The Wisconsin Synod was formally organized in 1850. Five pastors, serving 18 congregations, attended the first meeting. In 1872 the Wisconsin and Missouri Synods became founding members of the Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. The Conference was founded on the principle of complete agreement in doctrine and practice. Twenty years later the Minnesota and Michigan Synods joined with the Wisconsin Synod in the body which today is called the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).
Because of differences in doctrine and practice, the Wisconsin Synod suspended its fellowship with the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in 1961 and left the Synodical Conference in 1963. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod took the same action. Although the Lutheran synods in America subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions, there are serious differences of doctrine and practice among them, especially in the doctrines concerning Holy Scripture and concerning the Church.*
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod numbers over 1,135 congregations with over 405,000 souls and over 307,000 communicants, served by about 975 pastors. The congregations have over 30,000 children in Christian day schools. A number of congregations sponsor 19 area Lutheran high schools. Members of the Synod also support various charitable ministries (homes for the aged, institutional missions, child and family services, etc.).
In addition to three preparatory schools, the Synod maintains a college of ministry, Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN), for the preparation of future pastors, teachers and lay ministers. Pastors complete their training at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon, WI). Publications printed at the Synod's Northwestern Publishing House (Milwaukee, WI) include The Northwestern Lutheran (the Synod's official church paper), the Junior Northwestern, the Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, The Lutheran Educator, Meditations (daily devotions), a complete Sunday-school course, catechisms, Bible histories, and other Christian literature.
Wisconsin Synod mission congregations, numbering about 285 in 1980, are found in all of the states of the Union and in Canada. Members of the Synod also support foreign-language mission work in Germany, Africa, Japan, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Indonesia, India, South America, and among the Apache Indians and the Spanish-speaking population of the Southwest.
* For further reading see "This We Believe" (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1967).
Rev. Daniel Garbow
Sunday Bible Class
(September thru May)
Tuesday Morning Bible Class
10:30 am - 11:30 am
(September thru May)
Lenten Worship Services
1:30 pm and 7:00 pm