The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS)

The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS)

1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
United States

Attesting Officer
Vicki J. Biggs
Director, Integrated Communications


Media Contact
Director, Integrated Communications, Ms. Vicki Biggs

38.5605895, -90.4080025


The Lutheran Church - - Missouri Synod (LCMS), which was founded in 1847, has nearly 6,200 congregations in the United States and has active work or mission relationships in nearly 100 countries. It has 2.3 million members and is the second-largest Lutheran denomination in North America.
The LCMS is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination. It accepts the teachings of Martin Luther that inspired the Protestant Reformation of the Christian church in the 16th century. The Synod's beliefs can be summed up in three phrases: Grace alone, Scripture alone, Faith alone.
The church has nearly 9,000 rostered pastors and some 11,600 additional rostered (called) church workers. Women are active in church work, although they do not occupy clergy positions. Serving in positions such as teachers, deaconesses, and social workers, women account for more than half of all commissioned rostered workers.
The members' responsibility for congregational leadership is a distinctive characteristic of the LCMS. Power is vested in voters' assemblies, generally comprised of adults of voting age. Synod decision making is given to the delegates at triennial national and district conventions, where the franchise is equally divided between lay and pastoral representatives.
LCMS educational institutions serve all ages from pre-school to college. LCMS congregations operate one of the largest Protestant early childhood, elementary and secondary school system in the nation and more than 28,000 students are enrolled in the LCMS' 10 colleges and universities and two seminaries.
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; and 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 some 270 Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) which foster the church's mission and ministry. These organizations include social service agencies, educational institutions, retreat centers, summer camps and mission societies. The LCMS also is a founding partner of Lutheran Services of America, a social service organization that serves one in every 50 Americans.


Full Communicants Average Attendance Other Members Total Inclusive Members Total Churches Membership Calculation Method
1982
1,981,260
0
649,563
2,630,823
5,752
1981
1,983,198
0
653,517
2,636,715
5,710
1980
1,973,958
0
651,692
2,625,650
5,694
1979
1,965,422
0
657,759
2,623,181
5,689
1978
1,969,279
0
662,095
2,631,374
5,689
1977
1,985,706
0
687,615
2,673,321
5,687
1976
2,026,336
0
730,935
2,757,271
5,832
1975
2,018,530
0
745,015
2,763,545
5,797
1974
2,010,456
0
759,138
2,769,594
5,813
1973
1,983,114
0
792,990
2,776,104
5,777
1972
1,963,262
0
818,035
2,781,297
5,741
1971
1,945,889
0
842,221
2,788,110
5,724
1970
1,922,569
0
865,967
2,788,536
5,690
1969
1,900,708
0
885,394
2,786,102
5,745
1968
1,877,799
0
904,093
2,781,892
5,733
1967
1,745,502
0
1,013,806
2,759,308
5,707
1966
1,806,187
0
923,710
2,729,897
5,647
1965
0
0
0
2,692,889
5,639
1964
0
0
0
2,650,857
5,556
1963
0
0
0
2,591,762
5,519
1962
0
0
0
2,522,095
5,432
1961
0
0
0
2,464,436
5,276
1960
0
0
0
2,391,195
5,215
1959
0
0
0
2,304,962
5,109
1958
0
0
0
2,234,844
5,028
Serving Churches Retired Other Service to the Church Total Clergy
1982
4,879
0
0
7,559
1981
4,733
0
0
7,376
1980
4,633
0
0
7,296
1979
4,596
0
0
7,211
1978
4,635
0
0
7,161
1977
4,565
0
0
7,163
1976
4,725
0
0
7,414
1975
4,793
0
0
7,425
1974
4,818
0
0
7,331
1973
4,828
0
0
7,316
1972
4,748
0
0
7,174
1971
4,712
0
0
7,041
1970
4,581
0
0
6,866
1969
4,507
0
0
6,758
1968
4,587
0
0
6,719
1967
4,556
0
0
6,572
1966
4,522
0
0
6,469
1965
4,618
0
0
6,395
1964
4,526
0
0
6,257
1963
4,454
0
0
6,091
1962
4,376
0
0
5,756
1961
4,242
0
0
5,658
1960
4,198
0
0
5,506
1959
4,138
0
0
5,398
1958
4,064
0
0
5,299
Total Schools Staff Pupils Total Individuals
1982
5,568
0
0
642,885
1981
5,557
0
0
643,600
1980
5,510
0
0
639,769
1979
5,489
0
0
637,390
1978
5,428
0
0
638,074
1977
5,447
0
0
655,362
1976
5,561
0
0
683,350
1975
5,570
0
0
705,113
1974
5,598
0
0
723,787
1973
5,590
0
0
757,543
1972
5,563
0
0
783,952
1971
5,552
0
0
815,522
1970
5,589
0
0
857,375
1969
5,600
0
0
885,567
1968
5,600
0
0
919,161
1967
8,741
0
0
1,043,800
1966
5,567
0
0
961,958
1965
5,541
101,160
867,694
968,854
1964
5,548
101,366
869,569
970,935
1963
5,438
99,710
852,930
952,640
1962
5,343
95,859
824,986
920,845
1961
5,204
92,612
803,476
896,088
1960
5,115
89,390
780,391
869,781
1959
4,995
85,545
747,540
833,085
1958
4,937
82,212
718,738
800,950
Total Benevolences Total Financials Total Giving Local Expenses Method
1982
$75,457,846
$544,000,000
$468,000,000
1981
$86,341,102
$516,000,000
$430,000,000
1980
$66,626,364
$457,000,000
$391,000,000
1979
$63,530,596
$425,000,000
$361,000,000
1978
$59,030,753
$388,000,000
$329,000,000
1977
$57,077,162
$358,000,000
$301,000,000
1976
$56,831,860
$344,000,000
$287,000,000
1975
$55,896,061
$322,000,000
$267,000,000
1974
$55,076,955
$304,000,000
$249,000,000
1973
$54,438,074
$285,000,000
$230,000,000
1972
$50,777,670
$268,000,000
$217,000,000
1971
$48,891,368
$253,000,000
$204,000,000
1970
$47,810,664
$241,000,000
$193,000,000
1969
$49,402,590
$235,000,000
$186,000,000
1968
$47,415,800
$225,000,000
$178,000,000
1964
$0
$185,000,000
$0
1963
$0
$177,000,000
$0
1962
$0
$169,000,000
$0
1961
$0
$164,000,000
$0
1960
$0
$151,000,000
$0
1959
$0
$143,000,000
$0
1958
$0
$133,000,000
$0
1957
$0
$122,000,000
$0
1956
$23,003,197
$103,000,000
$79,627,771
1955
$17,379,086
$88,622,601
$71,243,515