English District (LCMS)

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The English District is a non-geographical district with origins in the former English Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which merged with the LCMS in 1911. The district has congregations in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia Wisconsin, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The district office is located in Farmington, Michigan.

The English District is one of the 35 districts of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). It is one of the Synod's two non-geographical districts, along with the SELC District, and has its origins in the congregations of the former English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States, which merged with the LCMS in 1911. The English Synod had been formally organized in 1888 out of the English (Evangelical) Lutheran Conference of Missouri of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod. That conference had its roots in an 1872 conference which was advised by then LCMS president C. F. W. Walther. The conference applied for admission to the LCMS as a district in 1887, but was advised to instead form a separate synod at that time.[1] It was named the English Synod due to its churches using that language in their services; at that time, the congregations of the LCMS were still using the German language. The English Synod ultimately joined the LCMS in 1911 because of a shared doctrinal stance, but wanting to maintain its identity, it was accepted as a non-geographical district. Despite the transition of the LCMS to English, the English District has continued as a separate district.

The district now includes approximately 159 congregations and missions in 17 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario, subdivided into 25 circuits, as well as 36 preschools, 15 elementary schools and one high school. Baptized membership in district congregations is approximately 57,000.[2]

English District offices are located in Farmington, Michigan. Delegates from each congregation meet in convention every three years to elect the district president, vice presidents, circuit counselors, a board of directors, and other officers. The Rev. David Stechholz became the bishop and district president in September 2006[3] and was re-elected to a third term in 2012.[4] The 54th Regular Convention was held June 27–30, 2012 in Saint Louis, MO under the theme, "Faith Driven -- Future Focused: Celebrating 100 years of God's blessings as we continue to serve, connect and grow," from 1 Corinthians 15:58.

The district publishes its newsletter, English Channels, 10 times a year.


  • Rev. Henry Philip Eckhardt, 1911–12
  • Rev. M. S. Sommer, 1912–15
  • Rev. John Adam Detzer, 1915–18
  • Rev. O. C. Kreinheder, 1918–27
  • Rev. Guido R. Schuessler, 1927–36
  • Rev. Paul Lindemann, 1936–38
  • Rev. Martin Walker, 1938–45
  • Rev. Herman William Bartels, 1945–51
  • Rev. Hugo G. Kleiner, 1951–63
  • Rev. Bertwin L. Frey, 1963–70
  • Rev. John H. Baumgaertner, 1970–74
  • Rev. Harold L. Hecht, 1974–76
  • Rev. George W. Bornemann, 1976–84
  • Rev. Donald F. Jung, 1984–86
  • Rev. Roger D. Pittelko, 1986–97
  • Rev. David H. Ritt, 1997–2006
  • Rev. David P. Stechholz, 2006–2015
  • Rev. Dr. Jamison J. Hardy, 2015–present

Hecht was one of four district presidents who were removed from office by Synod President J. A. O. Preus on April 2, 1976 for non-compliance with synodical directives on the ordination and placement of improperly endorsed ministerial candidates from Seminex.[5]

Oldest congregations[edit]

Only congregation in Nebraska: Redeemer Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1917
Oldest in New Jersey: Grace Lutheran Church, Palisades Park, New Jersey, 1919
Oldest in California: Highland Park Lutheran Church, Highland Park, Los Angeles, California, 1922
Oldest in Arizona: Faith Lutheran Church, Tucson, Arizona, 1949
Oldest in Georgia: Ascension Lutheran Church, Atlanta, Georgia, 1955
Oldest in Minnesota: Messiah Lutheran Church, Forest Lake, Minnesota, 1972
Oldest in Florida: Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, Florida, 1985
Only congregation in Utah: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Saint George, Utah, 1994
Only congregation in Virginia: Faith Lutheran Church, Chesapeake, Virginia, 1995
Oldest in Kentucky: Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Kentucky, 2011

Largest congregations[edit]

Membership totals include all baptized members and are according to the LCMS website.

Largest in Florida: Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, Florida, 686
Largest in Georgia: Christ the Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alpharetta, Georgia, 518
Largest in Illinois: Trinity Lutheran Church, Villa Park, Illinois, 692
Largest in New Jersey: Martin Luther Chapel, Pennsauken, New Jersey, 439
Largest in New York: Redeemer Lutheran Church, North Tonawanda, New York, 274
Largest in Minnesota: Hope Lutheran Church, Hastings, Minnesota, 109
Only congregation in Virginia: Faith Lutheran Church, Chesapeake, Virginia, 31
Only congregation in Utah: Our Savior Lutheran Church, Saint George, Utah, 23


  1. ^ Lueker, Erwin L.; Poellot, Luther; Jackson, Paul, eds. (2000). Christian Cyclopedia (Online ed.). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=456&reid=x9xQtKwqE7Zs7Lc8STfTkQ%3d%3d&bbsys=0&bbrt=0
  3. ^ http://reporter.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=10129
  4. ^ http://reporter.lcms.org/pages/rpage.asp?NavID=20150
  5. ^ http://chi.lcms.org/history/tih0402.htm

External links[edit]