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Authority record

American Lutheran Church

  • ELCA 1.9
  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1987

The American Lutheran Church (ALC) was formed through a merger of the Ohio and Iowa Synods, followed by the Buffalo Synod, in 1930. Over the next decades, the ALC began partnerships with other Lutheran synods. This joint group, referred to as the American Lutheran Federation, laid the foundation for a merger in 1960. This merger brought together the United Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church with the ALC, unifying the three largest groups of Lutheran immigrant communities (Danish, Norwegian, and German). The ALC adopted a strong centralized synodical system consisting of 13 geographical districts. In 1987, the ALC merged with the Association of Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in American to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • ELCA 2.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1988-

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed through a 1988 merger of the American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church in America. The constituting convention was held in 1987 in Columbus, Ohio with an official inception date of January 1, 1988. The ELCA is organized into the following regions and synods:

Region 1: Alaska, Northwest Washington, Southwestern Washington, Northwest Intermountain, Oregon, Montana
Region 2: Sierra Pacific, Southwest California, Pacifica, Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain
Region 3: Western North Dakota, Eastern North Dakota, South Dakota, Northwestern Minnesota, Northeastern Minnesota, Southwestern Minnesota, Minneapolis Area, Saint Paul Area, Southeastern Minnesota
Region 4: Nebraska, Central States, Arkansas-Oklahoma, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Southwestern Texas, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast
Region 5: Metropolitan Chicago, Northern Illinois, Central/Southern Illinois, Southeastern Iowa, Western Iowa, Northeastern Iowa, Northern Great Lakes, Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, East-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, La Crosse Area
Region 6: Southeast Michigan, North/West Lower Michigan, Indiana-Kentucky, Northwestern Ohio, Northeastern Ohio, Southern Ohio
Region 7: New Jersey, New England, Metro New York, Upstate New York, NE Pennsylvania, Southeastern Pennsylvania, Slovak Zion
Region 8: Northwestern Pennsylvania, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Allegheny, Lower Susquehanna, Upper Susquehanna, Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, DC, West Virginia-Western Maryland
Region 9: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southeastern, Florida-Bahamas, Caribbean

Bethesda Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.5
  • Corporate body
  • 1947-1955

The Albina Lutheran Church was established by the Commission on Negro Missions of the American Lutheran Church on February 2, 1947. The name was changed to Bethesda Lutheran church on June 13, 1948. The congregation disbanded in 1955

Holy Sacrament Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.7
  • Corporate body
  • 1953-1987

The Holy Sacrament Lutheran Church congregation of Portland, Oregon first organized in a home on September 1, 1952 under the name Green Gables Lutheran Church. The first service was held on October 5 of that year under the direction of the Home Mission program of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The congregation was formally organized on January 24, 1953 and took the name Holy Sacrament Lutheran Church. Property was obtained and church building erected. The congregation sold half of its acreage to Portland Unity Church, and the decision was made to pay off the Northwest District's Church extension loan. Holy Sacrament then entered into the American Evangelical Lutheran Church. Beginning in the 1960s, the congregation shared the sanctuary space with Hope Lutheran Church for the Deaf, the Seventh Day Baptist Church, and a non-denominational group called Calvary Chapel.

Martin Luther Lutheran Church (Portland, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.8
  • Corporate body
  • 1956-1975

Martin Luther Lutheran Church was organized in 1956 in Portland, Oregon. They started construction on their church building in 1957. The church was built largely with the help of volunteer work and donations. Martin Luther Lutheran Church was officially dissolved in 1975.

Peace Lutheran Church (Rainier, Oregon)

  • ELCA 6.2.9
  • Corporate body
  • 1954-1969

Peace Lutheran Church was assembled first as a Lutheran Mission in Rainier, Oregon in 1954. The mission was initially named Rainier First Lutheran and was led first by Pastor Leroy E. Pillman and, beginning in 1957, Pastor James H. Goss. The congregation officially organized in 1958 under the name Peace Lutheran. Peace Lutheran had several visiting pastors until 1962 when they called Pastor Wilton H. Anderson, who they shared with Brownsmead congregation. In 1969, the church was disbanded due to low membership.

Holden Village

  • ELCA 6.4.1
  • Corporate body
  • 1957-present

In 1896, James Henry Holden made his first claim on the area which would later become Holden Village. However, due to the expense and difficulty involved in transporting copper from the isolated mine, the operation did not begin its full productivity until 1937. By 1938 the mine had become successful and processed 2,000 pounds of copper ore daily.

The Howe Sound Company built a town site on the north side of Railroad Creek soon after the mine began to thrive. The town site consisted of a number of dormitories, a gymnasium, bowling alley, mess hall, school, and hospital, among other things. West of the town site was a patch of small houses intended for miners and their families. The Holden Mine and its town site flourished for many years despite the isolation. However, after World War II the price of metal fell and the resources of the mine began to diminish. The mine was closed in 1957.

With the closing of the mine in 1957, the Howe Sound Company sought a buyer for the Holden Mine and town site. With an asking price of $100,000, the remote piece of property did not sell. However, Wes Prieb, a man active in the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle, saw the potential for a spiritual retreat center at the old mine. Originally he asked the Howe Sound Company to give the land to the Lutheran Church as a gift. The Company refused, but eventually agreed to sell the mine, town site, and all the land for one dollar.

With the purchase of the land came a multitude of problems for the Lutheran Bible Institute. The structures were old and decrepit. Many were on the brink of collapse and those that still stood did not meet current building codes. With the help of large brigades of volunteers, the Lutheran Bible Institute successfully cleaned and refurbished many of the buildings. The Village began to function as a summer retreat center soon afterward. Originally, the Lutheran Bible Institute imagined a summer-only center, and kept limited staff on-hand for the first few winters. However, both the infrastructure needs of the community and the natural beauty of Holden Village in the winter led to the creation of a year-round retreat center.

Today, Holden Village operates as a year-round retreat center and is one of the most remote continuously inhabited places in the contiguous United States. Largely run by volunteers, the Village offers educational programming and outdoor recreation opportunities to visitors from all over the world.

Ascension Lutheran Church (Seattle, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.13
  • Corporate body
  • 1954-1986

This congregation was organized as a mission by the Lutheran Free Church on October 31, 1954. Known first as Sand Point Heights Church, construction of the first unit began in April of 1963, and first services were held in the basement in October of that year. Rev. Lester Dahlen, who was pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Seattle, served as acting pastor. When the congregation was officially recognized, Rev. Howard Sortland was the first full-time pastor. In 1979, on the 25th anniversary, the building was modernized. The congregation was dissolved in 1986.

Trinity Lutheran Church (Tacoma, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.32
  • Corporate body
  • 1919-present

The congregation was officially organized on August 25, 1919. In cooperation with Pacific Lutheran University, members of the congregation erected a church on the college campus in 1920, and worship was held there until 1936 when the congregation purchased the property of the Parkland Evangelical Lutheran Church. The structure (built in 1902) was razed, and the present sanctuary was built and dedicated on June 8, 1958. Trinity has helped to establish several churches in the area, including Christ the King in Midland, Christ Lutheran in Lakewood, Spanaway Lutheran, and Gethsemane Lutheran at South 76th.

Family of God Lutheran Church (Federal Way, Washington)

  • ELCA 7.2.6
  • Corporate body
  • 1980-1999

The Family of God Lutheran Church congregation of Federal Way, Washington was established as a mission congregation of the American Lutheran Church on August 4, 1980. The church building was completed in 1985. Under the leadership of pastor James Christianson, membership and support grew over the first decade of the congregation's existence. Due to financial pressures, the congregation closed in 1999.

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