Lutheran in Name?

From the Guidelines for LCMS Congregations found on the Church Office Administration Resources page:


The following are subjects that ordinarily should be addressed in a congregation’s constitution.

Instructive comments are provided together with sample paragraphs. For ease of reference, a numeral and decimal numbering system is also recommended.

1.0 NAME

Legal counsel should be consulted to make certain that this paragraph follows the requirements for ecclesiastical corporations established by the state in which the congregation is located. In addition, 1995 Synod convention Resolution 3-13A resolved that “all congregations and mission stations in our Synod boldly profess in their official title and/or name that they are ‘Lutheran.’”

The name of this congregation shall be [Name] Lutheran Church of [City,] [County,] [State].

Here is the actual resolution (found on page 17 of the document above):

1995 Convention Proceedings

To Use the Name Lutheran


Overtures 3-120-130 (CW, pp. .187-91)
Whereas, We have been called Lutheran since the formation of our Synod (and since Reformation times) and are thankful for our doctrinal background and heritage; and
Whereas, The name Lutheran clearly identifies what the member congregations and The Lutheran Church¾Missouri Synod believe, teach and confess; and
Whereas, Basic Christian honesty and integrity require that no deception of any sort be used in declaring the truth of the Gospel before all the world; as St. Paul declares: “Rather we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2); therefore be it
Resolved, That all congregations and mission stations in our Synod boldly profess is their official title and/or name that they are “Lutheran”; and be it further
Resolved, That all congregations and mission stations of our Synod state in their materials (bulletins, newsletters, etc.) that they belong to The Lutheran Church¾Missouri Synod; and be it finally
Resolved, That all LCMS congregations gladly proclaim our great doctrinal heritage to a world that needs the clear proclamation of the truth.
Action: Adopted (11).

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


Lutheran in Name? — 3 Comments

  1. Yes, but where they aren’t willing to be Lutheran in Word and deed, perhaps they should declare that, and get their district subsidy somewhere else!

  2. This was one of the skirmishes in MN South (over the name of The Alley) that quickly led to and electoral trouncing and the sale of the ULC building. Hopefully this will be easier and more welcome after Koinania.

  3. @Jason #2

    Jason, the people who named the “Alley” and used “non-denom” ‘worship materials’ there were already working to get rid of ULC.
    It wasn’t in the plan to have a church which turned out CTS seminary candidates!

    The district mission plans in Texas include NO traditional liturgical churches.
    If they are built anyway, some traditional congregation is doing it.
    [Sometimes an available (but unsupported by District) CRM is called as Pastor.]

    See “Will the real Koinonia…. ?

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