Our History


A group of International faithful in Denmark had a vision of an American Lutheran congregation in Denmark in the late 1950’s to minister to the large number of Americans who had moved here due to their employment with international companies. The director of the Division of Service and Mission of the American Lutheran Church initiated contact with the Bishop of Copenhagen who expressed interest and promised the assistance of the Danish Church.

Under the leadership of Pastor William J. Hanson, the first service was held on November 5, 1961 in the parish house of the Church of the Holy Ghost on Strøget in the center of Copenhagen with 55 people in attendance. The congregation was formally organized on April 15, 1962 and the charter membership included forty three adults, nineteen of whom were from a Lutheran background. The first Church Council was elected and Sunday school activity began immediately.

Reflecting over the beginnings of ICC, founding pastor William J. Hanson writes, “Remembering those years, the congregation was as close as one could come to what heaven may be like. The fellowship is international, intercultural, interracial, and interdenominational but focused on Jesus Christ. That is a glimpse of heaven. Celebrate it, live it, share what you have and are.”

We draw strength and purpose from our diversity. We are a community of faith built on love, understanding, acceptance and tolerance of differences. We find great strength in our diversity and the opportunity to unite in our celebration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our professed faith in the Triune God. ICC members come from over 25 nations and many Christian denominations.

St. Andreas

ICC has enjoyed many houses of worship since it’s beginning. Our current home is at St. Andreas Church, located at Gothersgade 148. We are grateful for the generous spirit the St. Andreas community has offered us and look forward to our continued cooperation.

The Church House

Since 1963, ICC’s parsonage has been located at Gjørlingsvej 10 in Hellerup, which has served as the home of our pastors and their families ever since. The Church House also provides a space for the church offices and meeting space for our Bible studies, choir practices, committee meetings, Church Council meetings and social gatherings. The Church House is the center of congregational activity outside of Sunday morning worship.

From Lutheran to International and Ecumenical

The congregational ties to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continue to be an important part of our identity. However, the focus of ICC ministry has grown to include English speaking people of many different denominations. In order to identify more closely with this broadened ecumenical ministry, the name of our Church was changed to the International Church of Copenhagen in 1985.