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HTH 201 Global Christianity: Lutheran History

A Guide for HTH 201 Christianity Becomes a World Religion

Welcome

Here you will find information and resources related to general Lutheran Church and organizational history.

ELCA & Predecessor Bodies History

Pennsylvania Ministerium (1747‑1962)

  • First Lutheran church body in North America
  • Founded by Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg (1711-1787) on August 26, 1748 in Philadelphia, PA
  • Other Names:
    • German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of North America (1748–1792)
    • German Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States (1792–1918)
  • Merged into ULCA 1918


Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America (1820‑1918)

  • Commonly known as the General Synod
  • Established in 1820 in Hagerstown, MD
  • Merged into ULCA in 1918
  • Separations:
    • United Synod of the South (1863)
    • General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1866)


United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) (1918-1961)

  • Established in 1918 in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
  • Merger of General Synod (est. 1820), General Council (est. 1867), and United Synod of the South (est. 1863)
  • Merged into Lutheran Church in America in 1962


Lutheran Church in America (LCA) (1962-1987)

  • Established in 1962 in Detroit, MI
  • Merger of ULCA, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, American Evangelical Lutheran Church, AND Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Headquartered in New York City
  • Separations: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (1986)
  • Merged into Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1988


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) (1987-present)

  • Established on April 30, 1987 at Constituting Convention in Columbus, OH with operations beginning January 1, 1988
  • Headquartered in Chicago, IL
  • Merger of: 
    • Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
    • Lutheran Confessional Synod
    • Alliance of Renewal Churches
    • North American Lutheran Church
  • Separations: 
    • Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
    • Lutheran Confessional Synod
    • Alliance of Renewal Churches
    • North American Lutheran Church

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