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1979: Two WELS pastors arrive.
Early 1980s: A third WELS pastor arrives. Services begin.
Mid-1980s: A seminary is organized to train evangelists and pastors. Various WELS pastors serve as theological instructors and advisors until 1994.
1994: Suspension of seminary program and withdrawal of WELS pastors because of difficulties that arose from outside the church. Later in the year, one WELS pastor returns as theological advisor.
1995: Six nationals ordained as pastors and four assigned as vicars. There are six congregations and four exploratory posts.
1998: Seminary is reopened. Theological advisor’s family is evacuated but later returns. Five new students enroll in the seminary. A satellite seminary is established in Central Java. National pastors begin teaching in the seminary.
2001: Five more men complete seminary studies and are immediately assigned to the growing number of congregations. After the September 11 attacks, the theological advisor’s family is permanently recalled to the United States, a year and a half earlier than planned.
2002: Gereja Lutheran Indonesia has 11 congregations and nine exploratory posts, representing a 60 percent growth in membership in two years. Twenty-one national workers serve.
2003: Gereja Lutheran Indonesia is accepted into fellowship with WELS.
2004: Possibilities for outreach by Gereja Lutheran Indonesia in Papua, Nusa Tenggara Timor (NTT), and East Java are explored. The final step in the proposal for a transition is accepted by the Board for World Missions.
2005: Gereja Lutheran Indonesia sends a pastor and an evangelist to begin work in Papua. It also joins the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC).
2010: Gereja Lutheran Indonesia now has five congregations and 25 posts in Java, Nusa Tenggara Timor (NTT), and Papua; nine are in NTT.
2011: A seminary professor called by WELS to serve at Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Lutheran (STTL) arrives in Yogyakarta in July. He and his wife are the first WELS staff to live on-site since 2001. His initial assignment is teaching dogmatics. His wife is teaching Conversational English as a volunteer to the students at STTL.
2012: After 19 years of faithful and fruitful service, the WELS Field Coordinator accepts a new position in the USA. The role of the seminary professor called by WELS to serve at STTL is expanded to include the duties of Field Coordinator. A course in New Testament Exegesis is added to his on-campus schedule. Five nationals attended a regional translators’ seminar at Asia Lutheran Seminary in Hong Kong sponsored by WELS Multi-Language Publications (MLP). Initial outreach in Kalimantan is begun by one young man after the completion of his theological studies at STTL.
2013: A husband and wife team from GLI attends classes for one academic year at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in the USA. A long-range plan calls for the man to become the first GLI liaison to WELS. His wife will be the first national to serve as MLP’s coordinator for all GLI publications.
2014: The new MLP/GLI Publications Coordinator returns to Indonesia after her studies at WLS and begins her work. A course in Old Testament Exegesis is added to the STTL curriculum. Four young men complete their theological studies at STTL and are assigned as vicars. Kingdom Workers (KW) commits manpower to help GLI in its efforts to build bridges via humanitarian assistance. Such aid includes health seminars, clean water projects, dispensing eyeglasses, assisting congregational preschools, etc. The KW representative is also partnering with GLI/MLP to translate Sunday school material.
2015: Revisions to the GLI Constitution and By-laws are ratified at the October biennial synod convention. The revisions include the addition of dedicated boards and committees which will focus on exploration, outreach, education, publications, and stewardship. Ten evangelists are ordained as pastors. The convention also formally elects the evangelist who studied at WLS as the GLI liaison to WELS. Representatives from GLI attend the first regional CELC convention, including one man who presents a paper on baptism. GLI partners with WELS Christian Aid and Relief (CA&R) in bringing aid to flood victims, those in need, etc. Three young men complete their theological studies at STTL and are assigned as vicars.
2016: A WLS professor visits Indonesia for a dogmatics seminar attended by most of GLI’s called workers and all students of STTL. As part of an ongoing process for maintaining national accreditation, STTL continues to look at options for relocating and building a new campus. New vicars do exploratory work in a new area of East Java.
2017: After developing some long-range plans, leaders of GLI present the information to representatives of WELS in order that WELS may better coordinate its efforts to assist their sister church. With gratitude to God, GLI is grateful for the partnership in the Gospel that it continues to enjoy with WELS, KW, and the WELS BWM, MLP, and CA&R. Two nationals from GLI and the WELS Friendly Counselor attended the international CELC convention in Grimma. GLI treasures the fellowship it shares with all member churches and associates.
Church Body Statistics
Preaching Posts: 25
Seminary students: 10
Pastor Medi Sutrisno
Pastor Mikael Simanjuntak
Pastor Gregory Bey