Esch, Christian David (1883-1931)

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Christian David Esch was a missionary in India and a physician. Born 12 October 1883 at Wellman, Iowa, Esch was the son of David and Fannie Kanagy Esch. He married Mina Ellen Brubaker (1887-1983) of Cherry Box, Missouri, USA), on 5 September 1908. Together they raised a family of seven children. He died 21 February 1931 at Dhamtari, Madhya Pradesh, India.

A graduate of Goshen College (BA) and Chicago Medical School (MD), he and Mina were appointed to mission service in India in 1910 by the Mennonite Board of Missions (MC). There he was responsible for the establishment and development of what became the Dhamtari Christian Hospital in 1916. In recognition of his pioneering work in the modern treatment of Hansen's Disease (leprosy), the governor of the Madhya Pradesh (Central Provinces) presented him with the Kaiser I Hind Silver Medal in 1927.

Soon after arriving in India in 1911 he was ordained as minister and in 1924 as bishop. Widely known for his piety and versatility, Esch was a classic figure as a medical missionary, church leader, and hospital administrator.


Lapp, John Allen. The Mennonite Church in India, 1897-1962, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, vol. 14. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972: index.

Springer, Nelson and A.J. Klassen, compilers, Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, 2 vols. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1977: p. 439.

Author(s) John A Lapp
Date Published 1990

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MLA style

Lapp, John A. "Esch, Christian David (1883-1931)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 21 Jun 2021.,_Christian_David_(1883-1931)&oldid=87409.

APA style

Lapp, John A. (1990). Esch, Christian David (1883-1931). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 June 2021, from,_Christian_David_(1883-1931)&oldid=87409.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 272. All rights reserved.

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