First Phase: 1822 – 1857

The earliest Kannada service was held at the Bangalore fort area as early as 1822. Wesleyan and London missionaries had started schools in and around the Bangalore fort area in 1825.

The superintendent of the Wesleyan mission organization was also the main pastor of the Wesleyan Mission church as well as the Wesleyan mission school. During this period many pastor’s served in the church,
Rev John Garret
Rev Edward Hardy
Rev John Gastec
Rev Philip Webber
Rev Sanderson

Hudson Memorial church history started around the year 1840. The growth of the Kannada church took place between the year 1840 and 1859.

During this period Kannada worship services were held both at the Wesleyan Mission School and at the Wesleyan Mission church service center (chapel) and there exists records of our ancestors being baptized at these chapel.

In the year 1857 the local pastors took over the charge to lead the Kannada congregation and the first pastor was Rev Andrew Philip.

Rev Andrew Philip baptized by his own will (voluntarily) along with his parents in the year 1857.

Second Phase 1859 – 1903

The second phase of Hudson Memorial Church started in the year 1859 at place called Gaanigarapet or Main Street this is located at the present day’s Nagarethpet which is a very narrow and a busy street.

In the year 1859 a Kannada church was built at this street which was the hub of businessmen. The church was surrounded by potters street, Ballapuradapete, Gangamma Halli, Chakkaliyarugala halli.

This church was well known and was called as Gudi Hatti. When the service was conducted they faced many disturbances and many a times had to take protection from the soldiers. These facts are also mentioned in the letters of Rev Andrew Philip. The congregation gathered to worship for more than 45 years in this Nagarethpet church (also called PETA chapel).

During this period the pastors who served were,

Rev Robert William Faradize
Rev Abijah Samuel
Rev Josiah Hudson
Rev J.A. Vanes
Rev T Luke

Rev Josiah Hudson was leading the Wesleyan Mission center and was also the church pastor. He worked very hard for the over-all development of the church along with Rev Samuel Abijah and Rev T. Luke who were the local pastors.

Present Phase 1904 – Present

the history of our church reached an important phase in the year 1904. The congregation started growing day by day. In the year 1904 it had reached to about 250 members because of its rapid growth the existing church was congested and the believers were inspired to look out for a bigger place of worship. They were specially praying about it and trying to find a bigger place. They had fasted and prayed without fail. Their prayers were answered miraculously by Dr. Aayachamma who is the aunt of the children of Late Dr Arokyam Pillay. Inspired the children to sell the land on 19-1-1900 to the Wesleyan Missionary Rev J.A. Vanes.

In those days this place was surrounded by pond, fields, garden and the church which is of stone and is Gothic in structure stood in the midst of nature’s beauty. Even this day it is one of the most beautiful church situated in the heart of the Bangalore city bearing true witness to all the Kannada believers.

Thus with the collected money a simple and beautiful stone building was constructed in the Gothic style with no pillars intervening. The pulpit, communion table, reading desk chairs were carved in teak wood from the industrial school at Karur. The marble floor of the chancel is in memory of Mrs. Vanes. A donor who wished not to be known contributed for the church bell. The architect Mr. J.H. Stephen gave the circular glass over the door. Mr. Darling gave the first organ and Mr. and Mrs. Thorp gave the Bible and Hymn books. The brass communion rail was also presented from a believer to the church. The church could now accommodate 500 people.

Late Rev Josiah came to India from England in the year 1865 served in the missionary educational Institutions and as a Bishop to the Indian Christian Mission Services. Late Rev Josiah lived in India for 32 years. So to remember his great services, people with prayers proposed to name the church after him. This is now a centenary celebrated church known as the Josiah Hudson Memorial Church more often know as Hudson memorial Church.

September 23rd 1904 was the day in the history of the church because on this day, Friday at 4 pm this church was dedicated for worship to all Christian believers in the name of Late Rev Josiah Hudson by his daughter Mrs. Thorp of Mysore by opening the main door of the church and the service was conducted by his son-in-law Rev W.H. Thorp. A dedicatory service was held in Kanarese. The preacher was a missionary form London Rev E.P Rice, he delivered an appropriate sermon on the text “Put off thy shoes form thy feet for the place where thou standest is a holy ground”. About 600 people attended the dedication service and the offering collected was Rs 400/-. In the evening a public meeting was held presided by Rev D.A Rees who was the head of the Wesleyan Mission. In the meeting Rev G.W Sawday and Rev T Luke addressed in Kanarese, Rev H. Guilliford addressed in English. The meeting was closed with a word of prayer in Tamil by Rev. F Goodwill.

On September 25th 1904 the first Holy Communion service was conducted in Hudson memorial Church. The first Reverend of the church was Rev. Hennery Premaka. After the dedication in the year 1904 the church witnessed many important and memorable events and celebrations. Regional pastor’s first fellowship meeting was held in this place on July 1905. In the same year in December 1905 the church was lit with its first electric lamps. There after Rev R. Thomappa, Rev Samuel Lamack, P. Gurushanth appeared for their theological tests and they were consecrated as Reverend for God’s work in this church.

In the year 1913 from July 15th to 20th the Mysore Regional Kannada churches centenary celebrations was held in this church. A huge rally was organized and people from different regions and different churches participated. They went on a procession on the main streets of Bangalore.

Hudson church was the first Kannada church to become self-supporting in the year 1918 – 1919. The credit goes to the then Rev B.Anandachary Amruth and the stewards Mr. C. Devadhattaya and Mr. Matthew Chetty.

From 1925 onwards the believers of Basavanagudi started a separate place of worship. Gradually Chamarajpet and railway station also started their own worship places. Ukkada Palya, Post office and city market was regular in mission work. The elders of the church started separate Bible study groups in Basavanagudi, Chamarajpet and Mission compound for men, women and youth.

The achievements and Christian values of these people are because of the church’s environment and the rich Heritage of this Hudson Memorial Church.

Early Contribution to Church

Dr. Aayachamma who is the aunt of the children of Late Dr Arokyam Pillay inspired the children to sell the land on 19-1-1900 for Rs.2000/- to the Wesleyan Missionary Rev J.A. Vanes.

The total cost of the church was about Rs 25,000. This money was raised from different sources. A sum of 5,276/- has been received in connection with the Century Fund Movement, From Missionaries and their friends Rs 4,429/-, and Indian Christians in various places throughout the province gave Rs 258/-, the Maharani contributed a sum of Rs 300/- and the Dewan Rs 200/-.

A donor, who wished not to be known contributed Rs.500/- for the church bell.


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