Lutheran Hour Ministries
The information on this page was last updated 1/31/2023. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]
Lutheran Hour Ministries is a trusted resource in global media that equips and engages a vibrant volunteer base to passionately proclaim the Gospel to more than 150 million people worldwide each week. Through its North American headquarters and ministry centers on six continents, LHM reaches into more than 60 countries, often bringing Christ to places where no other Christian evangelistic organizations are present. LHM's flagship ministry, The Lutheran Hour®, airs weekly on more than 1,800 radio stations and the American Forces Network.
We encourage those people who are reached through these ministry efforts to respond by contacting staff or volunteers. LHM then cultivates relationships with those who respond to ultimately facilitate a relationship between them and a Christian community, thus helping grow the kingdom of God.
Lutheran Hour Ministries
660 Mason Ridge Center
St Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (800) 876-9880
Email: [email protected]
CEO/President: Kurt Buchholz
Chairman: Dr. Kurt Senske
Board size: 16
Founder: 12 men
Ruling year: 1970
Tax deductible: Yes
Fiscal year end: 05/31
Member of ECFA: No
Member of ECFA since:
It is God's mission to rescue people who have become separated from Him, restore relationships with them and renew them for holy living and service to others. His message is simple: rescue, restoration and renewal are found only in Jesus.
In a world now characterized by dizzying change, God has called the Church to join Him in His mission and challenged it to make His message of hope known in today's post-Christian culture.
At Lutheran Hour Ministries, we want to be your partner in calling back the lost and hurting-back to the Church; back to forgiveness and grace; back to God and His Word.
We have made it our mission to encourage and support you as you respond to God's call to action.
Bringing Christ to the Nations-and the Nations to the Church
Statement of faith
What Lutherans Believe: We don't know where you are in your faith walk, but we understand that questions are worth answering. While it's impossible to address every question you might have, we hope this overview will at least provide a start.
About the BIBLE - Everything Lutherans believe comes from the Bible, God's message of love and hope for all people. The Bible is the written Word of God, handed down to us in order to point us to the truth that we are saved from our sin and eternal death by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that the Bible is completely reliable and without error. In it we learn everything we need to know about God's love and His gifts to us.
About GOD - There is only one true God - the Triune God - who exists in three separate but equal persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God the Father is our maker and the creator of all things. By the Father's word, all things were made, and we are His most beloved creation; we are closest to His heart. The Son is Jesus Christ, who came to earth as the perfect "go-between" between God and humanity. He has redeemed us and is the voice to the Father on our behalf. The Holy Spirit calls us to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, keeps us in the one true faith, and equips us for living out our faith. He is the whisper in our heart's ear.
About US - We all fall short of God's expectations because we are all born "sinful" - and we aren't talking about "sinfully" rich desserts, we're talking about the serious side of sin. Sin can be summed up as all the things we say, think, do, and don't do, that fall outside of God's holy will for our lives and end up separating us from God.
Sin was brought into world when Satan lured the first people God created (Adam and Eve) into temptation through their own free will and weakness, breaking the perfect relationship between God and us. From that point on, sin became part of our very existence. Because God also demands perfect obedience, our ultimate punishment became death.
Yet God is a loving God whose will is not for us to live in eternal punishment. That's why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live the perfect life He requires and to become our substitute. Christ never sinned - not even once - and then He took our sin upon Himself and died on the cross, on our behalf. When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, He bears our sin and gives us His forgiveness.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
About "BEING SAVED" - There is absolutely nothing we can do to "be saved" - Jesus Christ has already done everything necessary. In His death and resurrection, everyone who believes in Jesus as Savior has been brought back into a right relationship with God. That means that, on account of Jesus, everyone who believes is "justified," or declared innocent by God. God has done justice to the world's sins; because of Jesus, all who believe are forgiven and will live eternally.
We do not cooperate in our salvation and there is nothing we could ever present to God to make our way into eternal life with Him-not money or even good works. Neither can we really feel it or prove it. We cannot reason our way to salvation, nor can we earn it. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves-Jesus Christ has done it all.
About FAITH - It is through faith in Jesus that we receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life - by believing that He has freed us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin. Faith is a gift worked in us by the power of the Holy Spirit; it doesn't come to us through anything we are capable of, but through what God does for us. We simply receive what is already being offered out of God's great love.
About GRACE - Lutherans often refer to grace. The word itself might remind you of the grace period you are given when paying bills - when your debt can be paid without further penalty. God's grace is even more wonderful; that's why it's called "amazing grace." While we deserved to pay the penalty for our sins, God had a different plan. Christ paid the debt and we receive forgiveness and eternal life from Him that is offered out of unconditional love. That's why it's called grace because it is truly undeserved.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)."
God has provided tangible ways through which He delivers His grace to those who believe, assuring us that the sins we commit are forgiven for Jesus' sake. These are called the "means of grace" and are God's Word, holy Baptism, and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion). Through these means, God makes Himself known to us in a very personal way: God's Word reveals His faithfulness and love; Baptism is our rebirth and renewal in Jesus; the Lord's Supper is our closest communion with Christ as we receive His body and blood.
About GOOD WORKS - Since there is nothing we can ever do to earn salvation, we do not do good works in order to be saved; good works are done out of praise and thanks because we are saved. Such good works include, but are certainly not limited to, serving and caring for the needs of others, honoring and giving respect to those in authority, honoring our vows and commitments, and generally doing what is considered by many to be good and right. It's often said that Martin Luther expressed it this way: God doesn't need our good works, but our neighbor does.
About LIFE AFTER DEATH - On Judgment Day - we don't know when - Jesus Christ is going to return. On that day, everyone who has died will be raised and those who are still alive will be bodily transformed. At that time, the final judgment will take place. Those who do not believe will go into eternal damnation in hell and all those who believe in Jesus as Savior will have eternal life in heaven.
Donor confidence score
|Does the organization have a statement of faith consistent with historic Christian creeds and is that statement of easily found on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have no more than 2 non-independent members?||No||0/10|
|Does the board have at least four independent board members for every non-independent member?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board contain between 5 and 11 members?||No||0/10|
|Does the organization file a Form 990 and make its Form 990 available to the public?||No||0/15|
|Does the organization make its audit or review (if annual revenue is more than $1-m) available on its website?||Yes||4/4|
|Is the organization a member of the ECFA?||No||0/9|
|Is the CEO/President's compensation within one standard deviation of the median compensation?||No||0/4|
|Did the organization operate at a net profit (revenue greater than expenses) in the most recent year?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization refrain from owning or leasing a private aircraft, or having fractional interest in one, that is primarily used for travel by the organization's leaders?||Yes||4/4|
|For the past five years, has the organization been free of any lawsuits or administrative actions filed against it by an employee, client, board member, vendor, donor, or other related party?||Yes||4/4|
|Are author royalties and speaking engagement fees paid to the organization, and not the individual?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization require its employees to affirm upon hiring the statement of faith of the organization?||No||0/4|
|Is the board chair an independent member of the board?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the board have term limits?||No||0/4|
|Have there been no public accusations of misdeeds against the organization, founder, CEO, senior pastor, or board members in the past five years?||Yes||4/4|
|Has the organization refrained from the use of non-disclosure agreements?||Yes||4/4|
|Does the organization have an overall financial efficiency rating of at least 2 stars?||No||0/4|
|Total donor confidence score||40/100|
Financial efficiency ratings
Sector: Educational Media
|Category||Rating||Overall rank||Sector rank|
|Overall efficiency rating||970 of 1085||37 of 46|
|Fund acquisition rating||884 of 1088||38 of 46|
|Resource allocation rating||799 of 1088||32 of 46|
|Asset utilization rating||830 of 1085||36 of 46|
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|Receivables, inventories, prepaids||$4,288,072||$4,374,915||$5,638,899||$5,035,078||$4,322,241|
|Other current assets||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Total current assets||$38,279,749||$32,164,699||$33,464,488||$34,914,314||$30,892,847|
|Other long-term assets||$15,870,426||$14,033,718||$10,177,038||$11,349,496||$12,570,840|
|Total long-term assets||$31,259,690||$29,483,895||$25,175,027||$26,321,465||$28,007,867|
|Payables and accrued expenses||$928,599||$2,649,766||$901,975||$764,942||$1,996,154|
|Other current liabilities||$909,007||$778,479||$887,257||$686,398||$917,117|
|Total current liabilities||$1,837,606||$3,428,245||$1,789,232||$1,451,340||$2,913,271|
|Due to (from) affiliates||$0||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Other long-term liabilities||$3,289,890||$3,130,422||$2,947,285||$3,079,610||$9,479,652|
|Total long-term liabilities||$11,191,009||$13,021,122||$10,947,285||$11,079,610||$9,479,652|
|Without donor restrictions||$21,212,549||$15,664,172||$19,083,394||$21,835,633||$19,111,337|
|With donor restrictions||$35,298,275||$29,535,055||$26,819,604||$26,869,196||$27,396,454|
|Revenues and expenses|
|Program service revenue||$230,023||$189,229||$181,919||$259,342||$295,718|
|Total other revenue||$10,631,030||$5,767,080||($18,341)||$2,505,016||$5,399,249|
|Management and general||$3,278,242||$3,014,703||$3,136,614||$2,222,050||$2,195,979|
|Change in net assets||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017|
|Other changes in net assets||$0||$0||$0||($1,846,066)||($1,366,196)|
|Total change in net assets||$11,311,597||($703,771)||($2,801,831)||$2,197,038||$791,935|
Compensation data for this ministry has not been collected.
No response has been provided by this ministry.
The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 1/31/2023. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]
The International Lutheran Laymen's League (Int'l LLL) is a dedicated group of supporters and volunteers who are active in ministry domestically and around the world. These are people of all ages and walks of life. The ministry of the organization is currently expressed through a wide range of Christ-centered outreach efforts under the name of Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM). Originally called the Lutheran Laymen's League (LLL) upon its formation in 1917, the organization was renamed the International Lutheran Laymen's League in 1972 to reflect its growing impact globally. Today, the Int'l LLL's business and financial affairs are overseen by a Board of Directors consisting of a chair, vice chair and 12 directors.
During all the years of the League's history, tens of thousands of people have provided prayers, volunteer work and financial support which, under the blessings of God, have accomplished great things for the Kingdom. League membership now numbers just under 100,000 individuals and also includes hundreds of local congregational groups including both men and women.
In 1917, a group of 12 men 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 next raised more than $2.7 million to fund a pension plan for professional church workers.
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.
The success of The Lutheran Hour led the organization to pick up another radio show in 1993. Woman to Woman, hosted by Phyllis Wallace, took an in-depth look at issues facing women and handled these topics in a caring Christian manner. The program, which at one time aired on more than 400 stations nationwide, ended following Wallace's retirement in August 2011. Some of the prominent guests included Kurt Warner, Wynona Judd, and Barbara Mandrell.
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.
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.
On Main Street was also a popular Int'l LLL TV program. Hosted by Dr. Dale Meyer, the former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour, the program shared practical spiritual teaching on the day's issues from a Christ-centered, Biblical perspective. Guests included Jimmy Carter, Kathy Ireland, and Mary Lou Retton. Broadcast on more than 100 over-the-air stations and nearly 125 cable stations, On Main Street at one time had a potential reach of more than 50 million viewing households per week.
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). Another television documentary, The Intersection of Church & State, aired nationally on Fox Business Channel as paid programming in Fall 2012 in advance of the national elections.
A New Identity
In 1992, due to the popularity of The Lutheran Hour radio program, the International Lutheran Laymen's League chose Lutheran Hour Ministries as the overall identity for its media outreach programs. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Lutheran Hour Ministries continues to explore new media and to expand its use of others to serve congregations as a partner in God's mission.
Today, through ministry programs such as The Lutheran Hour, International Ministries, Men's NetWork, LHM Learn, and others, Lutheran Hour Ministries is calling our communities, our country and our world back to God. Lutheran Hour Ministries is ready to meet the challenges of a post-Christian culture by bringing a message of rescue, restoration and renewal in Jesus Christ to millions of people who desperately need to hear it.
Lutheran Hour Ministries looks forward to a bright future as remarkable media breakthroughs open new doors to sharing the Gospel with more people around the world who long for answers, love, and meaning in their lives. LHM will be ready to respond in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations-and the Nations to the Church.
More than 150 million people hear or read the Gospel each week through LHM programs, services, or materials.
Through its North American headquarters and more than 30 ministry centers on six continents, LHM reaches into more than 60 countries, often bringing Christ to places where no other Christian evangelistic organizations are present.
More than 1.2 million individuals intentionally provide contact information for follow up in response to LHM's culturally relevant outreach efforts.
Nearly 120,000 individuals were referred last year to local Christian communities internationally for spiritual growth and nurturing.
More than 21,000 individuals became engaged in a Christian community following their referral last year.
Almost 40,000 individuals participated for the first time in Bible Correspondence Courses offered by LHM's International Ministry Centers.
More than 50,000 individuals participated for the first time in Bible Correspondence Courses offered by LHM's International Ministry Centers.
Individuals were equipped more than 180,000 times last year to more effectively share their faith.
Individuals from more than 4,500 congregations of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Lutheran Church-Canada are using LHM resources.