Church History
India: Church Chronology

India: Church Chronology

1849 • Calcutta, India

The gospel reached India through tracts from Orson Pratt and later through the efforts of two recently converted British sailors, George Barber and Benjamin Richey.

1851 • Calcutta

After the arrival of a missionary with priesthood authority, James Meik, Mary Ann Meik, Matthew McCune, and Maurice White became the first people baptized in India, and a branch was organized in Calcutta.

1851–52 • Calcutta

James Meik, an experienced architect and builder, constructed the first Church meetinghouse in Asia.

1852 • India

The branch in Calcutta reached its high point of over 300 people of British and Indian origin, with additional members spread across India.

William Willes

June 1853 • Shimla, India

William Willes reached the foot of the Himalayas at the end of his preaching tour across northern India.

1856 • Calcutta

Church membership in India had declined to about 60 due to members emigrating or leaving the Church. The East India Mission was closed.

1857–1930s • Calcutta, Karachi, Lahore, Srinagar

Sporadic missions to British India led to additional conversions. A few members remained active during long periods without missionary contact.

1930–60 • India

Latter-day Saint tracts continued to reach India and Church leaders corresponded with interested Indians, but logistical barriers prevented the reestablishment of the Church in India.

1961 • New Delhi, India

President Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, visited New Delhi and baptized Mangal Dan Dipty, the first baptism in India since its independence.

February 7, 1965 • Coimbatore, India

After over a decade of correspondence with Church leaders, S. Paul Thiruthuvadoss was baptized. Thiruthuvadoss worked to establish the Church in villages outside Coimbatore.

1968 • New Delhi

Baldwin and Nora Das joined the Church, becoming the first local members of the Church in northern India since the emigration of Mangal Dan Dipty.

1972 • New Delhi

Maureen Das became the first person called from India to serve a full-time mission; she was assigned to the Philippines.

December 1978 • Hyderabad, India

Edwin and Elsie Dharmaraju, having joined the Church in American Samoa, became the first missionaries called specifically to independent India.

1980–81 • Hyderabad, Coimbatore, New Delhi

The first three branches in independent India were organized in Hyderabad, Coimbatore, and New Delhi.

January 1982 • New Delhi

By incorporating a local religious society, the Church gained legal recognition from the Indian government.

1982 • India

The Church began microfilming Indian genealogical records.

1982 • Salt Lake City, Utah

The Book of Mormon was published in Hindi; selected passages were also published in Telugu and Tamil.

1985 • Salt Lake City

Selected passages from the Book of Mormon were published in Bengali.

1985 • India

Missionaries from India began to be called regularly to India. Unlike foreign missionaries, they were allowed to openly proselytize.

January 1, 1993 • Bangalore, India

The India Bangalore Mission was organized, giving India’s nine branches and various Church home groups closer leadership. Gurcharan Singh Gill was called as mission president.

1993–95 • India

Because of reactivation efforts and growth, the number of branches in India increased from 9 to 21.

January 1996 • New Delhi

After visa problems forced foreign missionaries to leave the country, the Church reached an agreement with the Indian government to secure 22 long-term visas for foreign missionaries.

January 11, 2001 • Mumbai, India

LDS Charities was honored with the Diwaliben Mohanlal Mehta Charitable Trust’s Progress in Religion award for its work providing volunteers and needed materials to shared projects with other organizations.

February 2, 2002 • Rajahmundry, India

More than 2,300 people attended the open house for the Rajahmundry meetinghouse, the first Church-constructed building in independent India.

November 1, 2007 • New Delhi

The India New Delhi Mission was created, covering northern India as well as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

2009 • India

New districts in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Visakhapatnam joined existing districts in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and New Delhi.

2010 • New Delhi

Members served vigorously as branch missionaries after visas were denied for new foreign missionaries.

May 27, 2012 • Hyderabad

India’s first stake was organized in Hyderabad, with John Gutty called as stake president. Prasad Rao Gudey was called as India’s first patriarch.

April 1, 2018 • Salt Lake City

President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to construct a temple in Bengaluru, India.

President Nelson on World Tour in India

April 19, 2018 • Bengaluru, India

President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to Saints at a devotional held in Bengaluru.