The Rev. P.B. Ravi Prasad, President
Post Box No. 2
Guntur - Dist., A.P. India
Rev.P.B.Ravi Prasad who started the association/fellowship was served as an ordained minister for 16 years in Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC), the largest Lutheran Church in India, which is an affiliated mission body to ELCA of USA. As the church (AELC) moving far away from the Lutheran doctrines, falling into bondage of Ecclesial slavery and the silent super majority of the Church inevitably and pertinently forced to bear all the harassment by the determined minority, he quit AELC in the month of July 1998. He felt the need to start Independent Lutheran Congregations with a total Lutheran approach in rural areas as they were badly neglected by the established church leaders as well as the pastors. The rural Lutheran believers are like the sheep without shepherd and the charismatic/splinter groups are disturbing them with their false teachings about Baptism, Eucharist, Repentance and salvation. So he gathered the like minded pastors and explained the plight of the rural Lutheran believers.
The first Independent Confessional Lutheran Church was started at Piduguralla with 25 members in a rented house. Within two months of time the other two pastors also started the churches in Karalapadu and Machavaram villages.
The three Pastors along with their congregational members have started campaigning, teaching and preaching the importance of the Lutheran teachings in the surrounding villages. Within two years of time they are able to start six more Independent congregations and appointed pastors.
Many members of the Lutheran Fellowshipís initial 9 congregations are first-generation Hindu converts many of whom face social and family isolation. We reach the people through visiting the houses of the believers as well as non-believers and through conducting the evangelistic meetings and out-reach campaigns.
On February 3, 2004 LFI became Officially approved by the General Conference Executive Board of ELCM for affiliation with and official fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Conference & Ministerium (ELCM) of North America. Through ELCM we were put in contact with CSCM (also in affiliation and fellowship with ELCM) and have been meeting with CSCM leaders as we plan our efforts for Mission in our Lord's name in Andhra Pradesh and South India.
Our Sunday worship services are comprised of Singing, Liturgical order of worship service, reading three Scripture Lessons, Preaching and Intercessory Prayers. Sunday morning we have classes for Children. At evenings we have special meeting time for the Youth. Women meetings are being conducted on Wednesday. On Fridays we conduct special prayer meeting for the sick and needy. On Saturdays we have preparatory services for Sunday. The congregation and the Pastor participate with fasting. Twice in a month we have confessional classes. We observe all night prayer meetings on every second Friday of the month.
We hold that the Holy Bible in both Old Testament and New Testament formation is the complete written Word of God. This complete Word of God comes to us in Law and Gospel and reveals Godís sovereign will and saving grace in Jesus Christ. We hold that the Bible as a whole and in all of its parts is the Word of God under all circumstances regardless of manís attitude toward it. Thus we accept the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as a whole and in all of their parts as the divinely inspired, revealed and inerrant word of God, and joyfully submits to this as the only infallible authority in all matters of life and faith.
We hold that Jesus Christ is the revelation of the Holy Gospel. In Him the Word incarnate, God imparts himself to all people and to all of creation.
We accept the ancient ecumenical symbols, namely: the Apostles, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds as true declaration of the faith of the church.
We accept the unaltered Augsburg Confession and Lutherís Small Catechism as true witnesses and guides to Godís Holy Word of Law and Gospel.
We accept the other writings of Concordia, the symbolic books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The apology of the Augsburg Confession, The Smalcald Articles, Lutherís Large catechism, and the Formula of Concord as a true witness and valid interpretation of Godís Holy Word of Law and Gospel.
We affirm that Godís complete Word of Law and Gospel transmitted by the Holy scriptures, to which creeds and confession bear witness, is the true treasure of the church, the substance of its proclamation, and the basis of its unity and continuity. The Holy Sprit uses the proclamation of the complete Word and the right administration of the Sacrament to create and sustain genuine Christian faith and fellowship. As this occurs, the church fulfills its divine mission and purpose.
We hold that Godís Word has directly instituted two parallel offices of ministry through which the Holy Spirit proclaims the complete Word of God, continually calls, gathers, creates, enlightens and sustains genuine Christian faith and fellowship; and, provides a witness of faith to the world. We hold that these two parallel offices of ministry are: the Office of the Baptized and the Office of Word and Sacrament. We hold that both offices are derived directly from Christ our Savior.
We started the Luther Study Centre to propagate Lutherís Teachings. Because of their ignorance the Lutherans are being attracted by the so called independent splinter groups teachings. The Luther Study Centre is striving to create awareness among the Lutherans primarily and bring them back to the Lutheran fold, and to reach the people that have anti Lutheran concept and to create awareness in them that the Lutheran Teachings are the Biblical Teachings.
The Luther Study Centre desires to have a collection of Lutheran Literature and to translate some of them at least in native language so that many readers come to the knowledge of Luther and understand that the Bible and Lutherans teach that the Bible is the true Word of God, the sinner receives the free gift of forgiveness not by doing good deeds but only by faith. The repentent sinner is saved by the grace of God through faith. With this view the Luther Study Centre conducts seminars, discussions, training programmes and crash courses. The Luther Study Centre is printing tracts and pamphlets, small books for distribution and propagation of Lutheran Teachings.
Lutheran Fellowship wishes to have Luther Libraries in their rural congregations to make available the Lutheran Literature to the common believer. The translation of the Lutheran Literature, the outcome of the seminars and discussions are to be published and placed in these libraries to strengthen the local Lutheran congregations.