Thursday, August 23, 2012

The story of a church


"Festivity is in the air, all are caught up in the celebrations and I am so excited. It is as if Haggai 2:9 has literally come true in my case – “The glory of the latter temple shall be greater than the former”. Yes, my glory is greater now than like never before for many reasons. Are you curious to know the answer for the reason? For you to know that we need to travel back in time – 109 years! A Time Travel – exciting isn’t it? Here we go!

The year is 1903, the time when the British were ruling India and the year of my birth. " write MJ Mathews & Gladwyn in The CALL on GEMS St. Paul's Church in Bettiah.

The church continues to tell her story which goes like this,

Though they had built a huge tower measuring 50 feet, they failed to realize that it was their virtuous lives that needed to tower high. At around 2:13 PM (IST) on January 15, 1934 a major earthquake measuring 8.1 magnitudes caused widespread damage in the northern Bihar and in Nepal. The 1934 Bihar earthquake was one of the worst earthquakes in India's history, in which around 30,000 people lost their lives.

Two big districts of Bihar Munger and Muzaffarpur were completely destroyed. During this earthquake my tower fell. Not many remained alive to narrate this incident; but there was this Muslim cook who always sat outside my compound, waiting to serve food to the British people after the service got over. He remembered that when all buildings in Bettiah fell in the earthquake, except for my tower, I stood tall; he remembered and shared this even at his grand old age of 90, in the year 1998. At that time Mr. Rutherford was the Manager of Bettiah Raj. His grandson Mr. Michael Rutherford too recollected this incident and shared it when he visited Bettiah in 2006.

Here is a rare video of the 1934 earthquake that hit Bihar -

(Video courtesy:

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