South-Central India Union Section

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/.

South-Central India Union Section is part of the Southern Asia Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. South-Central India Union Section was organized in 2001 and reorganized in 2003. Its headquarters are in Karnataka, India. It covers the Indian states of Karnataka, and Goa, and the union territory of Daman and Diu; comprising the Bangalore Metro Conference; the Goa-West Karnataka, North Karnataka, and South Karnataka Sections; and the Kolar-Chinthamani, and Raichur-Bellary Regions.1

Statistics (June 30, 2019): Churches, 255; membership, 64,844; population, 76,208,488.2

Background

The city of Bangalore had A. T. Stroupe working there as a literature evangelist as early as 1893, and the Meyers family began evangelism among the English-speaking population in 1905.3 H. B. Meyers and Anna Orr came from Bangalore to attend the 1906 biennial session, December 28, 1906. The premier educational institution of Southern Asia moved to Bangalore in 1917. Yet the first churches in Bangalore and Kollegal were built only in 1935.4 However, Adventism grew rapidly, and the Southern Asia Division council organized the Kanarese Region December 31, 1936, with a membership of 211 in five churches. E. M. Meleen, superintendent/president of the South India Union, also served as superintendent of the Kanarese Mission. I. K. Moses was secretary-treasurer.5 For the next 11 years the president of the South India Union continued to act as president of the Kanarese Mission.6

After India achieved independence in 1947 and became a republic in 1950, it reorganized the states in 1956. At this time church administration renamed the Kanarese Mission as the Kannada Section. When the government changed the name of Mysore State to Karnataka in 1973, in 1976 the church renamed the section as the Karnataka Section.

In 1979, citing the expectation of thousands of new members joining the church and the distance from the Bangalore office, church leadership formed the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region from the districts of Bidar, Raichur, and Gulbarga and placed it directly under the union with the expectation that it would become a section within a few years.7 At the same time, administration established the Goa-Belgaum Region by combining Goa with the districts of Karnataka, including Belgaum, Bijapur and Dharwar.8 In 1986 the two regions joined to become a North Karnataka Region, and a study commission recommended to the division the reorganization of the region into a section with the same name.9 When it did not het approved, in 1988 the leadership again advanced the recommendation.10 After the division rejected it a second time, the following year the region was reabsorbed into the Karnataka Section.11 Nevertheless, since there was yet so much unentered territory in the northern part of the state of Karnataka, church officers deemed it important to separate the state of Goa and administer it directly from the union.12 In 1993 the North Karnataka Region came into existence, and in 1996, the Goa-West Karnataka Region organized.

Organization

In November 2000 the General Conference authorized an action to allow alternative structures where the situation was not conducive for the normal organizational framework. The Central India Union then divided and the South India Union became three new units. Both unions had experienced considerable growth and such restructuring seemed appropriate. Leadership also concluded that unions consisting of just one language would function better.13 At that time administration carved the Goa-Karnataka Field out of the South India Union and attached it directly to the division with a view of it developing into a full-fledged union in the near future. However, the division administration had not sought the counsel and consent of the General Conference prior to altering the union boundaries or for creating new ones. Thus, church leaders amended the two actions of November 2000 to request permission from the General Conference to reorganize the two unions and subdivide them into “attached fields” as a temporary special relationship while awaiting the consent of the General Conference.14

Two days later, on November 16, 2000, administration elected the presidents of the fields and voted them members of the division executive committee.15 When the General Conference finally recognized the reorganization, the division took a formal action at the 2003 year-end meetings to change the names to “unions.”16 Thus was born the East Central India Union consisting of the states of Goa and Karnataka.

Headquarters

The headquarters of the South India Union at 7 Cunningham Rd, served as the headquarters of the Kanarese Mission 1937-1948. In 1949 it shifted to Mohulla 3071, Yadavagiri Ext Rd in Mysore. In 1952 it moved back to Bangalore, 9 Cunningham Rd and the next year to Krishnarajapuram.

Later Devlopment

When the two states of Goa and Karnataka separated into an attached field, the South Karnataka Section succeeded the Karnataka Section. Church administration then revived the Goa-West Karnataka and North Karnataka regions and the new units formed were the Bangalore Metro and Chintamani-Kolar regions.

Two years later when the church reorganized the same territory as the South Central India Union, the regions of Bangalore Metro, Goa West Karnataka, and North Karnataka became sections. In 2005 leadership established the Raichur-Bellary Region and in 2008 Bangalore Metro became a conference.

Institutions

Bangalore (HAL) Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School.
HAL Road, Rustam Bagh; Bangalore 560 017,

Bangalore Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School.
No. 98, Spencer Road; Frazer Town; Bangalore 560 005.

Jalahalli Seventh-day Adventist High School
Kamagondanahalli, Jalahalli West; Bangalore 560 015.

Sunshine Children’s Home.
Kalkeri Village, Horamavu Post; Bangalore 560 043.

Executive Officers

Presidents: D Padmaraj (2001-2010); Cyril Monthero (2010-2015); Suresh Daniel (2015- ).

Secretaries/secretary-treasurers: Surendra Kumar (2001-2002); Edwin Stanley (2002-2005); D Jayadev (2005-2010); Stanley Daniel (2010-2015); R. Cheluvaraju (2015- ).

Treasurers: Edwin Stanley (2006-2010); Samuel Thason (2010-2015); D. Chandrasekar (2015- ).

Sources

“Belgaum District–Amalgamation with Goa Territory.” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, December 10-12, 1979.

Boykin, C. A. “South India Union.” Eastern Tidings, August 15, 1935.

“Goa as a Union Territory.” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, December 4, 1989.

Halemane, Peter. “Adventism in Karnataka: 1928-1998.” Unpublished paper in the SUD Heritage Center, Krishnagiri Dist., Tamil Nadu, India.

Meleen, E. M. “Bangalore English Church Building.” Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1935.

Meyers, E. “Bangalore.” Eastern Tidings, September 1905.

Minutes of the Southern Asia Division Executive Committee. Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri Dist., Tamil Nadu, India.

Minutes of the South India Union Committee. Southern Asia Division Archives, Krishnagiri Dist., Tamil Nadu, India.

“Southern Asia Division.” Eastern Tidings, January 15, 1937.

“Sub-committee–North Karnataka Region Evaluation.” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, 1988

Notes

  1. “South-Central India Union Section,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, accessed April 16, 2020, https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=20212&highlight=South|Central|India|Union.

  2. Ibid.

  3. E. Meyers, “Bangalore,” Eastern Tidings, September 1905.

  4. E. M. Meleen, “Bangalore English Church Building,” Eastern Tidings, February 15, 1935, 1; C. A. Boykin, “South India Union,” Eastern Tidings, August 15, 1935, 5, 6.

  5. “Southern Asia Division,” Eastern Tidings, January 15, 1937, 9-11.

  6. Peter Halemane, “Adventism in Karnataka:1928-1998,” unpublished paper in the SUD Heritage Center, 15.

  7. “Organizing Hyderabad-Karnataka Area as a Union Territory,” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, December 10-12, 1979, #79-345, 77.

  8. “Belgaum District–Amalgamation with Goa Territory,” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, December 10-12, 1979, #79-352, 79.

  9. “Oct 21 Constitution of North Karnataka Section,” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, October 21, 1986, # 86-485, 220.

  10. “Sub-committee –North Karnataka Region Evaluation,” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, 1988, # 88-127, 31.

  11. “Amalgamation of North Karnataka Region,” Minutes of the South India Committee, August 10, 1989, # 89-272, 85.

  12. “Goa as a Union Territory,” Minutes of the South India Union Committee, December 4, 1989.

  13. Minutes of the Southern Asia Division Executive Committee, November 14, 2000, # 2000-137 and 2000-138, 78, 79.

  14. See the acknowledgement in the Minutes of the Southern Asia Division Executive Committee, November 23, 2001, preamble to #2001-243 and #2001-244, 126, 127.

  15. Minutes of the Division Executive Committee, November 16, 2000, #2000-139/25, 104.

  16. Minutes of the Division Executive Committee, November 11-13, 2003, # 2003-148, 93.

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Christo, Gordon E. "South-Central India Union Section." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=HIAC.

Christo, Gordon E. "South-Central India Union Section." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access January 19, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=HIAC.

Christo, Gordon E. (2021, April 28). South-Central India Union Section. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 19, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=HIAC.