India Evangelical Lutheran Church

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India Evangelical Lutheran Church
Classification Protestant
Orientation Lutheran
StructureNational church, middle level synods, and local congregations
Associations United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India
International Lutheran Council
Lutheran World Federation
Region India
Headquarters Tamil Nadu, India
Branched from Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Members114,600 baptized
65,000 communicant
Ministers 120

India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) is a Christian denomination in India. Its headquarters is in Tamil Nadu. It belongs to the International Lutheran Council [1] and the Lutheran World Federation. It has three synods named Ambur, Nagercoil, and Trivandrum. The India Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded through the missionary efforts of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), [2] with whom it remains in altar and pulpit fellowship. [3]


The inception of The India Evangelical Lutheran Church is rooted in the mission work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, beginning in 1894. Over the following decades, the LCMS sent more than 60 missionaries to serve in India, and in 1959, the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) was established as an LCMS partner church.

Today, the IELC has about 764 congregations, 114,600 baptized members, approximately 65,000 communicant members, and 120 active pastors, along with more than 80 schools and three hospitals. It is a member of the World Council of Churches, Christian Conference of Asia, the National Council of Churches in India, and the Lutheran World Federation Council of Churches in India. It is a member church in the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI) - a communion of Lutheran Churches. [4]

The current president of the IELC is Rev. Suviseshamuthu, who was elected as president of the IELC in May 2017, succeeding President Gambeeram, who presided at the election; President Suviseshamuthu's election was also observed by two representative of the Office of International Mission of the LCMS. [5] LCMS representatives likewise witnessed the rightful election of Rev. Gambeeram on 27 May 2014, who succeeded President Samuel. [6] President Harrison officially recognized Rev. Raja Gambeeram as the president of the IELC on behalf of the LCMS on Epiphany, 6 January 2015. [7]

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  1. "India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC)". International Lutheran Council. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  2. Vethanayagamony, Peter. "The Lutheran Churches of India". Lutheran Forum. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  3. "India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC)". Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  4. "Member Churches". United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
  5. Admin, Seminary (3 June 2017). "Seminary Welcomes New IELC President Rev. Suviseshamuthu". Concordia Theological Seminary. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  6. "Administration". India Evangelical Lutheran Church. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. "Visit by President of India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC)". Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Retrieved 9 November 2015.

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