Salem Lutheran Church Declares
Independence from Missouri Synod

The Malone Statement (PDF)
2004 LCMS Convention
report (PDF)

Other downloads

After years of growing concern over the increasing liberalism of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), Salem Lutheran Church in Malone, TX has severed its connection with that synod. The decision came via a nearly unanimous vote during the congregation’s quarterly meeting on July 18, 2004.

Salem’s pastor, Rev. James Heiser, explains that the problems in the LCMS have been growing for years, but that events of the last few years made the situation intolerable for members of Salem. Among the issues troubling conservative Lutherans within the LCMS: Participation by LCMS clergy in joint worship services with non-Christian religions; changes to the constitution and bylaws of synod which are essentially building a hierarchical form of church government; failure to discipline charismatics and others who violate biblical doctrine and practice; adoption of doctrinal resolutions which undermine or directly contradict the teaching of Scripture concerning the Lord’s Supper and the role of women in the Church.

Salem will now explore the possibility of Church fellowship with other pastors and congregations (e.g., Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church in Visalia, CA) which have withdrawn from the LCMS. “We also respect our brothers and sisters who have not yet been able to withdraw from the LCMS, and hope to do everything we can to assist them in restoring fellowship outside that synod,” Pastor Heiser explained, “These are certainly trying times for the Body of Christ. But the unity of the Church is only found in the pure teaching of the Word of God, and in the right administration of the Sacraments.”

Resolutions of the 2001 and 2004 conventions of the LCMS, as well as events occurring within the synod over many years, led Salem’s members to conclude that the synod had surrendered the biblical doctrine in a number of crucial areas. The members of Salem determined that the congregation would have to withdraw from the synod if it were to remain faithful to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions.

Pastor Heiser will give a series of sermons on the reasons which led to the congregation’s withdrawal from the LCMS. These sermons will be broadcast during the congregation’s weekly radio broadcasts on KHBR, AM 1560, Sunday morning from 9:15 to 9:30 a.m., beginning August 1.