Rev John Craig's
hold cursor over picture
Rev John Craig
'When John Craig was six years old, Dr Samuel S Day, founder of the American Baptist Telugu Mission, was a visitor at the Craig home [in Port Hope] and took pains to cure John of a lisp, thus preparing another tongue to preach the everlasting gospel to the Telugus. Nine years later John was converted and baptized just as Mr and Mrs Timpany were leaving for India in October, 1867. The call to the foreign field came to him suddenly while a student in Rochester University in the spring of 1874, when a voice spoke distinctly to his heart saying, 'You must go to India or Burma.' That was when Mr and Mrs McLaurin were on their way from Ongole to Cocanada to begin our independent work. Three years later Mr Craig was set apart to the work at a service in Jarvis St Church, in which Mr Timpany participated. During the thirty-one years that have since elapsed his connection with our Mission has been unbroken. No other has served it so long as he, nor probably has any other so thorough a knowledge of its history. Not the least service he has rendered is the production of this volume to which he devoted his recent furlough. It tells of God's providential leadings, the Mission's romantic beginnings, its trials and its triumphs, the patient toil and noble heroism of the workers. The country and the people are described, the story of each missionary and each field is sketched, and the various means, methods and departments of work indicated. The chapter on the remarkable Revival of 1906 may well challenge the attention of all Christian people. The work is a reliable thesaurus of the most important and interesting facts covering the home organization as well as the work abroad. The Foreign Mission Board has shown its sense of the book's value by becoming responsible for the expense of publication. It can be made to render invaluable service if placed in Sunday School libraries, and if Young People's Societies and the Women's Circles will lay its treasures under tribute for the enrichment of their meetings. May we not hope that a great number of the friends of Foreign Missions will actively interest themselves in increasing its circulation and thus multiplying its usefulness. May this 'labour of love' prove a source of increasing satisfaction to the heart of our veteran missionary and may the reading of these pages strengthen faith, quicken missionary zeal, win recruits and appreciably contribute toward the accomplishment of the world's evangelization within our day.'
Martha M Perry
'Mrs Martha Perry Craig was the first member of our Mission to be called away. She was born at Port Hope, Ontario, Canada on February 13th, 1853. She was converted and baptized there when she was fourteen years of age. Two years later she removed with her parents to Rochester, NY. Mr Craig's attendance at the Theological Seminary led to a renewal of the friendship of their early years. They were married on September 20th, 1877, and sailed from New York on October 24th. They reached India just at the close of the year, and arrived at Cocanada on January 4th, 1878.
Mrs Craig found some congenial work in the Sunday School of the English Baptist church, where she taught a class during most of her stay in Cocanada. In a history of the church read at the opening of the new building in January, 1906, it is said that she was dearly loved for her sweet and gentle ways.
The coming of her firstborn in the first year of her life in India, and some months of ill health that followed interfered sadly with the study of Telugu, but she persevered and began to get a good hold of the language. The baby girl was a great comfort to the mother, who often longed for her own mother, but in July, 1879, the year old girl was suddenly taken away.
In November, 1880, Cocanada was left with its pleasant companionships and a new home set up at lonely Akidu. After a few weeks there Cocanada was revisited, and on February 13th, 1881, another baby girl came. Some weeks of illness were followed by a partial recovery, and it seemed best that Mrs Craig should accompany her husband to Akidu before the canals closed.
The journey proved too much for her and she passed away on April 2nd. Mr and Mrs Bowden, whose kindness to Mr and Mrs McLaurin is mentioned in Chapter III, were present at the end. They had travelled from Narsapur by bullock-coach in response to Mr Craig's call. The funeral took place at Narsapur on the 4th. Some years later the cemetery was encroached on by the Godavari River, and it was deemed wise to transfer the remains to Cocanada. This was done in July, 1889.'
'William Carey was born on Aug 17, 1761, in a village in Northamptonshire, where he spent his childhood in poverty. He first was a shoemaker's apprentice. Although without formal education, Carey was an avid reader and a precocious linguist. He became a Baptist preacher and worked as a schoolmaster and was already on his way to becoming the leader who, in spite of the general reluctance of the Protestant churches of his day, devised new ways to obey the great commission 'to go and evangelize the nations.'
In one of the most surprising publications of missionary history, Carey expounded some practical guidelines 'to use means for the conversions of the Heathens.' In a sermon to his colleagues (1791) he first used the words which would become the creed of modern missions: 'Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.' In 1792 the first modern-style missionary society was founded: The Baptist Missionary Society. It was a model for the hundreds of societies to follow in the 19th century.
In 1793 Carey arrived in India, where he was confronted with the antimissionary attitude of the British colonial government. He settled in the Danish colony of Serampore, near Calcutta, where he inspired the teamwork of the 'Serampore Trio' (Carey, William Ward, and Joshua Marshman). This 'commune' attempted to translate the universality of the Christian faith into terms of practical involvement in all aspects of Indian life.
The basic principle of communal life was that every member should be, as far as possible, self-supporting. Carey paid for his missionary work (among other things) by acting as a director of an indigo factory and as a professor of languages in a secular institution. The objective of the community was to disseminate the gospel in all possible ways: by preaching, by teaching (in schools), and by literature (translating the Bible into more than 30 languages). Carey's translation service was noteworthy. He also made available some of the Indian classics and was instrumental in the renaissance of Hindu culture in the 19th century.
Carey believed that Indians could be authentically evangelized only by their own countrymen. He set out, therefore, to prepare converts for this task and broadened the scope of education in the mission schools. Serampore College was conceived not as a seminary but as a liberal arts college for Christians and non-Christians.
Carey died in Serampore on June 9, 1834, an internationally honoured figure.'
Rev Samuel S Day
from A History of American Baptist Missions in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America
by William Gammell 1850
It was on the 20th of September 1835 that Rev Samuel S Day and his wife and Rev E L Abbott received their public instructions as missionaries to these people and two days afterwards they sailed from Boston in the ship 'Louvre' bound to Calcutta in company with Rev Mr Malcom and a large number of missionaries designated to the East, among whom was also Rev Mr Sutton of Orissa. On their arrival at Calcutta in February 1836 it was deemed best that Mr Abbott should become connected with the mission among the Karens which was then suffering for the want of additional labourers. He accordingly proceeded to the Burman empire while Mr and Mrs Day immediately repaired to Vizagapatam where they commenced the study of the language under the instruction of a learned Brahmin and, with the aids of an English and Teloogoo dictionary, a grammar, a translation of the New Testament and other books which had been prepared by the missionaries who preceded them. Mr Day found here two missionaries of the London Society, Rev Messrs Porter and Gordon, the latter of whom was stationed at Cuddapah.
These were the only stations of this Society among the Teloogoos, and as the missionaries assured Mr Day that no others were likely to be established, he deemed it specially important to select a site for his own mission in some unoccupied portion of the Teloogoo country. In August 1836 he went with his family to Cicacole where he commenced his labours as a missionary. He here established a school which was at first attended by thirty or forty scholars who it was soon evident came to be instructed with the hope of receiving some trifling reward, for when they found that the sum which they expected was not paid, they were seen no more at the school.
In a little time however as the aims of the missionary became better understood the school was filled with thirty six boys who attended regularly and were pledged to remain in it at least six months. In December another school was begun, composed of boys of the lowest condition in life who had awakened the compassion of the missionary on account of their extreme ignorance and stupidity. While at Cicacole Mr Day was solicited to go and reside at Arnee where was then quartered the regiment containing soldiers who had been baptized at Maulmain, but he had arranged with Mr Malcom to delay fixing upon a place of permanent settlement until they should have an opportunity to consult together upon the subject. In January 1837 in company with Rev Mr Gordon of Vizagapatam, he went on an excursion one hundred and twenty miles into the interior as far as Eurhampore, in the course of which he visited forty towns and villages and enlarged his acquaintance with the character and superstitions of the people. Many of these places were thought to present inviting fields for missionary labour, though in several of them a missionary, or even a Christian, had never been seen before.
click this image to read the book or view its photographs