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Miss. Edwina Grace Bullard (1884-1957)

Miss. Edwina Grace Bullard (1884-1957), dedicated her life for Telugu people as a missionary of Christ. She learned Telugu language very fluently and shared Gospel of Christ to many people. And she worked as a principal in A.B.M. Middle School for 30 years. She built church building for Telugu Christians who were led to the Christ by her parents’ missionary work in Kavali, Nellore-Dist. Andhra Pradesh, India.

In the ancient days, there was caste and creed discrimination in the society, poor people were downtrodden.  They could not even afford for studies nor earning money because of their poor economic status.  They do not possess an inch of land of their own due to ignorance and illiteracy.  People were urging and worshipping idols to save them from this kind of situation.
        One fine day a boat started to sail from seven seas.   It was like a glowing star, which showed the way to Magi’s in those days to worship Lord Jesus Christ.  A missionary with his zeal to uplift poor and oppressed reached his destination. i.e.  Kavali, who is none other than Mr.Edwin Bullard.
   During 18th century a missionary named Rev. Amos Natan worked in Orissa, when he returned to America for relaxation, He met Rev.S.D.Samuel and his wife there and explained about need of ministry among Telugu people and inspired them to reach Telugu people in the year 1835. And this movement had led Andhra people to know Lord Jesus Christ.  Another missionary named Dr. Day established Baptist mission at Nellore in the year 1840.
     Government of England governor’s office was nearer to Chennapatnam(Chennai, Tamilnadu) and Simhapuri (Nellore).  Hence this place has become a base station to Baptist mission people.   In the year 1884, American Baptist Triennial Convention has inspired Baptist mission among Telugu people.  This is how Christianity and Baptist mission came into existence in Andhra Pradesh.
The first Missionary Mr. Box entered Kavali in 1893, through street preaching he used to share the gospel, by his effort Davuluri Bommaiah and Ravvuri Lingaiah were saved by the grace of God, they were the first Christians in this kavali and Telugu worship service started in year of 1893. And Worked for the upliftment of the Erikula Tribe (Tribal people belong to the S.T. community) who were thieves. He further initiated rehabilitation center to eradicate robbery. Hence these people stopped stealing and were transformed.
Mr. Edwin Bullard (1870-1920) and his wife Mrs. Jenny Richie Bullard (1851-1935) both missionaries loved and entered kavali on Nov.11th 1896, with their only loving daughter Miss Edwina Grace Bullard (1884-1957). Miss. Edwina Grace Bullard was a boon to the down trodden people of kavali.  She has established mission bungalow in 1896 and Boarding School in 1901, and Telugu Baptist Church in the year 1932. School was established for the poor and oppressed children and these children brought to the school and encourage them to study well. Now many of the student who have made avail of the opportunity are settle in good jobs and for which there are grateful for these Missionaries.
There were also other missionaries who shared love of Christ in kavali Mr. A.D. Baden who won the title of “Settlement Lion” in year of 1914, Mr. A.J. Fishman Fargusar Roland in 1927, Mr. J.E. Bentek, Mr. E.G. Bullard, Mr. E.V. David and Miss. Ruth Dharmond.
Miss. Grace Bullard settled in Kavali as Indian women and learned Telugu and started speaking Telugu fluently. She has worked very hard for the upliftment of poor and low caste people in the society, insipte of hot sun, she used to walk many miles a day in midst of hills and rocky region without food in sharing the Love of Christ to these people.  Her father passed away at her very young age. Inspite of her bitterness, she has continued to follow the way that her father had thought.
Telugu Baptist Church building was built by Miss.Grace Bullard known as a biggest church and also mother church in Kavali. This was only possible because of sacrifice and loving nature of these missionaries. Bullard’s family were from America, from the day they entered Kavali they didn’t return to their place to visit their people at any circumstances. Miss. Grace Bullard and her mother breathed their last in Telugu land and their tombs are in kavali cemetery.
Primarily St. Thomas visited India in spreading the gospel, and in the second phase missionaries visited India and sacrificed their lives for the benefit of the Indians.  Miss. Grace Bullard was born in Ooty and she didn’t even know about her mother land (America).   Her life has been inspiring and challenging to each one us. Their love and sacrificial nature has made us astonishing and admirable. This great and loving lady should always remain memorable in our minds and hearts and we all praise God for such messengers sent by God and pay our tribute to them with heart full of gratitude.
Now the Church is full of people and the congregation is improving by the grace of God.  And the people are crowded outside the church during the service hours. Hence church building needs to be extended.   So let us extend our helping hand in extending the church building for the glory of God.  Let all the people who are blessed by this Church and spread in different places, can kindly visit the church and extend their helping hand.   Do not delay, as we do not know the day of second coming of Christ nor our death.  Let us unite ourselves as brothers and sisters in Christ in doing the work of the Lord as we are privileged to be the part of the church.
      On Sep.16th 2013 church has celebrated 130th birthday of Miss. Grace Bullard and many people were part of this great event and were blessed by remembering the righteous person.

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