Westerners are naturally curious about Russia, the massive country rich in culture and history that was closed to Americans for seventy years. With the falling of the Iron Curtain, it became much easier for Americans and Russians to meet and learn about each other’s customs, lifestyles, and religions. Modern Russia boasts a developed economy with increasing materialism as well as strong national pride with a growing suspicion of all things Western. By God’s grace, the Evangelical Lutheran Church Concord, WELS’ sister church in Russia, is maturing, growing, and becoming more skilled at carrying out its Christ-given mission. Learn more about WELS mission history in Russia.

One WELS pastor teaches seminary classes and partners with three Russian pastors. Visiting instructors from the U.S. help train seminary students and provide continuing education. The Evangelical Lutheran Church Concord is improving online outreach by streaming worship, sermons, mid-week devotions, daily Bible readings and meditations, and Bible information classes. Please continue to pray for our Russian brothers and sisters in faith!

Fast Facts

  • Congregations: 5
  • Baptized members: 270
  • National pastors: 3
  • Deaconesses: 2

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Meet the Missionary

Missionary Luke Wolfgramm graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1997, was assigned to Novosibirsk, Russia, and has been there ever since. Over the years, work in Russia has remained new and fresh as WELS’ sister church, the Concord Evangelical Lutheran Church, grows and matures. At first American missionaries served as congregational pastors. Now Concord is blessed with three Russian pastors and one talented seminary student who carry out pastoral ministry. Missionary Wolfgramm focuses on worker training and mentoring church leaders.

God’s blessing in Russia is allowing Missionary Wolfgramm to spend more time with our other WELS European mission churches in Albania and Bulgaria. He trains seminary students, helps with continuing education for pastors, encourages and mentors. He also spends time with independent sister churches in Europe and provides fellowship and encouragement through webinars, Bible weekends, conferences, video calls, in-person meetings, and other means to help pastors and congregations who are often small and isolated.

Missionary Wolfgramm is married to Jennifer, who loves to work with music in the congregations and help get people involved with their congregations in a variety of ways. She travels with Missionary Wolfgramm to meet and strengthen friendships with the women of our sister congregations.

Luke and Jennifer have three children. Christina, 23, is living in Nebraska and studying drafting and design. Katie, 21, is in her final year at Milwaukee School of Engineering and is engaged to Xander Neuwirth. Peter, 16, is a sophomore at Fox Valley Lutheran High School. He lives with Luke’s brother and family in Appleton.

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Praying for Russia

Please pray that God would unite our Russian brothers and sisters in faith, love, and purpose; that God would bless his Word as church members share their faith with people in their lives; that God would equip Russian pastors to share the Good News of Jesus from the pulpit, in the classroom, and when counseling individuals; and that God would lead the Evangelical Lutheran Church Concord to mature independence. Amen.


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Browse through and share pictures of Russia taken by WELS missionaries and national workers.