Welcome to the Eastern District of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Our district is home to many congregations throughout New York, Pennsylvania and the panhandle of Maryland. Our congregations exist to point people to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Our district desires healthy leaders vigorously equipping God’s people to promote kingdom growth.  Click here to learn more about who we are.

This website is a resource of information. People and links are provided to enhance your ministry to the people you serve. It has been designed for ease of navigation. It is further complimented by the other communication vehicles of the Eastern District – Breaking New Ground and E-News.

We have a new District President!

The Rev. John Pingel of West Seneca, NY was elected to his first term as president of the LCMS Eastern District at the district’s 100th convention, held June 17-18 in Tonawanda, NY. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Chris Wicher on Sept. 1, 2022, who is retiring after serving four terms as district president.

Since 2010, Pingel has served as the pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Buffalo, NY. Since 2015, he has served as the First Vice President/Buffalo Regional Vice President, and has served on the Eastern District Board of Directors. He is married to Diane (Giddens) for 30 years. John and Diane were married by Rev. Dr. David Belasic. Their marriage was blessed with two sons: Bryan, who is an engineer for Chrysler, currently living in Ann Arbor, MI; and Timothy, who works for a firm in Depew, NY. Both graduated from the University at Buffalo. For pastime, John enjoys gardening, reading, walking, choir, boating, fishing, cutting firewood, firearms practice, and riding his motorcycle. John and Diane lived in Beaver, PA and New Brighton, PA before moving to the Buffalo area. Their favorite vacation spot is the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Please join us in welcoming President-elect Pingel and thanking President Wicher for his many years of service in the district.

2022 Fall Pastors’ Conference

Come and join us for a time to rest and be restored.

Come to a quiet place at the Antiochian Village this September 26-28th as we gather beneath the theme “Our Greatest Calling.” Come and be with fellow servants, as we examine what it means to love God and love our neighbor with all that He has created us to be as the Temple of His own Spirit.


At the heart of the Christian faith is the cross of Christ.

“But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world,” (Gal. 6:14).  It was on the cross that our sins were nailed and it is at the foot of the cross where we sinners gather for confession and absolution.  The new logo for the Eastern District of the LCMS is a simple cross because we have a simple, yet profound message to share: God has saved the world through Jesus’ death and resurrection.


The yellow and pink shapes at the bottom of the cross symbolize the fire of the Holy Spirit that appeared over the heads of the disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).  This same Spirit enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church today.  The pink and purple hues transition to blue hues toward the top of the cross.  These shapes and colors symbolize the flowing Baptismal waters that bring forgiveness and a new identity to God’s people.  All of the shapes within the cross also resemble a topographical map highlighting hills and valleys.  The Eastern District includes Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes, the Appalachian Mountains, and other beautiful sights in God’s creation.  The Church gathers in places all over the Eastern District to proclaim the message of the cross to a world in need of Jesus.