The Centenary celebrations of the Agricultural Institute in Kasam (KAI), Vellore, got underway with the thanksgiving
service even amid COVID 19 protocol on 3rd November 2020 at 10:00 am in the H. M. De Valois Memorial Chapel,
November 3rd is an important day to be remembered in the history of the Diocese of Vellore because the
Agricultural Institute in Kasam was founded on November 3rd in the year 1920 by Dr J. J. De Valois, RCA Missionary
for American Arcot Mission. Completing 100 years in the life of an institution is an important milestone as it
provides an opportunity to stop for a moment to recall the marvellous ways in which this institute has fulfilled its
visionary mission in the field of Agricultural ministry.
The celebration is necessary and a joyous part of human life. It is important as it reflects the attitude of our
gratitude. Even at this pandemic situation, we are called to celebrate God's doing in the Diocese of Vellore through
Time to thank and to celebrate God's faithfulness: David says in Psalm 105:1 “O give thanks to the LORD...”
Thankfulness is an important quality for people of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18) because it helps in recognizing who
God is and what God has done for us. This institution has seen ups and downs but still cater to the society because
of God’s grace. Therefore, let us thank God for guiding this Institute for the past 100 years for His glory.
Time to Remember and to Celebrate People’s Contributions: We need to remember our roots which have shaped
our identity because our growth and strength are found in our roots. This centenary celebration is an appropriate
time to remember the contributions of the RCA missionaries, and our ancestors, especially J. J Devalois, Dr
Debrauin, Ms Henriette Devalois, Bishop. Lesslie Newbigin, Bishop V.S. Azariah of Doranakal, Rev. Joseph John, Mr
Aaron Christian, Rev. A. Devasahayam, Dr Rotchaffer, Mr K. T. Paul, Mr Kangasundaram, Mr P. Sam, Dr M. J. John,
Dr Mrs M. J. John, Dr John L. Peters, Dr & Mrs D. Kanakaraj, Mr & Mrs James William, Mr & Mrs A. E. Kamalanathan,
Mr P. David, Mr & Mrs A. Gunaseelan, Mrs Henriette Devalois, Mr & Mrs A. Nallamuthu, Mr & Mrs C. Rajaratnam,
Mr & Mrs A Y. John, Mr & Mrs A. Devapriyam, Mr & Mrs C. Manikam, Mr & Mrs Gandhi Ruban, Rev.
Gnanasundramani, Dr Peter, Rev. Arnold Joseph, Mr Karuna John, Mr Samuel Sankar, D. P. Devadoss, Mr Joseph, Dr
Pushpanathan, Bishop Sharma Nithiyanandham, Mr Alfred Arunkumar, Dr Vijayakumar James, Rev. Samuel
Gembeeram and Rev. N. Sampath Sadanandam who toiled hard for the growth of the institute.
De Valois, the founder of this Institute, was especially remembered with gratitude during the celebration. De Valois
came to India with a dream and vision to address the need of Agricultural ministry. During those days there was no
budget allotted for the agriculture sector. De Valois managed to get around 330.30 acres of land in Kasam in which
an agricultural farm and a middle-level vocational school based on agriculture were established. The first session
started with 16 boys but grew faster. He encouraged the organizational network of co-operative societies. Out of
many projects he initiated, the agricultural institute became outstanding with an egg marketing co-operative
society. De Valois imported a dozen of Rhode Island Red chicken and white Leghorn chicken from America, which
produced high-quality eggs. In 1940, the farm created a record by producing the highest number of eggs in entire
India. The institute extended its services and began to set a branch where activities like introducing the cultivation
of vegetables, field crop, horticulture and animal husbandry.
Time to celebrate our strengths and to rededicate ourselves to work collectively for the betterment of this institute:
We need to celebrate our organizational strength and longevity. We should celebrate the American Arcot Mission
and their legacies, and our life in the CSI. The fact that many leaders who took part in the effort church union
resulted in the formation of the CSI were Church missionaries connected with the Agricultural Institute should be
On the other hand, it is also a time to rededicate and renew: ‘Kasam’ means spring which marks a new beginning.
This is the story of a model to all Agricultural institutes, all over India. We need to rededicate ourselves and to
strive our best to regain the past glory of this institution and make this spring an ever-flowing stream. We should
make the best use of all the institutions, land and properties which we have inherited from our pioneer
missionaries. We are called to be good stewards and to strive our best to work for the betterment of this
As an indication to make these ideas into practice, after the Thanksgiving Service connected to the Centenary
celebration, a compound wall was for the Kasam agricultural fields was dedicated to safeguarding the property.
This was followed by the public meeting at the community hall adjacent to the De Valois Memorial Chapel (CSI
Kasam Church) focusing on the future of rebuilding and reviving Kasam Agricultural Institute. Rev. Dr Isaac Kadirvel
brought out the history of the farm. Rev. Ch. John Nischal Kumar, Youth Director, CSI Synod, shared few thoughts
focusing on the 'Involvement of Young people in rebuilding the broken structures,' by taking biblical passages from
the Isaiah 58:12 and Amos 9:11, which elucidates the need for rebuilding the ancient ruins. He brought back the
memories of the CSI Synod Youth Festival which took place at Kasam in the year 2000 with the 2000 young people
representing various dioceses of the CSI. Programme executives from the CSI SEVA; Mr Daniel Solomon Raja, Mr
Alexander Jason, Mr Praveen Daniel, Mr George Wesley, Mrs Merlin and Mr Cruz made their presentations
regarding the further projects of rebuilding Kasam Agricultural Institute. Special thanks to the Eastern Area
chairman, Presbyter-in-charge of Kasam, Executive committee members, past and present leaders of Kasam and
Local Congregation for their continued support and patronage.
The present Director In-charge, Rev. Sampath Sadanandam and his team deserve appreciations for their committed
and sincere efforts to safeguard this Institute in all aspects.
The Diocese of Vellore thanks God the Almighty for giving the wonderful opportunity to commemorate the
Centenary celebration of Agricultural Institute, Kasam, CSI - Diocese of Vellore. The Diocese is indebted to the
Moderator of CSI; Most. Revd. A. Dharmaraj Rasalam, Deputy Moderator of the CSI; Rt. Revd. Dr K. Rueben Mark,
General Secretary of the CSI; Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina Raja and the Honorable Treasurer of the CSI; Prof. Dr B.
Vimal Sukumar. The Diocese thankfully remembers the services of Dr J. J. Devalois, Bishop Newbegin, Revd. Arthur
John, Bishop Henry Lazarus, Rev. Joseph John, Dr M. J. John, Bishop Samponniaha, Bishop RT Bhaskaran, Mr C. A.
Samuel, Mr C. A. Joseph, Bishop Mahimai Rufus, Dr Jayakaran Issace, Dr Cornelieus Manoharan, Rev. Singaram
Durai Raj, Bishop Y. William, Bishop Rajavelu, Dr Earnest Bhaskaran, Rev. J. D. Balasundaram, Mr James D Issace, Mr
James William, Rev. M. Gembeeram, Rev. Gnana Sundramani, Governing board of Kasam, Officers of the Diocese of
Vellore, Presbyters, leaders and others for their Sacrificial Service and dedication for the Agri Farm.
Rt. Rev. Henry Sharma Nithiyanandham
Bishop in Vellore