Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

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Pacific Southwest District of the LCMS
CountryUnited States
TerritorySouthern California, Arizona, and the southern tip of Nevada
HeadquartersIrvine, California
  • 72 preschool
  • 62 elementary
  • 9 secondary
DenominationLutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Established1930 (as the Southern California District)
Current leadership
PresidentRev. Dr. Michael E. Gibson

The Pacific Southwest District is one of the 35 districts of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). It covers Southern California (the eight southernmost counties in California, including the Los Angeles metropolitan area), Arizona and the southern tip of Nevada, and includes approximately 291 congregations subdivided into 32 circuits, as well as 72 preschools, 65 elementary schools and nine high schools. Baptized membership of Pacific Southwest congregations is approximately 91,682.[1]

The remainder of California and Nevada is included in the California-Nevada-Hawaii District; one Arizona congregation is in the Rocky Mountain District. In addition, 28 congregations in the Pacific Southwest District's area are in the non-geographic English District – 16 in Arizona, six in the San Diego area and five in the Los Angeles area.

The Pacific Southwest District was formed on July 2, 1930 as the Southern California District, separating it from the California and Nevada District. District offices are located in Irvine, California. 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. Dr. Larry Stoterau has been the district president since September 2000, and was re-elected to a fourth term in 2009. The 42nd Regular Convention was held June 28–30, 2009 in Irvine with the theme "Inviting Conversations -- Empowering Words", from John 17:20.[2] The 43rd Regular Convention was held June 27–29, 2012 in Irvine with the theme "Proclaiming the Mysteries of God".[3]

Concordia University, Irvine, part of the LCMS' Concordia University System, is located within the district.


  • Rev. Gotthold H. F. Smukal, 1930–42
  • Rev. Walter F. Troeger, 1942–48
  • Rev. Armand E. T. Mueller, 1948–55
  • Rev. Victor L. Behnken, 1955–69
  • Rev. Arnold G. Kuntz, 1969–85
  • Rev. Loren T. Kramer, 1985-2000
  • Rev. Larry A. Stoterau, 2000–2018
  • Rev. Dr. Michael E. Gibson, 2018-Present

Oldest congregations[edit]

Oldest in Arizona: Calvary Lutheran Church, Yuma, Arizona, 1931
Oldest in Nevada: First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1940

Largest congregations[edit]

Membership totals are c. 2012.


  1. ^ "Districts Profile Display - The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod".
  2. ^ "Reporter - LCMS News & Information".
  3. ^

External links[edit]