Gnanaraj William Kore

Photo courtesy of the Southern Asia Division Archives.

Kore, Gnanaraj William (1947–2013)

By Gordon E. Christo

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Gordon E. Christo, Ph.D. in Old Testament and Adventist Studies (Andrews University). Christo is retired and working on contract as assistant editor of the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists and assistant editor of the Seventh-day Adventist International Biblical-Theological Dictionary. He is currently setting up a heritage center for Southern Asia Division. Some of his research on Adventist history can be seen at https://sudheritage.blogspot.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/SUDHeritage/.

First Published: November 2, 2020

Gnanaraj Kore served as a pastor-evangelist and church administrator at the Section and Union Level, and in the Sabbath School Department of the Southern Asia Division.

Early Life and Education

Gnanaraj Kore was born into the family of William and Chellamal Kore, in Martandam, on May 4, 1947. He and his siblings Arputhraj, Leela, and Selin spent their early childhood in Prakasapuram, the oldest Adventist community in South India. They had their formal schooling in Kariyanandal, Sawyerpuram, Prakasapuram, and Kudikadu.1 Gnanaraj passed the division high school exam in Kudikadu, and completed his coursework for a bachelor’s degree in religion from Spicer College in the summer of 1968. He was part of the graduating class of 1969.2 In January 1979 he was sponsored to Andrews University, and graduated with a master’s degree in religion in 1980.3

Marriage and Family

On May 7, 1969, Gnanaraj married Hepzibah Abraham, the daughter of Pastor S. Abraham and his wife Rosamma of Moolachal, Nagercoil. They were married at Sawyerpuram, where Hepzibah’s father served as pastor. They had a daughter, Pearlin Rose Selvam, born in January 1972, and a son, Rajkumar, born in December 1973.4 Hepzibah taught in Adventist schools before being appointed headmistress in 1985, first in Madurai and then in Trichy, before being appointed to the children’s ministries, women’s ministries, and church ministries departments in the South India Union. In June 1998 she was appointed Division Director of Women’s Ministries and Coordinator of Shepherdess International. For about a decade she involved scores of pastors’ wives in adult literacy classes for women all over India, until her retirement in 2012.

Ministry

Kore began his ministry as a pastor-evangelist in Trichy, in the Tamil Section, in 1968. He continued in ministry under the Tamil Section till it was bifurcated in 1974. He then came under the South Tamil Section administration. Upon his return from Andrews University in 1980 he was appointed director for the Lay Activities and Sabbath School Department of the South Tamil Section. Gnanaraj was ordained September 12, 1981, and appointed Secretary of the South Tamil Section in 1983.5

In 1986 Pastor Kore was elected president of the North Tamil Section. One of the first things he did as president was to organize a school of evangelism to train other pastors.6 Kore served as section president until 1992, when he was brought to the Southern Asia Division office as associate director of the enlarged Church Ministries Department, assisting Chris Nathaniel.7

In November 1993 Pastor Kore was elected president of the South India Union,8 a position he held for five years. When D. R. Watts became president of the Southern Asia Division he brought Kore back to the division headquarters as director of the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department.9 Pastor Kore served in this department till he retired. However, from 2010 he served as an Advisor to Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director Hidayat Masih.10 The following year Kore was appointed Field Secretary of the Division in addition to his role as Advisor in the SSPM department.11 He retired in 2012.

Pastor Kore died just a year after his retirement after some months of treatment at Christian Medical College, Vellore.

Legacy

Gnanaraj Kore demonstrated a passion for ministry and preaching. He was instrumental in establishing a number of churches and led many to God. He served the church willingly wherever he was called. He left his indelible mark on the Sabbath School department of the Division where he served for fifteen years.

Sources

Andrews University Cardinal, 1980.

“Appointments/Elections.” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee #93-443, Oct 17-21, 1993.

“Governor of Maharashtra Gives Commencement Address.” Southern Asia Tidings, May 1, 1969.

Kore, Gnanaraj Worker’s Service Record, Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India.

Mattison, W. H. “Facts about South India in 1986.” Southern Asia Tidings, January 1, 1987.

“Nominating Committee Partial Report – 1.” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 2010 – 83/64, Nov 16-18, 2010. Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India.

“Nominating Committee Report.” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 97-602, 208. Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India.

“Nominations Committee Partial Report – 6.” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 2011 – 46, May 16-18, 2011. Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, India.

Notes

  1. Arputhraj Kore and Selin, written document forwarded to the author through Johnson Koilpillai, 1.

  2. “Governor of Maharashtra Gives Commencement Address,” Southern Asia Tidings, May 1, 1969, 11.

  3. See Andrews University Cardinal, 1980, 74; and Gnanaraj Kore, Worker’s Service Record, Southern Asia Division Archives. A copy of the degree certificate is on file.

  4. Gnanaraj Kore, Worker’s Service Record.

  5. Ibid.

  6. W. H. Mattison, “Facts about South India in 1986,” Southern Asia Tidings, Jan 1, 1987, 6.

  7. Gnanaraj Kore, Worker’s Service Record.

  8. “Appointments/Elections,” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee #93-443, Oct 17-21, 1993, 162.

  9. “Nominating Committee Report,” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 97-602, 208.

  10. “Nominations Committee Partial Report – 6,” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 2010 – 83/64, Nov 16-18, 2010.

  11. “Nominating Committee Partial Report – 1,” Southern Asia Division Executive Committee Minutes # 2011 – 46, May 16-18, 2011.

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Christo, Gordon E. "Kore, Gnanaraj William (1947–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 02, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7AOG.

Christo, Gordon E. "Kore, Gnanaraj William (1947–2013)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 02, 2020. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7AOG.

Christo, Gordon E. (2020, November 02). Kore, Gnanaraj William (1947–2013). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7AOG.