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Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches.

1. A few Slovaks came to the US in the 1770s; others came as a result of the 1848 revolution in Hung., settling in Chicago, Illinois, and elsewhere. Measures resulting from Hung. dominance led many more to leave their homeland (see Czechoslovakia) and settle in Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Minnesota, California, and the Northwest, including Washington and Alaska, in the last decades of the 19th and first decades of the 20th c..

2. In Eur. the founders of the Syn. of Ev. Luth. Chs. had been mems. of the Luth. Ch. (see Czechoslovakia, 5–7; Slovakia, Lutheran Theology in). Congs. were organized at Freeland, Pennsylvania, 1883; Streator, Illinois, 1884; Mount Carmel and Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1888; Tabor, Minnesota, 1889. Others followed in the 1890s in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Minnesota. For various reasons, including lack of regular and properly indoctrinated Slovak pastors and teachers, some congs. were not strictly confessional Luth..

3. A “Seniorate” was formed by a small group early June 1894 at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, but soon died, apparently for lack of real spiritual union. Official organ: Cirkevne� Listy (“Church Letters”).

4. Three pastoral conferences were held in Pennsylvania (June 9, 1899, Wilkes-Barre; January 16–17, 1900, and June 4, 1902, Braddock) with a view to organize a Slovak Luth. syn. Organization of the Slovak Ev. Luth. Ch. (Slovensk-evanjelicka� augsburgske&140;ho vyznania celocirkev v Spojenych sta�toch americkych, “The Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the United States of America,” abbreviated S. E. A. V. C.) took place at a meeting held September 2–4, 1902, at St. Peter Luth. Ch., Connellsville, Pennsylvania Official organ: Luthera�n (“The Lutheran”).

Original (1903) charter name: Celocirkev cili Synoda ev. a. v. slovenska� Pennsylva�nska� (“The Slovak Evangelical Church or Synod of the Augsburg Confession in Pennsylvania”). Joined Synodical* Conf. 1908. New charter name (1913): Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the United States of America. See also 6.

5. Controversies threatening disruption and concerning confessional prayer (whether it is necessary to state Christ's deity in a prayer which mentions Him), announcement for Communion, and open Communion arose by 1905. The first was soon settled; the others continued to some extent for ca. 2 decades.

6. Charter amended January 24, 1945, changed name to Slovak Ev. Luth. Ch. (Slovenska� Evanjelicka� Lutera�nska Cirkev).

7. Name changed 1959 to Syn. of Ev. Luth. Chs..

8. SELC pastors and teachers were educ. in Missouri Syn. colleges and sems.. For some time the SELC had a prof. of Slovak in Missouri Syn. schools (e.g., Conc. Coll., Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Conc. Sem., Springfield, Illinois).

9. The SELC was governed by elected officers and a bd. of directors and held regular convs. every 2 yrs..

10. Funds for for., Negro, and Jewish missions were channeled through the Missouri Syn. and Syn. Conf. respectively; missions in Can. and Argentina were administered by the SELC.

11. Official SELC organs: Svedok—The Witness and Lutheran Beacon (the latter ceased pub. at end of 1970).

12. SELC youth organized the Slovak Luther League (later simply Luther League) at St. Paul Luth. Ch., Whiting, Indiana, September 5, 1927. Official organ: The Courier.

13. SELC created a Publication Department. Publications included Symbolicke� knihy (the Book of Concord) and Pi�sne Duchovni� (Slovak hymnal first issued 1636 by J. Tranovský.*

14. Services were held in Eng. and Slovak; The Lutheran Hymnal was used.

15. SELC est. Lutheran Haven at Oviedo, Florida, with services for aging, families, and children.

16. The SELC Army and Navy Bd. operated in conjunction with the corresponding LCMS commission. JSB

17. SELC pres.: Daniel Jonaten Záboj Laucek 1902–05; John Pelikán 1905–13; Stephen Tuhy 1913–19; J. Pelikán 1919–21; John Somora 1921–22; John Samuel Bradác 1922–39; Andrew Daniel 1939–49; Paul Rafaj 1949–63; John Kovac 1963–69; Milan A. Ontko 1969–71.

18. SELC became an LCMS dist. January 1, 1971.

See also Lutheran Council in the United States of America.

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

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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