ELCT Bishops Tanzania
A Christ centred communion of people focused on enternal life.
To enable people to know Jesus Christ and have life in its fullness based on Biblical teachings and Lutheran identity guided by the constitution of the ELCT.
The Church focuses on propagating the "holistic" Gospel serving man through spiritual, social, economic and environmental programmes /interventions in order to have a God loving community hence fulfilling God's mission in Tanzania. In serving human beings in a holistic way, The Church carries out mission work within and outside the country using all types of means and media.
It has a coordination office responsible for financial reports on church activities. It produces literature for Christian nurturing. The central office has a function of Capacity building, Advocacy and Facilitation (CAF) of the dioceses. The Church has common work institutions including: The Tumaini University Makumira that has 6 constituent colleges; Morogoro Lutheran Junior Seminary (LJS); Three schools for deaf children.
It has 23 Hospitals and more than 140 health centres and dispensaries spread across Tanzania. It is engaged in PHC, diakonia, HIV counseling, treatment and Palliative Care at national and Diocesan levels. ELCT has a number of water projects as well as poverty alleviation and environment protection projects. The implementation of these projects have had a significant impact on development in the communities.
The first missionary societies in Tanganyika
The Berlin III Missionary Society, also known as the Evangelical Missionary Society for East Africa (EMS), was the first to send Lutheran missionaries from German who planted the seed that eventually formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Their first missionary station was opened at Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam in 1887.
The second team, Berlin I, was also from Germany. They entered Tanganyika from South Africa and settled in the Southern Highlands and opened their first missionary station in 1891 at Ipagika or Pipagika (Wangemannshöhe) in the area that later became ELCT Konde Diocese.
In 1890 Berlin III change its role and became Bethel Mission and settle in Tanga where it established a mission station at Mbuyukenda. In 1910 the missionaries opened a mission station in Bukoba, Kagera Region while they were planning to go to Rwanda.
The third mission society that worked in Tanzania was Leipzig Mission Society, again from Germany. This society entered the country in 1893 and opened its first station at Kidia, Old Moshi in Kilimanjaro region.
This mission activity continued to bear fruit in spite of the interruptions of the Hehe/German War in 1891, the Majimaji war of 1905/6, the 1st World War 1914-1918 and later on the 2nd World War of 1939-1945.
Formation of the ELCT
By 1938, there were seven churches in Tanganyika, as the country was known at that time. In 1938, the churches formed a federation known as the Federation of Lutheran Churches in Tanganyika.
On June 19, 1963, the seven Churches, under the umbrella of a federation, merged to become synods and dioceses of a single Church, known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanganyika. The following year, when the union with Zanzibar produced a change of the national name to Tanzania, the Church was renamed the Evangelical Lutheran church in Tanzania.
The Church has 26 Dioceses as follows: 1) North Western Diocese 2) North Eastern Diocese 3) Pare Diocese 4) Northern Diocese 5) North Central Diocese 6) Karagwe Diocese 7) Central Diocese 8) Southern Diocese 9) Konde Diocese 10) South Central Diocese 11) Ulanga/Kilombero Diocese 12) Eastern and Coastal Diocese 13) Mbulu Diocese 14) Iringa Diocese 15) Dodoma Diocese 16) East of Lake Victoria Diocese 17) Diocese in Mara Region 18) Diocese of Meru 19) South Western Diocese 20) Morogoro Diocese 21) South East of Lake Victoria Diocese 22) South Eastern Diocese 23) Ruvuma Diocese, 24) Lake Tanganyika Diocese, 25) Mwanga Diocese, and (26) West Central Diocese. For more information: click here.