The Dornakal Diocese was formed on December 1912. The First Bishop of the Dornakal Diocese
was Rt Rev V. S. Azariah and also the first Anglican Indian Bishop. As a Bishop
he contributed a lot to the Indian Christianity.
The Diocese of Dornakal, to begin with it was a missionary work of the Church Missionary Society and the Indian Missionary Society. The work began in 1910 in response to a famous speech that a delegate named Azariah gave at the Edinburg Conference in 1910. (This, incidentally, is the same year the Missionary District of Olympia became the Diocese of Olympia.) It was decided that the missionary work was promising and should have a bishop. Azariah became bishop of Dornakal in 1912.
When the Diocese of Dornakal was first formed in 1912, it was quite a small diocese in the south-east corner of the Nizam's Dominions. A few years later it was enlarged by the addition of the District of Dummagudem, in which the Church Missionary Society (CMS) was working. Then a Resolution came of the Episcopal Synod in the year 1920, which transformed this comparatively small diocese into a diocese. By this resolution all the Mission Districts of both the Church Missionary Society (CMS) and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) in the Telugu country, were placed under the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Dornakal. The present Diocese of Dornakal includes a large portion of the Kistna district, together with the part of the Godavari district named Dummagudem; parts of the Kurnool and Cuddapah districts to the south occupied by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG); also the areas in the Hyderabad State occupied by the Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly, the Singareni Mission, the Khammamett Mission (formerly under the Church Missionary Society), and Dornakal Diocesan Mission, which has started work in the until now totally unevangelised area in the Balapala Rajolu. Today Dornakal is known for two things, the railroad junction and the Church.
By the late 1940’s, just two years after Bishop Azariah retired, the Presbyterians, Methodist, Congregationalist and the Anglicans (Episcopalians) came together as the Church of South India. Bishop Azariah played a major role so the Diocese of Dornakal was an important diocese even if it served a large territory made up of smaller communities.
Today the Diocese of Dornakal still consists of a large territory even after it was divided into two dioceses in the 1970’s to make it easier to minister to the people. There are cities within the diocese now; however, they are small cities by Indian standards. The diocese also has a few coal mining communities. However, the majority of the diocese consists of poorer villages and hamlets. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone here. Today there are more than 200,000 souls in the Diocese of Dornakal and it is definitely growing.