The World Methodist Council was saddened to learn of the passing of Bishop M Elia Peter on March 20, 2014. A former member of the World Methodist Council’s Executive Committee and member of the Council’s Honorable Order of Jerusalem, Bishop Peter was known for his distinctive sense of humor; sharp intellect; and above all, his kindness and humility.
Born into a village preacher’s family in an inconspicuous hamlet in Andhra Pradesh, India on 5th March 1922, Elia soon accompanied his father in teaching, preaching, and leading in worship. As a crusade scholar, he completed his academic and professional preparation at Syracuse University and the Union Theological Seminary in New York. On returning to India, he continued his assignment as Youth Secretary.
He was elected and consecrated as Bishop of the Methodist Church in Southern Asia (now Methodist Church in India) in 1972. He was an example of discipleship and servant leadership with his firm yet gentle administration. In everything, he drew strength from his partnership with Navamani, his wife.
His wisdom, sense of justice, compassion and commitment to the cause of Godly values were such that even after he retired in 1989, he continued to shepherd the Church and several organizations he was involved in.
He often spoke of how God blesses through people. Therefore, in recognizing God’s blessings in his life, he was always grateful to those through whom the blessings came – his parents, family, and the Church. The World Methodist Council would like to extend their sincere condolences to those who knew Bishop Peter, and pray that the pain of his surviving family and friends is soothed by the love of God, who Bishop Peter so diligently served.