The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has a long history of meeting the educational and spiritual needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and adults worldwide. The Michigan District has been a leader in this effort. Highlights include the renown Lutheran School for the Deaf in Detroit, and Our Savior Lutheran Church of the Deaf, one of the Synod's oldest congregations.
Educational and economic factors have changed the face of Deaf mission in the United States. The Detroit Lutheran School for the Deaf closed in the 1980's and many Deaf mission churches in Synod have lost funding. In order to continue bringing Christ to our Lord's Deaf children, the Michigan District of the LCMS urged the formation of the Ephphatha Lutheran Mission Society which incorporated in late 2003. With God's guidance and blessing, the Society seeks to bring Christ to the Deaf of the 21st Century, so that the words of Psalm 94:14 would be realized: "For the Lord will not forsake His people; He will not abandon His heritage."