Niles, Daniel Thambyrajah
b Telipallai, Sri Lanka 1908, d Vellore, S India 1970. Univ of Ceylon (law); ordained to the Methodist ministry in 1932. He became a Local Minister and Circuit Superintendent, Chairman of N Ceylon District Synod, then from 1968 President of the Ceylon Methodist Conference. He was Sec at various times of the national SCM, YMCA and Christian Council, and became an international missionary statesman and worker for church unity, promoting Bible study and evangelism through the World YMCA, World Council of Churches, and World Student Christian Federation. From 1957 he was Gen Sec of the East Asia Christian Conference; and President from 1968; also General Editor of its 1964 hymnal (later renamed the Asia Christian Conference Hymnal). Through this book he circulated many new Indian and other Asian hymns, some of which in paraphrase reached a global audience. His many other books included 3 short essays on Genesis, rich in quotation, published in the UK in 1958 as In the Beginning, where he pleaded for ‘a re-discovery of the faith of the Bible’. His book concludes, ‘Bethel was set in the path of the sinner. Bethlehem is the fulfilment of Bethel for every sinner now’. 44 of his hymn texts, translations etc, featured in the Asian hymnal. His most popular version to date has probably been the verses from Elena G Maquiso’s Philippine text c1961, Father in heaven, grant to your children; this is one of his 3 texts in the 2005 edn of A Panorama of Christian Hymnody. No.154.