Recognizing the need for presenting the Luth. Ch. in its true light to people outside the ch., a group of laymen and pastors of the Mo. Syn. organized the ALPB on January 21, 1914, in the S. S. auditorium of Immanuel Luth. Ch., 88th and Lexington Ave., New York, New York.
The bureau promoted publicity for Luth. churches when publicity was because some frowned on, with assoc. it with screaming sermon topics pub. by sectarian ministers in daily papers and with much that was vulgar and in bad taste in the religious field. At that time the bureau showed ch. people how to carry on publicity in an effective, dignified way. Some of the earliest mediums of communication suggested were posters, road markers, special services, lectures, placement of books in pub. libraries, distribution of Gospel tracts, and pub. of important ch. events in local papers.
The bureau's first Gospel tracts appeared in 1914; in 1915 a resolution was adopted to sponsor a Nat. Luth. Publicity Week; early in 1916 a clipsheet was issued and mailed to newspapers and press agencies; the 1st issue of the American Lutheran appeared in January 1918.
J. F. E. Nickelsburg, engaged part time soon after the organizational meeting in 1914, became fulltime worker in 1916. Some founders and earliest officers: H. P. Eckhardt,* pres.; F. C. Lang, treas.; Paul Lindemann, ex. secy. An office was opened October 1, 1917, on E 62d St., New York. Two Luth. radio broadcasts were presented in July 1922 on the Westinghouse station, Newark, New Jersey.
In offering chs. plans for house-to-house canvassing and for distributing tracts and other invitations, the bureau became important contributory factor in larger outreach of ch.'s miss. work. The bureau was among first to recognize value of radio as means of proclaiming the Gospel. When many pastors were apprehensive of the effect of this new invention on ch. attendance, the bureau urged pastors to ask for radio time for services and sermons, for devotions and other means of teaching all nations.
The ALPB developed a gen. program marked by the slogan A Changeless Christ for a Changing World. Specific programs have included a pre-Lent and Lenten Sharing Christ plan, Nat. S. S. Week, a Spiritual Life Crusade, Year-Round Ch. Attendance Plan, Easter to Pentecost Ch. Attendance, a Reformation Month program, and distribution of tracts. Lutheran Forum continues The American Lutheran. TW
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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