The legacy of Calcutta Mercy spans over 60 years of service to the poor in Calcutta, India.
The Early Years
Mark Buntain (far right on father's lap) is born in Winnipeg, Canada to parents, Daniel Newton and Kathleen Eva Buntain.
Huldah Buntain is born in Tokyo, Japan to pastors and missionaries Reverend Alex and Gwendolyn Munroe. Huldah (left) with sister Beulah.
Huldah (left) moves with her family to Vancouver, Canada.
Huldah at the age of 13.
Mark at the age of 16.
Huldah as a young woman, with her aunt and uncle.
Mark as a young man.
Mark the evangelist studying the Bible.
Huldah meets Mark during a youth service in Vancouver where Mark is presiding.
Mark and Huldah marry and spend the next few years on the evangelistic field in the United States.
Mark and Huldah enjoy the first few years together.
Mark and Huldah give birth to their baby girl, Bonnie.
The Work Begins in calcutta
Mark and Huldah receive a letter from Assemblies of God (USA) inviting them to proceed to Calcutta, India for one year of service.
Huldah Buntain on the SS Mauretania heading to Calcutta, India with her family.
October 6, 1954
Mark and Huldah, with their one-year-old daughter Bonnie, arrive in India and begin holding nightly tent meetings in Calcutta’s city center as an initial outreach effort.
Mark Buntain preaching on a Calcutta street corner.
Mark Buntain preaching at the tent meeting at Royd Street with Huldah Buntain playing the accordian.
Monsoon rains drive the tent meetings into an indoor hall on Park Street. Naming it the Calcutta Revival Center, Mark and Huldah decide to remain in Calcutta so as to further address the various needs of the city.
On November 15th, the Buntains purchase a piece of land on Royd Street on which to build a church.
The Assembly of God Church is built and dedicated on Christmas Day.
Laying of the Cornerstone for Royd Street Church
The Buntains establish the Bengal Bible Correspondence Institute.
The Buntains start an English broadcast called Introduction to Life, and host a radio program in English, Hindi and Bengali through the Far East Broadcasting Association (FEBA).
Concerned about the uneducated children of India, Mark Buntain opens the Royd Street School on January 20th with 230 children enrolled and 16 staff members.
Mark Buntain with the local children.
May 2nd, the Buntains begin a daily feeding program, providing milk, boneyed syrup and parathas to children in the Assembly of God schools.
The food ministry kitchen at Royd Street.
The Buntains begin opening Hindi and Bengali Medium Schools at existing church sites.
The Buntains launch a printing department at the AG Church School for the production of educational and Gospel literature.
To proclaim the Gospel through music, the Buntains host their first Christmas musical, Songs of the Season.
the work grows
The Assembly of God Church opens new Bengali and Nepali sections.
Mark and Huldah Buntain open a Hindi Medium School and call it the "Mahatma Gandhi School" to celebrate the Mahatma Gandhi Centennial year.
Record-high enrollment in Sunday School. The church Sunday School program grows to accommodate over 1,600 children with a Day School enrollment of 1,270 children.
The Royd Street clinic extends to accommodate 16 beds.
The Buntains begin construction of a general hospital and research center to address the sizable need for quality, affordable healthcare.
Mark assists with the groundwork of the hospital
Construction of the hospital
Construction of the hospital near completion.
Huldah and Mark’s daughter Bonnie Buntain meets and marries doctoral student Jim Long while earning her nursing degree in the USA.
The hospital and research center is finished and dedicated by the governor of West Bengal.
Audience at the Inauguration of the AG Hospital and Research Centre.
First nurses at the hospital with a patient.
The Buntains start a community health service in Dum Dum under the aegis of the hospital, marking the beginning of their rural clinic outreach.
Construction of a new church in Dum Dum.
The Buntains open a School of Nursing for female students from impoverished backgrounds, dedicated by the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Sri Jyoti Basu.
School of Nursing graduation day.
The Buntains’ educational network includes 12 schools with an enrollment of 2,200 children.
Huldah Buntain with a teacher and school children.
The hospital expands to accommodate 130 beds with hundreds of daily out-patients.
The feeding program expands to five locations and feeds 1,500 people daily.
Calcutta Mission celebrates its Silver Anniversary of ministry in India.
Mark and Huldah celebrate in the audience at the 25th Year Celebration.
The University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri awards Mark with an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters.
The Buntain Education Centre and the ten-storied A/G Towers adjacent to the hospital is built and dedicated, along with new living quarters for School of Nursing students.
Mark with Mr. Naynayar building A/G Towers
The hospital expands to 150 beds with a pediatric ward. Nurses station in the hospital ward.
The Buntains open their first Bible College in West Bengal.
The feeding program feeds 15,000 daily through numerous feeding stations.
In March, the World Relief Organization honors Mark Buntain with the Helping Hands award for many years of service to the poor and the suffering of Calcutta.
Mark helping distribute blankets to the poor.
Founder Mark Buntain passes away suddenly in Calcutta from a cranial hemorrhage, having served for 34 years in India. He is commemorated and buried in the church complex at Park Street, and Huldah Buntain is elected unanimously as Senior Pastor and Chairman of the Assembly of God Church and mission in Calcutta.
Huldah Buntain at Mark Buntain's grave in Calcutta.
The work expands across India
The work continues as a new School of Nursing residence is purchased across the street from the hospital.
Reverend Huldah Buntain receives an honorary Doctorate from North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The reach of the work extend to the states of Orissa, Darjeeling North Bengal and West Bengal through the construction of multiple churches, retreat centers and schools. Outreach churches and preaching points number 48, and six suburban satellite fellowships grow to an average attendance of 200.
Assembly of God Church in Rusoma Village.
Huldah visiting the poor in Orissa.
At the hospital, Mother Teresa inaugurates the new Mark Buntain Memorial Cardiac Unit.
Huldah Buntain with Mother Teresa.
Construction underway for the Mark Buntain Memorial Church.
Huldah at the construction of the church.
The Mark Buntain Memorial Assembly of God Church is built and dedicated.
The work now includes 700+ churches; 100+ schools; children’s homes; rural clinics; a daily feeding program for more than 18,000 people; and a 173-bed hospital serving 2.2 million patients and providing free care to 880,000.
Huldah with children at the hospital.
Huldah at the feeding line.
Dr. Jim Long and Bonnie Buntain-Long become involved in the daily operations of Huldah’s work in India and begin serving on the hospital’s board.
Jim Long with Mother Teresa.
Dr. Jim Long is appointed President of Calcutta Mercy Hospital, while Bonnie Buntain Long serves as the hospital’s Executive Coordinator.
Dr. Harlan Muntz from Primary Children Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah begins regular visits to Calcutta Mercy Hospital to help establish a strong cleft palate program for children.
The hospital becomes ISO 9001:2000 accredited.
The hospital’s primary goal is to provide free medical care to children and the poor. Pictured here: Jhumna - heart surgery patient.
Family of a child patient at the Calcutta Mercy Hospital.
Children from the Calcutta Blind School receive free operations to help restore their sight, while thousands of other children benefits from a free cleft palate camp and regular treatment for leukemia and thalassemia. Pictured: Huldah with a vision-impaired child.
Huldah, Jim, and Bonnie establish the organization Calcutta Mercy Ministries to continue support for the work started by the Buntains.
Calcutta Mercy Hospital undergoes changes including a new pediatric floor, the inauguration of a new School of Nursing facility, and an increase in free cleft palate surgeries for children due to accreditation by Smile Train. The hospital continues to provide free care to over 40% of its 100,000 yearly patients.
The hospital opens new facilities including a GI Unit, Diagnostic Centre, Pathology Ward, Blood Bank, Adminstrative Block, Opthalmology Department with Phaco equipment, and 6th floor medical facilities.
Satellite Mercy Clinics are established in surrounding villages to provide medical care to hard-to-reach places.
To provide a safe living and educational environment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Board decides to build a residential Hope House for children.
The Volunteer Guest House now accommodates over 300 visiting volunteers each year.
Chanda (pictured) receives a surgery for a hole in the heart made possible through funds raised by volunteers.
In May 2009, the hospital performs the highest monthly number of free cleft palate surgeries at a total of 106.
A child recovers after a cleft lip surgery.
Calcutta Mercy opens a medical clinic in the red light district of Sonargarchi – home to 10,000 sex workers and children. Additional plans are formulated for a new hospital laundry facility so that sex workers can be trained and given alternative employment.
Calcutta Mercy Ministries adopts Global Health Initiatives, including the eradication of polio, fighting malaria, and women health issues through an increase in the number of Mercy Clinics from 14 to 40 in 200 impoverished rural areas by the year 2012.
Mercy Clinic mobile van taking medicine to rural villages.
The initiation of Project Rhino, an online education platform, provides children from poor or disadvantaged backgrounds with a quality primary school education, healthcare, and nutritional help.
Calcutta Mercy develops strong national leadership in the 11 states where it has extended its ministries.
Calcutta Mercy celebrates 60 years of service in Calcutta, India.
Biblestudents move from the basement facilities of the AG church to the newly-constructed Buntain Theological College
Calcutta Mercy celebrates the 50th Golden Anniversary of its first primary school, which has grown from 200 students to a total enrollment of 30,000 students.