The Brazilian mission, the first for WELS in the Portuguese language, was begun in 1987 with five missionaries. Its first work was done in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil, alongside the small independent Lutheran church that had asked for help from WELS. Several years later one of the missionaries went to reside in the city of Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, which is in west central Brazil. A former Lutheran pastor and friend of the congregation in Rio Grande do Sul had asked to have WELS also work in this city.

There were many changes of personnel over the years and different programs of outreach were tried. In 2009, financial support was diverted to other mission opportunities after three men had graduated from the seminary program. One missionary retired in 2006, but stayed on in a volunteer capacity. Today, the Brazilian Lutheran Church is self-supporting and an independent mission partner of the Latin America mission team with two congregations in Gravataí and Dourados and one preaching station in Presidente Prudente.

God has also opened doors to a new ministry opportunity in Dom Cavati, Brazil. Denício Godoy connected online with Rev. Artur Villares from the Lutheran Church of Portugal, WELS’ sister church. He is working alongside a group of Lutherans to spread the gospel in their community as a mission arm of the Lutheran Church of Portugal with support from the WELS Europe team and continued encouragement from Rev. Kenneth Cherney, Old Testament professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Fast Facts

  • Baptized members: 150
  • Communicants: 110
  • Volunteer missionaries: 1
  • National pastors: 3
  • Evangelists: 1
  • Students in leadership training: 2

Praying for Brazil

Please pray for our independent mission partner, the Brazilian Lutheran Church, as they continue to reach out with the gospel message. We ask for blessings on the national pastors, evangelists, and volunteer missionary as they serve the people of Brazil. We thank God for opening a door to additional mission opportunities in Dom Cavati, Brazil, and we ask him to bless the efforts of the group as they reach out with the gospel.


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Browse through historical pictures of Brazil, taken by WELS missionaries and national workers.