Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a Protestant Religion headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and originated on January 1, 1988.
It was the result of the merging of three churches the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church and the association of Evangelical Churches.
It has a membership of close to 5 million adherents.
There are two other major Lutheran groups in the USA, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod totaling approximately 3 million adherents
Lutheranism is a major branch of Christianity that follows the teachings of the 16th century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther reformation efforts in theology and practice were the cause of the Protestant Reformation.
Although the Lutheran church retains much of the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran split was a result of the doctrine of Justification which advocates “by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone”. The Roman Catholic view is of “faith formed by love or faith and works”.
The church is headed by a Presiding Bishop, who is elected by the Churchwide Assembly for a term of six years. The Church is divided into 65 synods.
Many of the local congregations are legally independent non-profit corporations and own their own property. Actual governing practice within the congregation ranges from congregational-meeting led (more common in smaller churches), through elder- and council-led, to congregations where the senior pastor wields great, if informal, power (more common in larger churches).
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