Evangelical Lutheran Church
AssociationsNational Lutheran Council
RegionUnited States
Merger ofHauge Synod
Norwegian Synod
United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America
Merged intoThe American Lutheran Church (1960)
Other name(s)Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1917–1946)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) was a Lutheran denomination that existed from 1917, when it was founded as the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA), until 1960, when it joined two other church bodies to form the second American Lutheran Church.

In 1959, just before its merger into the ALC, the ELC had 2,242 pastors, 2,482 congregations, and 1,125,867 members.[1]


The Norwegian Lutheran Church of America was formed by the merger of the Hauge Synod (est. 1876), the Norwegian Synod (est. 1853), and the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (est. 1890). The NLCA changed its name to the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC) in 1946 as part of its Americanization process. In 1960, the ELC joined with Lutheran churches of German and Danish backgrounds to form The American Lutheran Church, the first Lutheran body in North America to have multiple ethnic backgrounds.[citation needed] This coalescence of Lutheran churches continued into recent times, with the ALC later joining others 28 years later to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1988.

Colleges associated with the ELC

ELC seminary

Presidents of the ELC

Conventions of the ELC

From 1917 to 1926 a general convention was held triennially. There was need of holding several extraordinary conventions, so beginning in 1928 (called the 8th) it was held biennially with the general convention always falling on the even numbered years. Voting members of the conventions were pastors who were currently serving congregations of the Church, and one lay representative from each parish consisting of one congregation and two representatives from each parish consisting of two or more congregations.

See also


  1. ^ "Evangelical Lutheran Church". American Denomination Profiles. Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved July 27, 2017.