Luther Abraham

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Luther Abraham
Bishop in Medak
Church Church of South India
See Medak
In office 1968–1975[1]
Predecessor Eber Priestley
Successor B. G. Prasada Rao
Ordination 1940, Adoni[2]
Consecration 17 November 1966[3]
Personal details
Born (1908-02-08)8 February 1908[2]
Vikarabad, Andhra Pradesh
Died 1 January 1987(1987-01-01) (aged 78)[2]
Bellary, Karnataka
Previous post Assistant Bishop in Mysore

Henry Diwakar Luther Abraham (H. D. L. Abraham;[4] known as Luther)[5] was the second successor of Frank Whittaker as Bishop in Medak and an able administrator.[1]


  • Church and Evangelism[6]
  • The Teaching Ministry in My Diocese – Efforts and Deficiencies[7]

Appraisal by Scholars

K. M. George who authored Church of South India: Life in Union, 1947–1997:[1]

N. Sabhapathy, a former Presbyter in Bellary who wrote about the life of Abraham:[2]

History, studies and contribution

File:Utc bengaluru.jpg
The autonomous college in Bengaluru where Abraham pursued graduate studies. {Picture credit: Colette Cook}

Abraham was born on 8 February 1908[2] in Vikarabad, Andhra Pradesh to Evangelist J. Y. Abraham[8] and Smt. Paranjyothamma[2] and studied at Wardlam High School in Bellary from where he went to Anantapur and studied for a degree in Arts[9] (BA)[10] at the Ceded Districts (C.D.) College in Anantapur. He went to the United Theological College, Bengaluru between 1934 and 1937.[11]

In 1937,[2] he was posted to Hacholli as Assistant Pastor and in 1940, he was ordained by C. B. Firth in Adoni. Abraham also established new congregations in Challakudlur, Ravihal, Lingaladinne and Chickbellary.[2] He seemed to have a good influence among Village Elders and Christians in many villages. E. Herbert Lewis, then Missionary supervised Abraham in his work. In 1945, Abraham was transferred from Hacholli to Adoni to a Kannada-speaking congregation.[2]

Two years later, the Church of South India was formed on 27 September 1947. After serving three years in Adoni, Abraham was transferred to Bellary where he served till 1962.[2]

In 1953, he proposed to start a Jathara at Chickbellary during holy Easter week for three days under the mangroves of the River Tungabhadra.[2] It was in April 1954 that the Jathara was held. In 1956, Abraham was sent to the Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham to lecture on Pastoria and Church Ethics for overseas missionaries. He was then assigned a teaching and administrative roles at the Union Kanarese Seminary in Tumkur before being transferred back to Bellary.[2]

In 1962, Abraham was transferred to Cowlbazar[2] where he began serving until his consecration as Assistant Bishop in Mysore on 17 November 1966[12] at the St. Mark's Cathedral,[3] Bengaluru by N. C. Sargant, Bishop in Mysore. After a year, Abraham was transferred to Medak, thereby becoming the first Indian Bishop, to set right some long-pending problems and to provide stable leadership. Abraham retired in 1975 on reaching superannuation. When Abraham retired as Bishop in Medak, he settled down in Bellary.[13]

He also became the President of the College Council of Karnataka Theological College, Mangalore.[14]

The Synod of the Church of South India again sought Abraham to set right disturbances at the Diocese of Krishna-Godavari as N. D. Ananda Rao Samuel, Bishop – in – Krishna Godavari had left the diocese in 1978[2] and sought refuge in Chennai, the Synodical Headquarters of the Church of South India. Abraham was again brought to Diocese of Northern Karnataka to act as Moderator's Commisary until the consecration of V. P. Dandin in 1981.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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. p. 56.[1]
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 N. Sabhapathy, A Short Sketch on the Life of Right Reverend H. D. L. Abraham in Lily of Sharon, Volume 1, Issue 4, July 2007, Bellary. pp.7–9. Lily of Sharon, a Registered Magazine in Karnataka (KARNEGO 3427/10/1/2006-TC), Published by G. H. David Sundaram on behalf of Christian Friends Association, Guru Colony, First Cross, Cantonment, Bellary 583 104 and printed by K. Bheema Reddy at Brindavan Offset Printers, Kalamma Street, Bellary.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gerhardus Cornelis Oosthuizen, Theological battleground in Asia and Africa: the issues facing the churches and the efforts to overcome Western divisions, C. Hurst, 1972. p.102.[2]
  4. The Church of England Year Book, Volume 2006, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, Great Britain, 1975. p.235. [3]
  5. Medak Cathedral – Third Bishop
  6. H. D. L. Abraham, Church and Evangelism in Joseph Houldsworth Oldham (Edited), International Review of Mission, Volume 45, 1956. Also cited in The Congregational Quarterly, Volume 34, Congregational Union of England and Wales, 1956. p.287. [4]
  7. H.D.L.Abraham, The Teaching Ministry in My Diocese – Efforts and Deficiencies in South India Churchman, Chennai, September 1973. Cited in Bangalore Theological Forum, Volume 37, Bengaluru, 2005. p.53. [5]
  8. Peter Penner, Russians, North Americans and Telegus: the Mennonite Brethren mission in India, 1885–1975, Issue 10 Perspectives on Mennonite life and thought, Volume 10 of Russians North Americans & Telagus, Kindred Productions, 1997. p.79. [6]
  9. Norman Sargant, From missions to church in Karnataka, 1920–1950, Christian Literature Society, Chennai, 1987. [7]
  10. The National Christian Council review, Volume 93, National Christian Council of India, Nagpur, 1973. p.273.[8]
  11. The United Theological College, Directory 1910–1997, Bengaluru, 1997. p. 18. [9]
  12. Rajaiah David Paul, Ecumenism in action: a historical survey of the Church of South India, Christian Literature Society, Chennai, 1972. p.146.[10]
  13. Mar Aprem, Indian Christian who is who, Bombay Parish Church of the East, Mumbai, 1983. p. 50. [11]
  14. Karl Ignaz Trübner in Richard Kukula (Edited), Minerva, Volume 35, Part 2, W. de Gruyter, 1969. p.1554. [12]
Further reading
Religious titles
Preceded by
Eber Priestley
Bishop in Medak
Succeeded by
B. G. Prasada Rao