Rev Dr Noksangchila, Nagaland & North East first ordained Woman Minister, passes away

In this photo taken March 13, 2019, Rev Dr Noksangchila speaks during a book release at DABA Complex, Dimapur. (Morung File Photo)

In this photo taken March 13, 2019, Rev Dr Noksangchila speaks during a book release at DABA Complex, Dimapur. (Morung File Photo)

Morung Express News
Dimapur | February 20 

Rev Dr Noksangchila, reportedly the first Ordained Woman Minister from Nagaland and the North-East, passed away on Tuesday evening in Suhoi village, Niuland. 

She was 96 and is survived by extended family members.

As per sources, a funeral service is scheduled at the Chümoukedima Ao Baptist Church on Wednesday, at 11AM, after which her mortal remains will be taken to her native village, Yaongyimsen.
Born on March 3, 1927, in Yaongyimsen, Noksangchila achieved several milestones throughout her life. 

She completed her early schooling at Chuchuyimlang and Mokokchung, eventually matriculating from Golaghat Mission Girls’ School, Assam, in 1954.

She was ordained on May 31, 1992, becoming the first woman to receive such an honour from Naga churches. 

Her educational journey included a Bachelor of Theology at Eastern Theological College Jorhat (1955-59), followed by a Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE) in Japalpur and MRE in Massachusetts, United States.

Noksangchila also pursued counseling studies at Tuskberry, Catholic Hospital, Boston, in 1973. 

Notably, she was the first Ao woman to be awarded an (honorary) Doctor of Divinity from the Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration, Gurukul Theological College, Chennai, in 1991.

As per the “Ao Pioneers Taküm Otsü” (Biography of the Ao Pioneers) by Tiala Imchen, late Noksangchila extensive full-time engagement included teaching at Impur Bible School (1959) and serving as the Women Evangelist of Ao Baptist Church Association (ABAM) from 1960-63. 

She later worked as a warden at her alma mater in Golaghat and as a lecturer in ETC (1973-1982).

From 1983-87, she served as the Associate Pastor Women at Police Baptist Church Chümoukedima. 

However, her most remembered stint was as the Chaplain of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC) in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, from 1988-2001. 

During this time, she played a pivotal role in the guest for guest house at CMC for patients from Nagaland.

Reports indicate that in 1998, a fund drive raised a total of Rs 4.50 lakh, which was intended for the construction of the Naga Patient House in Vellore. 

Meanwhile, a foundation stone for a Naga Patient House was laid in December 2022.

Upon returning to Nagaland, she served as the first Warden of Christian Institute of Health Sciences & Research (CIHSR) in 2012. The institute's girl's hostel was inaugurated in her honour in 2017. 

Unmarried and dedicated to lifetime of services,  late Noksangchila, among others, was conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award by the Department of Women Development, Nagaland in 2017 for her “pioneering role in guiding society and inspiring women to achieve higher goals.”

In 2017, the Department of Social Welfare honoured her with Distinguished Senior Citizen Award.