|Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea|
Official logo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea.
|Associations||World Council of Churches,|
Lutheran World Federation,
Pacific Conference of Churches,
Papua New Guinea Council of Churches
|Region||Papua New Guinea|
|Head Bishop - Rt. Rev. Jack Urame
General Secretary - Bernard KaisomAssistant Bishop - Rev. Lucas Kedabeng
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea is a Protestant church denomination located in Papua New Guinea that professes the Lutheran branch of the Christian faith. The Church is incorporated by a 1991 Act of the Parliament of Papua New Guinea and it has a baptized membership of approximately 900,000 members.
It is a member of the:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea grew out of the work of the Neuendettelsau Mission Society (1886) and the Rhenish Missionary Society (1887), both from Germany. During World War II all missionaries left the area, and many mission stations, churches, schools and hospitals were damaged. In spite of this, the indigenous church leaders and local Christians stood firm in the work of the church. After the war the Lutheran churches in Australia and North America were asked to help reconstruct the church in Papua New Guinea, working together as the Lutheran Mission New Guinea. In 1956 expatriate missionaries and indigenous church leaders gathered and formed the present indigenous church. At the time of its founding the church was called Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Guinea (ELCONG), and its founding bishop was an expatriate missionary from the American Lutheran Church. The first indigenous bishop was elected in 1973. In 1975, on the eve of the country's independence, the name of the church was changed to Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG). In 1977 the church was officially declared autonomous and another local Lutheran church organized by the Australian Lutheran Mission joined with the ELCPNG. It has long had close relations with the Gutnius Lutheran Church, largely in Enga Province, whose origins were American Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, and shares clergy college in Lae.
The ELCPNG believes that the church is the body of Christ on earth so that people can grow in faith and live as brothers and sisters. This function of the church is seen in the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments, bringing people closer to God so that they may inherit eternal life. The church teaches that the Holy Spirit enables and strengthens this work. The stated aims of the church are :
The church has seven departments: evangelism, education, lands and properties, ministerial training, medical services, development services, finance. There are 16 districts divided according to geographical and population needs. Circuits cover smaller areas within the districts; within the circuits are the local parishes/congregations. The church runs 12 health centres, 170 primary schools, six high schools, one teacher training college, a nursing college, five girls' Bible schools, three seminaries and a training centre for evangelists.