Pages from History: Hamilton’s start VBS (Vacation Bible School) in India (1952)

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton

The Hamiltons (American Missionaries,) arrived in India in 1951 and were given only a brief period of language study before being plunged into the activities of the South India Bible Institute in Bangarapet, Kolar District, Karnataka. But they both continued to learn Kannada throughout their ministry in India, and found themselves quite at home with the language.

In 1952, Mrs. Mary Hamilton was requested to prepare materials for a model Vacation Bible School, and this was so well received that it has grown to become an annual event in many parts of India, and other countries in the world.

Now millions of children are attending VBS classes in different countries in different languages. Even though the Hamilton’s turned over the leadership of the VBS office into national hands, they continued to remain involved with it and gave their time and assistance until they left India in 1985.

Rev. and Mrs. Hamilton were teachers in the South India Biblical Seminary in Bangarapet, in Karnataka. They both were highly talented and have enriched the lives of many who came in contact with them. Their many and varied contributions to the ministries of South India Biblical Seminary and the Vacation Bible school movement will not be soon forgotten and we thank God for having brought them to serve in India.

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton

Rev. Lester John Hamilton and Mrs. Mary Hamilton



6 responses

  1. My grandad, Rev. M.O. Abraham was a student of the south Indian Biblical Seminary and told me stories of his early Seminary days. His recollections of Rev. &Mrs Hamilton along with several other names like Ms. Zachariah, Ms. Joykutty Jacob, Ms. Faulkner Rev. Theodore Williams (primarily the Hamiltons) led me to this page! He has Alzheimer’s and when I showed him the Hamiltons photo he was pleased and happy. He recalls Rev. Hamilton without a beard! God bless you!

    1. Thank you Tessa for your kinds words and support. We are so happy to hear about your granddad. Do give him our regards and we will keep him in prayers.

  2. First of all…am thanking god for this wonderful ministry…thank you lord ..and dear missionaries thanking you because you lived your native country and everything and you came to india thank you for your sacrifice’s very helpful for every child to know god more from his/her am a sunday school student ..I enjoyed every moment while knowing about jesus. And now am teaching to children with action songs and stories.not only in sunday school in VBS every class each student and teacher participate very actively as a home and family

    1. Thank you so much for your support and prayers.

  3. Prethibha Rachel | Reply

    Proud to be a graduate of Sibs and the learnings that I took the special about Sibs is that even today it teaches about the origine of vbs ministries and they give us practical vbs ministries.God bless it.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support.

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