With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God’s Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
Our congregations accept and preach the Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the reformation of the Christian Church in the 16th century. The teaching of Luther and the reformers can be summarized in three phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
The word “Synod” in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean “walking together.” The term has rich meaning in our church body because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod.
Though diverse in their service, our congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.
Lutheran congregations are confessional. Our congregations believe the Lutheran Confessions are a correct interpretation and presentation of biblical doctrine.
Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were transcribed and shared broadly by church leaders during the 16th century.
Luther’s Small Catechism contains essential summaries of our beliefs, while the Augsburg Confession gives more detail about what Lutherans believe.
The roots of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod trace back to 1847, when Saxon and other German immigrants established a new church body in America, seeking the freedom to practice and follow confessional Lutheranism.
Initial members, which included 12 pastors representing 14 congregations from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, New York and Ohio, signed the church body’s constitution on April 26, 1847, at First Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago, Ill.
Originally named The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States, the name was shortened to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 1947 on the occasion of our 100th anniversary.
Over the years, hundreds of books chronicling the Synod’s rich history have been written. One we recommend for further info is Zion on the Mississippi.