Lall, Obdiah Paul (b. 1913)
Obdiah Paul Lall, the second Indian bishop of the Mennonite Church in India, was born 16 December 1913 in Dhamtari, Madhya Pradesh (M.P.). His parents, Nandlal and Nohri Bai, were evangelistic workers with the American Mennonite Mission (MC). When Obdiah was age seven his mother died, and because his father was blind, Obdiah was admitted to the Boys Boarding School in Dhamtari. He attended the mission schools through high school level in Dhamtari. In 1940 he graduated from Leonard Theological Seminary, Jabalpur, M.P., with a GTh degree. He was the second national Christian in the Mennonite Church in India to receive formal theological training. In 1940 he married Rhoda Bhagwani, a Christian school teacher.
Lall began his ministry as a language tutor for new missionaries and also served as a village evangelist at Balodgahan. In 1945 he was ordained to the ministry by the church conference. In 1965 he was ordained bishop. Though officially retiring in 1978, he continued to be active in leadership roles. He worked in church planting in Bailadila, Jagdalpur District, an iron mining community, for several years. In 1987 he continued to serve as conference moderator. He served many terms as chairman of the Jalsa Committee (the Mennonite Church in India's annual convention committee), chairman of the Chattisgarh Christian Mela Committee (an annual interchurch convention in Madhya Pradesh), member of the conference evangelistic committee, editor of the conference paper, Mennonait Mandli Samachar Patrika, moderator of the Mennonite Church in India, and chairman of its executive committee for many years.
O. P. Lall was a gifted communicator. His evangelistic messages were free of Western phraseology and he brought dignity and freshness to the worship service. He was also an excellent Bible teacher. His main pastoral assignments were in Sankra, Balodgahan, and Sundarganj (Dhamtari).
Information supplied by Obdiah P. Lall, J. M. Bhelwa, and E. P. Bachan.
Annual Report. Mennonite (MC) Board of Missions 1946: 112-13.
"50th Anniversary Brochure." Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities, 1946: 22.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 503-504. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Friesen, John A. "Lall, Obdiah Paul (b. 1913)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 20 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L30.html.
APA style: Friesen, John A. (1987). Lall, Obdiah Paul (b. 1913). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L30.html.