American Association of Lutheran Churches
|American Association of Lutheran Churches|
|Separated from||American Lutheran Church|
The American Association of Lutheran Churches (TAALC, also known as The AALC) is an American Lutheran church body. It was formed on November 7, 1987 as a continuation of The American Lutheran Church (ALC) denomination, the majority of which body abandoned its confessional identity in favor of the merger with two other Lutheran church bodies, Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), which formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The AALC offices were located in Bloomington, Minnesota. The national office moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2007. It had 70 congregations, with about 16,000 members, in 2008. Its current President is the Rev. Franklin E. Hays.
The AALC began with 12 congregations and has, as of 2008, grown to 70 congregations spread across 23 states. The AALC sees itself as a confessional Lutheran Church body in the United States. At its beginning, TAALC defined itself by its commitment to the authority of Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Lutheran confessions by way of retaining the Confession of Faith of the American Lutheran Church over against the departure of the ELCA from Lutheran doctrine.
A handful of congregations split off from the AALC in 1995 to form the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod - USA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana in response to what it perceived as a rising influence of the "charismatic renewal" movement. Several self-styled "charismatic" churches began drifting out of the AALC orbit in 2007 as The AALC reaffirmed its confession of faith over against the "charismatic" fringe who sought to change the confession of faith and redefine the identity of The AALC. These churches appear to have been averse to the association with the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (see below) and its seminary in Fort Wayne.
The AALC operates its own seminary, The American Lutheran Theological Seminary (ALTS), originally located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In the fall of 2005, ALTS relocated to Fort Wayne, Indiana and is hosted by Concordia Theological Seminary of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS).
Fellowship with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Since 1989 representatives of The AALC and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) have met in a series of official and unofficial talks. After six official meetings, at which various doctrinal papers were submitted, representatives of both The AALC and the LCMS have recommended to their respective church bodies that they enter into altar and pulpit fellowship with one another. The proposal will meet the theology/doctrine commissions of each church body, and if passed, will be presented at their respective national conventions. During the June 20–23, 2007 TAALC National Convention, the AALC declared fellowship with the LCMS; and voted to join the International Lutheran Council (ILC). On July 16, 2007, the LCMS declared fellowship with the AALC during the LCMS 63rd Regular Convention.
Basic beliefs of the AALC
(from their Web site)
- Affirms the full authority of the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God
- The Lutheran Confessions as a true interpretation of Scripture
- A purpose focused on the Great Commission with priority for Evangelism and World Missions
- The authority of the local congregation as the basic unit of the church
- Rev. Dr. Duane L. Lindberg 1987–1999
- Rev. Thomas V. Aadland 1999–2007
- Rev. Franklin E. Hays 2007–
- "American AssAmerican Association of Lutheran Churches American Association of Lutheran Churches". Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- The American Association of Lutheran Churches website
- American Lutheran Theological Seminary website
- Profile of the AALC on the Association of Religion Data Archives website