Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church

Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC)[1] was constituted in the year 1927 in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the Indian successor to the United Lutheran Church in America which was started as a self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating church among Telugu Christians.[2]

Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church
ModeratorBishop K. Frederick Paradesi Babu
RegionAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andaman and Nicobar Islands
LanguageTelugu, English
FounderEvangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America
MinistersB. V. Subbamma, R. R. Sundara Rao, P. Solomon Raj, G. D. Melanchthon
MissionariesJohn Christian Frederick Heyer, Anna Sarah Kugler, W. D. Coleman, W. P. Peery,
Office Bearers of the AELC
  • President

Bishop K. Fredrick Paradesi Babu

  • Vice-President

Rev. Allamudi James

  • Secretary' Sri. Chinnam Kishore
  • Treasurer Sri. K.Arnald Moses


In India

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Plütschau of the Danish-Halle Missionary Society at Tranquebar were the first Protestant Missionaries to India who were Lutherans.

In Andhra Pradesh

The AELC was founded as a mission field of the then General Synod of the Lutheran Church in America by John Christian Frederick Heyer (known as Father Heyer) on 31 July 1842.[6]

As a first step, schools were established. With new baptisms, the confidence of the missionaries increased. Later hospitals were established.



The current Moderator / Bishop of the AELC is Bishop K.Fredarick Paradesi Babu. In the recent elections of the AELC, Bishop K.Fredarick Paradesi Babu was elected as the President of the AELC for a term of four years replacing Bishop B. Suneel Bhanu.[7]

For administrative purposes, six synods have been established, each taken care of by a Synod President. A 24-member Executive Council whose members are drawn from the six synods administers the Church society.[8]

Moderator / Bishop

The Executive Council of this Church Society elects a set of office-bearers each quadrennium.[9] The Moderator / Bishop heads this century-old Church Society. In earlier nomenclature, the term President was used. However, with the arrival of Rev. G. Emmanuel, the nomenclature was changed to Moderator / Bishop to denote a more ecclesiastical term. However, the term President also continues to be used.

Succession of Presidents

YearsSuccession of Presidents Academic Credentials
1944–1950E. PrakasamL. Th. (Serampore)
1951–1955A. N. GopalL. Th. (Serampore), Th. M. (LSTC)
1956–1960G. DevasahayamL. Th. (Serampore), S. T. M. (LTSP)
1961–1962K. KrupadanamL. Th. (Serampore)
1963–1964G. DevasahayamL. Th. (Serampore), S. T. M. (LTSP)
1965–1969K. DevasahayamB. A. (Andhra), B. D. (Serampore), Th. M. (LTSP)
1969–1981S. W. SchmitthennerM. Div. (LTSG)
1981–1989K. NathanielL. Th. (Serampore)
1993–1997M. Victor PaulB. A. (Andhra), B. Ed. (Andhra), B. D. (Serampore), M. Th. (Serampore), S. T. M. (LS), D. Min. (LS)
1997–2000G. EmmanuelL. Th. (Serampore)
2000–2001N. Ch. Joseph
2001–2005Ch. Victor MosesB. Th. (Serampore), B. D. (Serampore), M. Th. (Serampore)
2005–2009V. E. ChristopherB. Th. (Serampore), B. D. (Serampore)
2009–2013B. Suneel Bhanu[10]B. D. (Serampore), Th. M. (SEAGST)
2013-2017K. Frederick Paradesi BabuB. Th. (Serampore), B. D. (Serampore)

Women's ordination

For long, women's ordination in the AELC was taboo. One of the first theologically trained women of this Church, the Fuller Theological Seminary-educated Rev. Dr B. V. Subbamma[11] could have been ordained long ago. But Church leaders, fearing her leadership kept the issue of women's ordination aside.[12]

However, with sustained efforts and dialogue of Dr. K. Rajaratnam, Rev. Dr. Prasanna Kumari Samuel, and Dr. Monica J. Melanchton of the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College and Research Institute (GLTCRI), the dream of women's ordination became a reality. With the active cooperation of the then President, Bishop G. Emmanuel, seventeen women were ordained into pastoral ministry on 20 February 1999.[11]

Synod Presidents of the AELC[13]
  • Visakha Synod

Rev. V. G. Devadas

  • East Godavari Synod

Rev. P.David Raju

  • West Godavari Synod

Rev. M.A.S.Martinss

  • East Guntur Synod

Rev. K.Ratna Mohan

  • Central Guntur Synod

Rev. Ch. Elia

  • West Guntur Synod

Rev. Y. Suvarna Rao


  1. United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 December 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) AELC
  2. Kolluri Luther Richardson, Towards Self-Reliance : A historical survey of the programmes and efforts of Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1927–1969, Published by Christopher and Kanakaiah, Vijayawada, 2003.
  3. Lutheran World Worldwide Faith News
  4. National Council of Churches in India "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Affiliate Members
  5. UELCI Archived 1 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine Member Churches
  6. Luther Richardson, Kolluri, Rev., Towards Self-Reliance, p. xi, Editorial by Rev. Dr. D. V. Daniel
  7. UELCI Archived 22 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Almanac 2008, pp. 1–8
  9. Ibid.
  10. Professor B. Suneel Bhanu was elected as the President of the AELC for a term of four years beginning from 1 June 2009 replacing Bishop V. E. Christopher. Professor Bhanu pursued theological studies up to M. Th. under the Senate of Serampore College (University). Prof. Bhanu taught at the prestigious Bishop's College in Kolkata and thereafter at the Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in Chennai.
  11. Lutheran World Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine Worldwide Faith News
  12. Victor Premasagar, Indian Women in Evangelism and Theology, Published by Dr. B. V. Subbamma, October 2005. pp. 12–15
  13. Almanac 2008, p. 3

Further reading

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.