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Löhe, Johann Konrad Wilhelm

(February 21, 1808–January 2, 1872). B. Fürth, near Nürnberg, Ger.; educ. Nürnberg, Erlangen, and Berlin; pastor Neuendettelsau 1837; mem. of the State Ch.; bore testimony against its rationalism and laxity and against state control of the ch.

Löhe responded to F. C. D. Wyneken's* appeals for help in support of Luth. ch. work in Am. He pub. a plea for workers 1841 and with J. F. Wucherer pub. a paper 1843 in behalf of America's need: Kirchliche Mittheilungen aus und über Nord-Amerika. He supported a theol. school for training emergency helpers (Nothelferseminar), est. 1846 at Fort Wayne, Indiana, with W. Sihler* at its head and 11 students enrolled, including C. H. R. Lange,* H. Wunder,* and C. J. A. Strasen.* The school opened in rented quarters; soon land and bldgs. were bought with money collected largely by Löhe and friends. see also Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, The, I; Teachers, 4.

On request of the Mo. Syn., Löhe turned the school over to it 1847 (see also Ministry, Education of, X F), though he did not fully agree with the Mo. Syn. const. on the doctrine of the ministry. Differences increased (to include the doctrine of the ch. and ownership of the teacher training school at Saginaw, Michigan; see also Grossmann, Georg Martin), intensified, and led to a break 1853 bet. Löhe and the Missouri Synod. Löhe and his followers taught the oneness of the visible and invisible ch., but distinguished bet. them, holding that there is a visible assem. of the called, within which is an invisible assem. of the elect (cf. Mt 22:14); these 2 assemblies are related much like body and soul; pure confession and faithfulness to Scripture are marks of that denomination which has the most truth or the complete truth, the church par excellence.

Contrary to the Mo. Syn., Löhe held that the office of the ministry is a divine institution in its own right and does not derive its right and authority from the local cong.; a cong. does not transfer its powers to bearers of the ministry but is simply the instrument of Christ for conferring the ministry; ch. governance is part of the office of the ministry. Löhe feared that C. F. W. Walther* and other Saxons placed too much power into the hands of the cong. and that chaos would result. After the split bet. Löhe and Walther, Löhe men in Am. founded the Iowa Syn. (see Iowa and Other States, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of).

In 1849 Löhe est. the Neuendettelsau* Miss. Soc.; in 1854 he est. a deaconess soc. in Bav. The Deaconess Home at Neuendettelsau opened 1854; chapel was added 1858–59, Rettungshaus 1862, Blödenanstalt 1864, Magdalenium 1865, hosp. for men 1867, hosp. for women 1869. Construction continued except during WW I and II, resulting in many bldgs., including old folks homes, a new and greatly expanded hosp., a secondary school (Augustana-Hochschule), a pub. house (Freimund-Verlag), and a sem. to train pastors for N. Am., Australia, New Guinea, and Brazil. Löhe missioners include E. A. Brauer,* J. G. Burger,* E. O. Clöter,* F. A. Crämer,* J. A. Detzer,* J. A. Ernst,* C. J. H. Fick,* A. G. G. Francke,* J. H. P. Graebner,* G. W. C. Hattstädt,* F. W. Husmann,* C. H. R. Lange,* F. J. C. Lochner,* C. A. W. Röbbelen,* J. A. Saupert,* J. M. G. Schaller,* G. E. C. F. Sievers,* W. Sihler,* W. S. Stubnatzy,* P. J. Trautmann,* C. L. A. Wolter,* H. Wunder.* See also Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, The, I 2.

Liturgical life of Lutheranism in Am. was greatly influenced by Löhe's Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses (1844; 2d enl. ed. 1853–59), esp. prepared for Luths. in N. Am. In the foreword to the 1st ed., directed to F. C. D. Wyneken, Löhe says that he examined ca. 200 old agendas (see Agenda) in search of best usage. The Order of Communion (also called Hauptgottesdienst, i. e., main service) contains specific and complete rubrics.* Also included among other things in Agende: orders for matins* and vespers*; preces for lauds,* vespers, prime, compline (see also Hours, Canonical); litany*; gen. prayers; orders for ordination and installation of pastors, for baptism, confirmation, confession and absolution, weddings, churching of women, communion of the sick, consecration of the dying. It was gradually supplanted by Kirchen-Agende issued 1856 by the Mo. Syn.

Other works include Einfältiger Beichtunterricht; Beicht- und Communion-Büchlein für evangelische Christen; Samenkörner des Gebetes, tr. H. A. Weller, Seed-Grains of Prayer; Haus-, Schul- und Kirchenbuch; Evangelien-Postille; Epistel-Postille; Martyrologium; Hausbedarf christlicher Gebete; Der Kleine Katechismus Dr. Martin Luthers, in Fragen und Antworten erklärt; Von der weiblichen Einfalt; Drei Bücher von der Kirche, tr. E. T. Horn,* Three Books Concerning the Church; Vom christlichen Hausgottesdienst; Erinnerungen aus der Reformationsgeschichte von Franken. FLP

J. Deinzer, Wilhelm Löhes Leben, 4th ed., 3 vols. in 2 (Neuendettelsau, 1935); T. Schäfer, Wilhelm Löhe (Gütersloh, 1909); H. Kressel, “Löhe als Künstler,” Allgemeine Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirehenzeitung, LX (1927), col. 1195–97; 1220–25; 1242–45, Wilhelm Löhe als Prediger (Gütersloh, 1929), Wilhelm Löhe als Liturg und Liturgiker (Neuendettelsau, 1952), and Wilhelm Löhe als Katechet und als Seelsorger (Neuendettelsau, 1955); S. Hebart, Wilhelm Löhes Lehre von der Kirche, ihrem Amt und Regiment (Neuendettelsau, 1939); Wilhelm Löhe: Gesammelte Werke, ed. K. Ganzert (Neuendettelsau, 1951–; vols. III–VII in 10 by 1966); E. H. Heintzen, “Wilhelm Loehe and the Missouri Synod, 1841–1853” (unpub. doctoral thesis, U. of Illinois, Urbana. 1964); J. L. Schaaf, “Wilhelm Löhe's Relation to the American Lutheran Church” (unpub. doctoral thesis, U. Heidelberg, Ger., 1962).

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

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