Nearly 10 percent of ELCA congregations and 16 synods are in the Appalachian region. The Lutheran presence dates to the late 18th century and includes Paul Henkel, a prominent Lutheran pastor who ministered in what is now West Virginia. In 1990, the ELCA created the Evangelical Lutheran Coalition for Mission in Appalachia to connect and equip God’s people for Christ’s mission in the region.
'The pull to the home place is so strong here'
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