The ELCA has 444 congregations named "First Lutheran Church," but First in Albany, N.Y., holds the ultimate claim to the title. Founded by Dutch settlers, First is the ELCA's oldest congregation, celebrating its 350th anniversary this year. First began when a cluster of Lutheran families in what is now Albany defied authorities who forbade them from either holding public worship or calling a pastor.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers