The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The way we were: 1906

Participants at the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church’s 29th annual convention at Our Savior (Vor Frelsers) Danish Lutheran Church, Manistee, Mich., posed for this photograph in June 1906. Formed in 1874, the DELCA became the American Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1953. That body merged with the Augustana Synod, Suomi Synod and United Lutheran Church in America in 1962 to form the Lutheran Church in America.

Sometimes called “Happy Danes,” DELC members emphasized Danish folk culture including music, dance and the arts. The DELC/AELC owned and operated Grand View College and Seminary in Des Moines, Iowa.

Things weren’t so happy for the DELC in 1894, when part of the church left to form the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, also known as the “North Church.” The North Church merged with the “Blair Church” (the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church Association) in 1896, forming the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church, known as “Sad Danes” or “Holy Danes” because of their pietistic tendencies. The UDELC owned and operated Dana College and Trinity Seminary in Blair, Neb. The church dropped “Danish” from their name in 1946, and in 1960, was one of the churches to form The American Lutheran Church, an ELCA predecessor.

Confused yet? For a key to predecessor bodies, visit www.elca.org/archives/churchbodykey.html.


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