In 1909, Dr. Mary Baer, a Lutheran medical missionary to Indian was able to collect funding to begin medical work in a thatched-roofed hospital in Chirala, Andhra Pradesh, India, on the grounds of St. Mark Lutheran Mission. In 1912, the cornerstone was laid for what would become known as The Baer Memorial Hospital. For six decades, Baer Hospital brought health and healing, hope and a future to hundreds of thousands of people from all castes, and religion, especially the poor castes, in and around the town of Chriala.
In the 1970s a lack of funding due to missionary withdrawals from the region, neglect from local Christian churches, the convergence of building deterioration and the political climate resulted in Baer Memorial Hospital closing its doors; except for a small independent nursing school in the old clinic. The buildings were left to squatters and pillaging by locals. The ensuing years left the complex and its several buildings in desperately ill repair.
In 2003, a group of caring and hopeful residents of Chirala cast a vision to renovate and reopen Baer Hospital. They formed the Chikkalas Trust to gain necessary support to resurrect the health, healing and hope of Baer Hospital, Clinic, and Dispensary. The Chikkalas Trust was originally formed in 1998 to support Priya Home (orphanage) and Sarojini Sewing school. The funds for supporting these two units came from members of Chikkala family, who even now continue to meet most of the expenditure of these two ministries. Realizing the good service being done by Chikkalas Trust, the task of renovating and reopening of Baer Hospital was entrusted to them in 2005. In that year, a group of dedicated members of Oak Road Lutheran Church, Lilburn, GA led by the Holy Spirit formed the Chirala Medical & Educational Trust, Inc. to assist in the revitalization and reopening of the historic Baer Memorial Hospital, Chirala, Andhra Pradesh to the Glory of God. The Chikkalas Trust, partnering with the Chirala Medical and Educational Trust, Inc., (known simply as the CM&E Trust) is causing what is now Baer Christian Hospital to rise from the ruins of its former heritage of healing—continuing the loving legacy of Dr. Mary Baer and her sister, Emma Baer in the name of Jesus Christ.