The Lutheran Church in Guam
Who is the Lutheran Church in Guam and what are its ministries?
Lutheran Church in Guam Easter Service
The Lutheran Church of Guam (LCG)
is an international congregation that is a shared ministry of the ELCA and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Currently, the Rev. Jeff Johnson from the ELCA serves LCG.
Begun as the Lutheran Serviceman's Center in 1962, LCG continues to reach out to US military personnel (Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) and their families as well as local and expatriate residents of the island. Currently, LCG members gather from nine different nations. Over the next few years an additional 9,000 Marines and their dependents are scheduled to be stationed on Guam. It is anticipated that LCG will play an important role in ministry to this increasing population. LCG is the only Lutheran congregation on Guam, which is predominately Catholic.
Tender Shepherd Preschool and Child Care Center, a well-recognized preschool on the island, is one of the ministries of the congregation. LCG offers traditional and contemporary worship services each Sunday, a well-attended adult education program, Sunday School, youth group, active fellowship groups, Bible study, and other programming.
LCG also supports a home for victims of domestic violence, empowerment for women, Habitat for Humanity, Prison Fellowship, Pacific Missionary Aviation (assistance for the Micronesian Islands), and Pacific Islands Bible College (training servant leaders for Micronesia. Its outreach includes mission opportunities to nearby Palau.How do the Lutheran Church in Guam and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the Lutheran Church in Guam.
The ELCA cooperates with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in providing pastoral leadership for LCG. LCG is engaged in a long-term strategic planning process designed to move from a mission-supported congregation to a self-financed entity by 2013. Recently, the congregation amended its constitution to allow pastors to serve longer than two three-year terms in response to the perception that the current arrangement between the ELCA and LCMS (which mandated a pastoral change every six years) did not provide optimal pastoral coverage for the congregation. The ELCA has accompanied the congregation in these and other decisions as the congregation responds to changing situations within Micronesia.
In addition to providing pastoral ministry for LCG, the ELCA has sent volunteer teachers to the Pacific Islands Bible College. PIBC is a small accredited four-year college with sites on Guam, Chuuk, Palau, and Yap. It is the main Christian college level institution in the islands. PIBC aspires to become a full-fledged Christian College, meaning that it would offer more than studies in Bible but would include a wide range or undergraduate academic offerings. PIBC is evangelical in its teaching and mission.Guam: the context in which the Lutheran Church in Guami serves
An unincorporated US territory similar in status to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, Guam’s relatively small size (just 212 square miles) belies its strategic significance in the region. Guam is within easy travel distance of much of Asia and the Western Pacific: Japan, Korea, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Micronesia and Australia are all relatively nearby. Due to this central location, Guam was historically important during WWII and is still militarily significant, with two major bases and an expanding military population. Today, a thriving tourist industry also sees annual visits of more than 1 million individuals from Japan and elsewhere in Asia. Guam’s growing population currently stands at approximately 180,000 people, with the indigenous Chamorro people making up about 30% of that number.
Among Guam’s challenges are infrastructure issues, a weak public education system, governmental inefficiency and a high cost of living. Guam also faces frequent major typhoons, earthquakes, and tropical storm systems. However, these issues are long-standing and familiar ones to local residents and despite them, the island is very well loved and appreciated by its citizens. The University of Guam is building a well-respected name for itself in marine research, accounting, nursing, education and several other fields. Good local leadership is developing in government, education, and business which should eventually improve the quality of life on the island.
For more information on Guam, type “Guam" into an online search engine or visit: