Articles > Focus on Immanuel Lutheran Church

Built in 1869
27 Nov 2012

Lutheran Church, Tonawanda, NY

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

Founded on the teachings of Martin Luther, the LCMS was established in 1847, by Saxon and other German immigrants seeking the freedom to practice and follow confessional Lutheranism. Initial members included 12 pastors representing 14 congregations from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Today, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in some 6,200 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America. The LCMS is known for mass-media outreach through “The Lutheran Hour,” broadcast around the world by Lutheran Hour Ministries; syndicated and streaming programming on KFUO radio; "This Is The Life” dramas on television; the products of Concordia Publishing House, the third-largest Protestant, church-owned publisher, whose Arch Books children’s series alone has sold more than 60 million copies.

The LCMS works with 300 Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) to extend its social ministry. The LCMS is also a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social service organization that serves one in every 50 Americans. In addition to national and international ministries based at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, and those emanating from the Synod’s district offices and congregations, the church’s work also is fostered through its auxiliaries, the Lutheran Laymen’s League and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

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