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Lutheran Free Church.

Assoc. of Norw. Luth. congs. organized Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 1897, as result of a dispute in the United* Norw. Luth. Ch. involving matters pertaining to union agreements and new trends in theol. thinking, cong. life, and sem. training. Known 1893–97 as Friends of Augsburg. (in reference to Augsburg Theol. Sem. [see Luther Theological Seminary, 1, 4; Ministry, Education of, X]).

The congs. participated in an annual conf. which had no authority over congs. The sovereignty of each cong. under the authority of the Word and Spirit of God was emphasized. All voting mems. and voting mems. of other Luth. congs. who were willing to sign a statement that they accepted the LFC's “Fundamental Principles and Rules for Work” and promised to work for the purpose stated in Art. 2 (“making Lutheran congregations free and living, so that, according to their calling and ability, they may work in spiritual freedom and autonomy for the cause of the Kingdom of God at home and abroad through such agencies and institutions as the congregations themselves may designate”) were eligible to vote. The LFC helped form the NLC 1918. Until 1920 the pres. was only moderator of the annual conference.

Pres. Friends of Augsburg: Christian T. Sangstad 1893–94, G. Sverdrup* 1894–97.

Pres. LFC: Elias P. Harbo 1897–99, 1901–03, 1907–09; Endre E. Gynild 1899–1901, 1905–07, 1909–10, 1912–14, 1916–18, 1923–28; Christopher K. Ytrehus 1903–05; Paul Winther 1910–12; Johan Mattson 1914–16, 1918–20; Olai H. Sletten 1920–23; Hans J. Urdahl 1928–30; Thorvald Olsen Burntvedt 1930–58; John Stensvaag 1958–63.

The LFC merged with The ALC February 1, 1963. LFC statistics 12–31-62: 260 ordained pastors; 328 congs.; 60,564 confirmed mems.; 92,900 bap. mems.

See also American Lutheran Church, The, I; Association of Free Lutheran Congregations, The; Lutheran Council in Canada, 2.

E. L. Fevold, The Lutheran Free Church (Minneapolis, 1969).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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