Ananda Rao Samuel

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N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel
Bishop in Krishna-Godavari
Church Christian
See Church of South India
In office 1961–1978
Predecessor A. B. Elliott
Successor T. B. D. Prakasa Rao
Ordination 14 June 1953
Consecration 12 December 1961
Personal details
Born 29 December 1928
Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Died 30 May 1999
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Previous post Presbyter, Vijayawada

N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel (1928–1999) was Bishop of Krishna Godavari of the Church of South India.

Early years[edit]

Ananda Rao Samuel was born on 29 December 1928[1] in the port town of Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh into a Dalit Anglican family and studied at the local Noble College during 1944 to 1949 earning the degrees of BA and MA.[1] His parents were Namala Jemima and Namala Thomas Gnanaprakasam.[2]

Theological life[edit]

The Church Missionary Society (CMS) brought about the Gospel in Machilipatnam. With the formation of the Church of South India (CSI) in 1947, the CMS got merged into the CSI. From 1950,[1] Ananda Rao pursued a graduate degree in divinity (BD) at the United Theological College, Bengaluru as a candidate of the Church of South India, Diocese of Krishna-Godavari.

Soon after returning from Bengaluru in 1953, he was ordained on 14 June 1953[1] and made a Presbyter in Machilipatnam during the Bishopric of Yeddy Muthyalu.[3]

Later in 1959[1] he was made Presbyter in Vijayawada during the Bishopric of A. B. Elliott.

In 1955, he was sent to the Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York where he earned an S.T.M.[1] in Pastoral Counselling.


During the academic years 1949–1950[1] and 1954–1955,[1] Ananda Rao lectured English Literature at the Andhra-Christian College, Guntur.

After Ananda Rao returned from the Union Theological Seminary in the city of New York in 1956, he began tutoring at the Andhra Union Theological Seminary, Dornakal.[1]

After his chaplaincy stint at Vellore, Ananda Rao taught Pastoral Counselling at his alma mater, the United Theological College, Bengaluru.[4]


Ananda Rao played a key role in priesthood for women.[4] As Bishop and Moderator of the Church of South India, he brought about the topic for discussion and debate at synodical platforms. In 1980,[4] the CSI passed a resolution granting ordination for theologically-trained women.

The formation of the Joint Council of the Church of South India, Church of North India and the Mar Thoma is attributed[4] to Ananda Rao. In Andhra Pradesh, Lutherans and Baptists could not join the Church of South India due to Lay leadership. However, Ananda Rao had been instrumental in trying to negotiate for their inclusion.[4]

Ananda Rao participated in the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held from 23 November – 10 December 1975 in Nairobi[5]

In 1993, he founded Pravaham in Vellore District.[6]

Subsequent to his laying down the office of Bishop, Ananda Rao was made Senior Chaplain[4] at the Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore. Later after his death in 1999, Sundar Clarke released a book on his writings on 18 January 2001 in Vellore District.[7]


After the retirement of A. B. Elliott as Bishop in Krishna-Godavari, N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel was elected unanimously as his successor in 1961 and consecrated in the Cathedral in Eluru on 12 December 1961.[8]

He was also elected as the Moderator of the Church of South India at a later stage, succeeding Isaac Richard Harrison Gnanadasan.[9]


India's first University,[10] the Senate of Serampore College (University) in West Bengal conferred upon Ananda Rao Samuel an honorary doctorate in 1989.[11]


After teaching Christian Ministry at the United Theological College, Bengaluru, Ananda Rao began living in Chennai and died on 30 May 1999 in KGF.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Union Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.) The Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York New York : Alumni Office, 1970.Electronic reproduction. New York, N.Y. : Columbia University Libraries, 2007. JPEG use copy available via the World Wide Web. Master copy stored locally on [6] DVDs#: ldpd_6122000_000 01,02,03,04,05,06. Columbia University Libraries Electronic Books. 2006. p.409. [1]
  2. ^ M. Abel, Dynamic Spirituality (A commemorative volume in honour of N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel), Pravaham, Kavanoor, 2001."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  3. ^ Mar Aprem, Indian Christian who is who,Bombay Parish Church of the East, Bombay, 1983. Entry no. 224, p.99. [2]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g CCA News, Volume 34, No. 3, September 1999, Hong Kong, China. p.20 Archived 5 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ David MacDonald Paton, Breaking Barriers, The Official Report of the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Nairobi, 23 November-10 December 1975, SPCK, 1976. p. 224. [3]
  6. ^ Pravaham
  7. ^ Weekly News, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Volume XXL, No. 29, 15 January 2001. p.2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  8. ^ Rajaiah David Paul, Ecumenism in Action: A Historical Survey of the Church of South India, CLS, Chennai, 1972. p.86. [4]
  9. ^ K. M. George, Church of South India: life in union, 1947–1997, Jointly published by Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalla, 1999. [5]
  10. ^ Sankar Ray, The William Carey Library in Serampore, Business Line, The Hindu, Friday 11 April 2008. Internet, accessed 17 October 2008. [6]
  11. ^ Senate of Serampore College (University), List of the Recipients of the degree of doctor of divinity (honoris causa). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 

Further reading[edit]

Educational offices
Religious titles
Preceded by
Isaac Richard Harrison Gnanadasan



Church of South India

Succeeded by
Solomon Doraiswamy
Preceded by
Lesslie Newbigin
Deputy Moderator

Church of South India

Succeeded by
Lesslie Newbigin
Preceded by
A. B. Elliott
Bishop in Krishna-Godavari

Church of South India

Succeeded by
T. B. D. Prakasa Rao