Dubai, August 24: Retired Pastor of the Episcopal Methodist Church in Mumbai Rev John Bhasker Challa, who had previously served as the director and district superintendent, passed away in Dubai during a visit to the Kannada Community Church.
Rev Challa arrived in Dubai with his wife Rajas Challa on July 28 and was admitted to NMC Hospital on Aug 1, where he was diagnosed with severe pneumonia with heart complications and was in the ICU for 20 days. On the morning of Aug 21, he breathed his last. He will be buried in Mumbai in his family grave at Sevri as soon as all the formalities are completed.
Rev Challa’s career commenced in 1963 as the assistant team leader of the Evangelistic Band in Coorg, which preached the Gospel in remote areas. He was then promoted to the post of Evangelist-in-charge of Manipur Church under the Basel Evangelical Mission.
During 1964 – 2007, he served as the pastor of Robinson Memorial Methodist Kanarese Central Church under the Methodist Church in Southern Asia. He was responsible for ministry among children and youth, teaching, conducting literacy programmes, preaching, public communication, conducting interactive forums, and so on.
He also served as the secretary of the Bombay Annual Conference and compiled five journals besides performing his other duties. He was also the vice chairman of the executive board of the Bombay Regional Conference and Methodist Church in India (BRC/MCI), the member of the board of governors, Bombay Metropolitan YMCA, Chairman of Proctor Branch, Bombay YMCA, New World Missioner under UMC Programme of World Missions in USA, district superintendent of the church in Thane district, and also director of the Jesus Calls, a nondenominational, international ministry on healing and prayer, which conducted healing ministries among Christians as well as non Christians.
Rev Challan had a LTh (License in Theology) and GTh (Graduate in Theology) from Revom BEM Theological Seminary in Mangalore and a diploma from Serampore University. He also has a BD (bachelor of divinity) at Revom Leonard Theological Methodist College in Jabalpur, India; an MA in Philosophy at Revom University of Nagpur, India; and Bachelor of Law from Revom University of Bombay.
He edited a monthly church bulletin called “Sabhapatra” for nearly 35 years. In short, he taught, preached, counseled, edited and wrote for papers, compiled journals, and did much more for the benefit of the members of the community.