Reverend Aaron(circa 1698-1745), First Indian preacher
Sitter in 2 portraits
Born into a Vellala caste family in Cuddalore in the South India state of Tamil Nadu, he was originally named Arumugam by his father, a merchant. When the first Protestant mission in India opened a school in his neighbourhood, he was one of the first students at the school to learn from Tamil books printed by the Tranquebar Lutheran Mission. In 1718 he travelled to Tranquebar where he was baptised and Christened 'Aaron' by Bartholomaeus Ziegenbaig a pioneer of Protestant missionary activity in India. Aaron ordained as a minister on 20 December, 1733. During his short lived ministry (which ended with his death on 25 June 1745) he built a strong reputation as a man of courage and integrity. He was mourned by both Hindus and Christians.