Jacob Chamberlain helped lay a firm foundation for Christian missions in India
Book Review / June 3, 2017

Jacob Chamberlain (1835-1908) served as a missionary to India representing the (Dutch) Reformed Church in America. Born in Sharon, Connecticut, he studied both theology and medicine before joining the Arcot Mission in South India in 1859. As a trained medical doctor, he founded two hospitals and conducted several dispensaries. But perhaps his most enduring work was literary. From 1873 to 1894 he chaired a committee that revised the Telugu Bible. He prepared a popular Telugu hymnbook and completed the first volume of a Bible dictionary. Repeated illness obliged him to about 10 years on furlough in the USA, where his story inspired a growing interest in mission work. Concerned for church unity, he became the first moderator of the Synod of South India in 1902. In 1878 he was the first missionary ever chosen as president of the general synod of his denomination. Chamberlain wrote three autobiographical books chronicling his medical missions work in India, which are “Into the Tiger Jungle,” “The Cobra’s Den,” and “The Kingdom in India.” Dr. Chamberlain arrived in Madanapalle in 1863. On July 9, 1865, he founded the church at Madanapalle with a membership of eight adults and eight children. By 1888 the membership had…