Samida, John Wellington (1903-1986)
John Wellington Samida was born 3 April 1903 in Chunar, Mirzapur District, Uttar Pradesh, India, the son of an Anglican minister, Henry Samida. J. W. was a graduate of Allahabad University where he received a BA degree (ca. 1927) and later completed his BT degree from the University of Jabalpur.
In 1932 he accepted an appointment under the American Mennonite Mission, Dhamtari, Madhya Pradesh, to teach in the normal school. He later became headmaster of the Mennonite high school. In 1941 he married Alice Ebbu, also a teacher in the Mennonite mission schools. They had three children, Vimla, Vimal, and Dipak. J. W. Samida's gifts in leadership were recognized both in the educational field as well as in the church. He became the first national to be appointed principal of the academy (later Mennonite Higher Secondary School), a post he held until his retirement in 1962. He was a regular member of both the Mennonite Educational Board and the Mennonite Medical Board, was an active member of the Sundarganj Mennonite church, and was frequently elected a member of the church panchayat (council). He was a man of impartial judgment and helped steer the church into channels of peace and mutual understanding.
Alice Ebbu Samida died in 1962. J. W. died 22 October 1986. Both J. W. and Alice are buried in the Christian cemetery in Dhamtari.
Biographical information supplied by V. K. Samida, E. P. Bachan, Sam M. King, and S. Paul Miller.
Lapp, John Allen. The Mennonite Church in India, 1897-1962, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, vol. 14. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972: index.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 787. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Friesen, John A. "Samida, John Wellington (1903-1986)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S249.html.
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