocese
(now Rayalaseema Diocese)
Appointed27 September 1947[1]
PredecessorPosition created
SuccessorH. Sumitra, CSI
Bishop - in - Rayalaseema
Orders
Ordination1923[2] (as Deacon)
1924[2] (as Presbyter)
by Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah[3]
Consecration27 September 1947[4]
by Cherakarottu Korula Jacob (Presiding[5] Bishop)[4]
RankBishop
Personal details
Born
S.[6] Bunyan Joseph

(1894-08-20)20 August 1894[7]
Vempenta, Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh[3]
Died25 October 1986(1986-10-25) (aged 92)[7]
Secunderabad, Telangana, India
BuriedSPG-St. Thomas Cemetery,[7] Station Road, Secunderabad
17°26′03.9″N 78°30′00.5″E / 17.434417°N 78.500139°E / 17.434417; 78.500139[7]
NationalityIndian
DenominationChristianity
ParentsSmt. Miriamma (Mother),[3]
Sri Bunyan Gideon (Father)
OccupationPriesthood
Previous post(s)Canon[8]
EducationSecondary grade teacher certificate,[3]
Theological training[3]
Alma materGovernment Training College, Rajahmundry,[3]
The SPG Theological College, Sullivans Gardens, Chennai,[3]
Dornakal Divinity School, Dornakal[3]
Motto(Epitaph)[7]
Out of darkness into the marvellous light to behold Christ face to face forever.

Bunyan Joseph began ministering since the 1920s in parts of Andhra Pradesh and in line with the Indian ethos, he made use of the Tanpura,[3] presenting the Gospel in Telugu language through a Hymn.[13] There are 7[14] hymns composed by Bunyan Joseph which have been included in the Christian Hymnal in Telugu language. As observed by the Christian Artist P. Solomon Raj, the Hymnal has been of high literary standard[15] consisting of hymns in Telugu set in music patterns of Carnatic music and Hindustani classical music.[15] The Missiologist Roger E. Hedlund notes that together with the Bible, the Hymnal has also gained usage equally with the Bible to both the literate and the illiterate.[16] The Old Testament Scholar, G. Babu Rao[17] reiterates the significance of the hymn in making a plain listener understand the message of the Gospel.[18] Though it may outwardly seem nothing, the inherent technique adopted in composing such a hymn required much understanding of the scriptures and the context. An insight into the spiritual formation of Bunyan Joseph brings forth facets of sound theological grounding at both the SPG Theological College[19][3] in Madras (Tamil Nadu) under Oxbridge[20] Scholars and later at the Divinity School at Dornakal[3] (Telangana), under the able bishopric of Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah.

Life and timesEdit

Bunyan Joseph was an Anglican Priest of the Diocese of Dornakal[2] under the bishopric of Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah and it was here that Bunyan Joseph became a Deacon and Presbyter in 1923 and 1924 respectively.[2] He composed Hymns in Telugu language[13] and prior to becoming the Bishop, he was a Theological Tutor at the Divinity Schools in Dornakal and Giddalur[21] and had already become a Canon.[8]

in MadrasEdit

A couple of days' prior to 27 September 1947,[22] the award-winning photographer Mark Kaufman of Life (magazine)[13] undertook a photo shoot of few personalities at Madras that included Joseph Bunyan. It was J. S. M. Hooper, then General Secretary of the Bible Society of India who preached the inaugural sermon at the cathedral.[22] It is said that the cathedral and its surroundings were packed with nearly 5,000[23] people that day. There were a total of 15[22] Bishops who were consecrated, among them 9[24] were first time Bishops,[4]

The remaining 6 were already Bishops in their erstwhile dioceses until their integration into the union,

in NandyalEdit

The bishopric to which Bunyan Joseph was appointed was already mired[8] in a problem of dependency[25] and the entire Church union[26] did not go well[27] with the congregations who were ignorant about it[25] and refused[27] to join the union. The bishopric of Bunyan Joseph was short lived and he had to relinquish[25] the Cathedra on 2 August 1949[28] due to manifold reasons which is best known as the Nandyal Problem.[8] It was during his oversight of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction that brought him in interaction with B. E. Devaraj and Emani Sambayya.[25]

A couple of decades later, Constance M. Millington took up Nandyal Problem as her doctoral dissertation at the University of Leeds in 1990.[25] Much later, S. J. Sampath Kumar, a researcher at the Sri Krishnadevaraya University, took up research on the history of the Rayalaseema diocese in 2002 and had also covered the life and times of Bunyan Joseph.[1]

In retrospect, L. W. Brown, writing in The Churchman in 1951 about the initial three years' of the formation of the Church of South India, between the two biennial Church of South India Synods, highlighted the issues in Anantapur-Kurnool Diocese, with special reference to the bishopric of Joseph Bunyan.[8]

 
The CSI-St. George's Cathedral, Chennai. Bunyan Joseph was consecrated in this cathedral on 27 September 1947.

Finally in 1952,[25] after more than two years of confrontation with the Church of South India, Bishop Bunyan Joseph came in full communion with it. Constance M. Millington writes,[25]

Early in 1952, a delegation from S.P.G. visited India and went to Nandyal to study the situation there. Bishop Joseph decided to withdraw his opposition to the Commisary being Manager of the Schools and promised to withdraw his signature which was so vital to the Court case. The decision of Bishop Joseph gave cause for much rejoicing, far more for its spiritual than its legal implications. Once he had withdrawn from the court case, he was no longer defying the Moderator and Executive Committee of C.S.I. and they could be reconciled with him.[25]

in SecunderabadEdit

After Bunyan Joseph returned to the fold of the CSI in 1952,[25] Arthur Michael Hollis, then Moderator, invited[25] him to be Assistant Bishop - in - Madras.[25] Bunyan Joseph chose to proceed to Secunderabad where Frank Whittaker, then Bishop - in - Medak accommodated him in Medak Diocese made him as Assistant Bishop.[29] Bunyan Joseph also served as Presbyter during the period 1956-1957[30] and 1960-1961[30] at the CSI-Church of St. John the Baptist in Secunderabad.[30] Rajaiah David Paul recorded that Bunyan Joseph retired in August 1959[31] after attaining superannuation. However, he also recorded that it was only in October 1963[31] that he finally retired from active service of the Church.

Hymn compositions and writingsEdit

WritingsEdit

During the 1970s,[32] the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College,[32] then in Bangalore under the stewardship of Hunter P. Mabry, H. S. Wilson, and Zaihmingthanga planned to prepare a comprehensive bibliography of original Christian writings in India in vernacular languages. Subsequently, Ravela Joseph[32] was appointed in the 1980s to take up the task of gathering material from as many sources as possible across the Telugu-speaking states. The search for such vernacular Christian writings and compositions from institutions of the Catholic, Protestant, the New and Indigenous Churches and individual authors and composers gathered steam and finally concluded in the 1990s by which time Suneel Bhanu also assisted in the initiative.[32] The Bibliography of Original Christian Writings in India in Telugu was published in 1993 and includes the following two writings by Bunyan Joseph,[32]

Year[A] Title
In English / తెలుగు[B]
Publisher Compiler's source Compiler's thematic arrangement
1954 Sangha Jyoti: Light of the Church / సంఘ జ్యోతి[33] Andhra Christian Council,
Dornakal
ACTC,
Secunderabad
Church, Ministry and Sacraments
1965 Satya Jyothi: Torch of Truth / సత్య జ్యోతి[34] Self-published,
Dornakal
ACTC,
Secunderabad
Person and work of Jesus

Hymn compositionsEdit

As a Hymn writer, Bunyan Joseph composed many hymns and 7 of them find place in the Christian Hymnal in Telugu with the corresponding hymn numbers.[14]

Hymn Number[A] Hymn
In English / తెలుగు[B]
Ragam Tanam
29 O God, we praise you / ఓ దేవా, నిన్ను స్తుతించుచున్నాము Sankarabharanam Adi
48 Morning hymn / ఉదయగీతి Anandabhairavi Triputa
218 The resurrection of Christ / క్రీస్తు పునరుతానము Mukhari Ata
225 The ascension of Christ / క్రీస్తు ఆరోహణము Anandabhairavi Eka
574 Christian philanthropy / క్రైస్తవ దాతృత్వము Nadhanamakriya Ata
593 Palm Sunday / మట్టలాలాదివారము Shankarabharana Adi
597 The memory of All Saints / సర్వపరిశుద్దుల స్మరణ Kalyani Triputa

Legacy and reminisceEdit

 
Tombstone of Bunyan Joseph at the SPG-St. Thomas Cemetery, Secunderabad.

It was said of Bunyan Joseph as being a bullock-cart Evangelist who tended the congregations not only through the word, but through deed and has been the inspiration behind Joshua Vision India.[35] Scholastic and Collegiate level institutions in Nandyal supervised by the Nandyal Diocese have been named after Bunyan Joseph, namely,

  • Bishop Bunyan Joseph School,[36]
  • Bishop Bunyan Joseph SPG Junior College,[37]

Constance M. Millington, as part of her research, had visited Bunyan Joseph in the 1980s[25] who by that time was in his nineties[25] in Secunderabad and reminisces,

(Adapted) Bunyan Joseph spoke of his life and work in the Church, his interest in evangelism and his teaching of illiterate people through the use of Telugu lyrics. Before leaving, he prayed and I was conscious of being in the presence of a man of deep humility and great spiritual depth.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d S. J. Sampath Kumar, Genesis growth and activities of Rayalaseema diocese of church of south India a historico social study, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, 2002.[1] [2]
  2. ^ a b c d Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1930
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hosea Bunyan, Beginnings of SPG Telugu Mission in Rayalaseema: Saga of the Humble Servants of God, Self-published by the author, Secunderabad, 2006. Cited by James Elisha Taneti in History of the Telugu Christians: A Bibliography, The Scarecrow Press and ATLA, Lanham, 2011, p.45.[3]
  4. ^ a b c d Rajaiah David Paul, The First Decade: An Account of the Church of South India, Christian Literature Society, Madras, 1958, pp.27, 64, 268.[4]
  5. ^ a b S. Muthiah (Edited), Madras, Chennai: A 400-year Record of the First City of Modern India, Volume 1, Palaniappa Brothers, Chennai, p.177.[5]
  6. ^ The Church of England Yearbook, Volumes 94-95, 1978, p.319
  7. ^ a b c d e f Tombstone of Bunyan Joseph, SPG-St. Thomas Cemetery, Station Road, Secunderabad.[6]
  8. ^ a b c d e L. W. Brown, Three Years of Church Union in The Churchman, Vol 065/2, 1951, pp.82-86.[7]
  9. ^ a b Church of South India, Order of Service for the Consecration of the First New Bishops of The Church of South India, Printed at London Mission Press, Nagercoil, 1947. Cited by Joseph G. Muthuraj, Speaking Truth to Power A Critique of the Church of South India Episcopacy (Governance) of the 21st Century, Globethics, Geneva, 2015, pp.209-229.[8]
  10. ^ The Living Church;, Volume 114, April 27, 1947, p.9
  11. ^ Sir Stanley Reed (Compiled), The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who, 1949, Times of India Press, Calcutta, 1949, p.550.[9]
  12. ^ P. John John, The Church of South India and the Modernization of Kerala in Journal of Kerala Studies, Volume III, Part II, June 1976, pp. 223.[10]
  13. ^ a b c Life (magazine), Church Union in South India: Five Protestant groups make history by joining to form one new Church, 1 December 1947, pp.63-68.[11]
  14. ^ a b "Andhra Christian Hymnal". google.co.in. 1976.
  15. ^ a b Solomon Raj, P. (2003). The New Wine-skins. ISBN 9788172147303.
  16. ^ Roger E. Hedlund, Quest for Identity: India's Churches of Indigenous origin: The "Little" Tradition in Indian Christianity, New Delhi, 2000, p.261. [12]
  17. ^ Guide to Indian Periodical Literature, Volume 23, 1989, p.57
  18. ^ G. Babu Rao, in Souvenir of Birth Centenary Greetings of Rev. Dr. A. B. Masilamani, New Life Associates, Hyderabad, 2014, p.19
  19. ^ A. Westcott, Our oldest Indian Mission: A brief History of the Vepery (Madras) Mission, Madras Diocesan Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Madras, 1897.[13]
  20. ^ The Indian Year Book 1921, Volume 8, 1921, p.818.[14] The Rev. George Herbert Smith, M. A. (Oxford) seemed to be the Principal of the SPG Theological College in 1920s.[15]
  21. ^ National Council of Churches Review, Volume 117, 1997, p.550.[16]
  22. ^ a b c d Bengt Sundkler, Church of South India: The Movement towards Union 1900-1947, The Seabury Press, Greenwich, 1954, p.341.[17]
  23. ^ Bernard Thorogood, Gales of Change: Responding to a Shifting Missionary Context : the Story of the London Missionary Society, 1945-1977, WCC, Geneva, 1994, p.9.[18]
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q The Living Church, Volume 115, 23 November 1947, p.9
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Constance M. Millington, An Ecumenical Venture: The History of Nandyal Diocese in Andhra Pradesh, 1947-1990, Asian Trading Corporation, Bangalore, 1993.[19].
  26. ^ Constance M. Millington, Led by the Spirit: a biography of Bishop Arthur Michael Hollis, onetime Anglican Bishop of Madras, and later first moderator of the C.S.I., Asian Trading Corporation, Bangalore, 1996, pp.135, 138, 139.[20]
  27. ^ a b Empty shoes: a study of the Church of South India, National Council, Protestant Episcopal Church, New York, 1956, pp.41, 42.[21]
  28. ^ Michael Hollis, Copy of Moderator's communication to H. Sumitra, 4 August 1949. Cited by S. J. Sampath Kumar, Genesis growth and activities of Rayalaseema diocese of church of south India a historico social study, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, 2002.[22] [23]
  29. ^ Sir Stanley Reed (Compiled), The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who 1957, Times of India Press, Calcutta, 1957, p.903.[24]
  30. ^ a b c CSI-Church of St. John the Baptist, History of the Diocese - Presbyters.[25]
  31. ^ a b Rajaiah David Paul, Ecumenism in action: a historical survey of the Church of South India, Christian Literature Society, Madras, 1972, p.107.[26]
  32. ^ a b c d e R. Joseph, B. Suneel Bhanu (Compiled), Bibliography of Original Christian Writings in India in Telugu, published by the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, Bangalore, 1993, pp.9, 23, 64 [27]
  33. ^ Bunyan Joseph, Sangha Jyoti: Light of the Church, Andhra Christian Council, Dornakal, 1954. Cited in R. Joseph, B. Suneel Bhanu (Compiled), Bibliography of Original Christian Writings in India in Telugu, published by the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, Bangalore, 1993, pp.9, 23, 64.[28].
  34. ^ Bunyan Joseph, Satya Jyothi: Torch of Truth, Self-published by the Author, Dornakal, 1965. Cited in R. Joseph, B. Suneel Bhanu (Compiled), Bibliography of Original Christian Writings in India in Telugu, published by the Board of Theological Education of the Senate of Serampore College, Bangalore, 1993, pp.9, 23, 64.[29].
  35. ^ Joseph Vijayam, Innovation in Kingdom Business in Jim Reapsome and John Hirst (Edited), Innovation in Mission: Insights Into Practical Innovations Creating Kingdom Impact, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, 2005 [30]
  36. ^ The Bishop of Nandyal visits Chalfont St Peter Church of England Academy[31]
  37. ^ Board of Intermediate Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, BIE, AP, Vijayawada College wise number of candidates appeared for last three years (general). [32]

Further readingEdit

Religious titles
Preceded by
Position created
Church of South India,
Bishop – in – Anantapur-Kurnool,
(Anantapur)

27 September 1947-2 August 1949[1]
Succeeded by
Church of South India Diocese of Medak Ecclesiastical Titles
Preceded by
F. C. Philip,[2]
1951-1956,
M. H. Durrani,[2]
1958-1960
Presbyter - in - Charge,
CSI-Church of St. John the Baptist,
Secunderabad

1956-1957,[2]
1960-1961[2]
Succeeded by
F. C. Philip,[2]
1957-1958,
E. W. Gallagher & A.M. Palmer,[2]
1961-1963
  1. ^ Michael Hollis, Copy of Moderator's communication to H. Sumitra, 4 August 1949. Cited by S. J. Sampath Kumar, Genesis growth and activities of Rayalaseema diocese of church of south India a historico social study, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, 2002.[33] [34]
  2. ^ a b c d e f CSI-Church of St. John the Baptist, History of the Diocese - Presbyters.[35]