Buffalo Synod

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The Lutheran Synod of Buffalo, founded in 1845 as the Synod of Lutheran Emigrants from Prussia (German: Synode der aus Preussen ausgewanderten lutherischen Kirche), was commonly known from early in its history as the Buffalo Synod.[1] The synod resulted from the efforts of pastor J. A. A. Grabau and members of his congregation in Erfurt, along with other congregations, to escape the forced union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Prussia by immigrating to New York City and Buffalo, New York, and to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1839. Grabau and the largest group settled in Buffalo.[2] Internal disputes regarding theology and practice led to a major schism in the 1880s,[3] with the departing congregations joining other, existing synods, rather than forming their own. In 1930, the synod merged with the Ohio Synod and the Iowa Synod to form the first instance of the American Lutheran Church (ALC).[4] The latter body, after further mergers, became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1988.

Lutheran Synod of Buffalo
AbbreviationBuffalo Synod
TheologyConfessional Lutheran
StructureNational synod and local congregations
RegionPrimarily in the U.S. states of New York and Wisconsin
HeadquartersBuffalo, New York
FounderJ. A. A. Grabau
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Separated fromPrussian Union
Merged intoAmerican Lutheran Church (1930)
Congregations54 (1929)
Members7,891 (1929)
Ministers45 (1929)

In 1929, just before its merger into the ALC, the Buffalo Synod had 45 pastors, 54 congregations, and 7,981 members.[5]


  1. ^ Neve (1916), p. 383.
  2. ^ Neve (1916), pp. 382–383.
  3. ^ Neve (1916), p. 384.
  4. ^ Christian Cyclopedia (2000), "Buffalo Synod".
  5. ^ "Buffalo Synod". American Denomination Profiles. Association of Religion Data Archives. Retrieved October 28, 2015.


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