Malagar, Pyarelal Joel (b. 1920)

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Pyarelal Joel Malagar, the first India national ordained to the office of bishop in the Mennonite Church in India. His parents, Joel and Janki, residents of Balodgahan via Dhamtari, were village evangelistic workers (lay evangelists) employed by the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church). Pyarelal received elementary education in Balodgahan, and secondary education in Dhamtari. After graduation from the Mennonite high school he joined the evangelistic program of the mission. He was sent to the Bangalore Bible Institute in south India to train for evangelism. In 1948-1950 he studied in Goshen College and Goshen Biblical Seminary, Goshen, IN., receiving the BA and ThB degrees. Later he received the BD degree from Serampore Theological College in West Bengal.

He married Satyavati Prabhudas, a teacher in the English Primary School in Dhamtari. They had two sons and one daughter.

Pyarelal was ordained a minister (1945) and bishop (1955) in the Mennonite Church. He has served for various periods in the following positions: editor of Shanti Sandesh, a peace magazine; director of Mennonite Central Committee of India; director of Mennonite Christian Service Fellowship of India; president of Fellowship of Reconciliation in India; moderator of the annual conference of the Mennonite Church in India.

Pyarelal's second visit to North America was in 1975. He and Satyavati attended the biennial meeting of Mennonite Church (MC) General Assembly in Eureka, IL, and the meetings of the Mennonite World Conference presidium, of which he was a member.


Lapp, John Allen. The Mennonite Church in India, 1897-1962, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, vol. 14. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1972: 180, 191.

Malagar, Pyarelal Joel. The Mennonite Church in India. Nagpur: National Council of Churches in India, 1981.

Author(s) Wilbur Hostetler
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Hostetler, Wilbur. "Malagar, Pyarelal Joel (b. 1920)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 16 Jan 2021.,_Pyarelal_Joel_(b._1920)&oldid=89260.

APA style

Hostetler, Wilbur. (1987). Malagar, Pyarelal Joel (b. 1920). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 January 2021, from,_Pyarelal_Joel_(b._1920)&oldid=89260.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 533. All rights reserved.

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