Council of the India Mission, Minutes 1913-1962

United Lutheran Church in America Board of Foreign Missions


5 microfilm reels ; 35 mm.
Files are arranged chronologically.
The records consist of minutes of the Council of the India Mission and of the Executive Committee, with a small amount of correspondence relating to the minutes. The earlier minutes are frequently titled abstracts, but later minutes are very full and frequently are printed copies.
Early minutes also record meetings of the Rajahmundry Mission Council from 1913-1922, the Rajahmundry Ministerium from 1913-1918, and the Guntur Conference of 1921. Although there was nothing in the records to note officially the makeup of these bodies, the Rajahmundry Council and the Guntur Conference seem to have been composed of all missionaries in their respective areas, and the Rajahmundry Ministerium of a smaller group of male missionaries. Each group had its own president. There is also a copy of the minutes of an All India Lutheran Conference held in 1921, sponsored by 11 Lutheran missions in India, and a file of constitutions, by-laws, and rules of association.
The bulk of the records was collected by George Drach, General Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM), first of the General Council from 1905-1918 and then of the ULCA from 1918-1943. Later minutes were collected by Drach's successors, with the bulk from Luther A. Gotwald (1947-1952), Earl S. Erb (1952-1954), and J. Frederick Neudoerffer (1954-1962).
The records are arranged chronologically.
Although the Board of World Missions (BWM) of the ULCA had administrative oversight of the work in India (see Administrative History, ULCA 19/7), work was conducted on the field by the Council of the India Mission of the United Lutheran Church in America (usually called the Mission Council). The Mission Council was organized in 1920 as a joint effort of the Mission Councils of Rajahmundry and Guntur. This merger was preceded by an Interim Reference Committee in 1918 and a preliminary joint meeting in 1919. A constitution was adopted at the organizing meeting in 1920. Membership was open to all missionaries, including wives. When the Council of the India Mission was established, it was intended that the Rajahmundry and Guntur Councils would continue, but the minutes do not indicate if that occurred after 1922.
Officers were president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, corresponding secretary of the Women's Work, and treasurer. Presidents who served are as follows: John Aberly, 1920-1922; J. Roy Strock, 1922-1923; Frederick L. Coleman, 1923-1925, 1935-1937; 1943-47; 1949-1953; George A. Rupley, 1925-1927; Victor McCauley, 1927-1931; Luther A. Gotwald, 1931-1935, 1941-1943 ; Roy M. Dunkelberger, 1937-1939, 1947-1949; Martin L. Dolbeer, 1939-1941; Edmund G. Wood, 1953-1955; William D. Coleman, 1955-1959, 1963-1965; William Powlas Peery, 1959-1963, 1966-1969, 1973-1975; Herbert H.C. Kleiner, 1965-1966; David Lindell, 1969-1971; Harold M. Riber, 1971-1973; Margaret Coleman, 1975- 1979; and Barbara Kolumban, 1979-[1981].
An Executive Committee consisted of the officers and an additional 4-5 members elected from the two fields (Guntur and Rajahmundry) in such a way that representation from the two fields would be equal. The Council met 1-3 times per year, with the Executive Committee acting between meetings.
The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (see ULCA 19/7/2) was established in 1927, with its direction still coming from the Mission Council. In 1939 the Council of the India Mission reorganized so that it was dealing only with missionaries, missionary work, and mission properties. Other work now came under the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church or of individual boards of various institutions. In 1961 the Mission Council transferred much of its mission-owned property to the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1963 the ULCA became a part of the newly formed Lutheran Church in America (LCA), and its mission work became part of the Board of World Missions of the LCA. Additional minutes of the Council of India Missions can be found under LCA 28/6/3/1.
See also ULCA 19 Administrative History, ULCA 19/7 Administrative History.
Forms part of: Subgroup1 ULCA 19/7/1 Council of the India Mission.

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