New book published in honor of Dr. Fred Downs
November 9, 2022
Dr. Wati Longchar and I are very happy to announce the publication of a new book Christianity and Social Transformation Among Tribes in NE India, in honor of Dr. Frederick S. Downs, former global servant of International Ministries.
In the book’s Preface, I explained that “International Ministries presents this birthday gift to Dr. Frederick S. Downs in the year of Fred’s 90th-year-old birthday along with Fred’s disciples, theological educators, church leaders, and sisters and brothers of India. This book is a witness to Fred’s genuine love and great vision of the land where he was born and fellow people he cares for.”
I am very thankful to Dr. Longchar for taking up this task in the midst of his very busy schedule of coordinating the Christian Social Enterprise Development Training and in his transition to the new responsibility as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia. Dr. Longchar shared, “Dr. Downs has so much influence on us that I received immediate and positive replies from seminary professors, Dr. Downs’ former students, to contribute their articles.”
Dr. Longchar and I coordinated with Dr. Downs’ family to present this surprise gift to Fred in a Zoom meeting on November 9. Fred and Mary appreciated the gift, and Fred is especially interested in who the writers are. “I taught the history of Christianity, calling local Christians to reflect and tell their own stories and develop their contextual theologies and ministries. Western missionaries participate in the mission, but local Christians have played a major role in its development. In the new book, altogether 21 articles critically reflect how missionaries and local Christians transformed the people of North East India.
Fred’s family responded, “It warms our hearts to see how much Dr. Downs’s life work and love for Northeast India has inspired you to honor him in this way. As a husband, brother, father, and grandfather to his family, Dr. Downs’ words and deeds throughout his life have also instilled in his family his love for the Northeast and inspired us to follow lives of service in teaching, ministry, foreign affairs, and charity.”
There will be an official dedication of the book during Nagaland Baptist Church Council’s 150th Anniversary Celebration of Christianity entering Nagaland on November 19-20, 2022. The book will also be launched during the Serampore College Convocation on November 24-27 at the Harding Theological College, Tura, Meghalaya. The Programme For Theology And Cultures In Asia published the book as a recommended reference for theological study.