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Star of Bethlehem Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and part of the South Atlantic District. WELS, characterized as theologically conservative, is the third largest Lutheran church body in America (after the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). WELS began in 1850 when three German pastors met in Milwaukee.

Today, it has grown to over 1,200 congregations in North America. It has over 400,000 baptized members, which includes over 300,000 communicants, served by over 1,000 pastors. The synod operates four ministerial education schools: Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis.; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.; Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis.; and Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich.

What is a Lutheran? Nearly 500 years ago, the Christian church was corrupted by many false teachings. A man named Martin Luther led people back to the teachings of the Bible. His work, and that of his friends, is called the Reformation. Through Luther God restored the church to purity of doctrine and a new life of faith in Christ.

The doctrines of the Lutheran Church are not new. They are the teachings of the Bible. Thus the Lutheran Church is not a new church. It is not a sect or cult. It is a church whose teaching is based on the words written by the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament. The Bible tells us about Jesus Christ. The teachings of the Lutheran Church are those of the original, ancient church of the apostles and early Christians.

For more information see also: What the Bible and Lutherans Teach on the WELS website.

For more information about the history of WELS in North Carolina, see the thesis paper A History of WELS Work in North Carolina and the associated outline by Jeremiah J. Gumm.

Additional WELS Churches in North Carolina include: