American Evangelical Lutheran Church

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The American Evangelical Lutheran Church (AELC) was one of the many denominations formed when Lutherans immigrated to America. Originally known as the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (DELCA), the predominantly Danish-American church was informally known as "the Danish Church."

In 1872 Grundtvigian pastors and lay people from Denmark formed a Church Mission Society. The Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was started in 1874 and formally organized as a synod in Neenah, Wisconsin, in 1878. The church's official founder was Adam Dan, the grandfather of American historian Henry Steele Commager. A constitution was accepted in 1879, and the present name was adopted in 1954. In 1962 the AELC–with about 24,000 members–joined the Lutheran Church in America.

The AELC established Grand View College and Seminary in 1896.


  • J. A. Heiberg 1874–1879
  • A. S. Nielsen 1879-1883
  • T. Helveg 1883–1885
  • A. S. Nielsen 1885–1887
  • J. Pedersen 1887–1888
  • A. L. J. Söholm 1888–1891
  • A. S. Nielsen 1891–1893
  • O. L. Kirkeberg 1893-1893
  • A. S. Nielsen 1893–1894
  • K. C. Bodholdt 1894–1895
  • P. Kjölhede 1895–1903
  • K. C. Bodholdt 1903–1911
  • N. P. Gravengaard 1911–1918
  • K. C. Bodholdt 1918–1922
  • S. D. Rodholm 1922–1926
  • H. Jörgensen 1926–1936
  • Alfred Jensen 1936–1960
  • A. Ejnar Farstrup 1960–1962

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Todd W. Nichol All These Lutherans (Minneapolis: Augburg Publishing House, 1986)