Committed to sharing Jesus

Pastor Jaswanth Kukatlapalli

My name is Jaswanth Aleph Kukatlapalli, I was born and brought up in the Indian city called Guntur in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Born in a Lutheran family (at least for four generations because my great-grandfather was a retired Lutheran Pastor/President of a Synod in Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC), India) I and my younger brother Jabin Kukatlapalli were brought up in faith by our parents Johnson and Anuja Kukatlapalli. I did my schooling in a Lutheran School and Andhra Christian College (under the management of AELC) in Guntur.

Having completed my schooling I wished to serve our Lord Jesus by becoming a Pastor. The inspiration behind that commitment was a miracle story (God willing, I will share that story another time). But for now it is sufficient to say that, I initially thought I would complete my studies in India and become a Pastor there. So, after schooling I moved to the city of Chennai where I undertook Undergraduate studies, a pre-requisite for doing Bachelors in Divinity to become a Pastor in India. But, as the history unfolded it was obvious that God's plan for my life was different to my own thoughts and plans.

It all started when my parents decided to move overseas. We landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2006, as a new immigrant, I continued with my education and completed Bachelors in Applied Theology in a Baptist College. After completing that course I moved along with my parents and brother to Wellington. In Wellington we connected back with Lutheran church through St Paul's Lutheran Church. Given I was not successful in Auckland in my attempts to become a Pastor, I thought of teaching theology, so I further continued my studies and completed BA Honours in Religious Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in 2010. While doing these studies, in one of his pastoral visits Bishop Mark Whitfield, the then Pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church suggested the idea of studying further to train as a Pastor of Lutheran Church. In 2010, Lutheran church of Australia/New Zealand (LCA/NZ) along with Australian Lutheran College (ALC) approved to take me as a Pastoral candidate.

So, I moved to Adelaide in the middle of 2011 to commence three year study at ALC. During this time, in the midst of those numerous lectures and countless challenging assignments, I've started hearing the Gospel in its fullness. God, through His Word and His people (some of them I met in Adelaide and countless others I met in various places), shaped me for the call. My time in two fieldwork parishes in Adelaide strengthened my sense of calling. After completing study requirements, I've moved again to Auckland for a final leg of vocational training, i.e. vicarage with Pastor Joe Kummerow as my vicar father. While at vicarage, I deeply appreciated God's calling in my life and thoroughly enjoyed opportunities to proclaim the Gospel and assist administering the Sacraments. Subsequently, God called me through His church in Australia and New Zealand, approved me for ordination, and ordained me on the 7th of December 2014, along with my classmates.

I also enjoy a hit of tennis, cricket, table tennis, watching movies, and playing xbox games. I enjoy meeting people and getting to know how God has been leading them.

Pastor Jaswanth Kukatlapalli
Congregational Pastor
Wodonga Lutheran Parish