The 3 Reasons Why LCEF Can Celebrate 40 Years

June 15, 2018 | Posted by Demian Farnworth

Forty years ago today Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) began its long and honored privilege of supporting the Church. Throughout those years, we have created faith-filled partnerships with Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) individuals, congregations and organizations, strengthening families, churches and communities.

It was a modest start with a few employees crammed in a rented office space. However, the vision was huge. As were the hearts who stood behind that vision.

Fast forward to June 15, 2018, and LCEF has been blessed. What started as a small staff with minimal assets grew into an organization with over 100 employees and enough funds to meet the capital needs of the LCMS.

There are at least three reasons why this is the case.

First, LCEF’s success is a testament to God’s grace and generosity. Psalm 127:1 states, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” Without our Lord LCEF would not have survived its first storm. He is the perfect watchman, always alert and able to overcome all obstacles. His will shall be done.

The church extension concept begins in 1902 when Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations pool $400 to help Zion Lutheran Church in Bridgeport, Ct., build a school.


Second, LCEF is indebted to the investors who joined the vision. These are partners who liked to see their investments go to God’s work and see LCMS individuals supported, ministries strengthened and churches built and renovated. As one investor said, “Churches and church families wouldn’t be where they are at without LCEF.”

Third, LCEF grew because of the men and women who devoted their time and talent to the cause. From presidents to information representatives, these servants worked tirelessly in their vision to see the Church get the resources it needs.

LCEF staff members seated in front of the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, Mo.


To celebrate this story, we created a timeline of the past 40 years—and beyond. It’s a brief history of what the Lord has done through early church extension work, LCEF and its many partners. It’s a way to honor the past as we build the future. View the timeline now.

Demian Farnworth
Senior Content Writer for the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.