African Descent

African Descent Ministries of the ELCA is celebrating Black History Month with season three of Talks at the Desk, a video series that explores diverse expressions of the church. This season focuses on the Reclaim Gathering and its themes: reclaim, embolden, embody and liberate. A new video will premiere each Wednesday in February at 7:30 pm Central time. Watch them live on YouTube or download them here.

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Download previous Talks at the Desk resources

Season 1


Season 2


Season 3


Engaging, involving and investing in the gifts, interests and capacity of people of African descent in every aspect of the life of this church is the focus of African Descent Ministry in the ELCA. As part of our Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries Team, we seek to strengthen the hands of the ELCA for building — with integrity — a multiethnic and multicultural church. As people of African descent, it is the gospel of Jesus that gives us the faith and freedom to join with all of our siblings in Christ to boldly participate in God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

The term “African Descent” refers to people who self-identify as Black, African Caribbean, African American, African Nationals and others of African ancestry from numerous countries who now live in the United States. A network of about 255 congregations report 49,000 people of African descent as active participants in the ELCA across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The African Descent community within the ELCA is wonderfully diverse in culture and context. Together we are Christians, some new to the faith and others who for generations have been baptized Christians in Lutheran congregations. We stand in a long and biblically historical line of people of faith and of African descent, each person bringing a unique story that adds to the larger story that makes up the ELCA.

Many Voices, Tell the Story, Create the Vision: Build Our Future

The ELCA African Descent Strategic Plan, “Many Voices, Tell the Story, Create the Vision: Build Our Future,” and the accompanying ELCA African Descent Strategy Implementation Plan guides our work. The strategic plan calls us to live out God's call in and through visionary pastoral leadership, worship, witness, discipleship, stewardship, family ministries, social justice, and unity and diversity. These areas of ministry work together in an integrated, holistic approach to responding to God’s call for us to build up the body of Jesus Christ — the church — in the world and in every community. We stand together to glorify God as partners in the gospel — doing God’s work in the world together. Please visit the ELCA resources available online and read the full text of the ELCA African Descent Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan as a downloadable resource.

African Descent Lutheran Association

Visit the African Descent Lutheran Association website,, to learn more about our ELCA African Descent community and how to join this active, vital network and association. The association develops important connections, advocates for congregations, promotes implementation of the ELCA African Descent Strategy, and provides fellowship, learning and sharing opportunities. It also provides a forum for theological reflection for clergy and lay members through collaboration with other African Descent organizations and networks.


African Descent Ministries Social Media


African Descent Reclaim Gathering 2023


Annual Report 2022

ELCA African Descent Annual Report 2022

Strategic Plan

ELCA African Descent Strategic Plan ELCA African Descent Strategic Plan

Implementation Plan

ELCA African Descent Strategy Implementation Plan 2020/2025

Declaration of the ELCA

Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent
Document, Study Guide and Participant Materials

Ministries of Diverse Cultures
and Communities

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