In 1982, the congregations in the Brenham Conference of the American Lutheran Church founded the Brenham Conference Mission Society with the goal of raising and giving away $1 million to support new mission and innovative ministries throughout Texas and Louisiana. In 1988, when the American Lutheran Church merged with other Lutheran church bodies to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the name of the Society was changed to the Brenham Mission Society.
In 2014, the Brenham Mission Society accomplished its goal of raising and giving away $1 million! Afterward, significant conversation took place concerning the future of the Society. In consultation with leaders from the TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod, the Brenham Mission Society chose to refocus its purpose as an endowment fund for the purpose of supporting mission and ministries in rural and small town areas in Texas and Louisiana. The name was changed to Town & Country Mission Society.
Nearly 48% of all ELCA congregations are located in open country or small towns with fewer than 10,000 people.
The purpose of Town & Country Mission Society is to financially support God’s mission in small towns and rural areas throughout the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA. This includes, but is not limited to, new missions and ministries, redevelopment and revitalization efforts, justice and advocacy work, and shared ministries.
The Town and Country Church Institute (TCCI) at United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg defines town and country as open rural areas and small towns with populations of 10,000 or fewer. Town & Country Mission Society prioritizes ministries located within these areas, but will also consider ministries located in small cities (populations of fewer than 100,000).
Town & Country Mission Society is governed by a Board of Directors. Members of the Board include congregational and synod lay leaders, deacons and pastors who are committed to the values and goals of the Society. The Bylaws define how the Board is organized, as well as its responsibilities and authority.