Banwar, Puran A. (1912-1971)
Puran A. Banwar, b. 2 February 1912, d. 21 May 1971, was employed as a young man as "caretaker " of the Bethesda Leprosy Home, Champa, Madhya Pradesh, India. He took an active interest in the church and soon became one of the conference leaders. In 1946 he received the distinction of being the first Indian national to come to the United States from the Bharatiya General Conference Mennonite Church in India. In the United States, he visited many churches and earned a BA degree from Bethel College (Kansas, USA) in 1948.
Back in India, he taught in the Union Bible School in Janjgir, was ordained as elder, and quickly established a reputation for being an excellent teacher and preacher. In 1954 Puran was appointed the first resident evangelist-in-charge in the Surguja District. He and his wife endured much opposition and persecution. During their 17-year ministry in Surguja 600 people were baptized, and the Calvary Mennonite Church was planted and became a member church in the Bharatiya General Conference Mennonite Church conference. The number of evangelists increased from 2 to 13; three church buildings were erected; a hostel for students and one primary school were opened.
Puran was married to Lily King on 13 June 1936. They had three children, Pramod, Nawal, and Purnima.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 53. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Ratzlaff, Harold. "Banwar, Puran A. (1912-1971)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B367.html.
APA style: Ratzlaff, Harold. (1987). Banwar, Puran A. (1912-1971). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B367.html.