Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) of India

It is in joining hands with our global companions and missionaries that we are all strengthened for mission.
Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, Director of ELCA Global Mission

AELC-india-map-300x262We in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod are joining hands with our companion synod, the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

By walking hand in hand with our companion synod, we are practicing accompaniment – a way of seeing the world and engaging one another in global mission that places mutual relationship at its core. In this relationship, we experience the persistence and resilience of our brothers and sisters in Andhra Pradesh. Gifted local leaders carry out the programs and ministries the ELCA helps support. Together, we Lutherans in northwest Minnesota and in Andhra Pradesh are reshaping the manner in which we engage in global mission ventures.1

Stats & Facts

Our companion synod includes:

  • Over 800,000 baptized members
  • Over 5000 congregations
  • 600 ordained pastors and a large number of lay workers

Like Our Synod…

  • Like the folks in our synod, about 80% of the members are from rural backgrounds.
  • Like the members of our synod, residents of Andhra Pradesh regularly battle overland flooding when monsoon rains spread across the flat fields. They reached out to us with funds for flood relief in 2009.
  • Like our synod, the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church serves people through educational, medical, and social ministries and does evangelical outreach.
  • Like the women’s ministry we have in our church, the AELC has a small group of women church workers, the Bible Women, who reach out to other women with the Good News.
  • Like the institutions of our church, the AELC operates a college of education, 24 primary and secondary schools, two seminaries, vocational training schools, a Bible school, two hospitals, a nursing school, and health clinics which fight again communicable diseases.

Unlike Our Synod…AELC-logo

  • Andhra Pradesh has 76 million people It’s located in the tropics
  • The predominant language is Telugu
  • A little less than 90% of the residents are Hindu, a little less than 10% are Muslim, and about 3% are Christians
  • It’s an agricultural area where rice, sugar cane, tobacco, and oilseeds are grown
  • Coal and iron ore are mined, and electronics are manufactured

Sharing the Story

Book an India Traveler For a Presentation at Your Church

India-group-2013-600x380 (1)

Nineteen members and friends of the NW MN Synod traveled in our companion synod, the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) of southern India, Nov. 2-17, 2012. They are eager to share their experiences with the people, organizations and congregations of the NW MN Synod.
More information and how to book a traveler…

Travel Exchange

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. For we are God’s Servants, working together…
I Corinthians 3: 6, 9


Marlene Johnson (left) presents a prayer shawl to Pastor Grace during Sunday worship at Our Savior’s, Moorhead.

The NWMN Synod Global Mission Table—a team of synod leaders who have a passion for the global mission of the ELCA—is in the process of planning a couple of exchange visits with our companion synod. We hope to bring over a team of around 5 members of the AELC to visit our synod and send a team of up to 15 members of our synod to the AELC.

If either of these exchange visits interest you, please send an email to .



More Information

Show 1 footnote

  1. Adapted from the comments of Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla in the 2011 Hand in Hand Annual