GOVERNMENT AND CREDENTIALS
Until its incorporation, the Church was loosely organized and governed by its founding members. After incorporation, the descendants of the Evangelical Lutheran General Synod asked The Rev. Dr. James Walter Clifton, who was born in Germany and baptized into the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (the Lutheran Church in Germany), to become its General Minister. Upon approval by the Church, Dr. Clifton was installed as General Minister with The Rev. Nicole Aimiee Macaluso Collins appointed National Pastor. Later, in 2019, the titles of General Minister and National Pastor were changed by Rev. Dr. James Clifton to Dean and Deputy Dean, following the German roots of the church. At present, the Rev. Dr. James Clifton is Dean Emeritus and the Dean is Rev. Enrique R. Ramos, Ph.D.
The General Leadership is the governing body of the Church and currently consists of the Dean, the Deputy Dean, the Provost, and the Recording Clerk with final authority on all matters belonging to the office of the Dean.
As a "free church" denomination, our churches are congregationally-governed and the only role the National Leadership has is that of advising and recommending with one exception: Holy Ordination. All ordinations must be approved by the Credentials Committee. All candidates for ordination must provide the results of a comprehensive background check and clinical mental health evaluation based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) at their own expense.
Credentials will be issued by the Credentials Committee which maintains a list of rostered clergy who not only serve in General Lutheran congregations but also congregations in other denominations. We also appreciate the importance and history of groups of Christians gathering regularly for worship and fellowship in non-traditional settings.
The General Lutheran Church opposes same-sex marriage; the ordination of practicing gays and lesbians; and, abortions not medically necessary. However, General Lutherans are strongly admonished against engaging in abusive or malicious behaviors towards the gay and lesbian community, all immigrants, and those who have made the difficult decision to have an abortion.
As Lutherans, we follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ who demonstrated agape love and compassion to those marginalized by society and religion as portrayed in the stories of the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Woman at the Well, and the Pericope de Adultera.
The General Lutheran Church condemns racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and all other types of hate and discrimination at all levels. Although we oppose same-sex marriage theologically, some General Lutherans support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry in a free society.
The General Lutheran Church, Inc., has no salaried employees, bank accounts, or cash assets. Therefore, all positions within the National Leadership are voluntary and the General Lutheran Church, Inc., disburses no monies nor solicits or accepts monetary donations or contributions. All ministers are self-supporting unless serving congregations that make provisions for financial support. General Lutheran missionaries are also self-supporting and raise their own means of support.
Rev. Dr. James Walter Clifton
Rev. Dr. Enrique Ramos
Director of Chaplaincy Services
Rev. Irma M. Correa Ramos