Rufus, Vedulla Kanakaiah "V. K." (1942-2003)
Vedulla Kanakaiah Rufus: churchman and theologian; born 9 June 1942 in Arutla village, Ibrahimpatnam Mandal, Ranga Reddy District, Telangana State, India to Kanakaiah and Sathyamma Vedulla. He was the third child in a family of two daughters and two sons. Rufus lost his father when he was five years old. Rufus married Milka Virginia Devakrupa on 22 May 1974 at Bethany MB Church (Shamshabad). Rufus and Virginia Vedulla were blessed with one daughter and two sons. V.K. Rufus died on 7 June 2003 in Shamshabad.
While V.K. Rufus attending the MB Mission School (Hughestown), he was baptized on 2 December 1957 at Bethel MB Church (Hughestown) by Rev. D. Franz Joshua.
From 1974-2003 Rufus and Virginia lived in Shamshabad, where Rufus was instrumental not only in enhancing theological education but also reaching unreached villages of Shamshabad area with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and brought many people to Christ. Moreover, Rufus played a decisive role in establishing the MB Historical Archive in Shamshabad in the early 1980s. Virginia Rufus served as a teacher in the MB High School (Shamshabad). Virginia also played a significant role among women.
Rufus had his early education in his home village, Arutla. Later Rufus had his schooling at MB Mission Schools at Shamshabad (1952-53), at Hughestown (4th to 7th standards), at Mahabubnagar (10th and 11th standards), and at the Government School (Zamistanpur, Hyderabad) (8th and 9th standards).
Rufus bagged several degrees – a one-year theological certificate course from Bethany Bible School (Shamshabad) in 1961, a G.Th. from Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary from 1961-1965), a BA degree from Tabor College (Hillsboro, Kansas, USA) in 1972, an MA degree in Christian Education from North American Baptist Seminary (USA) in 1973, and an M.Div. and a Th.M. degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (USA) from 1989-1992.
Rufus was a communicant member of Bethel MB Church (Hughestown) from 1957-1966. Later in 1966 he joined Bethany MB Church (Shamshabad) and remained with that church until his death in 2003.
Rufus served in the MB Conference of India in a number of different capacities. Rufus at different times served as Bible Teacher (1965-2003), Registrar, Bursar, and Principal (1980-1989, 1993-2003) of the MB Bible School/College (Shamshabad). Rufus served as the first national Director of MB Christian Education (1973-1980). He served as a vice-president of the Governing Council of the Conference of MB Churches of India (GC) (1998-2002), Treasurer (GC), chairman of MB Board of Evangelism and Church Ministries (GC), MB Board of Education, CRC and MB Field Association Shamshabad. Rufus also served as the pastor and chairman of Bethany MB Church (Shamshabad) (1987-1989, 2002-2003). In addition, Rufus took active participation in Mennonite Christian Service Fellowship of India (MCSFI), Andhra Pradesh Christian Council (APCC), and Mennonite World Conference.
Rufus attended as a delegate at several international conferences, such as the AMB Centenary celebrations in Brazil and Reedley (USA) in 1984, Asian Mennonite Conference in Taiwan in 1985, the International Committee of Mennonite Brethren in Kansas (USA) in 1999, and Mennonite World Conference in Winnipeg in 1981. Rufus also visited Singapore, Germany, and France.
Rufus was ordained on 9 December 1987, as a minister of the Word of God by the MB Conference of India.
Rufus wrote two theses on historical foundations of MB Church in India:
- “Strangers in Karnataka: Mennonite Brethren Historical Foundations.” M.Div. thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, USA, April 1992.
- “Strangers in Maharashtra: Mennonite Brethren Historical Foundations.” Th.M. thesis, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA, December 1992.
Rufus was instrumental in establishing Sunday schools and in conducting training programs for Sunday school teachers in several places. Rufus encouraged and challenged people for ministry and laid a strong foundation for pastoral ministry. Although Rufus was highly educated he kept a model of simplicity and workmanship. Punctuality, honesty, and discipline were code words of Rufus. He stood as a role model of Christ and he did not fear death. In 1987, in his ordination service, people of other faiths made an attempt to kill him, because they had a fear that that he may turn many people to Christ. Till his last breath, he served the Lord. Memories of Rufus’ sacrificial work still remain in people’s hearts.
Solomon, E.D., Comp. “60 Samvathsaraala Devuni Krupalo Rev. V.K. Rufus (1942 - ).” (60 Years in God’s Grace in Rev. V.K. Rufus’ Life). Shamshabad: MBCBC & BMBC, 2003: 136-140.
Joseph, S.J. “Life History of Rev. V.K. Rufus (1942-2003).” In Mennonite Brethren Theological Graduates with Their Life History and Literary Contributions. Compiled by D.N. Purushotham. Hyderabad: G.J. Douglas, 2012. Jayaker Yennamalla
|Date Published||November 2018|
Cite This Article
Yennamalla, Jayaker. "Rufus, Vedulla Kanakaiah "V. K." (1942-2003)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2018. Web. 27 Feb 2020. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rufus,_Vedulla_Kanakaiah_%22V._K.%22_(1942-2003)&oldid=162502.
Yennamalla, Jayaker. (November 2018). Rufus, Vedulla Kanakaiah "V. K." (1942-2003). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 February 2020, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rufus,_Vedulla_Kanakaiah_%22V._K.%22_(1942-2003)&oldid=162502.
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