NCCI mourns for the sad demise of Bishop B. P. Sugandhar, the former Moderator of the Church of South India

Rt. Rev. Dr. B. P. Sugandhar, the former Moderator of the Church of South India, passed away on 05 December 2017. He was residing at Hyderabad after his retirement as the sixth Bishop of the Medak Diocese of the CSI.

Bishop Sugandhar was the Deputy Moderator of the CSI for two terms (2000- 2004) and the Moderator for another two terms (2004- 2008). He was very well known as a people’s bishop, and his memory power to remember people and their names was highly appreciated. He was an office-bearer of the Andhra Pradesh Federation of Churches, (APFC) a society that incorporates bishops of the Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Indigenous Church traditions and whose members strive for ecumenism

He served as the Vice-President of the Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary of the Bible Society of India. He was also on the governing board of the United Theological College, Bangalore, and the Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad.

He started his student life at Wesley Boys’ School in Secunderabad. He had done his Bachelor of Divinity at United Theological College in Bangalore and later earned a Doctorate in Theology.

Bishop Sugandhar is survived by his wife Mrs. Nalini Sugandhar, Sons Mr. John Priya Babu and Dr. Vimal Sukumar (Treasurer of the Medaka Diocese of the CSI), Daughter Ms. Glory and five grandchildren. His demise was on the evening today (05.12.2017).

Most Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, the Moderator of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. Dr. Vadapalli Prasada Rao, the Deputy Moderator, Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, the General Secretary, and Adv. Robert Bruce, the Hon. Treasurer expressed their deep condolences to the bereaved family of late Bishop Sugandhar.

NCCI mourns for the loss of a good leader.

news courtesy-

Rev. Sunil Raj Philip, CSI Communications.


Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao, CCA’s third General Secretary passes away

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao 1929 – 2017. (Pic. source:

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao, former general secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) passed away in Singapore on 16 November.

Bishop Dr. Yap Kim Hao (1929 – 2017) served as a Methodist pastor in Malaysia and Singapore before being consecrated the first Asian Bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore from 1968 to 1973. He was elected as the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia between 1973 and 1985 and was directly involved in social justice issues, ministering to the marginalised and oppressed in the region.

In 1988, he accepted an invitation to be Visiting Professor of World Christianity, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA. He also taught in summer school at the Vancouver School of Theology, Canada in 1990.

Rev. Yap was on the Council of the Inter-Religious Organisation in Singapore and was committed to the promotion of inter-faith dialogue and understanding. He served as the Pastoral Advisor of the Free Community Church, which counts many LGBT Christians in its congregation.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) mourns the loss of this great leader whose pioneering work in many areas will always be remembered for the practical expressions of ecumenism and Christ’s love. He associated with those on the margins, the oppressed, the minorities and those whom the society largely considered as different. It is his exemplary work that will continue to inspire generations to come, to walk with faith and grace for an effective and holistic ministry.


Colonel Chelliah Mony, Territorial Commander of India Central Territory of The Salvation Army, passes away.

Colonel Chelliah Mony, Territorial Commander India Central Territory of The Salvation Army, was promoted to Glory on 25 September, 2017.

Chelliah Mony entered training from Osaravilai Corps in the India South Eastern Territory as a cadet of the Overcomers Session, and was commissioned on 13 May 1976. Also in May 1976 he married Mallika Mony, who was a cadet in the Disciples of Jesus Session. Lieutenant Chelliah Mony was then serving as Corps Officer of the Kolencoidu Corps.

After Cadet Mallika completed her training, they served as Corps Officers in the India South Eastern Territory before they were both appointed to the Training College in July 1981. With this came the promotion to the rank of captain for Chelliah Mony. The Captain also attended the Brengle Institute in this year.

In 1983 the Monys were appointed first to Thuckalay Division and then to Vallyoor Division, where Captain Chelliah Mony served as Divisional Youth Officer. In 1987 they were appointed to Cape South Division. Again, Captain Chelliah served as Divisional Youth Officer.

Following attendance at the International College for Officers in 1988, Captain Chelliah Mony was appointed to THQ, India South Eastern Territory as Youth Secretary. Further appointments at THQ followed in 1997 when Major Mony was appointed to Human Resources Development Secretary and in the following year, Social Secretary.

A return to the Cape South Division as Divisional Commander came in May 2003. In June 2009 Major Chelliah Mony was appointed back to THQ, as Social and Education Secretary and the following year as Secretary for Programme Administration.

Transfer to the India South Western Territory in July 2012 saw Lieut-Colonel Chelliah Mony appointed as Chief Secretary of that territory. In June 2014 further international service followed with a transfer to the India Central Territory as Territorial Commander, with a promotion to the rank of colonel. It is from this appointment that Colonel Chelliah Mony was promoted to Glory.

We salute the Colonel for his many years of faithful service to God and to The Salvation Army. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his wife, Colonel Mallika Mony and with their children, Yesumarline Mony, Yalin Rancy Mony, Darline Santhini Mony and Alwin Devarasu Mony.

The funeral for Colonel Mony was held on 26 September 2017 at Booth Tucker Memorial Church Corps Hall (Nagercoil), conducted by Colonel Edwin Masih.

Colonel Mallika Mony may be contacted at:-
82 Nungambaggam High Road
Chennai – 600 034. India.
Phone: 09962172849
e-mail:   or

Source: The Salvation Army, India National Secretariat.

Colonel Mony attended meetings of the National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) several times. His ecumenical outlook and genuine concern for the people proved to be a blessing for many. He served with exemplary passion for the Glory of God.

NCCI joins with The Salvation Army in praying for God to comfort the family. Colonel Mony’s  faithful service and strong leadership will always be remembered. His work will continue to light the way for seekers and future leaders.


Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Amritham passes away

Rt. Rev. Dr. Samuel Amritham, a great ecumenical figure from India, passed away on September 26, 2017 in his hometown Parassala (Kerala, India) at the age of 85.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in Divinity, he was appointed as pastor in the London Mission Pastorate Church, Parassala (now named the Abbs Memorial Church after founder and LMS Missionary Rev. John Abbs). He was instrumental in the construction of the new Church building. His efforts behind the installation of the electric bell, the electric cluster lights, and the lightning arrester are appreciable.

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Prominent Belgian Liberation Theologist Francois Houtart Dies

Dubbed the “Pope of anti-globalization,” Houtart left a mark on discussions of religion and revolutionary social change in developing nations.

Belgian liberation theologist and sociologist Francois Houtart died Tuesday at the age of 92, leaving a powerful legacy through his decades of work theorizing globaliztion, alternatives to capitalism and religion from a Marxist perspective.

Houtart died in Quito, Ecuador, where he lived and worked at the Pueblo Indio Foundation and with several universities. Houtart was born in Brussels in 1925, became a Catholic priest in 1949 completed a doctorate in sociology at the University of Louvain.

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Rt. Rev. S. Jeyapaul David, Former President of NCCI passes away


The Rt. Rev. S Jeyapaul David Bishop in Tirunelveli, Church of South India from 1999 to 2009 and President of National Council of Churches in India in the quadrennial 2004 – 2008, passed away in Tirunelveli today February 8, 2017.

After his B. D. from Serampore College he continued further studies in Theology at St. John’s college in Nottingham. He was ordained as Presbyter on March 30, 1969 at St. Patrick’s Church in Tuticorin. In his long and blessed ministry he has notably served as Organizing Secretary of National Missionary Society (1982 – 1985), General Secretary of Indian Missionary Society (1990 – 1992), and Professor at Yavatmal College for Leadership Training  (1994 – 1997). Rt. Rev. S. Jeyapaul David was consecrated Bishop in Tirunelveli on November 21, 1999 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Palayamkottai.

We thank God for his devoted life, exemplary leadership and faithful ministry that has proved to be a blessing to the Church and the ecumenical movement. We mourn this great loss and pray for God’s Peace and Comfort with the bereaved family. May his life and work continue to inspire us to faithful ministry in service of God and people.

The funeral service will take place at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Palayamkottai at 1 p.m tomorrow the 9th February 2017.

– NCCI Communications

Rev. Yesuadian David passes away

Rev. Y. David: A Pioneer of Protestant Christian Social Activism in India passes away

(27 June 1940 – 21 November 2016)


The National Council of Churches in India is deeply saddened by the passing away of the veteran ecumenist and Christian social activist, Rev. Yesuadian David, an ordained minister of the Church of South India, Kanyakumari Diocese. A graduate of United Theological College, Bangalore, who served as a Programme Secretary of Student Christian Movement of India, Rev. Y. David became a pioneering model of Christian social activism with his simple and challenging lifestyle, identifying with people’s pain and sufferings, and mobilizing them to affirm and fight for their rights.

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National Council of Churches in India mourns the demise of Prof. Dr. Jegadish Gandhi

Prof. P Jonathan Jegadish Gandhi

28 September 1941 – 7 October 2016

National Council of Churches in India mourns the demise of Prof. Dr. Jegadish Gandhi, a committed Church Person, Ecumenist, Development Economist and Columnist.  Prof. Gandhi, who was hospitalised at CMC Vellore because of a massive cardiac arrest on 4th October, passed away on 7th Oct 2016.

Prof. Gandhi hailed from a rural place, Kamudhi in Ramnad District in Tamilnadu. He had his education at CSI Swartz School in Ramnad. In fact he and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the late former President of India, were school contemporaries in Ramnad. Prof. Gandhi pursued his Graduation and Post Graduation from the prestigious Thiyagaraja College of Art and Science, Tepakkulam, Madurai and moved to Vellore to teach at Voorhese College. He joined as a lecturer in the Economics Department, became a Senior Professor and eventually HOD. His expertise was in ‘Developmental Economy’. He authored numerous books and articles on Economics, Development, and social issues, and later on ecology and theology. He even wrote regularly in news papers as a columnist.  Prof. Gandhi served as a member of the Planning Committee of the Government of Tamilnadu and held several honorary positions at State and Central Levels. He was also the President of the Association of Economists. Dr. Gandhi travelled widely as an Indian ‘alternate’ economist. He also organised several national and international conferences in India and in abroad.

The Vellore Institute of Developmental Study was his post retirement initiative; he served as its founder Director till his last breath. He made this institution global by relating, affiliating and accrediting with several international organisations and movements. He received several awards including the lifetime achievement award from Association of Economists.

Prof. Gandhi was committed to his Christian calling to promote Justice, Love and Peace. He contributed a significant contribution to the local CSI congregation as well as to Vellore diocese. As an ecumenist, he actively participated in the work of Ecumenical Christian Centre and Association of Christian Institutions of Social Concern in Asia (ACISCA), of which he was serving as General Secretary. In April 2016, he represented the ACISCA at the XXVIII Quadrennial Assembly of the NCCI. He served as a resource person at, and cosponsor of several NCCI’s programmes and also contributed articles to the NCC Review.

The funeral is scheduled for 9th Oct 2016 (Monday) in Vellore. Through this homage the Council offers its consolation to and prayers for Mrs. Sugirtham Gandhi, their three daughters and families. His family could be contacted at +91 9894051256.

Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,

General Secretary,

On behalf of the National Council of Churches in India

Dr. Hunter P. Mabry passes away

Hunter Mabry-July2016Dr. Hunter P. Mabry, 82, of Roanoke passed away on Saturday, July 9, 2016 after a long struggle with chronic radiation damage to his intestinal tract many years ago. Born in Timber Ridge in Rockbridge County, he was a native of the Shenandoah Valley. During his youth he lived in the Waynesboro area and graduated with the Wilson Memorial High School class of 1951. Later, he completed his B.Sc. in Rural Sociology at the then Virginia Polytechnical Institute (Virginia Tech), his B.Div. at the Candler School of Theology (Emory University) and served as a missionary to the Philippines, 1959 to 1963 under the Board of Missions of The United Methodist Church.
Desiring to help train persons to become pastors, he completed his Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion and Social Ethics at the Boston University School of Theology in 1969 and over the next 25 years served on the faculty of the United Theological College, Bangalore under the sponsorship of The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries (GBOGM) where he helped to train students at the B.D., M.Th. and D.Th levels.
His published writings include Christian Ethics, An Introductory Reader, The Christian Clergy in India, Vol. 1, Social Structure and Social Roles, and Manual for Researchers and Writers. His book Manual for Researchers and Writers is well received by students in India.

Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham passes away

kcaRev. Dr. K. C. Abraham (Kuruvilla Cherukara Abraham), well-known leader, globally acclaimed as a brilliant theologian and educator, ecumenist and scholar, passed away on June 12, 2016 at around 8 p.m. in Bangalore.
Rev. Dr. K. C. Abraham served well in many institutions. He served as Presbyter of St. Mark’s Cathedral (Bangalore), and later as Director of Ecumenical Christian Centre (ECC) before making his mark as a Theological Educator. He joined United Theological College Bangalore as Professor. Around this time he also served as Director of South Asia Theological Research Institute (SATHRI), Secretary of Board of Theological Education of Senate of Serampore College (BTESSC), and as President of Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT). Among his many ministry contributions, he also served at various times as: Visiting Professor, Emmanuel College of Toronto School of Theology, Toronto; Visiting Professor, San Francisco Theological Seminary, D.Min. Program; John A Mackay Chair in World Christianity, Princeton Theological Seminary; Editor, Asia Journal of Theology; Editor, Voices from the Third World; Editor, Bangalore Theological Forum; President, Christian Peace Conference, India Region; Member, Board of Directors of YMCA, Bangalore; Member, Congress of Asian Theologians; and Member, Interfaith Interaction – online discussion group. In 1996, he and his wife Molly Abraham started Liza’s Home, a home for girls with mental and physical disabilities, that continues to serve a number of poor children.
As editor and author of several publications he contributed to theological scholarship immensely. Among his publications are – Liberative Solidarity: Contemporary perspectives on mission; Globalization: A Gospel and Culture Perspective (article in International Review of Mission); Third World Theologies: Commonalities and Divergences (editor); Closed Doors and the Risen Christ: Sermons and Reflections On Being A Christian; The Cost of Discipleship; Spirituality of the Third World: A Cry for Life: Papers and Reflections from the Third General Assembly of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (editor); and many others.
We are grateful to God for his life, ministry, leadership and many contributions to the Churches and Institutions he served. He will be missed. He leaves behind his wife Dr. Molly Abraham and two children, Ajit and Lizy. Please pray for God’s peace and comfort as the bereaved family mourns this great loss. The funeral will be on June 14, 2016 with service in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Bangalore at around 10:30 a.m.
– NCCI Communications