T. B. D. Prakasa Rao

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Bishop Emeritus
T. B. D. Prakasa Rao
Ayyagaru
Bishop Emeritus -in - CSI-Krishna-Godavari Diocese
Native name మహ గనుడు టి. బి. డి. ప్రకస రావు అయ్యాగారు
Church Protestant Church of South India (comprising Wesleyan Methodist, Congregational and Anglican missionary societies - SPG, WMMS, LMS, CMS, and the Church of England)
Diocese CSI-Krishna-Godavari Diocese
See CSI-St. Paul's Centenary Church, Vijayawada (since 2001, the Cathedra of the Bishop has been shifted to St. Andrew's Cathedral, Machilipatnam)
Elected 1981
In office 1981–2001
Predecessor N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel
Successor G. Dyvasirvadam
Orders
Consecration 18 November 1981[1]
by Moderator Solomon Doraiswamy (Principal Consecrator) and Deputy Moderator I. Jesudason (Co-consecrator)
Rank Bishop
Personal details
Birth name Thumaty Babu Deva Prakasa Rao[2][3]
Born Andhra Pradesh, India
Nationality Indian
Denomination Christianity
Residence Bandlaguda Jagir, Rajendranagar mandal, R. R. District, Telangana
Parents The Rev. T. Joseph[4]
Occupation Anglican priest
Previous post Auxiliary Secretary, Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary, Bible House, Secunderabad (relocated in Guntur in 2016)[5](1976-1981)
Education B.A., B.D., M.A., B.Ed.
Alma mater Andhra-Christian College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh,
Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu,
Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana, Government Training College, Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh

Bishop Emeritus T. B. D. Prakasa Rao[6][7] was the fourth[1] CSI-Bishop[8] - in - Krishna-Godavari of the Protestant Church of South India who occupied the Cathedra placed at CSI-St. Paul's Cathedral,[9] Vijayawada. The Bishopric of Prakasa Rao lasted for two decades from 1981 through 2001, one of the longest[10] in the history of the Church of South India Society. Prakasa Rao led the bishopric of Krishna-Godavari that was predominantly part of the Christian missions undertaken by the Church Missionary Society (CMS)[11] which merged its South India[12] Christian missions in India into the Church of South India Society which was inaugurated in 1947 at the CSI-St. George's Cathedral, Madras.

Prakasa Rao earlier led the Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary from 1976 through 1981 especially during the period when common language[13] translations into vernacular languages were being undertaken by the Bible Society of India throughout the country from the original sources comprising the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and the Novum Testamentum Graece under the direction of The Rev. C. Arangaden through its translation team comprising Old Testament Scholars well-versed in Biblical Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew and New Testament Scholars with expertise in Biblical Greek comprising M. P. John, John Philipose, G. Babu Rao,[14] Basil Rebera, and Nitoy Achumi. During Rao's stint with the Auxiliary, common language translation of the scriptures into modern Telugu language were already being undertaken by G. Babu Rao[15] together with his graduate companion[16] S. Israel.[15]

Studies[edit]

General studies[edit]

Andhra Pradesh[edit]

After schooling and collegiate studies, Prakasa Rao enrolled at the AELC-Andhra Christian College, Guntur during the Principalship of Rao Sahab T. S. Paulus where he studied for a degree in B.A. specializing in English literature which was later awarded by the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

Rao also studied for a graduate degree in education at the Government Training College, Rajahmundry where he was awarded a B.Ed. degree by the Andhra University after completion of his studies.

Telangana[edit]

During the academic year 1963-1964, Rao enrolled at the State-run Osmania University, Hyderabad for a postgraduate programme in M.A. specializing in Philosophy.

Spiritual studies[edit]

In 1959, after graduate studies leading to B.A., Prakasa Rao discerned his avocation towards priesthood and chose to become a Priest and enrolled as a ministerial candidate[1] of the Protestant Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society, under the incumbency of President G. Devasahayam, which then sent him to a seminary in Chennai for studies in spirituality. Prakasa Rao enrolled at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai affiliated to India's first[17] University, the Senate of Serampore College (University) {a University under Section 2 (f) of the University Grants Commission Act, 1956}[18]with degree-granting authority validated by a Danish Charter and ratified by the Government of West Bengal where he underwent ministerial formation in spirituality under notable faculty comprising The Rev. Sigfrid Estborn,[19] who was teaching Ecumenism, The Rev. P. David[20] teaching Religions, and The Rev. R. A. Martin[21] who was teaching Greek language and the New Testament. Prakasa Rao's companions at the seminary included G. D. Melanchton, AELC, M. Victor Paul, AELC, de:Johnson Gnanabaranam, TELC and others. After the three-year course in spirituality, Rao was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree by the Senate of Serampore College (University) in the ensuing convocation of 1963 led by its Registrar, C. Devasahayam, CBCNC.

Ecclesiastical ministry[edit]

Pastoral[edit]

Lutheran[edit]

After returning from Chennai, Rao began pastoring[1] parishes within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society. It was during this period that he privately tutored The Reverend Sister B. V. Subbamma, then Principal of the Charlotte Swenson Memorial Bible Training School in Rajahmundry who had enrolled at the Andhra Christian Theological College, then located in Rajahmundry for graduate studies in Bachelor of Divinity.

After a period of ecclesiastical ministry, Prakasa Rao expressed his views on Anglicanism to the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church Society led by President K. Devasahayam who willingly excardinated Rao from the Society enabling his incardination into the Church of South India by the Moderator N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel.

Anglican[edit]

Upon the incardination of Rao into the Church of South India,[1] he was assigned the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Krishna-Godavari Diocese where he began pastoring parishes falling under the purview of the Diocese from Visakhapatnam district through Guntur district.

Fully-ecumenical[edit]

The Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary is one of the Auxiliaries of the Bible Society of India headquartered in Bangalore and works for the cause of the Bible in an ecumenical environment with the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox and the Protestants. In 1976,[22][23] Prakasa Rao was appointed as the Auxiliary Secretary of the BSI Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary by the rural Pastor A. E. Inbanathan, then General Secretary of the Bible Society of India who had much understanding of the Church in India and more so with fellow clergy. Subsequently, the Krishna-Godavari Diocese of the Church of South India led by N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel loaned the services of Prakasa Rao to the Bible Society of India enabling Rao to take up the ecumenical work at the Auxiliary which was led by notable predecessors beginning with E. Prakasam, AELC, A. B. Masilamani, CBCNC and B. G. Prasada Rao, CSI. During his administrative stint with the Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary, Prakasa Rao resided in the Bible House,[24] a prominent landmark in Secunderabad.

After a six-year ecumenical ministry which began in 1976, Prakasa Rao was recalled in 1981 by the Church of South India to resume his ecclesiastical ministry. Rao was succeeded as Auxiliary Secretary by L. Prakasam of the Convention of Baptist Churches of Northern Circars.

Bishopric[edit]

Election and Appointment[edit]

The Krishna-Godavari Diocese of the Church of South India was formed in 1947, the very year of the formation of the Church of South India at the St. George's Cathedral, Chennai. The Diocese was led by pioneer Bishops Y. Muthyalu, A. B. Eliott and N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel.[1]

Prakasa Rao was incardinated[1] into the Church of South India during the Bishopric of N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel who occupied the Cathedra at Eluru from 1961 to 1978. Due to an ecclesiastical event that took place in 1978, the Krishna-Godavari Diocese came under the purview of the Church of South India Synod led by Deputy Moderator Solomon Doraiswamy who oversaw the administration of the Diocese through clergy consisting of H. D. L. Abraham followed by Victor Premasagar to perform the ecclesiastical responsibilities in the Diocese.

During the seventeenth Church of South India Synod held at Chennai in 1980, the Synod elected Solomon Doraiswamy and I. Jesudason as the Moderator and Deputy Moderator for the biennium 1980-1982.[1] It was during this period that the Church of South India Synod pursued the ecclesiastical matters in the Krishna-Godavari Diocese leading to the election of T. B. D. Prakasa Rao as the fourth CSI-Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari.

Rao was consecrated on 18 November 1981[1] at the CSI-St. Paul's Centenary Church, Vijayawada by Solomon Doraiswamy and I. Jesudason in the presence of other clergy consisting of Victor Premasagar, the General Secretary of the Church of South India. Rao led the Diocese from Vijayawada throughout his bishopric from 1981 through 2001.

The two-decades of bishopric[edit]

In matters of ecclesiastical administration, Prakasa Rao involved Sociologists[25] for the Clergy retreats as early as 1995[25] itself. It was Prakasa Rao who dedicated[26] the J. Sikile School in 1984 at Narsapur.

In 1992, Prakasa Rao[27] took part in the consecration of the Old Testament Scholar, S. John Theodore as the fourth Bishop - in - Karimnagar held at the CSI-Wesley Cathedral in Karimnagar in the presence of Moderator Bird Ryder Devapriam and Deputy Moderator Jason Dharmaraj, Bishop Victor Premasagar, Bishops Emeriti Bobbili Prabhudass,[27] Gone B. Devasahayam,[27] and Kalepalli E. Swamidass[27] and other clergy. In 2000, Prakasa Rao led the Diocese in its Mission Festival in Vijayawada in the presence of the Old Testament Scholar Victor Premasagar and the Systematic theologian G. Dyvasirvadam.[28]

After nearly two decades of Bishopric, Rao sought voluntary retirement[29] and vacated the Cathedra in 2001 leading to sede vacante following which the Church of South India Synod huddled and conducted elections resulting in the unanimous election and appointment of the Systematic theologian G. Dyvasirvadam as G. D. V. Prasad, a companion of Dyvasirvadam, refrained from contesting in order to facilitate G. Dyvasirvadam to be appointed as Bishop setting an unparalleled precedent.

Decennial Lambeth Conferences[edit]

As a Bishop of the Church of South India, part[30] of the Anglican Consultative Council, Rao was entitled to attend the decennial Lambeth Conferences presided by the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the bishopric of Rao from 1981 through 2001 as Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari Diocese, he had attended the twelfth and the thirteenth Lambeth Conferences in 1988 and 1998[31] presided by Robert Runcie and George Carey respectively.

Biennial Synods[edit]

During the Bishopric of Rao from 1981 through 2001, he had attended nearly ten biennial synods of the Church of South India Synod crisscrossing the geography of South India,

Governor[edit]

During the Bishopric of Prakasa Rao from 1981 to 2001, he was ex officio member of the Board of Governors representing the Krishna-Godavari Diocese at the near-ecumenical[32] Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad comprising the Church of South India (Anglicans, Congregationalists, Wesleyans), Baptists, Lutherans, and the Methodists. As Governor of the College, Prakasa Rao provided the required management skills enabling the administration of the Seminary making it a notable institution under the Senate of Serampore College (University). Incidentally, the Systematic theologian G. Dyvasirvadam, also hailing from the Krishna-Godavari Diocese was a member of the Faculty of the College coinciding with the Governorship of Rao.

During the academic year 1995-1996, Prakasa Rao was elected as Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the College during the Principalship of The Rev. R. Yesurathnam, CSI. After two decades of governorship at the College, Rao resigned from the Board of Governors in 2001 due to his retirement from the Church of South India on attaining superannuation.

Honours[edit]

In 2001,[33] the Centre for Religious Studies at the State-run Andhra University, Waltair felicitated Prakasa Rao in his capacity as Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i K. M. George, Church of South India: Life in Union, 1947-1997, Jointly published by Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, New Delhi and Christava Sahitya Samithi, Tiruvalla, 1999. pp. 46, 65-67, 97, 104-108. [1]
  2. ^ The Church of England Yearbook, Volume 115, Church Information Office and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1999, p.330. [2]
  3. ^ The Church of England Yearbook, Volume 117, Church Information Office and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2001, p.373. [3]
  4. ^ National Voters Services Portal. Name: T. B. D. Prakasa Rao, State: Telangana, District: Rangareddy, Constituency: Rajendranagar. [4]
  5. ^ The Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary has been relocated from Secunderabad to Guntur in February 2016. See BSI auxiliary office opened in Guntur in The Hindu, Guntur, February 3, 2016. [5]
  6. ^ The Church of England Yearbook, Volume 113, Church Information Office and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1997, p.315. [6]
  7. ^ The Church of England Yearbook, Volume 114, Church Information Office and Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1998, p.314. [7]
  8. ^ Mar Aprem, Indian Christian who is who, Bombay Parish Church of the East, Mumbai, 1983. pp. 43 and 69. [8]
  9. ^ The Cathedra of the Bishop which was placed at Eluru during the bishopric of N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel was shifted to Vijayawada. Later in 2001, on the election of G. Dyvasirvadam, the Cathedra was again shifted to Machilipatnam.
  10. ^ See Sabapathy Kulendran, P. Solomon, D. J. Ambalavanar and Norman C. Sargant who had comparatively longer tenures.
  11. ^ P. Swarnalatha, The World of the Weaver in Northern Coromandel, C.1750-c.1850, Orient Longman, Hyderabad, 2005, p.44.[9]
  12. ^ Susan Billington Harper, In the Shadow of the Mahatma: Bishop V. S. Azariah and the Travails of Christianity in British India, William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Michigan, 2000, p.180.[10]
  13. ^ Chrysostom Arangaden, Fiddler in the Zoo, iUniverse, Bloomington, 2011, p.93.[11]
  14. ^ H. S. Wilson, The Church on the move: a quest to affirm the biblical faith ; essays in honour of Peddi Victor Premasagar, Bishop in Medak and Moderator of the C.S.I., presented on the occasion of his Shastiabdapoorthi celebrations, Christian Literature Society, Madras, 1988, p.vi.[12]
  15. ^ a b G. Babu Rao, S. Israel (Translated), The Book of Ruth, The Man You Cannot Ignore, The Bible Society of India, Bangalore, 1976. [13][14]
  16. ^ K. M. Hiwale (Compiled), Directory of the United Theological College 1910–1997, Bangalore, 1997.
  17. ^ Sankar Ray, The Hindu (Business Line), 11 April 2008 Almost a century later, the charter was endorsed officially under the Bengal Govt Act IV of 1918. Internet, accessed 30 November 2008. [15]
  18. ^ The Senate of Serampore College (University) is a University within the meaning of Section 2 (f) of the UGC Act, 1956 under which a University means a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, a Provincial Act or a State Act, and includes any such institution as may, in consultation with the University concerned, be recoginsed by the Commission in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf under this Act. The UGC took the opinion that the Senate fell under the purview of Section 2 (f) of the said Act since The Serampore College Act, 1918 was passed by the Government of West Bengal.[16]
  19. ^ Paul H. von Tucher, Nationalism, Case and Crisis in Missions: German Missions in British India, 1939-1946, 1980, p.128.[17]
  20. ^ Indian Journal of Theology, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.116-122.[18]
  21. ^ R. A. Martin, The Date of the Cleansing of the Temple in John 2 : 13-22 in Indian Journal of Theology, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.52-56. [19]
  22. ^ Prema Sakshi, Volume 6, Issue 4, August 2008. pp.11-41. Prema Sakshi, a monthly registered (APTEL 07419/01/2002) magazine published by I. C. Ashok Kumar at Neena Publications, Door Number 1-5-4/1/A, First Floor, Behind Sai Raja Deluxe Cinema, Musheerabad, Hyderabad 500 048.
  23. ^ Annual Report of the American Bible Society, American Bible Society, 1975. pp.83, 90, and 107. [20]
  24. ^ Annual Report of the American Bible Society, Volume 165, American Bible Society, 1980, p.90. [21]
  25. ^ a b Religion and Society, Volume 49, Issue 1, Volume 50, Issue 1, 2004, p.56. [22]
  26. ^ J. Sikile School, Narsapur
  27. ^ a b c d National Council of Churches Review, Volume 113, National Christian Council of India, 1993, p.193. [23]
  28. ^ Anglican Communion News Service, Moving Towards Perfection, August 23, 2000.[24]
  29. ^ M. Edwin Rao (Compiled), Prophet Azariah and the Blessed Dornakal - A Centenary revisit 1912-2012, Diocese of Dornakal, Dornakal, 2012, p.135.
  30. ^ E. A. Livingstone (Edited), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013 (Third Edition), p.528.[25]
  31. ^ Oremus - Daily prayer, liturgy, hymns, prayer resources since 1993
  32. ^ Near-ecumenical comprises a few Protestant Church societies.
  33. ^ Andhra University, Department of Arts and Commerce

Further reading[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel, CSI
1961–1978
Member, Board of Governors

Andhra Christian Theological College,
Hyderabad
1981–2001

Succeeded by
G. Dyvasirvadam, CSI
2001–
Preceded by
K. Nathaniel, AELC
1993–1995
Chairperson, Board of Governors,

Andhra Christian Theological College,
Hyderabad
1995-1996

Succeeded by
K. Jesudas, SALC
1996-1997
Religious titles
Preceded by
N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel, CSI
1961–1978
Bishop - in - Krishna-Godavari Diocese,
(Church of South India)
Vijayawada

1981–2001
Succeeded by
G. Dyvasirvadam, CSI
2001–
Other offices
Preceded by
B. G. Prasada Rao, CSI
1969–1976
Auxiliary Secretary
Bible Society of India Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary,
Secunderabad

1976–1981
Succeeded by
L. Prakasam, CBCNC
1982–1998