The Lutheran Church in Guyana was founded by Dutch settlers in 1743, making it the second oldest Lutheran church in the Caribbean and the South American continent. During its early history, the church was served by pastors from Holland. In 1803 the colony changed hands from the Dutch to the British, and in 1841 the Dutch severed links with the Lutheran church in what was then British Guiana. That left the church without pastoral services, and the church began to decline in membership. All the Christian congregations organized in Dutch times died out except Ebenezer Lutheran Church.
In 1878 John Robert Mittelholzer, the first Guyanese pastor, began serving the Ebenezer congregation. He served not only the Dutch descendants but also those of African, Amerindian, and East Indian origin. Five congregations were established in the Berbice region. In 1890, Mittelholzer and the Ebenezer congregation became part of the East Pennsylvania Synod of one of the ELCA's predecessors, the General Synod. When the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) was formed in 1918, British Guiana became one of its mission fields. During the next half century, many Lutheran missionaries were sent to British Guiana, which became Guyana in 1966.
In 1944 the Lutheran Church in Guyana became an associate synod of the ULCA, and in 1950 it was received into membership in the Lutheran World Federation. When Guyana became independent in 1966, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana also became independent.