Lutheran Church in America

Lutheran Church in America

The Lutheran Church in America (LCA) was a U.S. Lutheran church body that existed from 1962 to 1987. It was headquartered in New York City and its publishing house was Fortress Press.

The LCA's immigrant heritage came mostly from Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Denmark and Finland, and its demographic focus was on the East Coast (centered on Pennsylvania), with large numbers in the Midwest and some presence in the Southern Atlantic states.

Theologically, the LCA was often considered the most liberal and ecumenical branch in American Lutheranism, although there were tendencies toward conservative pietism in some rural and small-town congregations. In church governance, the LCA was clerical and centralized, in contrast to the congregationalist or "low church" strain in American Protestant Christianity. With some notable exceptions, LCA churches tended to be more formalistically liturgical than their counterparts in the American Lutheran Church. Among the Lutheran churches in America, the LCA was thus the one that was most similar to the established Lutheran churches in Europe.

The LCA ordained the country's first female Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Elizabeth Platz, in November 1970. It subsequently ordained the nation's first female African American Lutheran pastor (1979), first Latina Lutheran pastor (1979), and first female Asian American Lutheran pastor (1982).

Formation

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, many of the independent U.S. Lutheran church bodies moved progressively toward greater unity. In 1960, for example, a number of such bodies joined to form the American Lutheran Church.

The Lutheran Church in America was another product of these trends, forming in 1962 out of a merger among the following independent Lutheran denominations:
* The United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA), established in 1918 with the merger of three independent German-American synods: the General Synod, the General Council and the United Synod of the South. This group provided the bulk of the eventual LCA's membership.
* The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (Suomi Synod), established in 1890.
* The American Evangelical Lutheran Church, traditionally a Danish-American Lutheran denomination, established in 1872.
* The Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, traditionally a Swedish-American Lutheran denomination, established in 1860.

The merger was largely engineered through the efforts of Franklin Clark Fry, who had served as president of the United Lutheran Church in America since 1944 and president of the Lutheran World Federation since 1957. Fry was known by contemporaries as "Mr. Protestant," a moniker that captured his tireless work on behalf of greater ecumenical unity among Protestant church bodies. Upon its inception in 1962, the LCA became the largest Lutheran church body in the United States.

Merger

On January 1, 1988, the Lutheran Church in America ceased to exist when it, along with the American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, joined together to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), today the largest Lutheran church body in the United States. At the time of the merger, the LCA remained the largest Lutheran church body in the United States, and it brought approximately 2.85 million members into the ELCA.

Presidents/Bishops

* 1962-1968 Franklin Clark Fry
* 1968-1978 Robert J. Marshall
* 1978-1987 James R. Crumley, Jr.

Title changed to Bishop in 1980.

Colleges and Seminaries of LCA

Colleges

*Augustana College (Illinois), Rock Island, Illinois
*Bethany College (Kansas), Lindsborg, Kansas
*California Lutheran College, Thousand Oaks, California
*Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
*Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
*Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota
*Lenoir Rhyne College, Hickory, North Carolina
*Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, Nebraska
*Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
*Newberry College, Newberry, South Carolina
*Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia
*Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
*Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania
*Upsala College, East Orange, New Jersey (now closed)
*Wagner College, Staten Island, New York
*Waterloo Lutheran University, Waterloo, Ont., Canada
*Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio

*Grand View College, Des Moines, Iowa (2-yr.) (now four year college)
*Suomi College, Hancock, Michigan (2-yr.) (now 4 year Finlandia University)

eminaries

*Hamma School of Theology, Springfield, Ohio (shared with ALC)
*Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Illinois
*Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
*Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
*Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon, Sask., Canada (shared with ELCC)
*Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, South Carolina
*Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota; (shared with ALC)
*Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, California (shared with ALC)
*Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo, Ont., Canada

LCA Conventions

*1962 LCA Constituting Convention, Detroit, Michigan
*1964 LCA Convention, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
*1966 LCA Convention, Kansas City, Missouri
*1968 LCA Convention, Atlanta, Georgia
*1970 LCA Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota
*1972 LCA Convention, Dallas, Texas
*1974 LCA Convention, Baltimore, Maryland
*1976 LCA Convention, Boston, Massachusetts
*1978 LCA Convention, Chicago, Illinois
*1980 LCA Convention, Seattle, Washington
*1982 LCA Convention, Louisville, Kentucky
*1984 LCA Convention, Toronto, Ontario
*1986 LCA Convention, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
*1987 LCA Closing Convention, Columbus, Ohio

References

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

External links

* [http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia/02/display.asp?t1=L&word=LUTHERANCHURCHINAMERICA LCA]
* [http://www.elca.org/archives/churchbodykey.html ELCA predecessor church bodies]
*Wolf, Edmund Jacob. [http://www.archive.org/details/thelutheransinam00wolfuoft The Lutherans in America; a story of struggle, progress, influence and marvelous growth.] New York: J.A. Hill. 1889.


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