The Andhra Christian College was established in Guntur in 1885 by protestant missionaries from the United States of America. The then United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) through the Rev. Father John Christian Fredrick Heyer, popularly known as Father Heyer, established the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) on July 31, 1842.
The Andhra Christian College is one of the oldest colleges started in 1885 in India. It is part of the educational enterprise of the protestant churches. The college, which has plus two, graduation, post graduation and law colleges, is 129 years old.
Saint George is the patron saint of the college. At the entrance of the college one can find a statue of the patron saint slaying a dragon. The AELC president is usually the chancellor of the college. The college is the most popular one in the State, with people from around the country coming to Guntur to study in the college. TS Paulus, the principal of the college, served as war advisor to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Noted political leaders and great film personalities were educated in the college. They include Bhavanam Venkataram, Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, NG Ranga, SVL Narasimham and Jesudasu Seelam. Film personalities include NT Rama Rao, who called the shots in the Telugu film industry for more than half a century and also in State politics for more than a decade. Similarly actor Sobhan Babu, Kongara Jaggaiah, Vasanthi and Jaya Prakash Reddy were also former students of the college. Jandhyala Papayya Sastry, who wrote ‘Pushpa Vilasam’, and Rev. Dr P Victor Prem Sagar, an old testament scholar who later studied in Cambridge also studied in this college. Other noted theologians from the college include Dr BV Subbamma, Rev. Dr Das Babu and Dr NV Luther Paul were also alumni.
The motto of the college is “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free” is what inspired the founding fathers and those who took pride in studying here.
The college, which had illuminated millions of students, has its alumni spread in every nook and corner of the globe.
Despite corporate colleges ruling the roost in the district, AC College stands as the beacon of hope and as one espousing the cause of dalits and Christian minorities. It is one of the greatest landmark in Guntur district besides a few others.
By: Ravi P Benjamin