After coming back from our denomination’s conference, my husband preached a sermon based on a talk given by Rev. Bob Lee on the history of the AFLC. I thought it might be interesting to the readers following this blog.
Rev. Lee’s presentation on the history of the AFLC is important for each congregation –if we don’t know why we are the way we are, it cannot inform and teach us what we must do as we go forward. Henry Ford once famously said that history is just so much bunk, proving that he might have known how to make cars, but he didn’t understand much of anything else. I want to take the history as Rev. Lee presented it and apply the lessons to St. Paul’s.
In 1962 the Lutheran Free Church which had been founded in 1897, merged with the American Lutheran Church. Fifty congregations refused to merge, believing that the distinctives of the Lutheran Free Church, including the primacy of the local congregation and a pietistic theology would be compromised and lost. These churches came together in Thief River Falls, MN. that fall and voted to form what became the AFLC. A 34 year old pastor, Raynard Huglen, wrote a document presented at the conference in 1963 outlining the reasons for the formation of a new fellowship. He did this by examining three aspects of our church life: our polity; our piety; and our theology. It is these three things that I believe should inform us here at St. Paul’s as we move forward in our ministry here in Leitersburg.
To be continued ……