Marandi, Benjamin (ca. 1890-1979)
Benjamin Marandi was born ca. 1890 in a tribal village in Santal Parganas, South Bihar, India. Like his parents, he grew up practicing animism. By age 25, he was initiated into the Santal priesthood and became a charismatic leader of his people. However, 13 years later he converted to Christianity after animistic rituals failed to prevent the death of his first four children.
In 1948, soon after the Brethren in Christ Church had begun a ministry among the Santal people of Purnea, North Bihar, Benjamin accepted an invitation to become an itinerant preacher to his own tribe. Adapting a cultural custom, he walked from village to village, preaching the Gospel and giving himself unstintingly to evangelism. A good voice combined with his violin, quick wit, and dynamic and fearless preaching, attracted an audience wherever he went. His evangelistic fervor was complemented with a sincere concern for the physical needs of people. Out of his own poverty, he often shared his food and clothing with those less fortunate.
Benjamin's wife remained in their home village because she felt life in the north was too harsh, but his daughter, Dina, one of two children born after he became a Christian, accompanied him and became an evangelist in her own right.
Marandi served as the district superintendent of the growing Santal church until the baptized membership reached nearly 1,000. Although he retired in 1973, he continued to preach until his death in 1979.
See also Lay Evangelists
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MLA style: Sider, Harvey R. "Marandi, Benjamin (ca. 1890-1979)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M371.html.
APA style: Sider, Harvey R. (1987). Marandi, Benjamin (ca. 1890-1979). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M371.html.