Uncle Bob, the Founder
Fondly known as Uncle Bob, George Robert Crow, founder of Grace Ministries was known for his simple ways, knowledge of the Bible, and above all his love for Jesus Christ. His sense of humor was enjoyed by many. At one time he claimed to have defeated Hitler.
A Reluctant Convert
A corporal in the United States Army, Bob was stationed in France during the Second World War. Later, he was sent by the US government to the University of Chicago (UC). As an atheist at that time, he wanted to prove Christianity was for the birds. So, he started to work on a paper. However, while reading the book of Romans to write the paper, the Lord called him and Bob accepted Christ as his personal Saviour.
After completing his BA at UC, he began pastoring a church in the hills of West Virginia. During these years, he was greatly influenced by Hudson Taylor, George Muller, and Amy Carmichael. In particular, their spiritual principle of “living and serving Christ by faith.”
A New Country
Bob came to India in 1952. He chose a very remote, hot, and dusty village in Andhra Pradesh as his base for missionary work. Within the first six months of arriving there, he began preaching in Telugu, the language of that South Indian state. He also spent considerable time learning about Hinduism and Hindu culture.
A few years later, he moved to Secunderabad city, in central India. Here, he helped build a local church called the Good News Centre, and later another one called the Secunderabad Bible Fellowship. He also got involved with the local IVCF and Youth for Christ ministries that work among students. He traveled all over India, teaching and preaching in large Christian conventions, student camps, and other evangelical circles.
A Study Bible in Telugu
In 1953, he began his work among the Telugu people. Before long, he saw that the language of the existing Telugu Bible was not at all like the language that the people were actually speaking in their daily lives. And he desired to do something about it. So, he was overjoyed when, at the height of his preaching, teaching, and writing career, he felt called to translate the Bible into spoken Telugu, a language spoken by nearly 80 million people.
Taking the advice and help of a few Indians proficient in the language, Bob now spent the next several years in translating the Bible into spoken Telugu, which was then published. This work took up most of his time and become his primary focus.
During this time, something else caught his attention. He noticed that there were almost no Bible study helps in the Telugu language (or in other languages of India); no commentaries, handbooks, or concordances. This led him to embark on preparing an original Study Bible in Telugu, not something copied from a study Bible produced for the West. Rather, he began writing notes especially for India, where the background of the people and their ways of thinking are quite different from that of western nations, and Hindu teachings influenced everything.
For the next several years Uncle Bob was engaged in writing notes on the entire Bible in English, choosing references and making a topical concordance. This came to nearly 1000 pages. All this he translated into Telugu.
Meanwhile Bob Crow also founded Grace Ministries (GM) in 1983, and the Telugu Study Bible was published by GM.
Bob Crow and his Indian co-worker, Jeevan Nair, also saw the need to have the Study Bible in English. This would provide a basis for translation into the major languages of India. Uncle Bob passed away in 2007.
Looking Ahead Preaching will have a limited and often short-term effect, but providing a Study Bible would impact generations to come. It would also deepen the work of grace in the lives of individual followers of Christ. Therefore, the vision of Grace Ministries is to see the Study Bible published in other major languages of India, starting with Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam. The Hindi New Testament, with study notes, is already in print. Work on the others is progressing.
Philosophy and Strategy
“Grace Ministries is Bible believing and evangelical. We see the Study Bible as a primary contribution to the church and people of India. Without the Word of God there can be no knowledge of the Living God. GM is about people, individuals and communities. We stay out of the numbers game. What matters is people who have never heard the gospel, hopelessly poor, marginalized, pastors and evangelists with little or no support, and little children. We care for them, because our Heavenly Father cares for them.” -President, Grace Ministries
There are so many needs and so few who give. The constant challenge is to maximize the benefits from the limited resources available. Much has been done, and much remains.
Will you consider engaging with us in this critical task of providing Study Bibles in native languages, so that the Father is revealed, His name is revered, and His kingdom extended to the ends of the Indian subcontinent.