Results of the 3/3/24 Special Congregation Meeting

St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Wilmington, North Carolina voted 120-0 (unanimously with 120 voting members present) to disaffiliate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in the McSwain Activity Center. After a third successful disaffiliation vote, we took a second vote to join the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC), which passed 117-2 (with one blank ballot). Now, we hope and pray that the North Carolina Synod Council of the ELCA will finally release us after three successful cycles of disaffiliation votes. Each congregational vote has been well past the constitutionally-mandated 2/3 vote.

St Matthew's Pastor Sam Zumwalt


The Rev. Dr. Samuel Zumwalt has worked in churches for 47 years and in May 2023 celebrated the 42nd anniversary of his ordination to the holy ministry. He is a member of the Society of the Holy Trinity ( In 2004, Pr. Zumwalt moved with his family to Wilmington from Texas, where he served for 23 years as pastor of small, midsize, and large congregations.