Thomas Valpy French

Thomas Valpy French biography, A tomb on the seashore near Muscat inscribed “First Bishop of Lahore and First Missionary to Muscat” followed by verse John 12:24. It is the tomb of a missionary who served rigorously in British India and among Muslims, despite his poor health went on to Arabia and finally fell on the ground of Muscat as a kernel of wheat.

Birth: 01-01-1825
Home Calling: 14-05-1891
Native Place: Burton-on-Trent
Country: England
Place of Vision: British India and Muscat

Thomas Valpy French was the eldest child of a clergyman in the Anglican Church. In his childhood, an interest in overseas ministry arose in him due to visiting missionaries and he used to pray for them along with his siblings. He was clever and scholarly.

A request of H. W. Fox, a missionary in India, and a speech from Bishop Samuel Wilberforce made him commit his life to the missionary work. Therefore, he joined the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and embarked on his journey to India in 1850.

In 1851, Thomas established St. John’s College in Agra. Despite his busy schedule with the administrative works of the college, he always devoted time to evangelism. He preached in local markets, went on evangelism tours around Agra, and always spent time on personal evangelism.

He learned seven Indian languages and was called “seven-tounged man”. In 1862, he cofounded Derajat Mission in the Pakistan region but soon returned to England as his health deteriorated due to heavy workload.

Thomas Valpy French ministry in British India and Muscat

Thomas Valpy FrencUpon his return, he established St. John’s Divinity School, Lahore in 1869. It provided training for the ministry and to be as witnesses in secular fields. Thomas believed that the Christian scholars should enter jobs in every secular field to stand as witnesses there.

In 1877, he was appointed as the first Anglican bishop of the Lahore Diocese. He worked to develop the indigenous church suitable to the local culture. Due to failed health, he returned to England in 1887, but in 1891 responded to the call of CMS for the volunteers to Arabia. At the age of sixty-six, Thomas stepped into Muscat. But he suffered from fever and exhaustion and died there after three months.

Beloved, in whichever field you are working, are you standing as a witness there?

Take away from the article

“Lord, even if my physical strength fails help me to have the zeal to serve You. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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