Great joy as fledgling Myanmar church installs first bishop

On 6 January 2013, Anita Synnott and Glenice Hartwich participated in a historic occasion: the installation of the first bishop of the fledgling Myanmar Lutheran Church.

Rev Cr Andrew Mang Lone was installed by Rev Bishop Philip Lok of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia (LCM) during a worship service in Yangon, Myanmar. There was great significance in this, as the Malaysian and Myanmarese Lutherans have been on a journey together even before the birth of the Myanmar church.

The journey began when Rev Mang Lone was attending a Bible school training course in Malaysia, which was being conducted in the former church and headquarters of the LCM in Petaling Jaya. Pastor Mang Lone asked the principal of the Bible school if he would send someone to Myanmar to do some teaching and to support the establishment of a church there.

The principal asked Dr Philip Tan – part-time lecturer at the Bible school and pastor of the LCM – to take up this call. Dr Tan took this request to his bishop. The LCM prayed about this call ‘to come over to Myanmar and help us’, and so began an exciting journey of faith and mission.

Each year Dr Tan took teams to Myanmar to teach and encourage the new Christians in their faith.

On 1 March 1998 the Myanmar Lutheran Church was established with five people: Rev Lone, his wife Shalom and their three children, Miriam, Moses and Sarah.

Today the Myanmar church as 2501 members, 17 ordained pastors, 22 evangelists and multifaceted ministries. It boasts an orphanage, radio Bible ministry, riverbank ministry, healing ministry, student hostel ministry, organic farming project, Christian training program and a new church planting program.

‘The installation of the bishop and worship service were colourful expressions of God’s goodness and a picture of unity and the blessings that come as partners in the gospel work together for the glory of God and the extension of his kingdom’, Glenice said.

Myanmar pastor James San Aung, who was recently in Australia as a recipient of an LCA scholarship, was actively involved in the installation worship service and the organisation for the day’s festivities, including serving as a translator.

The LCA partners with the Lutheran churches in Myanmar through the Mekong Mission Forum (MMF), a consortium of Lutheran churches from Europe, US, Asia and Australia and the emerging churches of the Mekong region. The MMF actively works to support the spiritual development of the emerging Lutheran churches in the region. One way of doing this is through sound theological teaching.

On 7 January Anita and Glenice attended courses on Lutheran Distinctives taught by Rev Wolgang Grieninger and Dr Tan. These courses were being attended by pastors and evangelists from two of the four LWF member churches represented in Myanmar. ‘The LCA is privileged to partner in God’s mission in the world in this Mekong region together with others’, Glenice said.

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to

Read more stories about our partner churches in Myanmar at