The origins of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) can be traced to a meeting of leaders of confessional Lutheran churches in Uelzen, Germany in July 1952. A second meeting was held in 1959 in Oakland, California to discuss the topic “The Fellowship Between our Churches.” This was followed in 1963 by a third meeting in Cambridge, England, where the name “International Lutheran Theological Conference” was chosen for these informal international gatherings.

During the next three decades eleven more informal gatherings of the heads of confessional Lutheran churches took place. The ILC as a council of church bodies officially came into existence in 1993 in Antigua, Guatemala with the adoption of a constitution by representatives from Lutheran church bodies from all six continents.

For further details on the history of the International Lutheran Council, see this detailed report by Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, General Secretary of the ILC, which was prepared for the International Lutheran Council’s 25th Conference, held held September 25-28, 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium. Download the article here.