Danish immigrant groups, religion, Danish Heritage


The United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in 1896 by a merger of two Danish immigrant groups. One group, the "Blair Synod" had been excluded from the Danish Lutherans organized in America in 1872, in a controversy mainly involving the Bible as the Word of God. The second group, the "North Church," had been organized in 1884 by Danish members of the NorwegianDanish Evangelical Lutheran Church (founded in 1870). These Danes had withdrawn peaceably from their Norwegian brethren, in order better to serve immigrants from Denmark. By the 1940s this united church had changed from almost exclusive use of the Danish language to bilingual usage in its worship and official meetings. For some years its congregations had offered worship services in both English and Danish. At the end of World War II, most congregations were moving toward exclusive use of English. Up to that time, clergy leaders were required to be bilingual. Now this was changing.