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The Largest ELCA Lutheran Communities


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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the largest Lutheran church in the United States, and the fifth largest church in the United States.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed in Columbus, Ohio, April 30-May 3, 1987 by a merger of three Lutheran bodies: the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and The American Lutheran Church (ALC). These bodies had been formed by previous mergers during the 1960s and 70s.

Top 10 U.S. States with the
Highest Proportion of ELCA Adherents



State Number
of Adherents
Percent
North Dakota 179,711 28.13%
Minnesota 823,372 18.82
South Dakota 114,690 16.48
Iowa 265,423 9.59
Wisconsin 460,168 9.41
Nebraska 128,667 8.15
Montana 49,106 6.15
Pennsylvania 682,111 5.74
Ohio 320,021 2.95
Washington 132,528 2.72


Source: Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990, published by the Glenmary Research Center, P.O. Box 507, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Principle investigator: Church Growth Research Center, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. This data source was obtained from the American Religion Data Archive.

Top 10 U.S. States with Most ELCA Adherents

State Number
of Adherents
Percent
Minnesota 823,372 18.82%
Pennsylvania 682,111 5.74
Wisconsin 460,168 9.41
Ohio 320,021 2.95
Illinois 296,968 2.60
Iowa 265,423 9.59
California 193,389 0.65
New York 187,551 1.04
North Dakota 179,711 28.13
Michigan 167,598 1.80


States on both lists (highest proportion and highest number): North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Source: Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990, published by the Glenmary Research Center, P.O. Box 507, Mars Hill, NC 28754. Principle investigator: Church Growth Research Center, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. This data source was obtained from the American Religion Data Archive.

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Created 10 August 1999. Last modified 30 September 2005.