Lutheran Men in Mission meeting at Grace Lutheran on March 11

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 4, 2023

SALISBURY — The North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Lutheran Men in Mission (NCLMM) is celebrating 100 years at this year’s gathering March 11 at Grace Lutheran Church in Salisbury.
This event is open to all Lutheran men from across the North Carolina Synod.
The North Carolina organization was started in 1923 in Kings Mountain. The national organization followed later and in 1988 as a result of the merger of the American Lutheran Church (ALC), the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), which became the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Attendees will hear from the keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Tim Smith, bishop of the North Carolina Synod, in celebration of  the organization’s 100 years, with the theme, “God is with us.” The theme is taken from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)
One of the first efforts was to provide affordable loans to start congregations in North Carolina. Despite the onset of the Great Depression, the 10 original men were able to fulfill their commitment of giving $100 per year for ten years. They continued to raise $100,000 more by soliciting donations from Lutheran men across the state.

This revolving loan fund, now known as the Loan and Gift Fund, became the flagship ministry of North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission. The fund continued to grow and in 1953, the Home Mission Foundation was incorporated to manage and administer this precious resource. Over the years, through donations small and large including several substantial legacy gifts and investment growth, the various funds under management totaled over $4.5 million as of Nov. 1.

These funds continue to provide low-interest loans to congregations as well as scholarships for rostered ministers and seminarians. Leaders of the Lutheran Men in Mission share a dream that if a person in this synod decides to pursue a call into pastoral or diaconal ministry, they wouldn’t have to worry about paying for their education. For the 100th anniversary, the NCLMM is hoping to continue in the footsteps of the ten founding members in supporting the ministries of this church in the years to come.

They also own disaster relief equipment like trucks and trailers. In the last couple of years, this equipment was shared to help rebuild 25 homes after tornadoes in Kentucky.

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