The Diocese of Dornakal was formed on December 1912. Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah was the first Indian Anglican Bishop of Dornakal and was the most successful leader of grassroots movements of conversion to Christianity in South Asia during the early twentieth century. He was the first and only native Indian bishop of an Anglican diocese from 1912 until his death in 1945
The Diocese of Dornakal began its life on 29 December 1912, when Vedanayagam Samuel Azariah was consecrated its first bishop in St. Paul's Cathedral, Calcutta. John Mott, the well-known missionary authority, who was present on the occasion, has stated that it was one of the most impressive ceremonies he ever witnessed. There were no fewer than eleven bishops of the Province of India taking part in the act of Consecration. Indians from all parts, and especially from the new bishop's own country of Tinnevelly, were present in large numbers to do honour to their distinguished brother. The real significance of the ceremony lay in the fact that Azariah was the first Indian to be consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Communion
When the Diocese of Dornakal was first formed in 1912, it was quite a small diocese in the south-east corner of the Nizam's dominions. A few years later it was enlarged by the addition of the District of Dummagudem, in which the Church Missionary Society was working. Then came a Resolution of the Episcopal Synod in the year 1920, which transformed this comparatively small diocese into a diocese which has now probably as large, if not a larger number of Anglican Indian Christians than any other in India. By this resolution all the Mission Districts of both the Church Missionary Society and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in the Telugu country, were placed under the Episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop of Dornakal. The present Diocese of Dornakal includes a large portion of the Kistna district, together with the part of the Godavery district named Dummagudem; parts of the Kurnool and Cuddapah districts to the south occupied by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel; also the areas in the Hyderabad State occupied by the Indian Missionary Society of Tinnevelly, the Singareni Mission, the Khammamett Mission (formerly under the Church Missionary Society), and the recently formed Dornakal Diocesan Mission, which has started work in the area in the Mulag Taluq that has not been evangelised.