Sukhlal, Manohar (ca. 1888-1960)

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Manohar Sukhlal was a teacher, deacon, evangelist, and minister of the Mennonite Church in India was born to a Hindu Harijan farmer family of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (M.P.). He was one of the 16 children admitted by William Page to the American Mennonite Mission orphanage in Dhamtari, M.P., in 1899.

He was assigned to various supervisory tasks at the orphanage, and, after completing his middle school education, he took local normal school (teacher) training. In 1912(?) he married Sukhma Bai, one of the boarding girls. They had four children. In 1917 he was sent to Jabalpur, M.P., for further teacher training at a government school after which he served as supervisor of the mission-operated primary schools in and about Dhamtari. In 1921 he was appointed to serve as headmaster of the vernacular middle school for girls in Balodgahan (later known as Garjan Memorial School).

Sukhlal early exhibited an interest in village evangelism and outreach. In 1912 he was Hindi recording secretary for the first India Mennonite Conference. In 1913 he was ordained deacon for the Sunderganj congregation and in 1931 became the first ordained Indian minister. He lived a very simple lifestyle and used unsophisticated language. He was ordained deacon for the Sundarganj congregation in Dhamtari, but served most of his pastoral years in Balodgahan. He also served in pastorates at the Shantipur Leprosy Hospital and at Ghatula. He died 24 March 1960 in retirement at his village home in Balodgahan.


American Mennonite MC Mission, Dhamtari, India. Building on the Rock. Scottdale: MPH, 1926

American Mennonite Mission Annual Reports (1913), (1931).

American Mennonite Mission Educational and Evangelistic Committee files in Archives of Mennonite Church USA (Goshen, Indiana, USA), box IV-17-7.

Biographical data supplied by P. J. Malagar.

Author(s) John A Friesen
Date Published 1989

Cite This Article

MLA style

Friesen, John A. "Sukhlal, Manohar (ca. 1888-1960)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 24 Sep 2020.,_Manohar_(ca._1888-1960)&oldid=117123.

APA style

Friesen, John A. (1989). Sukhlal, Manohar (ca. 1888-1960). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 September 2020, from,_Manohar_(ca._1888-1960)&oldid=117123.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 864. All rights reserved.

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