India Christian Mission Church

Founded 1897

                                                       The Founder

Revered Arthur Stephen Paynter, the founder of India Christian Mission (ICM) Church was born in Cornwall at Bicester, Oxford Shore, England on July 8th, 1862. His father was a Church Warden of the Church of England in Bicester.

He was saved on his 19th Birthday when he attended a revival meeting of the Salvation Army in the Marylebone Theatre. Then he was trained and became a Cadet in the Salvation Army. He moved to India as a Missionary of the Salvation Army. After travelling throughout India and Sri Lanka, he became Colonel and was in charge of the Salvation Army in Sri Lanka.

Reverend Paynter married Anagi Weerasuriya (born on November 15th, 1863) who was the daughter of David Weerasuriya. She was a Sri Lankan living in Bombay.

Reverend Paynter resigned from the Salvation Army and formed the India Christian Mission on November 1st, 1897 in Kumaon District of then Uttar Pradesh. This was formed in association with Reverend W. H. Greet and G. F. Grundy.

Reverend Paynter became a good friend to many Anglican missionaries working in India. He travelled widely throughout India and started centres of ICM in the states of West Bengal, Punjab, Nepal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He came to Eluru on September 28th, 1903 on the invitation of Mohammad Abdul Aziz, a Muslim convert. The city of Eluru became his headquarters and the ICM was registered under the Societies Act XXI of 1860 during the year 1947. He has faced many difficulties in and around the Mission. He traveled to many countries like USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Italy, France, etc. and started centers of ICM. 

Reverend Paynter published monthly journals, CALVARY being one of the most prominent. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Home for the Homeless and Helpless and Hopeless in Calcutta. He spoke at Christ Church (Church of England) on October 16th, 1921 during the time at which Reverend Montt was Vicar at the Church. The Vicar said: "As a Church, they would stand permanently for the ICM."

Reverend Paynter subsequently made his international headquarters in Sri Lanka and overviewed the work of India Christian Mission from there. He entered into the glory of God on July 27th, 1933.

                                                               Recent History

For many years, Reverend Amrutha Rao served as the priest in charge of the ICM. Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom supporters and retirement of the Paynter's grandchildren, the ICM became an indigenous mission.

Reverend N. V. Amrutha Rao faced tremendous problems in and around the church, regarding manpower and financial constraints. By the abundant grace of God, the elected Church Committee, Parish Committee, Central Committee and the Trust Board were formed officially in November 2004. They currently  function well under the guidence and leadership of Bishop N.V. Amrutha Rao.

In 2005, Dr. John SD Raju was requested by the Trust Board to come and join with the ICM Church to be the second line of leadership. He was a young and energetic priest, an eloquent speaker, social worker, writer and a good church administrator, who was working under the Catholicate of the East (Syrian Orthodox Church). He was made Suffragan Bishop on February 12th, 2005 witnessed by thousands of faithful at Eluru.

Now the Church has two Dioceses, namely Diocese of Krishna Godavari and the Episcopal Missionary Diocese of Eluru.