LCMS Kansas DistrictEstablished 1888
The Mission of the LCMS Kansas District
Our mission is to support and encourage the members of the District in carrying out the mission Christ has given His Church.
Learn more about the work of the Kansas District by viewing our Mission and Ministry and Strategic Direction documents.
The Kansas District is one of 35 districts of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The state is divided into four regions, each represented by a vice-president, as well as 16 circuits, each represented by a circuit visitor. The members of the District include church workers (rostered and commissioned), congregations and schools.
Quick facts about the District (as of January 2021):
Elementary schools: 14
Baptized members: 48,644
Church workers: Ordained, 214; Commissioned, 191
To learn more about the recent activities of the Kansas District, check out this Resolutions Update (Summer 2019), which highlights work on resolutions from the 2018 District Convention.
Kansas District Archives
Looking for historical information about the Kansas District? We expect to have a searchable database available soon, but in the meantime, we invite you to contact Mike Grau, Kansas District archivist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brief History of the Kansas District
The Kansas District was established in 1888 after roughly 25 years of mission work in the state. Initially, that mission effort focused on German Lutherans who had migrated south from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. God blessed those endeavors, and the District was formed.
The timeline below provides a brief snapshot of the history of the District, based on accounts in A Century of Blessings (L.H. Deffner, ed.) and A Century of Grace (Rev. Roger M. Goetz, ed.). Copies of both publications are available in the District Office.
1861: First missionary, F.W. Lange, sent to Kansas. First sermon given in a home seven miles southeast of Junction City. Lange becomes the first called LCMS pastor in Kansas at St. Paul’s Church in Junction City, the first congregation organized in the state.
1862: First LCMS church in Kansas built in Leavenworth, with M. Meyer as pastor.
1863: First Lutheran parish school established in Leavenworth, with C.H. Diesler as teacher.
1888: Kansas District organized at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Leavenworth, with 30 congregations, 42 pastors, and six teachers. F. Pennekamp elected first district president.
1908: The Kansas District assumes oversight of St. John’s College in Winfield, KS, transferring control to Synod in 1911. (St. John’s closed in 1986.)
1913: 25th anniversary of the District. The number of congregations and preaching stations had doubled, the number of pastors tripled, and the number of teachers quadrupled. Preaching in English had begun in 44 locations.
1921-24: Kansas District split due to expansion; Colorado and Oklahoma form their own districts.
1939: Lutheran Laymen’s League of Kansas organized in Alma.
1943: Kansas District LWML formed; first convention hosted at St. John’s in Topeka.
1960: District convention resolves to construct a District office building in Topeka.
1961: 100th anniversary of LCMS activity in Kansas.
1988: 100th anniversary of the Kansas District.
1997: Mission partnership established to support Guinea.
2007-08: Construction on the Kansas District Retreat Center in Herington begins; Retreat Center opens in 2009.
2017: Collaborative agreement established between the Kansas District, Mission Central (IA) and LCMS Mission Advancement to raise awareness throughout Kansas of international mission work.
A Moment in Kansas History
Dust storms, 1935
“The faith that will provide comfort now is not the silly optimism of him who argues that it cannot help raining in the near future. That faith stands unshaken which argues: ‘He that spared not His only-begotten Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him give us all things?”