The history of the Lutheran Evangelical Christian Church (LECC) had its beginning with the arrival of the missionary sent by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in April 1957. In the following years, additional missionaries were sent to establish congregations and preaching stations in the Kanto Plain. The Kanto Plain is the largest flat area in Japan and includes Tokyo and the surrounding area. Here in this small area, fully one-third of the 126 million people of Japan dwell.
The Delegate Church Council (Delegate Convention of the LECC) first met on April 9, 1962. Three weeks later, the Delegate Church Council (DCC) ratified the documents of incorporation. By the end of the summer, the Japanese government had accepted the documents of incorporation of the Lutheran Evangelical Christian Church (LECC). With this step, all legal requirements were completed and the Lutheran Evangelical Christian Church became a legally recognized church in Japan. With the further development of the LECC, the delegates of the DCC in session made a detailed study of the doctrinal statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Upon completion of those studies, the delegates of the LECC declared that they were in doctrinal agreement and requested a formal declaration of fellowship with the WELS. In its 1981 convention, the WELS responded with a formal declaration of fellowship. Ten years later, the members of the Lutheran Evangelical Christian Church were delighted to be one of the founding churches of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.
At present, three national pastors, graduates of the LECC Seminary program, continue to serve along with the only remaining missionary. There are no seminary students at the present time, although one man is serving as a vicar under the Rijikai (Board of Directors). The loss of missionary manpower and the retirement of national pastors has had an adverse effect on outreach efforts in Japan. Several churches and preaching stations have been closed or combined.
In spite of these manpower losses, the members of the LECC, together with their pastors and the one remaining missionary, continue a vigorous outreach to the millions of people who do not know their Savior. With the help of the WELS Committee for Relief, the members of the LECC have been very active in bringing aid and the Gospel to the people of the area 230 miles north of Tokyo devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. While this disaster has had a deep impact on the people of Japan, it has given the members of the LECC working in the disaster area the opportunity to share Christ’s love and the message of the Gospel in very concrete ways.
Church Body Statistics
Preaching Stations: 1
National Pastors: 3
National Vicars: 1
Gethsemane, Hitachi City, Ibaraki Prefecture;
Grace, Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture;
Bible, Shimodate City, Ibaraki Prefecture;
Hope, Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki Prefecture;
Holy Light, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture;
Peace, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture;
Lamp, Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture;
Redemption, Higashikurume City, Tokyo;
Praise, Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture.