This week in Christian history: ELCA created, Father Damien born, Zwingli sermon series

ELCA formed - January 1, 1988

Voting members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America open discussions on resolutions on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009, during the Churchwide Assembly at the Minneapolis Convention Center. |

This week marks the anniversary of when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the modern day mainline Protestant denomination, was officially created.

The ELCA was formed through the merger of three Lutheran churches: the American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.

“Not all local congregations of the uniting bodies have gone along with the merger,” reported Marjorie Hyer of The Washington Post shortly after the merger became official.

“At least 36 congregations of the American Lutheran Church have moved to dissociate themselves from that body to avoid joining the new church.”

Later, controversies and theological differences would result in hundreds of congregations leaving the ELCA, and a general decline in overall membership continues to be a problem.

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