Our History

History of the International Lutheran Laymen’s League
In 1917, a group of 12 people attending a convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Milwaukee met to settle a $100,000 debt incurred by the church body. They accomplished that goal, and in the process formed the Lutheran Laymen’s League. The LLL went on to raise more than $2.7 million to fund a pension plan for professional church workers.
The Lutheran Hour
In 1930, the LLL made a commitment to fund one year of broadcasting a weekly national radio program to be called The Lutheran Hour®. The first program was broadcast Oct. 2, 1930 and continues on the air today, making it the world’s oldest continually broadcast Christ-centered radio program. From the show’s early years to today, speakers Dr. Walter A. Maier, Dr. Armin C. Oldsen, Dr. Lawrence Acker, Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, Dr. Wallace Schulz, Dr. Dale A. Meyer, Rev. Dr. Ken Klaus, Rev. Gregory Seltz, and Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler have shared God’s changeless Word and offered comfort and hope to millions.
International Ministries
In 1940, the international thrust of the LLL ministry began with The Lutheran Hour being broadcast by Dr. Andrew Melendez in Spanish. In 1940, the LLL opened its first international ministry center in the Philippines. Five years later, it opened a ministry center in Australia. Today, the Int’l LLL has ministry centers located in more than 30 countries throughout the world, staffed almost entirely by nationals of the countries where it operates. These devout Christians use radio and TV programming, the Internet, dramas, music, Bible Correspondence Courses, printed materials, and other culturally relevant programs and venues to share Christ in and around their countries.
Television Programming Highlights

In 1952, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Laymen’s League ventured into television with a dramatic series entitled This Is the Life. The program examined contemporary moral problems and gave Christian solutions. In the early years, This Is the Life was a drama series featuring the Fisher Family. In the later years, it was an anthology series with a different set of characters each week. Several famous actors made guest appearances on This Is the Life during this period, including Jack Nicholson, Buddy Ebsen, and Leonard Nimoy. The program aired from 1952 until 1988, first in syndication and then on NBC. This Is the Life reruns continue today on a limited basis in the U.S. and other countries, where the voices are often dubbed into native languages.

In more recent years the organization’s television programming has included five animated holiday specials dubbed into several languages and broadcast on stations around the world through LHM’s international ministry centers. In 2011, a full-length television special entitled The Bible on Trial: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt aired on around 600 stations (including nationwide broadcasts on the Inspiration and National Religious Broadcasters Networks).

Lutheran Laymen’s League in Canada

The International Lutheran Laymen’s League included an office in Canada up until 1967 when the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada was independently incorporated.

From its office in Kitchener, the Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada carries out its own mission in Canada. The Lutheran Laymen’s League of Canada is responsible for its own funding which comes entirely from the gifts of individuals, groups and congregations and is an auxiliary of Lutheran Church – Canada.