Niles, Daniel Thambyrajah
1908-1970; e.m. 1932

Sri Lankan minister and internationally renowned Church leader, born in Telipallai in August 1908. He began training for the law, intending to follow in his father's footsteps, but entered the ministry. Before World War II he was World Secretary of the YMCA at Geneva. He was a speaker at the World Conference of Christian Youth in Oslo, 1947 and was appointed co-chairman of the World Council of Churches Youth Department. He also served as chairman of the World Student Christian Federation. From 1957 to 1968 he was secretary of the newly formed East Asia Christian Conference, of which he was elected President in 1968, the year in which he was also President of the Ceylon Methodist Church. He was a delegate to the World Council of Churches and one of its Presidents at the fourth Assembly (Uppsala, 1968). He was a Vice-President of the World Methodist Council.

At theBristol Conference in 1948 he was one of the principal speakers against women in the ministry. His book Upon the Earth (1962) was an important contribution to the theology of mission. Three of his hymns are in Hymns and Psalms, but only one, 'Father in heaven' (SF 4), remains in Singing the Faith. He died at Vellore, India on 17 July 1970.

  • Methodist Recorder, 23 July 1970
  • Colin Morris, Snapshots (2007) pp.69-70
  • J.W. Barbeau,'Danilel T. Niles, the Church and the Fellowship of the Spirit' in Methodist Review, Vol. 8 (2016) pp.43-75

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person
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