Protes'tant Conference

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Protes'tant Conference
Classification Lutheran
Orientation Confessional Lutheran
Polity Congregational
Region United States
Origin 1927
Separated from Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Congregations 6
Members about 1,000 baptized[1]
Lutheranism in the United States
 Lutheranism portal

The Protes'tant Conference is a loose association of Lutheran churches and churchworkers in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by suspended former members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) following an intrasynodical controversy. It currently consists of six churches and their churchworkers in Wisconsin, Michigan, and California.[2]

It is a conservative, confessional Lutheran Christian group with German immigrant roots. It publishes the periodical Faith-Life as a conference, and operates the Prostes'tant Conference website. It does not consider itself as a denomination or a church body, but a loose association of churchworkers and independent congregations.


The organization's name includes a single typewriter quotation mark after the second syllable of the word “Protestant,” indicating an accent thereon.


The Protes'tant Conference arose out of a controversy over a document known as the Beitz Paper (written by then WELS pastor W.F. Beitz) inside the WELS in 1926-1927. In his paper, Pastor Beitz discussed the current doctrinal philosophy then prevalent in the synod. Debate arose over the theological nature of the document and about 40 supporters of Pastor Beitz were subsequently suspended from the WELS as a result. These pastors, teachers, and some congregations organized into the non-centralized Protes'tant Conference. [3][4] It has undergone three schisms, in 1930, 1952, and 1964.[5]

Internally, the Protes'tant Conference sometimes refers to itself as The Protes'tant Conference of the Wisconsin Synod. The name "Protes'tant" was adopted in 1929, on the 400 year anniversary of the Second Diet of Speyer. (The Second Diet of Speyer resulted in the adoption of the name "Protestant" against this Holy Roman Imperial decision to outlaw the Lutherans.) The name "Protes'tant" was chosen to signify their protest against "synodicalism" on the part of both the Wisconsin and Missouri Synods. While the Missouri Synod did not expel the Protes'tants, it synodically ratified the expulsions in 1927.[6]

Core beliefs[edit]

The Protes'tant Conference teaches that the Bible is the only authoritative and error-free source for doctrine. It subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions (the Book of Concord) not in-so-far-as but because it is an accurate presentation of what Scripture teaches. It teaches that Jesus is the center of Scripture and the only way to eternal salvation, and that the Holy Spirit uses the gospel alone in Word and Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion) to bring people to faith in Jesus as Savior and keep them in that faith, strengthening them in their daily life of sanctification.


  1. ^ LWF Statistics 2009
  2. ^ Protes'tant Conference Website: Churches - Retrieved: November 25, 2008
  3. ^ Fredrich, Edward C. The Protes’tant Controversy Lecture for the Minnesota District Pastoral Conference. Rochester: May 1, 1984.
  4. ^ Protes'tant Conference Website: About
  5. ^ A Brief Study of the Lutheran Churches in America
  6. ^ Hensel, Ph.: "A Brief History of the Protes'tant Controversy", Faith-Life, 73(6):5.

External links[edit]