The Evangelical Lutheran Free Church was founded in the 19th century. At the time, the Christian faith was understood mostly as a moral and pious feeling. Many saw Jesus Christ merely as an exemplary person. The State also ruled over the church. In many German states, the Lutheran and Reformed churches were ordered by the State leaders to unite. Opposition arose against these developments. After 1830, it became necessary for independent Lutheran churches to be organized in Prussia, Baden, and Nassau. They founded themselves entirely on the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions.
The State churches, whose name remained Lutheran, continued to widen their misuse of the Holy Word and Confessions more and more. They became a people’s church that tolerated unbiblical teachings and practices. Confession-conscious Lutherans who could no longer agree with these developments left the State churches with a heavy heart. In 1871, an independent congregation formed in Saxony and was founded in 1876. This was the first Lutheran Free church located in the region of a Lutheran state church. Within a few years, the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church spread throughout all German states.
The congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church are located throughout Germany and West Austria. The ELFK is blessed with its own Lutheran School, Seminary, and Publishing House. The Dr. Martin Luther School is situated in Zwickau and has 150 kids, classes 1-4. At the seminary in Leipzig, students from Germany and other countries study theology in order to become pastors of the ELFK or CELC sister churches. The “Concordia Buchhandlung” is a bookstore in Zwickau that also publishes books. For instance, they regularly print the monthly newsletters of the ELFK, “Lutherische Gemeindebriefe.” They publish the quarterly of the seminary, “Theologische Handreichung und Information,” and also the devotion book “Gott ist für uns.” The ELFK is known for doing lots of youth work and different kinds of retreats. International guests are very welcome.
Church Body Statistics
Established Congregations: 17
Mission Congregations: 3
National Pastors: 20
Current Church Body President: Pastor Martin Wilde (serving since 2010)