November 12, 2008


Official Name:
Vollbrecht Nagel
Date of Birth :
Nov 3, 1867
Date of Demise :

May 21, 1921
Place of birth :

Stammheim, Germany

Hebrews 11:8 "By faith, ... he went out..".

V. Nagel was a German pioneer, who carried out his evangelical and humanitarian ministry in Kerala, a state in India and is fondly remembered as "Nagel Saipu" by the locals.

Nagel was born to godly parents in Germany, who were saddlers by profession. His education was limited to self-study, since he could attend school only briefly. One day at the age of 18, he happened to hear the gospel from a cobbler, and was born again, by accepting the Lord Jesus as his Savior.

Fuelled by inner passion, he went to the Switzerland Bible College. On returning after the completion of studies, he joined Basel Mission, Germany in 1886.

In 1893, he reached Kerala as an ordained Basel Missionary. He first ministered in Kannur. He then moved to Vaniyamkulam. While living in Vaniyamkulam, he gave up his membership with the Basel Mission, which meant he would be giving up all sources of funds from his homeland. He lived a life of Christian faith, the faith that believes in God, even when the future looks bleak.

While in Kerala, he mastered the native language, Malayalam and also penned numerous Malayalam hymns that still refreshes the soul of many a Christian believer today. He also found his family and friends in Kerala. He married Harriet Mitchell, who was an Anglo-Indian school teacher. They were blessed with 7 children. He also befriended Sathyarthy, a native, who accompanied him for all his ministries. He soon left Vaniyamkulam and relocated to Kunnamkulam.

As a missionary, he ministered to the jailed convicts at Paravoor and also took up the task of church planting. From Kunnamkulam, he later moved to Nellikunnu, Thrissur and established an orphanage for girls there. This symbol of care and Christian love still survives today to nurture hundreds of unfortunate lives and homes established as the Rehoboth Girls Home, Thrissur.

When he was 47, he planned to visit Germany, and hoped to return to Kerala after a while. But then, when he decided to do so, the First World War broke out and he had to abandon all hopes of returning to his family, his beloved brethren and his mission place. As the war progressed, he was forced to go to Switzerland. There paralysis struck him and he was bedridden. At the age of 54, this man of God, left his earthly abode and went on to be with his heavenly Master.

Personally, his songs have touched and inspired me. My personal favorites are "En needhiyum, vishudhiyum", "Yehovah ethra nalavan", "En Yeshu, En Sangeetham", "Njan Karthavinayi paadum", "Neethimaanmarin koodarangalil", "Yeshuve ninte roopam e ente kannukalku", "Yeshuvepole aakuvan" "Yeshu en swantham, hallelujah", and "Rakshaka nin aadukallin".


Anonymous said...

Hi all,

A few more collections on V.NAGEL. Please follow the link now:

Best wishes

Rejoy K P (റിജോയ് പൂമല) said...


This is a great collection! Happy to meet such a christian blogger.. I think u r a malayalee too., so here i would like to introduce my blog which is a collection of malayalam christian songs.. pls visit:

I was also trying to collect & write biographies of missionaries & song writers in malayalam. I will come back to ur blog.

One suggestion I have is to add the 'follower' option too..

God bless.. c u..

Julie said...

Hi, my name is Julie, and Volbrecht Nagel was my great-grandfather. :) ... Thank you for the post! ... And I am thrilled to see a photo of him that I have not seen before. :)


Mathew John said...

Where are you located now Julie? Do you know what happened to all the surviving children of V Nagel? You are granddaughter of which of the children of V Nagel.

Unknown said...

Ya good collection..god bless you even I am also researching on Sadu Kuchukunju upedshi..from 4 years and glad to hear Julie may God bless you dear.

Jithin Samuel said...

To get info of Sadu kuchukunju Upedshi just mail me on

Daniel said...

Does any one happen to know who wrote the hymn:
Shudhar sthuthikkum veede
Daiwa makkalkullashrayame

Dan said...

Hello Julie
That's nice to read your blog.
Can you please contact me

Annie Victor said...

Hi Julie,

Glad to know that you are the great grand daughter of German missionary Hagel...Do you know how much..we Christians of kerala owe your great grand father...Pls do visit kerala and see the millions of kerala Christians
( legacy of your great grandfather...)Come n see the land that was once your great granfathers land.This.