Visit by President of India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC)
(Left to Right): Rev Gopinathan, former Secretary, IELC; The Rev. Raja Gambeeram, President, IELC; Rev. Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations; Rev. Sukumaran, Vice President, IELC; Mr. Darin Storkson, Senior Regional Director, Asia and Oceana; Mr. Ravi Jesupatham, Country Coordinator -India for the LCMS
Fenton, MO — Our Savior Lutheran Church
President Raja Gambeeram of the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) visited with Dr. Albert Collver, Director of Church Relations / Regional Operations, at the end of his 10 day trip to the United States. Rev. Raja Gambeeram was elected as president of the IELC on 27 May 2014, succeeding President Samuel. LCMS representatives from the Office of International Mission (OIM) attended the IELC convention in May 2014 as observers. President Harrison officially recognized Rev. Raja Gambeeram as the president of the IELC on behalf o the LCMS on Epiphany, 6 January 2015.
President Raja and the elected officers of the IELC feel a great debt of gratitude to the LCMS as the “mother” who gave birth to the IELC through mission work begun in 1894. The IELC is working hard to remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. There is great need to improve the education of pastors. President Raja also desires to promote unity inside the IELC so that the church can most effectively proclaim the Gospel to a primarily non Christian culture. Hinduism is the primary religion in India. Those who convert could be shunned by their family, lose their social standing, and perhaps even their employment. This is part of the challenge the church faces in proclaiming the Gospel in India.
The visit of a church body president from a partner church is a joyous occasion and an opportunity to discuss how the LCMS and her partners can work together in the best way possible. President Raja is looking forward to working more closely with the LCMS over the coming months and years. President Harrison’s letter to President Raja is provided below.
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