Committed to God, committed to each other and committed to sharing the saving Gospel, the first missionaries from the WELS entered Apacheland in 1893. The Arizona-California District hasn’t looked back since. We are committed to reaching out to the people of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and West Texas. We are committed to building up believers already gathered around the pure Word of God at our WELS churches and schools.
Numbering over 23,000 souls in 110 congregations, the Arizona-California District has had an impact far beyond its numbers. She has shared the workers who have served her and the sons and daughters she has borne as pastors, teachers and faithful laymen throughout our nation and world, and as professors in our synodical schools, college and seminary.
A historic leader in mission work grounded in the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions, the Arizona-California District retains the same commitment to God and each other as the first missionaries had when they set up their tents in Apacheland. We are blessed to call this land our home and invite you to learn more about us.
Areas of Ministry
The synod’s Adult Discipleship office exists to help adults grow in Christ’s love and live out their calling. The resources provided by the Commission on Adult Discipleship assist congregations and their leaders to lead members to see Jesus as central to their life and to equip them to use their unique gifts to bring the gospel influence into all their daily relationships. These resources promote spiritual growth through personal devotional life, Bible classes, family ministry, stewardship growth, congregational group encouragement, member involvement, elder training, and leadership development.
WELS Special Ministries serves people who are physically, mentally, or emotionally in need of special consideration in regard to their ability to learn, worship, and participate in local ministries and everyday living situations. We also serve thousands of people who are away from their church home, such as military personnel, people living overseas, and those in prison or some other institution.
The Commission on Evangelism exists to assist congregations to seize every opportunity the Lord provides to evangelize lost souls. Our service to WELS is to develop and promote evangelism resources that faithfully proclaim the truth of Scripture to the lost; to promote evangelism attitudes, structures, and programs consistent with Christian doctrine and the situation into which God has called a church, its pastors, and its people; and to promote the “equipping of the saints” for organized congregational evangelism and individual Christian witness.
The Commission on Worship exists to help parishes in their central activity of worship that glorifies God and strengthens his people. Worship is the heart of all parish life, the time when the greatest number of members gathers to proclaim the gospel and receive God’s life-giving power in Word and sacrament.
The mission of the Commission on Lutheran Schools (CLS) is “to guide and assist congregations in advancing the gospel of Jesus by providing resources, training, and personal assistance for starting and strengthening Lutheran schools.” It is with these two statements in mind that the CLS works to assist our synod’s early childhood ministries, Lutheran elementary schools, area Lutheran high schools (ALHS), and preparatory schools. The CLS helps our congregations and schools welcome children and young adults into the Savior’s waiting arms through our schools outreaching and nurturing ministries.
The mission of Youth and Family Ministry is to help and encourage parents and congregations as they bring their little children to Jesus. Of course, the work of this commission is not just for the little children, rather this ministry provides materials and encouragement for children from birth through college.