History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva (ELCG)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva (ELCG) held its first worship service on August 27, 1707. A group of German merchants who traveled between Germany and Lyon, France founded the church. In the nearly three centuries since, the church has grown from a German-speaking congregation to a church with six language-based congregations: German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish.

The English-speaking congregation was started after World War II as the number of international organizations based in Geneva increased resulting in a growing  English-speaking community. Since then, the congregation has developed into a diverse international and ecumenical congregation.

We share the church building with the German-speaking Lutheran congregation. Both congregations and the Swedish-speaking Lutheran congregation form the Church Council of the Lutheran Church of Geneva.


About our members

Our worship is conducted in English, although the congregation is comprised of  members  from about 60 countries. Roughly half of our members are Lutheran, representing more than two dozen Lutheran churches around the world (e.g. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELC of Tanzania, ELC of Zimbabwe, Church of Sweden, etc.). In addition, members represent a variety of other churches (e.g., Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Quaker, Disciples of Christ and others).

While there is only one full-time pastor called to serve the congregation, among members there are presently 23 ordained pastors, some of whom are women. The reason for this large concentration of pastors is the presence in Geneva of several international church-related organizations, such as the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Conference of European Churches and others.

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