Our church body was organized among the German immigrants in Wisconsin in 1850 at Milwaukee. (Michigan at one time had its own synod, which combined with the Wisconsin Synod). The concentration of its membership today lies in the states of the Midwest. But since 1978, the WELS has been active in all fifty states and is engaged in outreach efforts in selected areas of each state.
The Greek word “Evangel” means “good news”, and the Christian church has used this word to stand for the heart of the Bible’s message of salvation by grace, through faith in the atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the name Martin Luther often used to distinguish the reforming church from the church of Rome. While many Protestant churches today like to use this word, it still can properly define our mission and ministry as one that centers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) was a devout minister of our Lord Jesus Christ. Luther’s grasp of the Bible’s message of salvation by grace is still reflected in our use of his name. We don’t worship the man, but we do appreciate his Biblical scholarship and his clear writings about the saving Gospel, that is, that we are saved by GRACE alone, by FAITH alone, by SCRIPTURE alone, and by CHRIST alone.
This Greek word means “walking together” and tells us that Christ’s disciples today continue in his Word and hold to the Bible’s teachings. A synod is a fellowship of Christians who have studied God’s Word together and share the same doctrines and practices.