The LCMS began work in Papua New Guinea in 1948, at the invitation of a Wauni tribal leader in Yaramanda, Enga Province. In 1971, the Gutnius (Good News) Lutheran Church (GLC) of Papua New Guinea became an LCMS sister/partner church. It is also a member of the International Lutheran Council. During 50-plus years of blessing by the Holy Spirit, the church has grown to a baptized membership of more than 54,500 in approximately 550 congregations. The GLC reports a national staff of 257 pastors, 532 evangelists, and 1,040 teachers. The GLC operates Timothy Seminary in Birip (Pidgin language), and Martin Luther Seminary in Lae (English language); Immanuel Lutheran Hospital; four health centers; a number of preschools, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools; and Enga Teachers College.
Media work includes preaching through Radio Enga and sharing news about the GLC through PNG newspapers. With support from LCMS World Mission, the church administers its own programs and trains its own pastors and leaders. Work is carried out in four languages—Enga, Melanesian Pidgin, Ipili and English. One LCMS career missionary currently serves alongside the GLC as a mission service coordinator and one GEO missionary serves by helping with airstrip construction.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care first provided support for mercy work in Papua New Guinea in 1992, towards agriculture training. Later support went towards rural health services, establishing Lutheran schools, dam improvements, technical maintenance training, improving water supply, building a security fence at the GLC seminary, medical services and supplies, crop production, repair radio services, missionary transportation, flood, frost and drought relief and HIV/AIDS testing and counseling. Additionally, through a partnership between LCMS World Relief and Human Care and Pogera Joint Venure, a medical, educational and spiritual center was developed in the Wanakipa area—a region that is underdeveloped.