The story of the India Rural Evangelical Fellowship began in 1920 with the birth of Subba Rao. Named for the Hindu snake god, Subba Rao was born in rural Andhra Pradesh, India. It was arranged for him to be married to Lydia, the daughter of a local Lutheran family, which meant Subba had to convert to Christianity. He changed his name to Prasada Rao, meaning “God’s gift.” But Prasada was following God in appearance only. He memorized the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, but he was not truly walking with God or following in His image.