Meet Krishna Pal, The First Indian Convert To Christianity

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In such self denying labors he continued for more than 20 years at the small salary of six dollars a month.

India, a predominantly Hindu country is a rich field for mission endeavors. There is a traditional thought that the apostle Thomas travelled to India and did mission work which does not appear to be a proven fact. However, the French, Portuguese, Dutch, British and others participated in mission work in India.

Krishna Pal was the first Indian convert to Baptist Christianity due to the missionary activity of William Carey, the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society, and his co-workers.

Krishna Pal, born in 1764 in Calcutta, was a Bengali Hindu carpenter who became the first Indian Baptist convert.

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On November 25, 1800, Krishna Pal, a thirty-six year old Indian carpenter, had dislocated his arm, and Dr. John Thomas, missionary physician in Serampore (at that time a Danish settlement in India) set his arm. After Thomas who happened to be the first missionary to India, from the Baptist Missionary Society, administered surgical aid and set Krishna Pal’s arm, he spoke to Pal of the more awful disease of sin, and of God’s goodness in providing a great Physician. Pal was much affected by the story of the cross; he soon after professed faith in Christ and was baptized on Sunday, December 28, 1800, in the River Ganges, near the missionary residence at Serampore, India.

Pal not only built himself a house for worship, but in 1804, was set apart for the work of the ministry. Dr. Cary described him as a steady, zealous, well-informed, and I may add, eloquent minister of the gospel, averaging twelve to fourteen sermons a week. In such self denying labors he continued for more than 20 years at the small salary of six dollars a month.

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Another said of Pal:

This man, then at the prime of age, became an eminent Christian, engaged in the ministry, which he pursued for many years, baptized many hundreds of converted idolaters, and then died triumphant in the Lord Jesus. Joyfully did he bear witness that the service of Christ was the work of love, and that in it he got nothing but joy and comfort.

He wrote two or three hymns, one of which continues to be sung in India in the Bengalee language, in which it was composed; and a part of it, translated into English, is printed in most of our books.

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Pal died of cholera on August 22, 1822, in Calcutta, India.

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