Biographical Index of Missionaries India
Biographies are developed by PHC volunteers and staff from original research and from various published sources. This list is constantly being updated. Corrections and additional materials, such as photos or drawings will be made from time to time. There also is a missionary biographical listing being prepared for this web site. Eventually, there will be a master alphabetic combined index of ministers and missionaries to aid in searches. Thanks for your patience. Please email additional information or pictures to the PHC.
Sources for information regarding mission personnel is given in italics. Major sources are the following:
- Arnold, Frank L., Long Road to Obsolescence: A North American Mission to Brazil. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2008)
- Brown, Arthur Judson, One Hundred Years. (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1936)
- Brown, George Thompson, Earthern Vessels & Transcendent Power: American Presbyterians in China, 1837-1952. (Maryknoll, NY.: Orbis Books, 1997)
- Cogswell, James A., No Turning Back: A History of American Presbyterian Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa, 1833-2000. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2007)
- Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Vol. V- VI. (New York, London: Harper & Brothers, 1944)
- Moffett, Samuel Hugh, A History of Christianity in Asia, Vol. II: 1500-1900. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003)
- Nevin, Alfred, Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. 1884.
- Presbyterian Church U.S.A. General Assembly Minutes, 1789-1861, various volumes.
- Scott, Rev. E.C., Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., 1861-1941.
- Sweet, William Warren, The Story of Religion in America (New York & London, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1939)
- Thompson, Ernest Trice, Presbyterians in the South, Volume One, 1607-1861. (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1963)
Some of the Early Presbyterian Missionaries to the India
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the first Presbyterian missionary to India in 1831 to work in Bombay. In 1834, American Presbyterian Mission work began in the Punjab, an independent kingdom, home of the Sikhs. The first station was at Lodiana, on southeast boundary of kingdom. Missionaries worked in the Gurmuchi language of the Sikhs. In 1842, Synod of Northern India was formed, with three presbyteries Lodiana, Furrukhabad and Allahabad. The Sikh-British War in 1849 led to annexation of Punjab to the Anglo-Indian empire, opening the country to greater missionary work. In 1857, the Sepoy Rebellion against the East India Company resulted in missionary deaths. The East India Company was dissolved in 1858 and the British took direct control of India. Following are some of the early Presbyterian missionaries sent (this page still being worked on):
BOGGS, Rev. & Mrs. George Washington (Isabella Adger)
(July 20, 1796 - August 14, 1871)
BOMBAY. George Washington Boggs was born in York Co. South Carolina, on July 20, 1796. He graduated from Amherst College, 1827; then went to Princeton Seminary, 1828-31. He was appointed by ABCFM to its mission in Bombay in 1831. Served in Ahmednuggur, India 1832-38. Served pastorates in South Carolina, 1841-71. Reverend Boggs died Aug. 14, 1871. Thompson, 296f. Scott, 63.
LOWRIE, Rev. John Cameron & Mrs. (Louisa A. Wilson)
(December 16, 1808 - June 7, 1900) & (November 2, 1809 - November 21, 1833)
LODIANA. Son of Hon. Walter Lowrie, the first secretary of the Board of Foreign Mission, Rev. John C. Lowrie (shown right and an engraving of his wife Louisa) was appointed in 1832 by Western Foreign Missionary Society to open a mission in India. With Mr. & Mrs. William Reed, sailed from Philadelphia May 30, 1833, arriving in Calcutta Oct. 15. Mrs. Lowrie died Nov. 21. He resolutely went on with his work, determined to found a mission station in some unoccupied area, finally reaching Lodiana Nov. 5, 1834. Established first church May 12, 1837, and first missionary school in North India. Broken by poor health and his bereavement, he returned to U.S. in 1836. In 1838, entered Board’s office as his father’s assistant; in 1850 appointed as co-ordinate Secretary, where he served until 1891. Died in East Orange, N.J., June 7, 1900. A.J. Brown, 28, 52, 561f., 605f.
REED, Rev. William & Mrs. (Harriet J. Wells)
(1802 - August 12, 1834)
LODIANA. Born in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, in 1802, William Reed graduated from Jefferson College in 1829 and from Allegheny Theological seminary in 1832 or 1833. He was ordained on May 1, 1833. Setting sail for India on May 30, 1833, The Rev. and Mrs. William Reed accompanied the Lowries to India. However, because of his declining health, it was resolved that they should return to U.S. Embarking on July 23, 1834, he died en route on August 12, 1834, and was buried at sea. A.J. Brown, 562.
WILSON, Rev. & Mrs. James
(November 24, 1802 - )
SABATHU, ALLAHABAD. James Wilson was born on Nov. 24, 1802, in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Jefferson College in 1830 and from Allegheny Theological Seminiary in 1833. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Hudson on Oct. 20, 1834. Appointed by ABCFM, Reverend Wilson sailed for India in November 1834, arriving in Calcutta in February 1835. Served 1834 - 1851, first in Sabathu, then in Allahabad succeeding Mr. & Mrs. McEwen. He returned to America in 1852 and served as pastor for several churches in Virginia, Tennesse and Georgia. A.J. Brown, 563, 572, 1119.
McEWEN, Rev. & Mrs. James
(1801 - March 11, 1845)
ALLAHABAD. Born in Scotland in 1801, James McEwen studied at Princeton Theological Eseminary and was ordained as an evangelist by the Presbytery of Philadelphia on April 24, 1834. Rev. McEwen was appointed by ABCFM in 1835. Served 1835-1838. Founded mission in Allahabad, which became one of largest mission stations in all India. Started a boarding school for girls, as well as a church. Because of failing health, returned to U.S. in 1838. In 1840 he served as pastor of the Church of Delhi, New York, until he died on March 11, 1845. A.J. Brown, 563, 572, 1117.
NEWTON, Rev. & Mrs. John
( - July 2, 1891)
LAHORE. Appointed by ABCFM, sailed for India in November 1834. He served 1835-1891. First wife, Elizabeth P. Janvier Newton, served until her death on September 2, 1857. Second wife, Eliza Hornbuckle Newton, served from her marriage in 1866 until her death on December 4, 1893. Brought with him a small printing press for tracts and Scripture portions. “The pioneer translator among Presbyterians”, he translated the whole New Testament and scores of tracts; prepared dictionary and grammar in Panjabi. In 1850, moved to Lahore. “Dr. Newton was a powerful preacher, both in English and in the vernacular, and his patience and tact won the respect and confidence of all who knew him.” He invited the Church of England Mission to the Punjab in 1850, and “it was largely due to his influence that such warm fraternal relations were maintained for forty years between the American missionaries and those of the Church of England.” A.J. Brown, 563, 566, 604, 1118.
LAHORE. Served 1837 - 1845 as printer for Newton’s printing press. Returned to US in 1845 because of health. A.J. Brown, 604.
WARREN, Rev. & Mrs. Joseph
ALLAHABAD. Rev. Warren (at right) served 1838-1854, then 1872 until his death 1877. First wife served 1838-1854, when both returned to U.S. Following her death, he married Mary Potter, who served 1872 until her death 1904. He started a printing press in Allahabad. A.J. Brown, 604, 1119.
DAVIS, Julia A.
Appointed by ABCFM, sailed for India in November 1834; returned to U.S. 1835. A.J. Brown, 563, 1115.
CAMPBELL, Rev. & Mrs. James R.
SAHARANPUR. Appointed by ABCFM in 1836. Transferred from Reformed Presbyterian Church. Founded mission work in Saharanpur. He served 1836 - 1862, she 1836 - 1874. A.J. Brown, 563, 1114.
MORRISON, Rev. John H.
LODIANA. Served 1837 - 1881. First wife, Anna Ward, served until her death 1838. Second wife, Isabella Hay, served until her death 1843. Third wife, Anna Williams, served until her death 1860. Fourth wife, Elizabeth Reuter, served until her death 1888. A.J. Brown, 665, 1117.
LAHORE. Served 1841 - 1864. First wife served until her death in 1854. Second wife, Mary R. Parvin, widow of Joseph Porter, served 1851-1875. With his cousin John Newton he prepared dictionary and grammar in Punjabi, commentaries and tracts in Urdu and Hindi. Murdered by a Sikh fanatic in 1864. A.J. Brown, 604f., 1116.
FORMAN, Charles William
(March 3, 1821 - August 27, 1894)
LAHORE. Born in Washington, KY Mar. 3, 1821. Converted at revival meeting at age 20. Attended Centre College and Princeton Seminary. Ordained as Presbyterian minister July 7, 1847 and on same day started for India as missionary under Presbyterian BFM. Two years later settled in Lahore in north India (present-day Pakistan), capital of Punjab. Founded Bang Mahal School, first English-speaking school in north India. School added college department in 1865, which later became Forman Christian College. Influential in developing educational system in Punjab. First wife was Margaret Newton, with whom he had 7 children. Following her death in 1878, he married Georgina Lockhart in 1882, with whom he had 3 children. Four of his children later became Presbyterian missionaries to India. Died August 27, 1894 in Lahore. Latourette, VI 123.
WOODSIDE, Rev. John S.
DEHRA DUN. Served 1848 - 1908. One of founders of Woodstock Women’s School and College. First wife, Margaret Moore, served until her death in 1887. Second wife, Emily Shurman, widow of Rev. Eddward H. Leavitte, served 1856-1857, 1890-1908. A.J. Brown, 618, 1119.
GORDON, Rev. Dr. Andrew
(September 17, 1828 - August 13, 1887)
SIALKOT. Arrived in Calcutta, India on Feb. 13, 1855, sent by Associate Presbyterian Synod, which in 1858 became part of United Presbyterian Church in North America (UPCNA). Reverend Andrew Gordon, D.D., arrived in Sialkot on Aug. 8, 1855, and started the work of American United Presbyterian Mission. Began work among outcaste aborigines, the Chuhras, which in later years led to mass movement to Christianity. In 1886, Rev. Gordon (shown in a photo, circa 1880, at right) wrote Our India Missions book at the request of the UPCNA. Latourette, VI 123.
NEWTON, Dr. John, Jr. M.D. & Mrs. (Sarah E. Wigfall)
SABATHU. Graduate of University of Pennsylvania Medical School, went to India independently in 1858, appointed to Presbyterian mission in 1860. Served in Sabathu 1860 until his death in 1880. He opened Asylum for Lepers, which became one of largest leper asylums in India. First medical missionary in India to do itinerating medical-evangelistic work in outlying villages. She continued to serve until 1920. A.J. Brown, 572, 633f., 1118.
WILSON, Dr. & Mrs. Henry R.
FURRUKHABAD. Served 1837-1846. Founded station at Furrukhabad. Returned to US because of health 1846. A.J. Brown, 576.
RUDOLPH, Rev. Adolph
LODIANA. Served 1848 until his death 1888. First wife served 1848 until her death 1849. Second wife served until her death 1884. Licentiate preacher formerly connected with local Missionary Society in Upper India. Having acquired some medical knowledge, “he prescribed upwards of 1500 sick people.” Work at Lodiana interrupted by war between Sikhs and British” in 1847. A.J. Brown, 632, 1118.
CAMPBELL, Rev. & Mrs. David E. (Maria I. Bingham)
FATEHGARH. Served 1850-1857. Along with their two children, they were killed in the Sepoy mutiny July 15, 1857. A.J. Brown, 584f.
FREEMAN, Rev. John E.
FATEHGARH. Served 1838-1957. First wife, Mary A. Beach Freeman, died in 1850. Married second wife, Elizabeth Vredenburgh, 1851. Both were killed in the Sepoy mutiny July 15, 1857. A.J. Brown, 584f.
JOHNSON, Rev. & Mrs. Albert O. (Amanda J. Gill)
FATEHGARH. Served 1850-1857. Both were killed in the Sepoy mutiny July 15, 1857. A.J. Brown, 584f.
McMULLIN, Rev. & Mrs. Robert (Sarah C. Pierson)
FATEHGARH. Served 1856-1857. Both were killed in the Sepoy mutiny July 15, 1857. A Memorial Church has been built on the site of the massacre, with the names of the Presbyterian martyrs inscribed on marble wall tablets. A.J. Brown, 584f.
LOEWENTHAL, Rev. Isadore
(1829 - 1864)
A Polish Jew, came to America at an early age, was converted to Christianity in 1851, studied theology at Princeton Seminary, was ordained by Presbytery of New York and appointed as missionary in 1856. “He was a linguistic genius.” Poured out translations, including New Testament into Pushto of the Afghans. In 1864, he was shot and killed by a watchman who thought him a burglar. A.J. Brown, 604f.
JOHNSON, Rev. & Mrs. William F. (Rachel L. Kerr)
ETAWAH. He served 1860-1884, 1891-1922, she served 1860 until her death 1888. A.J. Brown, 586, 1116.
Other Missionaries to India (additional information to be added)
Synod of Northern India, Presbytery of Lodiana. Returned to US in 1844 because of health. Returned in 1850.
JAMIESON, Rev. & Mrs. Jesse M. “ . Mrs. died in 1846, he returned to U.S. Returned to Mission in 1848.
RODGERS, Rev. & Mrs. William S. “ . Returned to US in 1843 because of her health.
JAUVIER, Levi “
GREEN, Dr. W. “ .
HODGE, Rev. & Mrs. A. Alexander “ . From Presbytery of New Brunswick. Arrive in India in 1848. In 1850 returned to US because of health.
CALDWELL, Rev. & Mrs. J. “ “
CRAIG, M/M. J. “ “ . Teacher. He died in 1846, wife and children returned to U.S.
COLEMAN, John “ “ . Catechist.
PORTER, Rev. J. “ “ . Returned to US in 1848 “to provide for education of his motherless children.”
RANKIN, M/M John C. “ . Transferred to Allahabad in 1844. Returned to U.S. because of her poor health in 1847.
McAULEY, M/M Wm. H. “ .
SCOTT, M/M James L. “ . Presbytery stated clerk. She returned to U.S. because of poor health in 1847.
VANDEVAR, Miss “ . Teacher. Returned to US because of health 1846.
WALSH, Rev. & Mrs. J.J. “
IRVING, Rev. & Mrs. David “ . Returned to US in 1850.
SEELEY, Rev. & Mrs. Augustus H. “
MUNNIS, Rev. Robert “ . In 1850 moved to Allahabad Mission.
NUNDY, Gopec Nauth. Set apart as evangelist, ordained by presbytery. “First instance in modern times of Presbyterian ordination in Asia.” Removed tro Jalandar in 1848.
WILSON, M/M James “ Presbytery of Allahabad. He served as secretary of North India Bible Society; revised translation of New Testament in Urdu.
OWEN, Joseph “ “ . Presbytery stated clerk.
WRAY, M/M J. “ “ . In 1850 returned to US due to health.
1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848, 1850 GA Minutes.