South Africa

Lutheran Church in Southern Africa

The Right Rev. S.M.A. Modise Maragelo, Bishop
Lutheran Church in Southern Africa
Arcadia Street 790, Pretoria
P.O. Box 13292 Hatfield 0028


Website: Lutheran Church in Southern Africa

Mobile: +27 721 742 573

Congregations: 100

Baptized members: 20,000

Communicant members: 10,000

Active pastors: 47

Seminary: Lutheran Theological Seminary Tshwane

  • History
  • In 1967, the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA) became an autonomous church. It has one bishop and five deans attached to five regional dioceses with about 10-15 congregations each — Botswana, North-West Province, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu/Natal.

    The LCSA originated from the Mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Free Churches (MELFC) in Germany (formerly known as the Hanoverian Evangelical Lutheran Free Church Mission), which was founded in 1892 and is known as the Lutherische Kirchenmission (LKM).

    The LCSA is also in long-standing church fellowship with the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK, Germany) and with the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA), with which it shares a common liturgy and lectionary, church order, and ways of Christian living.

    These partner churches support the LCSA financially as it strives to establish sustainable structures. Since 1980, the LCSA has also worked with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which resulted in church fellowship agreement between these churches. It is also a founding member of the International Lutheran Council (ILC).

    The LCSA together with the FELSISA and the MLC runs its own seminary in Arcadia (Pretoria) called the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane [LTS], where future pastors of the Lutheran Church for Africa are trained from more than 10 African countries — Liberia, Uganda, Sudan, Zambia, DRC, Rwanda, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania.

    This has been possible with significant support from groups like the LCMS Rocky Mountain District [RMD]. After signing a formal agreement with the University of Pretoria in 2011, the LTS is now in the position to provide an accredited BTh degree to its students.

    A Lutheran Chair has been established at the University of Pretoria to promote post-graduate studies in Lutheran theology in the African context. Sustainable funding for long-term teachers remains an important priority and goal.

    In the meantime, ongoing support comes from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. LTH Oberursel also provides expert education in confessional Lutheran theology. Over the past decade, 50 students have successfully passed the Seminary program in Arcadia.

    The LCSA does mission work through the Mission of Lutheran Churches [MLC] in Swaziland, Botswana and South Africa in Zulu/Tswana, and English. The LCSA has been involved in the translation of the Bible into the Kalanga language in Francistown, Botswana, and it carries out various other translation and publication projects in the vernacular of isiZulu and seTswana in cooperation with the Lutheran Heritage Foundation.

    The LCSA and LHF write, translate and publish Zulu/Tswana sermons for every Sunday, and the LCSA published the Lutheran Book of Concord in seTswana, as well as a Lutheran Dogmatics in three volumes in isiZulu and various other valuable books for the Lutheran pastor and his congregation.

    It remains a goal to publish the entire Book of Concord as one book in the near future as well as re-printing the Tswana Hymnal, Church Agenda in isiZulu and seTswana and various other vital documents for congregational and diocesan use.

    Various works of mercy projects are being promoted with different partners. For example, the project to provide housing for orphans in Ntshongweni, KwaZulu/Natal is carried out between the FELSISA congregation in Durban/Westville; Concordia Lutheran Ministries [Pittsburgh, USA]; Lutheran Church Phoenix, Ariz.; and the LCSA.

    In Mpumalanga, the LCMS supported a cattle project while the SELK/LKM [Bleckmar] has supported a fund-a-child-schooling-program for a number of years. The LCSA has also been involved in rural schools and health clinics. To put these works of mercy on a more coordinated, but also solid organizational and administrative footing, a deaconess program has been established with the LCMS.

    A part-time deaconess program has successfully completed one cycle of classes and in 2012 a full-time program is to start. The goal is to provide qualified professionals, who can address various challenges faced by the local communities in health care, education, administration and poverty relief/finances more effectively and thus free local pastors to carry out their specific calling to word and sacrament ministry.

Learn more about partner church bodies on the International Lutheran Council website.

Lutheran Church in Southern Africa

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