October 4, 2012 | Vanessa Ude

2012 CLCI

June 15th saw the 14th graduation from the seminary with 12 men sent into the field.

July-Aug. & Nov.- Pastor Ude and Prof. Ude taught and preached in the CLCI.

Feb.-Mar.- Pastor Koenig taught and preached in the CLCI.Year 2012 BELC

March saw Mr. and Mrs. Duden visit the chairmen and congregations. Vanessa also taught in her visit to Pastor Ude.

Aug.- Prof. Ude taught and preached.

Oct.- The seven chairmen attended the Joint Asian Conference in Guntur.

Oct. The Joint Asian Pastoral Conf. was held at Guntur with the CLCI hosting.


October 15, 2011 | Vanessa Ude


Graduation from the Seminary took place for 14 men on June 15th.

Dave Lueck, mission helper, was able to teach and preach in various situations.

Five CLCI men attended the Joint Asian English Pastoral Conf. in Chennai Oct. 13-14


Graduation from MLBS for 18 men took place Feb. 28th.

Dave Lueck, mission helper, was able to assist in the church in Aug.-Sept. and to Oct. 16th.

The seven district chairmen attended the Joint Conf. at Chennai Oct.13-14.


November 4, 2010 | Vanessa Ude


Flood relief monies were sent in late 2009 and 2010 to assist CLCI members.

Pastor David Baker came in January and preached and taught.

June 15th graduation saw twelve men graduate for service in the ministry.

Joint Leaders’ Conference was held at Nellore with BELC and HCLCN in October.

This year began the two months out of the country for the missionaries before the six month period elapses.


In January Pastor Baker taught and preached also going to the Andamans.

Seven District Chairmen attended the Joint Leaders’ Conf. in Nellore with the CLCI and HCLCN.

This year began the two month out of the country for the missionaries before each six month period expires.

2009 (CLCI)

October 4, 2009 | Vanessa Ude

Mission Helpers came and worked to assist in July. They were: Peter Evensen, Dorena nd Katie Wiechmann.

June 15th saw the graduation from the three year program with both missionaries present. Twelve graduated.

Oct. 1-2 saw representatives attend the Joint Leaders’ Conf. in Nellore.

2009 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

Graduation from MLBS (1st) took place on Feb. 20th with both missionaries present. Sixteen men graduated.

Mission Helpers came and worked at MLBS and in the districts in July. They were: Pastors Frank Gantt, Todd Ohlmann, Stephen Eichstadt, Mike Naumann, Josh Ohlmann, Jackie Schwersinske, Johanna Reim, Carly Meyer.

October 1-2 saw the Joint Leaders’ Meeting in Nellore with 18 men present including representatives from Nepal and Myanmar.

A Pastoral Visitation was carried out by the two missionaries reaching most of the 507 pastors.

2008 (BELC)

November 4, 2008 | Vanessa Ude

February – Pastor M. Ude arrives to work in India.

April-May – Mission Helper, Larry Dassow, works in various capacities in the church including a trip to the Andamans assisting there.

April – November – Joint District Conferences are held throughout the BELC to assist in district fellowship connections with each other.

Oct. 9-10 – Joint Leaders’ Conference is hosted in  Nellore between the BELC and CLCI to discuss the work and our cooperation and understanding.

2008 (CLCI)

October 10, 2008 | Vanessa Ude

February – Pastor M. Ude arrived to work in India.

June – Pastors Ude and Ohlmann attend the CLCI Seminary graduation of the largest class yet of 14 also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the school.

October 9-10 – Joint Leaders’ Meeting is held in Nellore between the CLCI and BELC leaders to consider the work and cooperation in it. Reports from all were given. This replaces the Joint English Pastoral Conference this year.

2007 (CLCI)

October 30, 2007 | Vanessa Ude

The seminary graduated(9th year) 12 on June 15th.
-Mission Helpers worked from July 10 to Aug. 1. They were: Pastor Baker,  Sandy Baker, Heidi Maas, Kate Friedrichs, Whitney Martin, and Aprill Lillo
-Joint English Conference was attended in Sept.
-Missionary was in the field Feb. 12 to July 21, Sept. 12 to Oct. 21.

2007 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

A Bible School was started at Nagalapuram on Feb. 20 with 19 students to go for two years.
-Mission Helpers worked in the various districts from July 10 to Aug. 1. The helpers were: Pastor Todd Ohlmann, Pastor David Reim, Mike Gurath, David Lueck, Rick Nelson,    Alison Hansen,  Lee Klammer, Laura Hulke, Danielle Beekman and Danielle Ryan
-The Joint English Pastoral Conf. was held at Nellore Sept. 26-28.
-The missionary was in the field Feb. 12 to July 21, Sept.12 to Oct. 21.

2006 (CLCI)

October 4, 2006 | Vanessa Ude

June – Six graduated from the seminary at Nidubrolu. Thirty-two are enrolled.

September – Joint Pastoral Conference was held in Guntur from the 27th to 29th.

October – Pastors Ohlmann and J. Fleischer worked at Nidubrolu.

2006 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

September began the planting for the 8.2 acre paddy land purchased by the CLC as a self-help project.
September saw pastors attending the Joint Pastoral Conference held at Guntur.
October was a time for Pastors Ohlmann and J. Fleischer to work in the areas supervised by Pastors Victor and Moses.

2005 (CLCI)

October 4, 2005 | Vanessa Ude

January – Pastor Ohlmann on the field with help for victims of December tsunami
February 22 – Missionary Koenig called and accepted call to work shifted to India as base.
June – Six men graduated and 32 are enrolled in the Seminary.
June 26-July 20 – Mission Helpers Paul Nolting (in seminary), Kristen Nolting, Linsey Paul, and Dana Wuerch (working in VBS) assisted the CLCI.
August 13 – September 28 – Mission Helper Paul Stockman helped in a variety of ways, especially in computer work and teaching.
September 7-9 – Pastors and students attended Joint English Pastoral Conference at Chennai
August 10-October 10 – Missionary on the field but no travel to Nidubrolu this time.

2005 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

January – Pastor Ohlmann on the field with help for victims of December tsunami.
February 22 – Missionary Koenig called and accepted call to work shifted to India as base.
June 26-July 20 – Mission Helpers Nathanael Mayhew, Peter Evensen, Mike Gurath, Paul Tiefel III, Todd Ohlmann, Candy Ohlmann, Liz Povolny, Tamar Reim and Josh Ohlmann taught pastors and VBS.
August 10-October 10 – Missionary on the field with all time spent in BELC.
August 13-September 28 – Mission Helper Paul Stockman helped in a variety of ways especially in computer work and teaching.
September 7-9 – Pastors attended Joint English Pastoral Conference at Chennai.
October –  Meetings started in Chittoor with 22 interested pastors, with this a possible ninth district.

2004 (CLCI)

December 4, 2004 | Vanessa Ude

September 8-10 – Joint English Pastoral Conference was held in Guntur
October 23 – A dedication of the second floor (for students and orphan boys) was held.
December 26 – A Tsunami hit the east coast of India and Pastor Ohlmann came over to assist with word and work.
Statistics – The CLCI has approximately 80 pastors serving around 7000 souls. The Bible Institute had an enrollment of 23.

2004 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

September – New Districts started last year of Vaniyambadi, Renigunta, Kadapa were busy stabilizing.  A new study group was started in Chennai.
August 16-November 18 – Missionary in the field on three circuits of the six study centers.  Forty-eight congregations were visited.  Aug.-Sept. – Pastor Ohlmann worked in the field for several weeks.
September 8-10 Men attended the Joint English Pastoral Conference in Guntur.
December 26 – A Tsunami hit the east coast of India and Pastor Ohlmann came over to assist with word and work.
Statistics – The eight districts had 135 pastors serving 5865 souls.

2003 (BELC)

October 4, 2003 | Vanessa Ude

July 15-August 5 — Mission Helpers Evensen, Busse and Owings arrive.  Peter Evensen teaches at Nagalapuram and Nellore centers.  The two young ladies conduct VBS in ten congregations covering over 700 children.  The Jesus video is shown in connection with the VBS.
July — The CLC sets up the Jesus Video Film Ministry for BELC to use.
August 13-15 — Joint English Pastoral Conference is held at Chennai with total attendance of 24
July-October — Missionary on the field taking three circuits teaching and preaching centering at Nellore and Nagalapuram centers. Thrity-six congregations are visited.  The five districts had 36 pastors.  50 new pastors are going through training. Catechisms and Bibles are distributed.

October 16 — Paul Raj ordained
November — The BELC sends Pastor Victor to begin mission work in Cuddapah District of Andhra Pradesh with Mission Board support.  Meetings begin also in Velur (Sampath) and Renigunta (Moses).

2003 (CLCI)

August 4, 2003 | Vanessa Ude

June — Nidubrolu Bible Institute graduated another class.  Seventeen are in the new school year.
July 15-August 5 — Mission Helpers Evensen, Busse and Owings arrive.  The two young ladies spend time with the orphans going over material used in VBS.  Peter Evensen teaches in the seminary.
July-October — Missionary goes on three circuits during which he teaches at Nidubrolu.  Hindi and Telegu catechisms are secured.  Bibles are purchased for distribution.
August 13-14 — English Pastoral Conference is held in Chennai and attended by CLCI men.  Total attendance is 24.
October — Mission Board approves building a second floor over original mission house for institute student hostel and to house male orphans.  An acre is purchased for a future orphan school.

2002 (CLCI)

October 4, 2002 | Vanessa Ude

March — VBS was held in several stations with a total attendance of 915.
June — The Bible Institute graduated three men.  Attendance for the new year was sixteen.
September 25-27 — The Second Joint English Pastoral Conference was held at Guntur with Pastor Mark Bohde, of Thailand, as chairman.
October 14-17 — Mission Helper, Tim Schreyer, visited congregations and worked with the orphans.  The missionary was unable to work in the CLCI due to the load in the BELC.
Statistics — The CLCI showed a slight increase to 69 congregations with over 7000 souls.

2002 (BELC)

| Vanessa Ude

January 23-February 6 — The missionary was sent to sift through to ascertain the truth and then to salvage our work there for Him.  Pastor Bas finally admitted his sin and asked for forgiveness.  The missionary assured him of it.  The missionary asked for Pastor Bas to resign his presidency of the BELC for the best interests of the work.  Pastor Bas declined.  Over the time of this visit, meetings were held and the situation was explained to the pastors.  Around 40 pastors indicated their desire to remain in fellowship with the CLC.  Interim arrangements were made.  Continued corespondence since this time has been carried on to try to clarify situations.  Earnest prayer was called for.  The situation will be further clarified in the next visit of the missionary.
April 15 — Pastor Bas informed us that he was closing the orphanage and school as of this date.
May — The first VBS classes were held in six congregations with total attendance of 265.
September-October — Missionary was able to visit 38 stations of both new and old.  The division between the 36 pastors who remain with the CLC and Pastor Bas was worked on with finally a lawyer being consulted.
September 25-27 — The Second Joint English Pastoral Conference at Guntur was attended by 11 pastors of the BELC
October 1-2 — Meetings were held at Nagalapuram for up to 65 pastors both old and new.
October 11-22 — Mission Helper, Tim Schreyer, arrived and assisted the missionary in preaching, visiting and teaching.
October 18 — An ordination service presided over by Pastor V.S. Benjamin was conducted at Koppedu for the men who had completed the two year course: Moses, Paul, T. Sampath, John Victor, Bhasker.
Statistics — Nellore District – 16 ‘old’ pastors serve 765 souls, and 12 applicants serve 482.  Four Districts (Chennai, Uthukottai, SriKalahasti, Koppedu) – 20 ‘old’ pastors serve 1471 with 49 applicants serving 1316.

2001 (BELC)

December 4, 2001 | Vanessa Ude

July 19-21 — The first Joint English Pastoral Conference was held at Chennai.
July-August — Mission helpers Nathan Greve and Karl Koenig worked with the orphans at Uthukottai. Pastor Ohlmann and M. Schierenbeck, and Peter Evensen taught, and preached at Nellore and Uthukottai. Pastor Ohlmann took a mission trip with Pastor Bas to the Andamans.
July 8-September 9 — Missionary was present in the field.
December 13 — This was the twentieth anniversary of the BELC having been started by Pastor Bas with three men in the southern tip of India.
December — Information was disclosed that indicated Pastor Bas was working also with the AALC (American Association of Lutheran Churches) in violation of his and our stated Bible position. Prayer was called for. A rupture was occuring in our relationship.

2001 (CLCI)

September 4, 2001 | Vanessa Ude

July-August — Mission Helpers came from the USA to assist the brethren. Pastor Mike Schierenbeck and Peter Evensen taught at the seminary at Nidubrolu, preached in the congregations and worked with the orphans.
July 19-21 — The First Joint English Pastoral Conference was held at Chennai with six representatives from the CLCI, five mission helpers from the USA, 12 representatives from the BELC and the missionary present.
July 8-September 9 — Missionary was present in the field.

2000 (BELC)

October 4, 2000 | Vanessa Ude

January — BoM members, Pastor Bruce Naumann and Mr. Jack Mayhew, accompanied by Missionary Koenig conducted a visitation in both the BELC and the CLCI.  This allowed the board members a fuller understanding of some of the intricacies as well as the scope of the work.
July — The missionary visited the new field in the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.  Previously Pastors Bas and Vallaban had gone there.  During this summer, no volunteers came over under the Mission Helper Program.
October 4 — The new building(s) at the new site were dedicated to the glory of God.  Previously the cornerstone had been laid on December 12, 1998.  The new facility much expanded the space for the work.  The old site will continue to be used.
October — A meeting was held with a contact in Orissa State, which seemed promising.  Correspondence had been exchanged earlier.  The missionary was on the field for one month.
Statistics — 150 congregations or preaching stations with 4636 souls – 51 orphans taken care of with a school of nine teachers – 33 men are in various stages of completing the two-year training.

2000 (CLCI)

September 4, 2000 | Vanessa Ude

January — BoM members, Pastor Bruce Naumann and Mr. Jack Mayhew, accompanied by Pastor Koenig conducted a visitation. This allowed the board members a fuller understanding of some of the intricacies as well as the scope of the work.
June — The first two graduates of the seminary were Isaiah and Jacob. Jacob went out to a congregation while Isaiah served a congregation and was called as a parttime instructor at the seminary. During this summer no volunteers came over under the Mission Helper Program.
August — When we were informed of cyclone damage, we gave $4750 to 24 congregations.
September — There were 16 in training at the school which had an added thrid year. V.S. Benjamin’s younger son, Nireekshana, gave up his secular job and began full-time church work. The missionary was in the field for one month.
Statistics — 68 congregations with 6997 souls – work was also going on in Madya Pradesh State – 30 orphans are being cared for.

June-August 1999

August 4, 1999 | Vanessa Ude

The first extended period of time in India of preaching and teaching in the field was carried out by the missionary in both the BELC and the CLCI. During this time, volunteers Lawrence and Natasha Bade and David Povolny helped in the field.  Lawrence and David preached and taught pastors and seminary students in the BELC while Natasha taught the orphans English at Uthukottai.  The Bades also traveled to Nidubrolu and taught in the CLCI.

Summer 1998

July 4, 1998 | Vanessa Ude

Volunteer Karen Strike spent a month working with the orphans at Nidubrolu (CLCI), especially helping them with English.

May 1998

May 4, 1998 | Vanessa Ude

Pastor Jyothi Benjamin began his Bible Institute program on a two-year basis at Nidubrolu. Previously in the BELC, Pastor Bas had started his Martin Luther School two-year training program at Uthukottai in 1990.

February 1998

February 4, 1998 | Vanessa Ude

The called missionary to Nigeria was to work about three months in India each year. A preliminary visit of holding seminars and visiting congregations was conducted.

July 1997

July 4, 1997 | Vanessa Ude

A visitation was carried out to India by seminarian Todd Ohlmann and Pastors Walter Schaller and David Koenig. The new field of the BELC at Nellore was visited and meetings held with the preachers who want to affiliate. Many recommendations were made to the BoM, especially in the area of training of preachers in India. It was observed that the CLCI was expanding into a new tribal area and doing repeated evangelistic efforts at Kakinada. The BELC was centered in three areas: Uthukottai, Nellore and at its beginning area in Kerala.

August 1995

August 4, 1995 | Vanessa Ude

The Kinship Committee approved sponsorship of 15 orphans taken care of by Pastor Bas outside of Madras. The number of orphans at Nidubrolu under Pastor Benjamin was 35 at this time. Project Kinship continues to operate under the Scripture direction of James 1:27 to visit orphans in their affliction. One of the men of the Kinship Committee wrote what certainly applies to the India field. “The fields are white unto harvest and the hour is late. Doors are opening to the gospel all over the world, and we are the workers. Any question or difficulty concerning the work is first of all a call to come to our knees before our heavenly Father in Prayer…Please pray with us…that we all would clearly know His will… and then in faith to step ahead and do.”

January 1994

January 4, 1994 | Vanessa Ude

A visitation team of Pastors Daniel Fleischer and Mark Bohde was sent by the BoM “to give encouragement to our brethren…and provide us with a better understanding of the Lord’s work that we are sharing in…”.  They returned, reporting “…most distressing beyond the physical poverty we saw was the spiritual poverty that holds the masses in its grasp.  Hindu temples and shrines appear on public grounds and on private land….”.

June 1992

June 4, 1992 | Vanessa Ude

It was reported to us that the CLCI had over 30 congregations of approximately 5,000 souls. In 25 years of work by Pastor Benjamin, nearly 8,000 souls have been baptized. We were assisting in the care of 25 orphans at Nidubrolu. The BELC consisted of approximately 2,000 souls. Pastor Bas was still working outside of Madras at Uthukottai in his Martin Luther Bible School, having relocated his center of activity from Trivandrum.

Spring 1990

April 4, 1990 | Vanessa Ude

A cyclone ravaged the area where our sister church, the CLCI, is located. There was extensive damage to property. The Kinship Committee, upon learning of this immediately sent over $3,000, sure that our people would respond to this need. Pastor David Koenig was sent to the ravaged area to consult with Pastor Benjamin on how to best use the CLC Disaster Relief moneys. By December, $34,101 had been given to help our brothers and sisters in Christ with their losses.

Pastor Bas has moved his center of operation for the BELC to Uthukottai outside of Madras. He had surveyed the area, determining that it held potential. He began his two-year training program.

September 1989

September 4, 1989 | Vanessa Ude

Jyothi Benjamin began his courses at ILC and, upon finishing the two year program returned to India in July 1991.

February 1989

February 4, 1989 | Vanessa Ude

A visitation team of Pastor Norbert Reim and Mr. Lee Krueger (member of the BoM) visited our sister churches in India.  Besides reporting that they thoroughly enjoyed every day they were over there, they came back with recommendations, which were carried out.  They recommended that three more acres be purchased, to add to the two already purchased, upon which rice is grown for the orphans.  They recommended that Pastor Benjamin’s son, Jyothi, be brought to the USA for training at ILC to return then to India to assist his father in serving the Lord.

July 1986

July 4, 1986 | Vanessa Ude

The CLC in convention formally recognized that confessional fellowship existed between us and Pastor Bas and the Bharath Ev. Lutheran Church (BELC). As of this date the CLCI consisted of 22 pastors and 35 congregations representing about 2,800 souls. The BELC consisted of two pastors serving six congregations with approximately 300 souls.

November 1985

November 4, 1985 | Vanessa Ude

Visas were applied for to enter India. Different avenues to gain entrance were investigated but proved unworkable. The BoM decided to send the missionary to Nigeria.

January 1985

January 4, 1985 | Vanessa Ude

Calling of a missionary to India began. As developments proceeded that year, David Koenig accepted the call.

Late 1984

November 4, 1984 | Vanessa Ude

A Bible correspondence course, developed by Pastor Bertram Naumann, was advertised in several newspapers in India, with CLC laypeople then correcting the mailed worksheets.  A Mr. V.S. Willard led many young people through the course in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

July 1984

July 4, 1984 | Vanessa Ude

The CLC Convention formally recognized that “the Holy Spirit has established fellowship between the CLC and the CLCI.  With grateful hearts we praise His holy name…”  The convention authorized the construction of an orphanage building to house 25-30 orphans.  Though the cost eventually ran somewhat higher, the first estimate for land and building was $11,327.  John Rohrbach went over to assist in the construction.

January 1984

January 4, 1984 | Vanessa Ude

A visitation team was sent ot India, consisting of Pastors Norbert Reim and David Koenig. They were to hold doctrinal discussions with Pastor Bas at Trivandrum and visit Pastor Benjamin and his people. Discussion disclosed an agreement on the teachings discussed and a willingness of Pastor Bas to continue in the Word.

April 1983

April 4, 1983 | Vanessa Ude

Based upon doctrinal agreement with V.S. Benjamin’s Church of the Lutheran Confession of India (CLCI), and with a prayer for a missionary to be sent, the BoM authorized the purchase of a Mission House in Nidubrolu at a cost of $9,500.  The building was then used as a residence for Pastor Benjamin and as a headquarters and meeting place of the CLCI.

The first meeting was held by the committee, which would, under BoM supervision, oversee orphan work under Project Kinship.

There was enthusiastic support to assist the orphans under Pastor Benjamin’s care. In June it received its official designation of Project Kinship (Kids In Need – Source of Help for India’s Poor.)

January 1983

January 4, 1983 | Vanessa Ude

A visitation team representing the CLC embarked for India to investigate the field of labor around Nidubrolu, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh State, India. The team consisted of John Rohrbach and Pastors David Schierenbeck and David Koenig. They held doctrinal discussions with V.S. Benjamin in which it was observed that we were in doctrinal agreement and he was willing to continue to learn with us. David Schierenbeck as chairman of the BoM submitted the report to the president of the Synod.

While the visitation team was in the Guntur area of India, a letter from the far southern tip of India was winging its way to the CLC/USA. Pastor Mohan Bas with his Bharath Evangelical Lutheran Church was looking for a missionary and support for their work. Like the CLCI, they were separate and had left other Lutheran churches. Pastor Bas had found our name in an international directory of Lutheran churches. He did not know of our visitation. Correspondence began with him on the teachings of the Word.

July 1982

July 4, 1982 | Vanessa Ude

The BoM in a supplementary report to the CLC convention made mention of a meeting with John, correspondence with both John and the contact in India, Mr. Benjamin, a West Central Conference Memorial on the issue, and a projected budget for the effort. The report stated, “Recognizing the apparent mission opportunity the Lord may be laying before us, we recommend disseminating this information about India to our people as well as pursuing various ways and means of answering this request.

Initial Contact

December 10, 1981 | Vanessa Ude

The CLC Board of Missions (BoM) received a letter from John Rohrbach, a member of Zion, Ipswich, S.D., dated Dec. 10, 1981. In it he wrote, “This past summer I went to Sri Lanka and India… While there I became sick and was hospitalized for ten days. During my stay at the hospital a schoolmaster and his wife came to me with three pastors. They were looking for a Lutheran body to belong to.” When John communicated this to his brethren in the CLC, there was joy aplenty, which then led to action.