Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rev David Nathaniel

The Rev. D.N. Nathaniel has been a dominating figure in our Indian Baptist work for the last three decades. He was called by N.I.B.A. after the death of the much-admired T.M. Rangiah in 1947. He arrived in South Africa with his wife and family in August 1951 and ever since the work has felt the impact of his teaching ministry, his ability as a hymn writer, his administrative gifts, his unflagging zeal in the evaluation of his widespread congregations.
He was born on 24th October 1908 in Rampatnam. As he showed great academic ability he went on to train as a teacher and taught for 16 years but was aware that the Lord wanted him for something better. His call came when he had successfully engaged in theological studies at the Rama patram Theological Seminary and College in Bangalore to gain his B.D.
Ordained at Alhur in the presence of delegates from twenty-two churches, three missionaries, and twelve Indian ministers was a unique occasion in his life which drove him to fuller consecration and building of spirit and made him ready to respond to the call to Natal. The Lord revealed his purpose for David Nathaniel in a vision. He landed in Natal on 28th August 1951 and twenty-five years of consecrated service have seen the fulfilment of that vision.
His was a teaching ministry, a preaching ministry, a ministry which involved endless travelling over great distances. It was a ministry of prayer. He also exercised a ministry with the pen and has published a number of pamphlets for the preacher in the making as well as a commentary in the Pastoral Epistles which was printed in India. In addition he wrote a number of hymns which are popular in the churches. As editor of the NIBA News he endeavoured to bind his scattered flock together.
D.N. Nathaniel has worked for a closer link with the Baptist Union and has played an active role at the annual Assembly from time to time. In 1959 he presented an exhaustive report on Indian work in South Africa to Dr Theodore Adams, President of the Baptist World Alliance.
The energy and enthusiasm of this veteran minister of the Gospel is seen with three score years and ten behind him he has recently negotiated successfully his M.A. degree.
Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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