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Iowa and Other States, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of.

1. Organized August 24, 1854, at St. Sebald (named after the patron saint of Nürnberg, Ger.), near Strawberry Point, Clayton Co., Iowa, ca. 45 mi. WNW of Dubuque, by G. M. Grossmann,* J. Deindorfer,* C. S. Fritschel,* and Michael Schüller (ordained at the meeting). Grossmann was made pres., Fritschel secy. There was no formal constitution till 1864, when the name “Die deutsche ev. luth. Synode von Iowa” was used. At the request of J. A. A. Grabau,* who visited Dubuque 1855, the syn. took charge of Buffalo* Syn. congs. in Wisconsin. Iowa Syn. pastors went to serve Buffalo Syn. congs. in Detroit, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, and joined the Buffalo Syn. Beginning 1858, doctrinal tensions developed bet. the Iowa and Buffalo Syns., esp. regarding chiliasm (see Millennialism).

2. The Iowa Syn. was in a strategic position to meet the spiritual needs of Luth. immigrants who poured into the NW in 2d half of 19th c. Its home missionaries were scattered bet. the Alleghenies and the Pacific Coast. It also attempted several missions to Indians in the NW The larger part of the Texas Syn. (see United Lutheran Church in America, The, Synods of, 28) joined the Iowa Syn. 1896 as a district. See also Lutheran Foreign Mission Endeavors in the United States, Early, 5.

3. For the hist. of Wartburg Theol. Sem. see Ministry, Education of, K R. A normal school opened 1878 at Andrew, Iowa, moved 1879 to Wavefly, combined 1885 at Waverly with the coll. that had opened 1854, connected with the theol. sem. at Dubuque and St. Sebald, was separately est. 1868 at Galena, Illinois, and had been maintained since 1875 in connection with the sem. at Mendota. The coll. moved 1894 to Clinton, Iowa, and combined 1935 with jr. colls. of the former Ohio and Iowa Syns. to form Wartburg Coll., Waverly. The Iowa Syn. operated Wartburg Pub. House, Chicago, Illinois (later absorbed by Wartburg Press, Columbus, Ohio, which in turn was absorbed by Augsburg Pub. House, Minneapolis, Minnesota). Publications included Kirchen-Blatt and Kirchliche Zeitschrift.

4. Leading men of the Iowa Syn. included the Fritschels,* G. M. Grossmann,* J. A. Deindörfer,* F. Richter,* and J. M. Reu.*

5. By 1930 the Iowa Syn. had 654 pastors, 934 congs., 216,000 mems.

6. During its entire hist. the Iowa Syn. was involved in controversy with the Mo. Syn. See Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, The, V 12; Sunday; Walther, Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm, 5.

7. When intersyn. confs. 1903–07 failed to solve differences on predestination and conversion, the Iowa Syn. suggested gen. and open confs. for discussion of points at issue. See also Chicago Theses (Intersynodical Theses; Theses for Union).

8. After disruption of the Gen. Syn. 1866 (see General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America, The, 4), the Iowa Syn. took part in meetings that led to founding of the Gener al* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in (N) Am., approved that body's doctrinal basis, but did not join because it regarded the Gen. Council's answer on the Four* Points unsatisfactory. Iowa maintained friendly relations with the Council until 1917 and was represented in an advisory capacity at its meetings. See also Klindworth, John; Schieferdecker, Georg Albert.

9. A private conf. was arranged 1883 bet. leaders of the Iowa Syn. and those of the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Ohio* and Adjacent States. The Ohio Syn. initiated action 1886 for discussion with the Iowa Syn. on an official level. Resultant theses drawn up 1893 by representatives of both syns. in Michigan City, Indiana, proved inconclusive. The Toledo* Theses were drawn up by representatives of both syns. 1907, adopted by the Iowa Syn. 1907, by the Ohio Syn. 1914. The Iowa Syn. helped organize the National* Lutheran Council 1918, the American* Lutheran Church 1930.

See also Davenport Theses; Madison Theses; Michigan City Theses.

J. Deindörfer, Geschichte der Evangel.-Luth. Synode von Iowa and anderen Staaten (Chicago, 1897); G. J. Fritschet, Quellen und Dokumente zur Geschichte und Lehrstellung der ev.-luth. Synode von Iowa u. a. Staaten (Chicago, n. d.) and Aus den Tagen der Väter (Chicago, 1930); G. J. Zeilinger, A Missionary Synod with a Mission: A Memoir for the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States (Chicago, 1929); S. Fritschel, “The German Iowa Synod,” Lutheran Church in the United States, 4th ed., rev. and enlarged (Philadelphia, 1914), pp. 69–92; F. W. Meuser, The Formation of the American Lutheran Church (Columbus, Ohio, 1958).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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