The ELCA is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013! We kicked off the anniversary year on Jan. 1 under the theme, “Always being made new.” To help mark this important milestone let’s take a look back at the people and events that have shaped us as a church while looking toward the future together anew.
Marchers from Lutheran Human Relations Association of America and Augustana Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C., take part in the March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963. In this photo they are approaching the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history.
The Confirmation class of Grace English Lutheran Church, Chicago, 1906. The congregation was organized in 1882 as the first English-language congregation in the General Synod’s Northern Illinois Synod.
Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe, Pa., is the oldest unchanged church building in the United States. It was built in 1743 by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, a pastor who is considered the patriarch of American Lutheranism. Muhlenberg died in 1787 and is buried in the graveyard.
A worship service at the ELCA Constituting Convention in Columbus, Ohio, April 30-May 3, 1987. The ELCA formally came into existence on Jan. 1, 1988, creating the largest Lutheran church body in the United States.
A papal indulgence from 1516, which was presented to Lutheran Church Productions, producers of the Martin Luther film by German Lutherfilm, GmBH, in 1954. The photo is from the ELCA Archives. On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther wrote to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” which came to be known as “The 95 Theses.”