Original Research

The impact of the Bible and Bible themes on John Rangiah's Ministry in South Africa

Rodney Ragwan
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 33, No 1 | a415 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v33i1.415 | © 2012 Rodney Ragwan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2010 | Published: 24 February 2012

About the author(s)

Rodney Ragwan, University of Pretoria, South Africa


John Rangiah was the first Indian Baptist missionary who came to Natal (today called KwaZulu-Natal). He was born in India in 1866 and died in 1915. He established the first Telugu Baptist Church on the African continent in Kearsney, Natal. In the corpus of South African Baptist mission literature, the contribution of John Rangiah is given very little attention. Although he is referenced by Baptist historians for his work amongst Indian Baptists, the impact of the Bible and Bible themes as well as his theology in South Africa have not been examined. This article provides insight into Rangiah’s early life and faith, and critically examines his understanding of the Bible and its themes, such as the Bible, prayer, salvation and eschatological hope. These themes will be critically examined from a conservative evangelical perspective and thereafter attempts to examine these using elements of post-colonial hermeneutics will be undertaken.


John Rangiah; Bible; ministry; South Africa ; first Indian Baptist missionary


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