On the Day of Pentecost, people heard the good news in their own language. (Acts 2:1-21)
Regardless of age, race, or status in life, members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcome you to join this community of faith. If you’re unfamiliar with our church, some of what you learn may surprise you.
The ELCA is an engaged, active body of people who put faith in God into action -- in millions of ways, all over the world. Join us!
This page will give you a brief overview of this church, some quick facts, and guide you around the site. We also invite you to learn "What we Believe" found on the main ELCA.org site. You'll find a link to this site on our "Helpful Links" page.
History of the ELCA
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed over 20 years ago. This new church was formed from three separate and well-established North American church bodies:
Beginning January 1, 1988, these churches, with shared beliefs and missions, officially formed the ELCA. Two decades later, this energized church is composed of 4.8 million members and nearly 10,500 congregations across the U.S. and Caribbean. Today, the ELCA reflects the rich and diverse heritage of the people it serves.
But to understand our heritage fully, one must trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.
Read about Lutheran Roots in American and What is the ELCA on ELCA.org.