- Azariah, Vedanayagam Samuel
- (1874-1945)first Indian Anglican bishopvedanayagam samuel Azariah was born in vel-lalavilai in southern India on August 17, 1874, the son of an Anglican pastor. Azariah was educated at Madras university and Madras Christian College. He began working with the Y.M.C.A. and helped found the indian Missionary society of Tinnevelly in 1903 and the National Missionary society in 1905. He obtained ordination in 1909 in order to become a missionary.In 1910, he attended the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, where he impressed attendees by advocating that missionaries adopt a more Asian view of life. Two years later, though only 38, he was consecrated as the first Anglican bishop of Dornakal.Church union was high on his list of priorities as bishop; he prepared the ground for the Church of south india, though he died two years before it actually came into existence. in response to mass conversions of indians who had not fully learned the faith and life of Christianity, he proposed that the new Christians be allowed to retain some aspects of the caste system in the short term, with the goal of eventually abandoning it.Azariah wrote a number of books on subjects such as baptism, marriage, and stewardship. He died on January 1, 1945.Further reading:■ vedanayagam samuel Azariah, Christian Giving (Madras, India: Christian Literature Society for India, 1941)■ Carol Graham, Azariah of Dornakal (London: S. C. M. Press, 1946)■ Susan B. Harper, In the Shadow of Mahatma: Bishop V. S. Azartiah and the Travails of Christianity in British India (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 2000).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.