The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS)
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
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.