What are Lutherans?

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person-questions, complexities and all. Join us as we  do God's work in Christ's name for the life of the world.

  • We are saved by the Grace of God-not by our works.
  • Our salvation is through faith alone
  • The Bible is the norm for faith and life

It started with a guy in Germany that questioned, and then wanted to debate, the teachings of the day. What started as a debate, soon led to the Protestant Reformation. And later to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Visit an ELCA congregation near you. Click here to find congregations.

Here is a great article in Living Lutheran about Eben Ezer Lutheran Church's Jennifer Kirby: https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/05/im-a-lutheran-jennifer-kirby/

Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod: Boldly Sharing God's Grace with Everyone!

A synod is typically a geographical grouping of congregations. Some synods are geographically big, like the two states of Arkansas and Oklahoma, some are smaller like the Minneapolis Synod. Each synod has a bishop. The Arkansas-Oklahoma synod bishop is Rev. Mike Girlinghouse. The synod office is in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Go to the Connect tab for address, phone and email information for the synod office.

Ministries boldly sharing god's grace

with everyone!

There are many congregations or ministries in the AR-OK Synod. There are churches that are over 100 years old with beautiful stained glass and organs that will fill the sanctuary with glorious music. There are some that meet in a store front with music that will please a more modern ear. We have a congregation in Tulsa that holds its services in Spanish. One group meets twice a month in a pub for group discussion and a dinner church that meets weekly in a different restaurant, see video below. Wherever you go, the message of God's abundant love and radical grace is there for you! If you would like to find a congregation near you, contact the synod office at 918-492-4288.


Meet the Soup Sisters in Bull Shoals, Arkansas: https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/07/christs-love-served-one-bowl-at-a-time/

Meet Jennifer Kirby, Eben Ezer Lutheran Church, in the "I'm a Lutheran" article:  https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/05/im-a-lutheran-jennifer-kirby/

Ar-OK Synod Staff

Located at 4803 S Lewis in Tulsa, OK, the AR-OK office welcomes you to visit or call 918-492-4288

  • Rev. Michael Girlinghouse

    Bishop,  AR-OK

    Rev. Michael Girlinghouse
    Bishop, AR-OK
    Rev. Mike Girlinghouse has served as Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod since July of 2011. Prior to being called to serve as Bishop, he was Pastor of University Lutheran Church in Norman, OK and Campus Pastor for the University of Oklahoma. Bishop Mike served most of his ministry in and around college and university campuses. In addition to serving at the University of Oklahoma, he also served as Campus Pastor to the University of South Dakota in Vermilion, SD and Wayne St College in Wayne, NE. Bishop Mike also served as Associate Pastor at Mount Zion in Wauwatosa,WI and Redeemer Lutheran Church in Wayne, NE.
    Bishop Mike was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, attended college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN and seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
    He is married and has one daughter that graduated from Texas Lutheran University and is attending graduate school.
    Email: bishopmike@arokoffice.org

  • rev elizabeth albertson

    DEM / Assistant to the Bishop for Youth & Family

    Pastor Liz joined the AR-OK Synod Staff October 2015. Her role is to help congregation and ministries thrive. Pr Liz grew up in Oelwein, Iowa, and was a graduate of Wartburg College and Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. From 2000 to 2002, she was a member of Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Milwaukee, serving at Hope House homeless shelter. Pr Liz served 9 years as pastor of North Beaver Creek Lutheran, rural Ettrick, WI. Pr Liz also served as Dean of her conference in Wisconsin.

    Email: liz.albertson@elca.org

  • Ida mcallister

    Bookkeeper Extraordinaire 

    Ida is the former Office Manager for the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod. After 17 years of faithful service to the synod, Ida has chosen to "mostly retire" by staying on staff as very part time, doing the bookkeeping.
    Email: ida@arokoffice.org

  • rev carl hoffman

    Call Process Administrator

    Pastor Carl Hoffman joined the synod staff to help expedite the call process.  He lives in Arkansas still, but visits with Bishop Mike weekly via phone and comes to the Tulsa office at least once a month for meetings.  Pastor Carl and wife Connie enjoy exploring the roads in their RV and restoring a 1968 convertible VW Beetle.
    Email: carlhoffman7@gmail.com

AR-OK Synod Council

Executive Committee:

Bishop Mike Girlinghouse Email: bishopmike@arokoffice.org

Holly Lantagne- Vice President

Kent Butcher- Treasurer

Rev Jenny Pratt- Interim Secretary

Ministry Team Leaders:

Rev Lynne O'Shea- Discipleship

Deacon Shannon Johnson- Leadership

Jona Burnett- Youth/Young Adult

Lance Miller: Outreach

Penny Budzien- Women's Organization Representative

Rev Joe Summerville- Ecumenical Representative

Rev Peter Olson- Dean's Representative

Cluster Coordinators:

Pat Garling- Cluster 1

Dorothy Klein- Cluster 2&3

Molly Kyler- Cluster 4

Lisa Milzarek- Cluster 5

Vince Indelicato- Cluster 6

Shari Marshall- Cluster 7

Jackie Wilson- Cluster 8