Moses, Kalapala John (1935–2021)

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: January 15, 2022

Kalapala John Moses served as a pastor, evangelist, college professor and adminstrator, and executive officer in the Southern Asia Division.

Early Life and Family

Moses was born to Kalapala John and Sampurnamma of Atkur, Andhra Pradesh, India, on October 21, 1935,1 barely a year before the Adventist church was organized in the town. His father passed away a few months after his birth, and his mother, a godly Adventist woman, exerted a powerful Christian influence on him.2 She enrolled him in the Adventist school in Narsapur where he was baptized at the age of eleven.

K. J. Moses was united in marriage to Kempurathnam Thutharapudi of Rajahmundry on April 27, 1959. They had two daughters—Premila Kumari, born on October 21, 1960, and Sunila Kumari, born on April 8, 1964—and two sons—Wiliam Kumar, born on June 6, 1962, and Vijay Kumar (Sunny), born on October 5, 1966.3 The older three were born while the Moses family was working in the North Andhra Section. Vijay Kumar was born in Rajahmundry. Moses’s wife Kempu passed away on October 28, 2002.

Education

Moses attended the Adventist elementary school in Narsapur and Lowry Memorial High School,4 passing the division school leaving certificate exam in March 1953.5 He proceeded to Spicer College where he completed a BRE degree with concentrations in religion and business. During his college days, Moses made the honor roll6 and served as the business manager of the Spicerian, the student paper.7 His classmates elected him treasurer of the graduating class of 1957, and on their behalf, Moses presented the college with an electric siren, declaring that this was to assist future students in learning promptness.8 The siren has been prompting the college family and the community regularly at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm for more than fifty years.

In 1965, Moses took a study leave during which he completed an MBA at Andrews University in 1967. He focused on human resource management and organizational behavior. Although it was not a sponsored study leave, he received two years of service for this period.9

Upon his return to India, Moses accepted a call to teach business administration and applied theology at Spicer Memorial College, and soon enrolled for doctoral studies at the University of Poona across the road. He received his PhD in business administration in September 1973. His research studied the supervisory development practices of industrial training programs in India.10 Dr Moses was the first Adventist in the Southern Asia Division to obtain a doctoral degree in the field of business.

Career

Upon graduation from college in 1957, Moses began his service to the Church as a pastor and evangelist in the North Andhra Section ministering variously in Eluru, Narsapur, Nandigamma, and Khammam.11 In 1962, he taught at his former school in Narsapur but turned again to pastoral work in 1963. From 1957 to 1965, Moses was involved in twelve evangelistic series and witnessed the baptism of eighty persons.12

Upon his return from Andrews University in 1967, Moses joined the faculty of business administration at Spicer Memorial College. He chaired the department from 1972 until his departure in 1985. Moses held the office of advisor for foreign students during the 1973-1974 academic year. Following that he served as assistant to the president of the college from 1975 until 1981. When the college first offered graduate studies in 1982, Moses was appointed the first dean of the School of Business Studies, overseeing the first MBA program, a post he occupied until he left Spicer. In 1982, while dean of the School of Business, Moses also served as executive vice president of the college.

Moses distinguished himself in the field of Business education. He was visiting professor at Symbiosis Institute, B J Commerce College, and the Institute of Management Development & Research in Pune, and other business colleges in Kolhapur and Lonavala in Maharashtra, and Anand in Gujarat. He was also approved as a PhD research guide for business in Shivaji University, Kolhapur and helped several students earn their doctoral degrees.13 While engaged in academics he did not neglect his ministry, but initiated and led out in the establishment of the Telugu church on the campus of Spicer College.

At the division council in 1985, many expected that Moses would succeed Dr. M. E. Cherian as the next Spicer Memorial College president. Cherian had already served as college president for more than twenty years. However, amid considerable tension, Cherian was re-elected president of Spicer College and Moses was elected president of the Central India Union, a territory that included the state of Maharashtra where the college was located and the state of Andhra Pradesh where Moses had begun his ministry. On the final Sabbath of the council, K. J. Moses was ordained to the gospel ministry.14

Moses served as president of the Central India Union with headquarters in Bombay from 1985 to 1990. During this quinquennium, the number of churches in the union increased from 181 to 215 and the membership grew from 46, 220 to 63,171.15

When Cherian was elected president of the division in 1990, he called Moses from the union to the division office to lead the new department of Global Mission. Moses established the pattern of planning seminars, training sessions for the pioneers, and organizing retreats during which progress reports were received from the volunteer pioneers.16

Following the retirement of Cherian in 1997 for medical reasons, D. R. Watts, the new division president, recommended in 1998 that Moses replace the retiring J. M. Campbell as division secretary. With his academic background and business training, coupled with his years of experience in pastoral ministry, Moses improved the level of professionalism in the secretariat. He was re-elected division secretary at the General Conference Session in Toronto, Canada in 2000 and continued in that office until his retirement in 2005.

In his later years, Moses established and directed the Sampurna Institute of Medical Technology in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. Moses passed away in Nuzvid on February 7, 2021.

Legacy

Dr. K. J. Moses was highly regarded by hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students at Spicer College, and other institutions where he served as visiting professor, for his deep knowledge and dedication to business education. He provided a strong foundation for the Global Mission program of the division and finally served as secretary of the Southern Asia Division for seven years.

Sources

Abraham, Dittu. “K. J. Moses Elected Division Secretary.” Southern Asia Tidings, June 1998.

“Editorial Staff,” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College). October 28, 1956.

“Honour Roll,” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College), September 28, 1956.

Isaiah, Ashley G. “1985 Division Council—Saturday, October 25.” Southern Asia Tidings, December 1985.

Jeremiah, M. S. “Life Sketch,” read at K. J. Moses’s funeral, February 8, 2021, Nuzvid Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Moses, K. J. “SMC Listener.” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1973.

Moses, K. J. “The Miracle of Southern Asia Division.” Southern Asia Tidings, April 1992.

Moses, Kalapala John, Worker’s Service Record, Southern Asia Division Archives, Hosur, India.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1986 and 1991.

Wilmott, John. “Class of ’57 Commencement Exercises.” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College), March 28, 1957.

Notes

  1. Kalapala John Moses, Worker’s Service Record, Southern Asia Division Archives, Hosur, India.

  2. Ashley G. Isaiah, “1985 Division Council—Saturday, October 25,” Southern Asia Tidings, December 1985, 18.

  3. These dates are from the Worker’s Service Record of K. J. Moses, but may be wrong. The youngest son may have been born a year earlier.

  4. Dittu Abraham, “K. J. Moses Elected Division Secretary,” Southern Asia Tidings, June 1998, 4.

  5. Kalapala John Moses, Worker’s Service Record.

  6. “Honour Roll,” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College), September 28, 1956.

  7. “Editorial Staff,” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College), October 28, 1956.

  8. John Wilmott, “Class of ’57 Commencement Exercises,” The Spicerian (Spicer Memorial College), March 28, 1957.

  9. Kalapala John Moses, Worker’s Service Record.

  10. K. J. Moses, “SMC Listener,” Southern Asia Tidings, October 1973, 20.

  11. M. S. Jeremiah, “Life Sketch,” read K. J. Moses’s funeral February 8, 2021, Nuzvid Seventh-day Adventist Church.

  12. Ashley G. Isaiah, “1985 Division Council—Saturday, October 25,” Southern Asia Tidings, December 1985, 18.

  13. M. S. Jeremiah, “Life Sketch,” read K. J. Moses’s funeral, February 8, 2021, Nuzvid Seventh-day Adventist Church.

  14. Ashley G. Isaiah, “1985 Division Council-Saturday, October 25,” Southern Asia Tidings, December 1985, 18.

  15. “Central India Union,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association,1986); “Central India Union,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1991).

  16. K. J. Moses, “The Miracle of Southern Asia Division,” Southern Asia Tidings, April 1992, 3-7.

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Christo, Gordon E. "Moses, Kalapala John (1935–2021)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 15, 2022. Accessed December 06, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJ9W.

Christo, Gordon E. "Moses, Kalapala John (1935–2021)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 15, 2022. Date of access December 06, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJ9W.

Christo, Gordon E. (2022, January 15). Moses, Kalapala John (1935–2021). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved December 06, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJ9W.