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no secessions or divisions among Lutherans on account of questions arising in church government, except several instances among the Germans, when charges of hierarchical tendencies were broached. The reception in 1864 of the Franckean Synod by the General Synod led to a division on confessional grounds. It was objected by many that the Franckean Synod had not announced its acceptance of the Augsburg Confession and it was thought to be doctrinally unsound. It was contended in behalf of those who adhered to the General Synod that the Franckean Synod had accepted the Augsburg Confession in accepting the constitution of the General Synod, in which is set forth the confessional basis. The minority, including the representatives of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, presented a protest against the admission of the Franckean Synod, and the representatives of the Ministerium withdrew. Two years later, however, at the next meeting of the General Synod, delegates from the Ministerium were in attendance, but, not being allowed to participate in the election of officers, on the ground that the Ministerium must be considered as “in a state of practical withdrawal from the governing functions of the General Synod,” they retired, and their example was subsequently followed by the Pittsburg, English Ohio, Minnesota, and Texas synods, and the Ministerium soon after led in a movement for the formation of another general body.

The following is the confessional basis of the General Synod:

"We receive and hold with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of our fathers the Word of God, as contained in the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and the Augsburg Confession as a correct exhibition of the fundamental doctrines of the divine Word and of the faith of our church founded upon that Word.”

The General Synod Lutherans affiliate more readily with other evangelical denominations than the Lutherans attached to the General Council, the Synodical Conference, or the Ohio Synod. They do not refuse to exchange pulpits with ministers of evangelical churches, as do their stricter brethren, who condemn these relations under the general term "unionism."

The General Synod has connected with it 23 synods, the oldest of which, that of Maryland, was organized in 1820, and the newest, that of Middle Tennessee, in 1878. It is represented in twenty-five States and in the District of Columbia and Territory of New Mexico. Nearly one half of its communicants, or 78,938, are to be found in the State of Pennsylvania. Of its 1424 organizations, Pennsylvania has 596. There are 1322 edifices, valued at $8,919,170. This indicates an average value for each edifice of $6745, which is extraordinary. The average seating capacity of the edifices is 357. Only 72 of the 1424 organizations meet in other than church buildings. The 72 halls have a seating capacity of 10,730.

The boundaries of Lutheran synods are very irregular. Those of the synods belonging to the General Synod are more regular than those of any of the other Lutheran general bodies, but only 5 of the 23 do not cross one or more State lines.



District of Columbia
Michigan .
New Jersey.
New Mexico.
New York..
South Dakota
West Virginia

Seating Value of ComOrgani- Church


Church munizations. Edifices.

pacity. Property. cants. I I 300

$2,000 175 6

3 1,700 87,000 743 7 5 1,025 64,500 220 2 I

400 7,000 190 6 6

3,000 301,000 1,038 93 8372 24,803 344,050 7,438 86 88 23,600

243,300 6,090 30 28 8,585 127,200 2,043 53 43 10,245 171,000 2,835 II II

3,700 43,700 1,627 96 97 43,430

843,050 17,288 2 2

275 2,700 103 9 9 2,450 37,500 679 I I 300 1,200

26 14

4,125 132,850 1,576 73 55

12,185 330,420 3,731 16 16 5,175 126,100 2,415 2

100% 36,925 1,224,700 15,611 189 182 59,310 1,039,950 18,437

545 34 219 516 3,672,650 78,938 3 3 370 7,700 64 II II


8,900 749 3 3 1,050 7,000

450 5 5

69,000 II 812

861 3


6,100 141





1,800 2,600




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Soon after the beginning of the Civil War the four synods of North and South Carolina and of Virginia and southwest Virginia withdrew from the General Synod because of the adoption by that body, at its convention in 1862, of resolutions concerning the war which gave offense to the South. These synods and the Synod of Texas were not represented in the convention of 1862 on account of the outbreak of hostilities and the condition of the country. The next year (1863) the four synods above mentioned and the Synod of Georgia constituted the General Synod, South. A few other Southern synods afterward became connected with it. In 1886 a new organization, known as the United Synod in the South, took its place, consisting of six synods which had belonged to the General Synod, South, and the independent Tennessee and Holston synods.

The type of Lutheranism represented by the United Synod in the South is similar to that of the General Synod, though perhaps a little stricter. Its confessional basis is as follows:

The Holy Scriptures, the inspired writings of the Old and New Testaments, the only standard of doctrine and church discipline.

As a true and faithful exhibition of the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures in regard to matters of faith and practice, the three ancient symbols, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds, and the Unaltered Augsburg Confession of Faith; also, the other symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, viz., the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Smaller and Larger Catechisms of Luther, and the Formula of Concord, consisting of the Epitome and full Declaration as they are set forth, defined, and published in the Christian Book of Concord, or the Symbolical Books of the Lutheran Church, published in the year 1580, as true and Scriptural developments of the doctrines taught in the Augsburg Confession and in perfect harmony of [sic] one and the same pure Scriptural faith.”

The United Synod in the South is represented in nine of the Southern States, including Tennessee and West Virginia. It has 414 organizations and 379 church edifices, of an average value of $2938, and an average seating capacity of 365; 29 halls, with a seating capacity of 4225, are occupied.

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