Our Synod

About Our Synod

The Evangelical Lutheran Synod is an American Lutheran church body of 130 congregations in full fellowship with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The ELS is also a member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), which currently consists of 24 church bodies throughout the world in fellowship with one another.  Following Jesus’ command to bring the Gospel “to all nations,” the ELS operates missions in seven countries around the world: Peru, Chile, India, Korea, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Latvia.  We are also active in beginning new congregations in the United States.  You can read about our history here.

Jesus Saves

You have probably seen the phrase “Jesus Saves” many times. It’s not an accident that so many Christians use that phrase. This is the heart and center of Christianity: Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died to save all people from their sins and rose again from the dead. This Good News is the message the Evangelical Lutheran Synod continues to share with all people.


Although the term “evangelical” is used in many different ways, it only has one correct meaning. It comes from the word “evangel” which simply means “Gospel” or “Good News.” Evangelical means being loyal to the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The “Lutheran” in our name comes from Martin Luther, the 16th-century monk who started the Reformation of the church, returning it to teachings based on God’s Word, the Bible. Lutherans have, for centuries, taught Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Word Alone. The Bible teaches that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone. Faith comes through the Word of God alone by the power of the Holy Spirit.


The term “synod” means “walking together.”  It is essential for a church body to have unity in its beliefs among all its members. This unity comes only through faith and trust in God’s Word as the basis for all we believe and teach. We call ourselves a synod because we believe and teach the same things in all of our congregations.

About our Logo

ELS Logo

Our logo combines two ancient Christian symbols: the cross and the “Chi Rho” symbol. This “Chi Rho” symbol combines the first two letters of “Christ” in the Greek language and represents Jesus Christ. The cross reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice to atone for our sins. The message of forgiveness and salvation in Jesus is at the center of our teaching.