Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

In the Lutheran Church, one encounters a great deal of talk about ‘confessional Lutheran’ doctrine and practice; sadly, the substance has been something quite different. The various ‘synods’ often appear more interested in a ‘theology of glory’ (focusing on worldly prestige, money, and ‘numbers’) than a ‘theology of the cross’ which recognizes that the Church is despised by the world, because she is the Bride of Christ.

The Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America is committed to the restoration and advancement of consistently Evangelical Lutheran doctrine and practice in harmony with the Sacred Scriptures and the Book of Concord (1580).

At present, there are seventeen pastors in the ELDoNA:

Pr. Jeffrey Ahonen (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tony, WI; Alpha and Omega
     Lutheran Mission, Winter, WI; Peace Lutheran Mission, Ironwood, MI)
Dcn. Jerry Dulas (St. Matthew Lutheran Mission, Mayer, MN)
Pr. Gilbert Eliason (Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, Simpsonville, SC)
Pr. Douglas Handrich (Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Peoria, IL)
Dcn. Gary Harroun (Trinity Lutheran Church, Herrin, IL)
Pr. Kent Heimbigner (Charity Lutheran Church, Burleson, TX)
Pr. James Heiser (Salem Lutheran Church, Malone, TX)
Pr. Michael Henson (Trinity Lutheran Church, Herrin, IL)
Pr. C. D. Hudson (Christ Lutheran Church-Richmond, MO)
Pr. Donald R. Hunter (St. Paul Lutheran Church, Taylorsville, NC)
Rev. Mark Mueller (Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cambridge, MN)
Dcn. Anthony Oncken (St. Philip Lutheran Mission, Lake County, IL)
Pr. John Rutowicz (St. Boniface Lutheran Church, Niles, MI)
Pr. Paul Rydecki (Immanuel Lutheran Church, Las Cruces, NM)
Pr. Eric Stefanski (Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Harrison, Bull Shoals, Conway,
     and Rogers, AR)
Pr. Josh Sullivan (Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Kerrville, TX) and
Pr. Tim Tolar (St. Luke Lutheran Church, Kenai, Homer, and Fairbanks, AK).

We have been receiving many inquiries regarding membership in the diocese—please contact the diocesan bishop for more information.

What is a Diocese? We recognize that the term ‘diocese’ has not often been used among Lutherans in North America; but we found that the other terms which are being used are inadequate or misleading. A ‘synod’ is a meeting of bishops—not an organization. Terms such as ‘fellowship’ or ‘association’ seem too vague, or have too often been misused. And for a man-made organization to usurp the name “Church” to itself seems presumptuous, at best. We are a diocese: our bishop (superintendent) serves his fellow pastors, even as he serves the congregation which the Lord of the Church has placed into his care.

At our 2006 diocesan synod (meeting of pastors), Pr. James Heiser was called to serve as our diocesan bishop, and we are blessed to have him continue to do so to this day.