The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), characterized as theologically conservative, is the third largest Lutheran church body in America.
With national offices in Wisconsin, WELS began in 1850 when three German pastors met in Milwaukee and agreed to work together to spread the Gospel
among German immigrants in the area. Today, it has grown to over 1,200 congregations in North America. 
It has over 400,000 baptized members, served by over 1,000 pastors.