Executive Committee (Adhoc Committee)
Vice – Moderator:
Secretary: Mr. Charles James Craig
Members: Mr. Sharad John Hanwate, Mrs. Varsha Sanjay Kanhre
Other Pastors: Ps. Prabhakar Kurwekar and Ps. Peter Umale
HISTORY OF NAGPUR CHURCH COUNCIL
Missionaries from England started their work in the Nagpur area over 160 years ago. However the missionaries form the Church of Scotland were one who brought the Gospel, in this region in 1817.
This is one of the reformed (Presbyterian) Churches known as Presbyterian Church or Church of Scotland.
In the year 1803, the King Bhosala of Nagpur was defeated. The troops were stationed at Nagpur and were commanded by British officers. They used to get together for prayers and Bible study. There was one Colonel Maxon was a religious man and also was a bodyguard of the British resident at the court of the king. He was very anxious that the people of Nagpur should know the Gospel. Therefore, he made efforts and studied local language i.e.; Marathi. Rev.William Cary was the missionary in Serampore; got the New Testament translated in (Marathi) the local language. Colonel Maxon got married to the niece of Rev. William Cary. Both husband and wife Mrs. Hobson returned to Nagpur and started working in and around Nagpur.
In the year 1836 Major Hislop was sent to Nagpur and he remained there till 1843. Since Major Hislop was religious man he started a school for children, his wife has started Sunday school in their bungalow. Slowly and gradually it started taking shape; they name it as the congregation.
During that time there was no place for worship for the protestant in Nagpur. Hence Major Hislop started taking pains to build a church in .the year 1837. He secured a site for the said purpose. He received donation for the construction of church. This took some time and it
was not till 1840 when the church building formally opened.
The system of administration of the Presbyterian Church is people oriented, democratic and designed to promote the spiritual, mental and physical well-being of its members. This church was known as the Church of Scotland after the name of its founding organization.
The properties acquired for the mission of this church. The Church of Scotland could also play a very Significant role in spreading the general education and Health Services in this region apart from spreading the Gospel. It established numerous Schools, Hostel building, Colleges, Dispensaries and Hospitals. They obtained lands for charitable and religious purpose and such land is dedicated for the said purpose. The church was the actual owner of these subsidiary institutions.
Nagpur Church Council of U.C.N.I. acknowledged the services rendered continuously since 1845 in Christian work in the Nagpur area, which led to the establishment and development of the indigenous church there.
This work, originally developed in a variety of forms by the Church of Scotland Mission alone, has for some years been administered under two bodies. In 1922 responsibility for one part of the work was assumed by the Nagpur Church Council through a Mission Board formed with the approval of the Foreign Mission Committee of the United Free Church of Scotland.
In 1947 this Board and the Church of Scotland Mission Council were joined in a reconstituted Mission Board of the Nagpur Church Council. In 1937 responsibility for Hislop College was transferred to a locally appointed Mission Committee of the Church of Scotland, which has on it representatives of the various co-operating Churches and the Mid-India Christian Council.
Experience since the inception of the Mission Board in 1922 has shown it to be of first importance that the work of Christian service in all its forms in the Nagpur area should be closely identified with the local Church and be expressions of life. Further, in thankful recognition of the fact that the work of evangelization throughout the world is the task of the Universal Church, and in gratitude for what the Church of Scotland has done for the Church in this area, it is desired that the partnership of that parent Church (the Church of Scotland) in the enterprise should be maintained.
It is accordingly now intended that by a new formulation of policy, recognition of these two principles should be secured so that the integration of the whole work in the life of the Church and its unity, may be expressed, and so that the contribution to be rendered in the future by missionaries of the Church of Scotland has done for the Church in this area, it is desired that the partnership of that parent Church (the Church of Scotland) in the enterprise should be maintained.
Church of Scotland may be given by them from within the Church in India and as part of it.
As regards the other work, i. e.; that work which since 1922 has been administered by the Nagpur Mission Council of the Church of Scotland and the Mission Board of the Nagpur Church Council since 1947 by the re-constituted Mission Board alone, the Nagpur Mission Board, acti
ng with the approval of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and the Nagpur Church Council of the United Church of Northern India, acting with the knowledge of the Synod of Maharashtra of the church now agree that from a date to be mutually arranged, this will be entirely administered by an enlarged and modified Nagpur Church Council.
The existence of Nagpur Church Council can be traced as far back as the emergence of UCNI in 1924. It is a registered body under the society act of Bombay charity. It controls Churches and covers the area of four districts of Vidarbha i.e. Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara, and Amravati. It also controls the part of Madhaya Pradesh i.e. Seoni.
It also manages Indore Christian College in Madhya Pradesh.
Presently following Churches are working under this council.
The Churches under it are:-
Agnes Henderson Memorial (1840) Nagpur Church. (96 Families 400 members)
Ekatmata Nagar Church, Hingna.(31 Families 128 members)
Beersheba Family Church, Nagpur (24 Families 104 members)
St. Paul Church, Nainpur, Seoni (15 Families 80 members)
The followings is the excerpt from the Book “The United Church of Northern India Survey 1968” published by GA of UCNI in Nagpur.
In the year 1967 it had churches in Amravati, Nagpur, Saoner
Partner Church: The Church of Scotland
History: The Christian work which, over the years, has developed into the work of the Nagpur Church Council was started in 1837 by a group of Army Officers who, in 1840 built a hall for social service, education and worship. These officers later tried to gain the interest of Missionary Society to carry on the work they had started and in 1843 the Free Church of Scotland sent Stephen Hislop to Nagpur where he opened a college in 1844. Medical work was started in Nagpur in 1886 and shortly afterwards in tow other centres. The work of the Church has been largely built up around its educational and medical work. The present Nagpur Church Council, which was organized in 1929, was further expanded in 1959 when the congregation in Seoni, which had previously been connected with the United Original Secession Church in Scotland, was received into the UCNI.
Integration: The evangelistic and institutional work of the Church of Scotland was integrated with the work of the Indian Church at Church Council level in 1985. Missionaries all serve under the Church Council and are stationed by it.