Longtime CBF worker Latha Bandela dies

A longtime CBF field worker who served in India died Oct. 11 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

By Jeff Huett

Latha Bandela, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field worker for more than 17 years until 2011, has died at the age of 66. She suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away Friday at an Atlanta-area hospital.  

Bandela LathaIn 1994, Latha and her husband, Sam, started the Chamblee-Doraville Ministry Center in the Atlanta area and led it to be an established ministry with 10 full-time employees and a dozen community-based programs.

In 2000, the couple began a new assignment with CBF to minister to people groups in India with a special focus on North India. The Bandelas helped tsunami survivors with life skills through sewing centers and other community projects, including distribution of fishing nets, school uniforms and Bibles.

In August 2006, the Bandelas helped facilitate CBF emergency relief in the Andhra Coastal districts, distributing clothes, rice, clean drinking water, blankets, school supplies, Bibles and cash for emergency supplies to 600 families hit by flooding.

They also helped with medical clinics in remote areas, a film ministry and engaged in training, evangelism and church planting.

Sam Bandela currently serves as one of CBF’s field personnel coordinating a variety of ministries in India from the Atlanta area. In addition to her husband, survivors include three children: Elizabeth, Anita and Paul.

“Along with countless others whose lives she impacted, CBF mourns the loss of Latha Bandela,” said Jim Smith, interim director of global missions for the Decatur, Ga.,-based Fellowship. “She was a dedicated mother and provided sacrificially in the care of her three children.”

Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday with a funeral service to follow at 10 a.m. Both are at Dunwoody Baptist Church, 1445 Mt. Vernon Road Dunwoody, GA 30338.