James Mills Thoburn was the first bishop of the Methodist Church to live in India and was elected missionary bishop for India and Malaysia in 1888. Born in Ohio in 1836, Thoburn attended Allegheny College. He was ordained in 1858. A year later he went to India with four missionary couples. He developed a strong influence as a spokesman for missions at the 1864 General Conference of the Methodist Church. Thoburn returned to India in 1866 and became a recognized leader of the Methodist missionaries. He helped to begin publication of The Indian Witness and served as its first editor. He came back to the United States several times, and his influence was recognized in the States as well. Thoburn stayed in office until 1908. John R. Mott called him "possibly the greatest ecclesiastic of the nineteenth century." Thoburn died in 1922.
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