Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg

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Map of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg
Basic data
Area : 15,473 km²
Leading clergyman: Regional Bishop
Andreas von Maltzahn
Membership: EKD , VELKD , LWF , WCC
Church districts : 5
Propsties : 26th
Parishes : 272
Parishioners: 192,918 (Dec. 31, 2010)
Share of the
total population:
16.7% (Dec. 31, 2010)
Official Website: www.kirche-mv.de

The Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg was one of the member churches ( regional churches ) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) between 1945 and 1969 and again from 1991 to 2012 . Like all regional churches, it was a corporation under public law with its seat in Schwerin . The church had 193,000 parishioners (as of February 2011) in 270 parishes (Mecklenburg term for parish ). The cathedral in Schwerin was the episcopal church of the regional church . At Pentecost 2012, it was merged with the previous Pomeranian Evangelical Church and the North Elbian Church in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany ("Northern Church") . The merger agreement of February 5, 2009 was already approved on March 28, 2009 by the Mecklenburg Regional Synod in Plau am See with 39 votes out of 56. In the unified church, the area forms the parish of Mecklenburg .

The Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg was one of the Lutheran churches within the EKD. It was a member of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany (VELKD). It belonged to the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe (CPCE). Affiliated partner churches were the Lichfield Diocese of the Church of England, the Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Kazakhstan . There were also close partnerships with the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania and the Pare Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

Together with the former Pomeranian Church, the regional church maintained an Evangelical Academy in Rostock.

Territory of the regional church

The territory of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg comprised the former state of Mecklenburg , which existed from 1934 to 1945 since the unification of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz with the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin . Today the area with Western Pomerania forms the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . Some parishes of the regional church also belonged to the states of Lower Saxony , Schleswig-Holstein and Brandenburg .


Title page of the church ordinance, edition from 1650

After Henry the Lion's victory over the Obotrites in 1160 and after the relocation of the bishopric of Mecklenburg, which was also re-established in 1160, to Schwerin (between 1160 and 1170), the Christianization of Mecklenburg began in the middle of the 12th century. The Cistercian monk Berno became the first bishop of Schwerin in 1166 . The first Schwerin cathedral was consecrated in 1171 . Shortly before the onset of the Reformation around 1500, about 1800 pastors and vicars and 500 monks lived in Mecklenburg with 130,000 inhabitants.

The Reformation found its way into Mecklenburg from 1523 under the dukes Heinrich V (1503) and Albrecht VII (1503 to 1547) without it being carried out by the authorities. The Lutheran stamp was predominant. One of the most famous preachers was Joachim Slüter (around 1490 to 1532) as chaplain of the Petrikirche in Rostock. At the latest since the state parliament convened by Johann Albrecht I on the Sagsdorfer Warnowbrücke (June 20, 1549), which rejected the Augsburg interim dictated by Emperor Charles V , the whole of Mecklenburg embraced Lutheran doctrine. Later there was also a Reformed community in Bützow . This remained independent to this day and does not belong to the regional church. In 1552 the government issued its own church ordinance, which, with the consent of the united states, formed the basis for an independent regional church and placed it on a firm legal basis. With the decree of the superintendent order in January 1571, the regional church was restructured through the formation of the church districts Wismar, Güstrow, Parchim, Schwerin, Rostock and Neubrandenburg. In 1701 Mecklenburg was divided into the two (partial) duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. From 1775 to 1910 there was a consistory in Rostock. In 1850 an upper church council was installed for Mecklenburg-Schwerin . From 1901 there was a seminary in Schwerin under the direction of Ernst Haack . There was also a consistory for Mecklenburg-Strelitz, most recently with its seat in Neustrelitz, and from 1909 also carried the designation Oberkirchenrat.

The head of the church (s) from the Reformation until 1918 were the respective regents (dukes, grand dukes) of both parts of Mecklenburg as summus episcopus . In Mecklenburg-Schwerin they exercised the spiritual supervision by seven appointed superintendents in the superintendent offices Schwerin, Wismar, Güstrow, Rostock, Doberan, Parchim and Malchin. In Mecklenburg-Strelitz there was a superintendent, which existed in Neubrandenburg until the middle of the 18th century and was then relocated to the newly founded residence town of Neustrelitz.

After the elimination of the sovereign church regiment, the regional churches were rebuilt in 1921. They passed constitutions in 1921 with a regional bishop elected by the regional synod. At the turn of the year 1933/34 both regional churches reunited to form the Evangelical Lutheran regional church of Mecklenburg.

After the Second World War , the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mecklenburg joined the newly founded Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and was a co-founder of the VELKD. In 1969 the regional church left the EKD and founded the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR with the other regional churches in the area of ​​the GDR and Berlin (East) . In 1991 the regional church rejoined the EKD.

Like many other regional churches, Mecklenburg also wanted to adopt a new constitution after coping with the immediate post-war period in the 1950s. This should enable the congregations to have a greater say, develop the church district into a real central authority through the establishment of church district synods, and separate management and administration through the establishment of a synodal church leadership.

According to the draft of this constitution adopted in 1957, the regional bishop was not to be part of the consistory or the synod, but instead chaired the church leadership in addition to the bishopric.

However, in 1958 the state objected to the promulgation of this constitution, so that it never came into force. Since the need to change the church structures also persisted in Mecklenburg, however, the Mecklenburg church adopted constitutional regulations for the processes and structures at all levels of the regional church and regulated them in governing laws that were passed with a constitution-changing two-thirds majority. The new regulations in the respective management laws override the corresponding provisions of the 1921 constitution and regulate the relevant matters themselves.

Head of the regional church

At the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg was the regional bishop, the spiritual director of the church. He was elected by the regional synod for a term of twelve years and was chairman of the church leadership also elected by the synod.

State bishops since 1921

State Synod

As the legislative body, the regional church had a regional synod. Its members, the synodals, were elected for a period of six years to about two thirds by the church elders of the parishes. The others were elected by the church leadership, the synod itself and the convention of state superintendents. The task of the synod was similar to that of political parliaments. It usually met twice a year. The chairman of the synod was the praeses, previously the president of the regional synod. The elections for the constituent synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg-Schwerin took place in 1921. It was opened on April 15, 1921. After the unification of the two Mecklenburg churches in 1934, the synod was called "Regional Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg".

Presidents and presidents of the regional synod from 1921:

  • 1921–1933: Adolf Langfeld (1854–1939)
  • 1933–1945: Theodor Klaehn (1883–1963)
  • 1946–1952: Friedrich Stratmann (1875–1952)
  • 1952–1965: Albrecht Hachtmann (1901–1965)
  • 1965–1970: Hilde Lewerenz (* 1910)
  • 1970–1988: Siegfried Wahrmann (1918–1996)
  • 1988–1994: Hans-Joachim Bartsch (* 1934)
  • 1994-2006: Heiner Möhring (* 1941)
  • 2006–2008: Hans-Joachim Seel (* 1951)
  • 2008–2012: Heiner Möhring (* 1941)
  • 2012– : Christoph de Boor (* 1961)0000

Administration of the regional church

Upper church council and administrative hierarchy

The Oberkirchenrat in Schwerin, which comprised the college and employees of the regional church, ran the day-to-day business. He was responsible for administrative matters and, on behalf of the church leadership, supervised the parishes, church districts and church officials. The head of the Oberkirchenrat was a president who was elected by the regional synod for a period of twelve years. In addition to the president, other senior church councils and the regional bishop belonged to the college.

Upper Church Council President:

The regional bishop was chairman of the church leadership ("government" of the church). In addition to the bishop, the synod president and five other synodals, the president of the upper council of churches, three other councilors and a state superintendent belonged to this group.

In the administrative hierarchy, the regional church was structured as follows from bottom to top:

  • At the base stood the parishes as corporations under public law with elected parish councils, the "parish council". The members of this body were called "church elders".
  • Several parishes together formed a provost ( comparable to a district in general administration ) , headed by a provost. The provosts had the provost synod, whose members were appointed by the respective parish councils.
  • Several provosts together formed a church district (in general administration comparable to an administrative district ) , which was headed by a state superintendent . The church district council stood by his side. The five church districts were corporations under public law and together formed the regional church (in general administration comparable to the federal state ) .

Church districts and provosts

The church districts were headed by state superintendents who were based in Rostock, Wismar, Güstrow, Parchim and Neustrelitz (Stargard church district). From 2012 the central church district administration was in Schwerin, in Güstrow and Neubrandenburg there were branch offices. The formerly own administrations of the five church districts were gradually merged.

  • Church district Rostock
    • Provost Office Bad Doberan
    • Rostock Provost Office
    • Ribnitz-Sanitz Propstei
  • Church district Wismar
    • Provostry Bukow
    • Propstei Crivitz
    • Provost Gadebusch
    • Propstei Grevesmühlen
    • Propstei Schwerin-Land
    • Propstei Schwerin-Stadt
    • Propstei Sternberg
    • Propstei Wismar
  • Church district of Güstrow
    • Propstei Bützow
    • Provostry Güstrow
    • Provost Gnoien
    • Propstei Krakow / Malchin
    • Propstei Müritz
  • Parchim church district
    • Propstei Boizenburg / Wittenburg
    • Propstei Hagenow
    • Propstei Ludwigslust-Dömitz
    • Parchim Provostry
  • Stargard parish
    • Propstei Friedland
    • Propstei Neubrandenburg
    • Propstei Stargard
    • Propstei Stavenhagen
    • Propstei Strelitz


The 26 provosts were divided into 270 parishes (designation of the parishes in the state church of Mecklenburg).

Office for Community Service

The Office for Community Service of the State Church of Mecklenburg was responsible for advising and accompanying the communities. In it, questions and various fields of work such as religious education for adults, faith courses, visiting services and other areas were dealt with. In the Office for Congregational Service, materials were prepared and made available to the congregations and those working in the church. The office was headed by Pastor Christian Höser. The office was on Domplatz in Güstrow.

Hymn books

The parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg sang in the last decades mainly from the following hymn books:

  • Mecklenburg church hymns , introduced with the approval of the ducal Consistorii of Rostock in 1764, as well as a new, improved edition with appendix of 50 “sacred songs”, introduced in March 1905
  • New Mecklenburg hymn book with an appendix of prayers, as well as gospels and epistles with Grand Ducal Allergnäd. Special-Privilegio, introduced in 1794
  • Hymnbook for worship for the evangelical communities in Mecklenburg-Strelitz with the Grand Ducal Mecklenburg-Strelitz most gracious privilege; introduced in 1832
  • Hymnbook for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mecklenburg-Strelitz , introduced in 1875
  • Hymnal of the Evangelical Lutheran. Regional church of Mecklenburg-Schwerin or Mecklenburg-Strelitz or the united regional church of Mecklenburg - unit hymn book of the Evangelical Lutheran. Regional churches in Schleswig-Holstein-Lauenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Lübeck, Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Eutin; introduced in 1930
  • Evangelical church hymn book - edition for the Evangelical Luth. Regional church of Mecklenburg ; introduced around 1950
  • Evangelical church hymn book - edition for the Evangelical Luth. Regional Church of Mecklenburg, Evangelical Luth. Regional Church of Saxony, Evangelical Luth. Church in Thuringia ; Introduced in 1975 in all Lutheran churches in the GDR
  • Evangelical hymn book - edition for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg; introduced on the 1st of Advent 1994
  • Evangelical Hymnbook - Edition for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mecklenburg and for the Pomeranian Evangelical Church, introduced in 2000.


  • Gustav Willgeroth : The Mecklenburg-Schwerin Parishes since the Thirty Years' War . Vol. 2, Wismar 1925, p. 1004 ff.
  • Johannes Beltz a. a. (Ed.): The Mecklenburg pastors since the Thirty Years' War. Founded by Gustav Willgeroth - President / Praeses of the regional synod, regional synodal committee, church leadership, regional bishop, senior church councilor, pastors in general church duties - addendum 1987 with additions until September 1st, 1993. Schwerin 1993.
  • Rahel Frank: "More real, more exact - more precise"? The GDR church policy towards the Evangelical Lutheran Regional Church of Mecklenburg from 1971 to 1989. The state commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the records of the State Security Service of the former GDR, Schwerin 2004, ISBN 3-933255-18-X .
  • Sebastian Dittmers: Origin of the North Church. Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany. Lutherische Verl.-Ges, Kiel 2015, ISBN 978-3-87503-181-2 .

See also

Web links

Commons : Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. a b source: http://www.ekd.de/download/Ber_Kirchenlösungen_2010.pdf
  2. ^ Dittmers, Sebastian: Origin of the Northern Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany . Lutherische Verl.-Ges, Kiel 2015, ISBN 978-3-87503-181-2 , pp. 27-30 .
  3. ^ Dittmers, Sebastian: Origin of the Northern Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany . Lutherische Verl.-Ges, Kiel 2015, ISBN 978-3-87503-181-2 , pp. 30-41 .