Council of Christian Hospitals

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Council of Christian Hospitals
Abbreviation COCH
Formation 13 April 1973 (1973-04-13)[1]
Founder Canadian Baptist Mission
Founded at Kakinada
Legal status Body corporate under the Indian Societies Registration Act
Purpose Facilitator of the medical missions of the Canadian Baptist Mission
Headquarters Pithapuram
Coordinates 17°07′34″N 82°15′17″E / 17.12615°N 82.25469°E / 17.12615; 82.25469Coordinates: 17°07′34″N 82°15′17″E / 17.12615°N 82.25469°E / 17.12615; 82.25469
Andhra Pradesh and Odisha
Membership (2015)
4 participating hospitals and 1 nursing school
Official language
Owner Canadian Baptist Ministries
Dr. Sheila Grace Thangaraj[2]
Parent organization
Canadian Baptist Ministries
Affiliations Christian Medical Association of India, New Delhi, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore
Formerly called
Medical Board[1]/Council of Institutions[1] of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars

Council of Christian Hospitals (COCH), an autonomous[1] body of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars, facilitates the management of the medical institutions founded by the Missionaries of the Canadian Baptist Mission. The COCH is a body corporate under the Indian Societies Registration Act and has its registered office in the premises of one of its participating hospitals, the CBM Christian Medical Centre, Pithapuram in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh.

Formed on April 13, 1973,[1] the COCH sets an annual agenda in the line of the Missionary endeavour to serve the poor and the needy. In terms of continuing education, the COCH is one of the members of the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore where the two members of the Council participate in the Annual General Meeting of the Association of the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Vellore. As a sponsoring body, the COCH also communicates with members of the Churches under Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars inviting applications for possible sponsorship to eligible students to study health-related courses at the Christian Medical College & Hospital in Vellore.

Participating institutions of the Council of Christian Hospitals
Name of the Institution Location District State
1898 CBM Star of Hope Hospital Akiveedu West Godavari District Andhra Pradesh
1904 CBM Christian Medical Centre Pithapuram East Godavari District Andhra Pradesh
1906 CBM Bethel Hospital Vuyyuru Krishna District Andhra Pradesh
1920 CBM Integrated School of Nursing Pithapuram East Godavari District Andhra Pradesh
1928[3] CBM Serango Christian Hospital Serango Gajapati district Odisha
1991[3] CBM Eye Services[4] Ranipeta Gajapati district Odisha

The COCH is represented at ecumenical forums as a member of the Christian Medical Association of India, an affiliated institution of the National Council of Churches in India comprising members from the Protestant and Orthodox Churches in India.


Baptist missionaries from Canada first came to Ramayapatnam in 1868[1] in southern Andhra Pradesh working along with the American Baptist missionaries. On the invitation extended by the Indian Missionary, Thomas Gabriel who was involved in spreading the Gospel in parts of East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts in the northern coastal parts of Andhra Pradesh.,[5] the Canadian Baptist Mission began sending Missionaries to India in 1874 to partner with Thomas Gabriel. Apart from Church-related ministries of evangelism and leadership training, there was also the development ministries that included aiding people in agricultural, health and educational development.[6]

In addition to the intervention among the Telugus in Andhra Pradesh, the missionaries also covered southern Odisha working among the Soura, Kui and the Odiya and later in 1922,[3] the Serango Christian Hospital was opened in Gajapati District.

William Gordon Carder, formerly Professor of Church History at the Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad wrote that it was Dr. E. G. Smith who could be termed as the first Medical Missionary from the Canadian Baptist Mission who was sent to India in 1894.[1] In the ensuing years', a total of eight[7][8] hospitals were founded by the Canadian Baptist Mission. Medical missions formed part of the development ministries. In the later half of the nineteenth century, the Missionaries entrusted leadership to their co-partners, the Indians, resulting in the formation of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars (CBCNC) which had also Educational, Theological, and Medical Committees. However, it was felt that the Medical Committee be made autonomous.[1] Hence on April 13, 1973,[1] the COCH was formed as an autonomous body take forward the medical ministry of the Canadian Baptist Ministries.


List of Chairpersonships

Apart from the Canadian Baptist Ministries, the Hospitals and Nursing School of the COCH are partly funded by the following institutions:

  • Christoffel Blinden Mission[10]
  • European Baptist Ministries[11]
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh [12] - National Blindness Control Programme


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i W. G. Carder, Hand to the Indian Plow: Volume One, Carder, Hyderabad, 1976, pp.143-147. [1]
  2. ^ a b CMC Newsline, Vol.No.51. No. 30, January 20, 2014
  3. ^ a b c Kenneth Knight, Shirley Knight, The Seed Holds the Tree: A Story of India and the Kingdom of God, 2009, pp.60, 135.[2]
  4. ^ Life for All, November 2011 - February 2012, Bimonthly Newsletter of the Christian Medical Association of India, p.8. [3]
  5. ^ Martin Senftleben, Influences of Hinduism on Christianity in Andhra Pradesh. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, 1992. [4] (PDF).
  6. ^ Manorama Fritschi, op. cit.
  7. ^ Indian Church History Review, Volume 3, Church History Association of India, 1969, p.148.[5]
  8. ^ J. Gordon Melton (Edited), Encyclopedia of American Religions, Gale, 2003, p.560. [6]
  9. ^ Manorama Fritschi (Ed.), Council of Christian Hospitals, Pithapuram, 1977. Manorama Fritschi was the wife of Dr. Ernest Paul Fritschi who was the earlier Director of Schieffelin Institute of Health, Research and Leprosy Centre, Karigiri, India. Internet, accessed 26 October 2008. [7] Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ CBM - Serango Christian Hospital - Eye Services
  11. ^ EBM INTERNATIONAL; Europäische Baptistische Mission: helping churches to fulfil God’s mission in the world.: Home
  12. ^ Welcome to, the official portal of Govt. of A P

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