London Missionary Society Chapel

Also Known As: William Charles Memorial Church

Built: 1806

Location: 10 Davidson Street Black Town Madras


Denomination: Protestant

List of Priests and Chaplains:
1825 - 1826 RICHARD KNILL
1826 - 1828 EDMUND CRISP
1828 - 1843 JOHN SMITH

Notes: With the sanction of Lord Barlow then Governer of Madras, William Charles Loveless succeeded in putting up the building in Davidson Street which was used as a place of worship for the European residents in Black Town and which also had honour to be the first Non-Conformist Church in Madras. It was in this Church in 1806 the Rev. Henry Martyn, saint and scholar and the first C.M.S. Missionary to the Muhammadans worshipped on his first Sabbath day in India.

Loveless stayed in India for 20 years and though during this period his work was mainly among Europeans, he was able to lay the foundation for evangelistic work among Indians natives. Before he retired on account of ill health in 1824, he had the benefit of the cooperation of five missionaries from the same L.M.S. Mission, and among them might be remembered a name of Richard Knill who was able to effectively continue the work started by Williams Charles Loveless.

It was Knills time that a schools for girls was built in the Church compound. In the Church in 1806, though the school also was entirely for European children, the work of the missionary was no longer confirmed to that community.

Rev. Edmond Crisp succeeded him, and with deep dedication and great achievements both as a pastor and preacher he made a great impression on those among whom he worked. He was in charge of the Church until 1828, when the Rev. John Smith took over his work during the latters time, the life of the Church was at its best.

In 1852 the Rev William Drew opened an Anglo-Vernacular School in Armenian street and in the course of five years a small Indian Church was found in the George Town in connection with it. Then it was taken care of by Rev.G.Hall and the Rev. W. Joss.

It was by the suggestion of Rev. William Charles Lovelss that Rev. Traveller of the LMS mission built the LMS Church in Vepary in 1819; at present it is called as Missionary chapel, Purasaiwalkam. After 1879 the English congregation in Black Town disbanded itself completely. The Tamil congregation in Black Town and Vepary headed by Rev. M. Cotelingam appealed to the LMS board in London to hand over charge of the Churches to them and it was granted. In 1928 it was felt to separate the Purasaiwalkam Church as one pastorate. With the mutual agreement of the congregation in 1930 the Churches were separated to function independently.