Name adopted 1947 by the body of Luths. in Am. that had first been called Die Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio und andern Staaten, 1917 adopted the name Die Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio und andern Staaten (The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States), and was often called Missouri Synod or simply Missouri.
I. Löhe Men.
1. The Mo. Syn. was organized Chicago, Illinois, Monday, April 26, 1847. Three meetings preceded: Cleveland, Ohio, September 1845 (cf. par. I 2); St. Louis, Missouri, May 1846 (cf. par. II 6); Fort Wayne, Indiana, July 1846 (cf. par. III 1).
6. Löhe men helped organize the Mo. Syn. and were a strong element in its early hist. The 1st suggestion for a syn. including Saxons seems to have been made by J. A. Ernst* in a letter to C. F. W. Walther* early in 1845.
II. Saxons in Missouri.
1. Saxons under M. Stephan* the elder came to St. Louis and Perry Co., Missouri, 1839. Other pastors in the group: E. M. Bünger,* E. G. W. Keyl,* G. H. Löber,* C. F. W. Walther,* O. H. Walther.* Candidates included T. J. Brohm,* J. F. Bürger,* O. Fuerbringer,* C. L. Geyer,* J. J. Gönner,* G. A. Schieferdecker.* There were more than 600 persons on the 4 ships that arrived (Copernicus, Johann Georg, Republik, Olbers; ca. 57 were lost at sea with the Amalia). They were soon joined by a group from New York that had come to the US 1836 and by more than 100 from Saxe-Altenburg under T. C. F. Gruber.*
2. Within a few months after arrival in Missouri, Stephan was found guilty of moral turpitude and exiled. His views on ch. and ministry also raised questions regarding status of the immigrant congs., validity of the pastoral office in their midst, and efficacy of sacraments as administered among them.
4. Shortly after the Altenburg Debate, C. F. W. Walther became pastor of the St. Louis cong., which became the largest and dominant cong. among the Saxons. A log-cabin college was founded 1839 at Dresden, Perry Co., by J. F. Bünger, T. Brohm, O. Fuerbringer, and C. F. W. Walther; classes soon moved to Altenburg; became a preparatory school for pastors and a sem., with J. J. Gönner rector; see also Ministry, Education of, X E.
5. Under Walther's leadership the St. Louis cong. began pub. Der Lutheraner in September 1844, a medium of communication that brought the Saxons into contact with F. C. D. Wyneken* and Löhe men including W. Sihler and F. A. Crämer. The size and economic strength of this cong. contributed to the prominence it enjoyed.
6. The St. Louis cong. shared in preliminary drafting of the const. of the Mo. Syn. in the St. Louis meeting May 1846 (cf. par. I 1). Löhe men present: F. J. C. Lochner, W. Sihler, and J. A. Ernst. Saxons included C. F. W. Walther, O. Fuerbringer, J. F. Bünger, G. H. Löber, E. G. W. Keyl, T. C. F. Gruber.
See also Vehse, Carl Eduard.
III. Organization of the Mo. Syn.
1. The draft of the const. drawn up in St. Louis was discussed at a meeting in Fort Wayne in July 1846 (cf. par. I 1). 16 pastors and 5 candidates attended. Saxons included T. J. Brohm, G. H. Löber, C. F. W. Walther. Others included F. W. Husmann,* G. H. Jäbker,* and W. Sihler* from Indiana; J. G. Burger,* J. A. Detzer,* J. A. Ernst,* and P. J. Trautmann* from Ohio; F. A. Crämer* and G. W. C. Hättstadt* from Michigan; C. A. T. Selle* from Illinois The approved form of the const. was submitted to the congs. and pub. in Der Lutheraner, III, 1 (September 5, 1846).
2. The organization meeting was held Sunday, April 25Thursday, May 6, 1847, in Chicago. 19 pastors attended; 12 (11 present, 1 absent) became voting mems.; 10 (6 present, 4 absent) became advisory mems.; 2 did not join. C. F. W. Walther was elected pres., W. Sihler vice-pres., F. W. Husmann secy., F. W. Barthel* (a St. Louis layman) treas. C. J. H. Fick was elected miss. committee chm. Der Lutheraner became property and official organ of the syn., which elected a pub. committee; C. F. W. Walther continued as ed. Steps were taken with a view to acquiring the schools at Altenburg, Missouri (see par. II 4), and Fort Wayne, Indiana (see Löhe, Johann Konrad Wilhelm), and the Löhe miss. among Indians at Frankenmuth, Michigan (see Crämer, Friedrich August; Indians, Lutheran Missions to North American). C. H. F. Frincke* was appointed Besucher (visitor; traveling missionary) to look up Luth. settlers needing services of the ch. The syn. was divided into 6 pastoral conferences.
4. The syn. adopted as its confessional basis Holy Scripture of the OT and NT as the written Word of God and only rule and norm of faith and life, and all the Luth. confessions as the pure and unadulterated explanation and presentation of the divine Word.
6. Conducting missions, operating educ. institutions for preprofessional ch. workers, certifying pastors and teachers, expanding the syn. territories, publishing ch. periodicals, and carrying on relations with other ch. bodies were matters that belonged to syn.
7. Each cong. was allowed representation in conventions by pastor and elected lay delegate.
1. 1854 const. statement of reasons for forming a syn. organization: (1) The example of the apostolic church (Acts 15:131). (2) The Lord's will that the diversities of gifts be used for the common profit (1 Co 12:431). (3) The joint extension of the kingdom of God and the establishment and promotion of special church enterprises (seminary, agenda, hymnal, Book of Concord, schoolbooks, Bible distribution, missionary endeavors within and without the church, etc.). (4) The conservation and promotion of the unity of the pure confession (Eph 4:36; 1 Co 1:10) and the common defense against schism and sectarianism. (Ro 16:17). (5) The protection and maintenance of the rights and duties of pastors and congregations. (6) The establishment of the largest possible uniformity in church government. (Cf. Moving Frontiers, ed. C. S. Meyer [St. Louis, 19641, p. 149)
Syn. was divided into 4 geog. and administrative districts. The dist. pres. was given some functions originally assigned to the syn. pres., esp. that of visiting individual congs. The districts were charged with direct responsibility of maintaining correct doctrine and acceptable practices; overall supervision of doctrine and practice still belonged to the syn. pres. See also Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, Districts of The, A.
2. After 1854 the syn. conv. pattern was no longer annual but triennial. The districts met in each of the intervening yrs., and concurrently with the gen. conv. as necessary. Greater participation in gen. ch. matters and better administrative procedures were hoped for as results of the change.
3. Needs of spiritually neglected Luths. in its territory were made concerns of each dist. Conditions were specified under which a dist. could supply a pastor for a mixed cong., i. e., one consisting of Luths., Ref., and so-called Evangelicals or United (Ger. Uniert). (1854 Const., V A 1011)
4. The 1854 const. continued arrangements for bds. of control of the 2 institutions of higher learning, 1 bd. of electors for choosing professors at these schools, and 2 examining commissions for colloquizing ministerial candidates not trained by the 2 schools.
5. Relation bet. syn. and mem. congs. was defined: Synod is in respect to the self-government [Selbstregierung] of the individual congregations only an advisory body. Therefore no resolution of the former, when it imposes anything upon the individual congregation as a synodical resolution, has binding force for the latter.Such a synodical resolution has binding force only when the individual congregation through a formal congregational resolution has voluntarily adopted and confirmed it.Should a congregation find a synodical resolution not in conformity with the Word of God or unsuited for its circumstances, it has the right to disregard, that is, to reject it. (1854 Const., Chap. IV A 9; Moving Frontiers, p. 151)
V. Planting, 184787.
2. This period was dominated by the personality of Walther, syn. pres. 184750, 186478. The Gesamtgemeinde (whole parish) in St. Louis, of which Walther was chief pastor, grew to 4 congs. (Trinity 1839, Immanuel 1847, Holy Cross 1858, Zion 1860) and was the most influential parish in synod. Conc. Sem. moved to St. Louis 1849. Walther was its pres. 185487. He ed. Der Lutheraner 184465; ed. Lehre und Wehre (professional journal for pastors) from its beginning 1855 to 1860, coed. 186164. He was the outstanding preacher, writer, and theol. in the synod. F. C. D. Wyneken, syn. pres. 185064, was primarily concerned with planting new congs. During his tenure the syn. divided into 4 districts (see IV 13). See also Stephan, Martin, Jr.
3. In 1872 the syn. adopted the delegate pattern, acc. to which congs. in groups of 27 elected a pastor and a layman to represent them at the triennial conv.; the 1st delegate syn. met 1874. Growth continued. H. C. Schwan* was syn. pres. 187899.
5. Many parochial schools, often taught by a pastor, were est. Esp. in large cities they attracted many non-Luths., usually Ger. The syn. produced textbooks. Part-time agencies (e.g., summer schools; Saturday schools) were also used. Instruction before confirmation* and Communion was emphasized (see also Catechetics, 11).
6. A private teachers' sem. opened Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1855 by F. J. C. Lochner,* P. Fleischmann,* et al. In 1857 the syn. adopted it and moved it to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and united it with the theol. sem. there (see Löhe, Johann Konrad Wilhelm). In 1864 it moved to Addison, Illinois; to River Forest, Illinois, 1913; 1915 charter name: Conc. Teachers Coll.; name change 1979 to Conc. Coll.; became Conc. U. January 1. 1990. See also Concordia University System; Ministry, Education of, VIII B; Stephan, Martin, Jr.
7. The Ft. Wayne theol. sem. moved to Saint Louis 1861, to Springfield, Illinois, 1875, to Ft. Wayne 1976. The Gymnasium conducted in conjunction with the St. Louis sem. (see Ministry, Education of, VI C; X E) moved to Ft. Wayne 1861. In 1881 preparatory schools were begun in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and NYC The NYC school moved to Hawthorne (other names: Sherman Park, Unionville, Neperan), New York 1894, to Bronxville, New York, 190810. The Milwaukee school came under the control of the Mo. Syn. 1887, the Bronxville school 1896. In 1896 the syn. also assumed control of St. Paul's Coll., begun 1884 in Concordia, Missouri See also Ministry, Education of, VIII B, C 2.
10. Efforts were directed also toward work in English. A. F. T. Biewend and C. H. R. Lange* lectured in English. The Eng. Ev. Luth. Conf. of Missouri was organized 1872, reorganized 1888, renamed 1891 The Eng. Ev. Luth. Syn. of Missouri* and Other States, became the Eng. Dist. of the Mo. Syn. 1911 (see Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, Districts of The, A 26).
11. Syn. and dist. convs., the twice-yearly pastoral conferences, and more frequent smaller conferences gave doctrinal discussions priority. Walther's writings were largely doctrinal; his work on pastoral theol., e.g., was grounded in systematic theol. Doctrinal preaching was emphasized. Ch. periodicals featured doctrinal articles. C. Löber,* Evangelisch-Lutherische Dogmatik, and Walther's ed. of J. W. Baier,* Compendium, were widely used. C. F. (W.) Hochstetter,* Die Geschichte der Evangelisch-lutherischen Missouri-Synode in Nord-Amerika, und ihrer Lehrkämpfe, told chiefly about doctrinal controversies.
12. Beginning 1840 the Saxon theologians differed with J. A. A. Grabau* esp. on the doctrine of the ministry (see also Buffalo Synod, 25). Difference regarding ch. and ministry led to a break 1853 bet. the Mo. Syn. and Löhe and to controversy with the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Iowa* and Other States. Most severe was the Predestinarian* Controversy (see also VI 1). Polemics against W. Nast,* a Ger. Meth., were sustained.
13. Because of the movement known as American* Lutheranism, Walther issued a call for free* Luth. confs. Four were held: Columbus, Ohio, 1856; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1857; Cleveland, Ohio, 1858; Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1859.
14. Fraternal relations were est. 1857 with The Norw. Ev. Luth. Ch. in Am. (see Evangelical Lutheran Church, The, 8) on the latter's initiative. P. L. Larsen* taught at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 185961. Norw. students attended the St. Louis sem.
15. A colloquy was held with the Buffalo* Syn. 1866 (see Buffalo Colloquy). The Mo. Syn. was represented 1866 at the Reading, Pennsylvania, conv. which preceded organization of the General* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in (N) Am.; it did not join the Gen. Council. A colloquy was held 1868 with the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Ohio* and Other States, on the latter's initiative, at Columbus, Ohio; it led to fellowship 1872. Agreement was reached with the Wisconsin* Syn. 1869, the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Illinois* 1872. See also Synodical Conference, 1.
VI. Conservation, 18871932.
1. The Syn. Conf. suffered severe losses as result of the predestinarian* controversy; the Ohio Syn. withdrew in bitter opposition to the Mo. Syn.; the Norw. Syn. withdrew to preserve its unity and for language reasons but remained in fellowship with the syns. of the Syn. Conf. The controversy seems to have made the Mo. Syn. even more concerned about correct doctrine and wary of entangling alliances. After Walther's death 1887 this concern and wariness became dominant.
3. As a result of immigration, settlement, and expansion the Am. Frontier practically vanished 1890. In an endeavor to keep pace, the ch. used circuit riders. 18841935 the Mo. Syn. grew from 348,182 to 1,288,950 bap. mems., faster than the pop. growth rate to ca. 1900 and ca. the same as the pop. growth rate 190035.
4. Cultural isolation is reflected in the synod's stand on economic and soc. questions. Life insurance, dancing, and the theater were condemned. Pol. quietism, a rural outlook, and fear of defections became evident. Transition from Ger. to Eng. was resisted by many in fear that surrender to Eng. would mean sacrifice of doctrinal integrity. The language question was settled largely as a result of WW I. The war caused conflict in some communities, hostility against Ger. Luths., destruction of property, and bodily harm. See also Language Question in the Lutheran Church [US].
5. Legislation against parochial schools was successfully resisted in the late 1880s and early 1890s esp. in Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, and Man., Can., and 192025 in Nebraska, Michigan, and Oregon
6. School enrollments increased but did not keep pace with ch. membership growth. By 1900 attempts were made to raise scholastic standards; in many schools the school week was increased from 4 to 5 days; instructional materials were improved. A. C. Stellhorn* was Secy. of Schools 192160. Dist. supts. were appointed; the first: for N Illinois 1918, Cen. 1918, Michigan. 1919. Conc. Teachers Coll., Seward, Nebraska, was founded 1894 as a preparatory dept. for the school at Addison, Illinois (see V 6).
7. The S. S. movement gained momentum in the syn. ca. 1910. First S. S. materials issued by CPH 1911. By 1935 enrollment was over 250,000. Other part-time agencies included Saturday schools, summer schools, and VBS (see also Christian Education, E 9). Walther* Coll., St. Louis, was founded 1887. Secondary schools were begun in Milwaukee 1903, Chicago 1909. Fort Wayne 1916. Ministerial preparatory schools were est. in St. Paul, Minnesota, 1893; Winfield, Kansas, 1893; Portland. Oregon, 1905; Oakland, California, 1906; Edmonton, Alberta, Can., 1921; Austin, Texas, 1926. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, was relocated 1926 on a new campus in Clayton, Missouri An institute for training pastors and teachers was est. 1903 at Bom Jesus, Sâo Lourenço, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (see also Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, Districts of The, B 1). In 1924 a sem. opened at Nagercoil and a Gospel Training School and a Bible Women's Training School at Ambur, India; a teacher training school opened at Ambur 1926.
10. The period also saw considerable activity on the part of welfare and benevolent socs. The Am. Luth. Bd. for Relief in Eur. was appointed 1919. Miss. and charitable activities of the syn. show that it was not wholly isolationist.
In relations with other chs. the syn. seemed to stand aloof. It maintained fellowship with syns. of the Syn. Conf. (despite friction with the Wisconsin Syn.) and with the Norw. Syn. but made no move to unite with other Luths.
11. Free* Luth. conferences were held in the early 1900s in an endeavor to heal the rift in the Syn. Conf. caused by the predestinarian* controversy of the 1880s. In 1917 the Mo. Syn. created an Intersyn. Committee which met with representatives of me Wisconsin, Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio syns. The Chicago* Theses (Intersyn.) were adopted 1925 by representatives of the Buffalo, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin syns., but the Mo. Syn. did not adopt them. The 1929 Mo. Syn. conv. authorized drafting another set of theses; this led to the 1932 Brief* Statement.
VII. Expansion, 1932 . 1. Characterized by rapid growth, expansion of Christian educ., miss. outreach, greater lay activity, active efforts toward Luth. union, doctrinal tensions, and increase in syn. centralization and in administration.
3. With an increase in dists., administrative functions and full-time ex. positions increased (e.g., full-time dist. presidents and ex. secretaries of educ., miss., evangelism, and stewardship, or combinations of some of these).
4. On the syn. level, bds. and executives were added. In 1959 the office of ex. dir. was est. The 1st vice-presidency became a full-time office 1950. The Bd. of Christian Educ. (see VI, 12) was renamed The Bd. for Parish Educ. 1944, Bd. of Parish Educ. 1959, Bd. for Parish Services 1981.
6. Conc. Pub. House (see Publication Houses, Lutheran) was expanded from time to time. KFUO (see Radio Stations, Religious, 3) has provided program materials for stations in the US and abroad. This Is the Life TV programs have been produced since 1952 (see Radio and Television Evangelism, Network). Conc. Hist. Institute (see Archives) was designated as the Dept. of Archives and Hist. of LCMS 1959. A Dept. of Pub. Relations was created in 1947.
7. Auxiliary agencies in or related to syn. included (1) The Walther League (see Young People's Organizations, Christian, II 3); (2) The Luth. Deaconess Assoc. (see Deaconesses, 914); (3) International Lutheran* Laymen's League; (4) Lutheran* Women's Missionary League; (5) Society* for the Promotion of Mohammedan Missions; (6) Lutheran* Med. Miss. Assoc.; (7) Lutheran* Educ. Assoc.; (8) Nat. Luth. Parent-Teacher League (see Parish Education, J).
12. Concordia* Sr. Coll., Ft. Wayne, Indiana, dedicated 1958, was phased out 197677, Conc. Coll., Ann Arbor, Michigan, was founded 1963. (See also Concordia University System.) Christ Coll. Irvine Irvine, California, opened 1976. Entrance requirements at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri, were raised in the late 1950s to include a BA degree or its equivalent.
13. During the 1930s Great Depression the sems. produced more candidates than could be placed in ch. work. During WW II the syn. helped supply military chaplains. For. miss. expansion, a trend toward earlier retirement and est. of new congs. led to manpower shortage.
14. More extensive expansion followed WW II. New miss. fields included the Philippines 1946, Jap. and New Guinea 1948, Hong Kong 1950, Taiwan 1951, Venezuela 1951, Korea 1958, the Middle East 1959. Work in India (see VI 78) expanded (see also India, 13). A Bible institute at Tokyo, Jap., became a theol. school 1953. Sem. classes began 1952 in Taipei, Taiwan. A sem. est. 1955 in the Philippines at Manila moved to Baguio City 1960. A sem. was est. at Hong Kong 1959. The miss. program included elementary and secondary schools and various part-time agencies. Bible correspondence courses became prominent in for. miss. fields after the middle of the 20th c. Medical missions were fostered in India at Bethesda Hosp., Ambur (opened 1923), Malappuram (work begun 1955; dispensary [child welfare center] opened 1956), Wandoor (dispensary opened 1952; later became a hosp.), and elsewhere; in New Guinea at the Mambisanda Hosp. and related clinics; in the Philippines; in Afr. at Eket, Nigeria. In 1970 the LCMS was active in 11 for. fields. See also Middle East Lutheran Ministry.
15. H. F. Wind* was appointed ex. secy. of the dept. of soc. welfare 1953. Cooperation in externals led to est. of Luth. welfare councils, feds., and assocs. in NYC, Chicago, Ohio, Washington state, and elsewhere. The Armed Services Commission (called Armed Forces Commission beginning 1965) cooperated with the National* Luth. Council in maintaining service centers for military personnel.
16. Notable doctrinal statements include A Statement* and Common* Confession. Doctrinal controversies may broadly be said to have revolved around the question of fellowship. Problems in the area of Biblical studies became prominent after the middle of the 20th c.
17. A Committee on Luth. Ch. Union was created 1935. In 1938 the syn. resolved to declare that the Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod, together with the Declaration of the representatives of the American Lutheran Church and the provisions of this entire report of Committee No. 16 now being read and with Synod's actions thereupon, be regarded as the doctrinal basis for future church-fellowship between the Missouri Synod and the American Lutheran Church (1938 LCMS Proceedings, p. 231). The 1940 Pittsburgh* Agreement was regarded as inadequate in its statement on Scripture. The Common* Confession was recognized as a statement in harmony with the Sacred Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions but was not adopted as a functioning basic document toward the establishment of altar and pulpit fellowship with other church bodies (1956 LCMS Proceedings, p. 505). Realignment of Luth. bodies, esp. formation of The ALC 1960 and the LCA 1962 arrested the union movement.
VIII. In 1965 LCMS resolved to approve the proposed const. of the Lutheran* Council in the USA and became a participating body in that agency. In 1969 LCMS entered altar and pulpit fellowship with The ALC The 1970s brought internal strife and dissension. The 1977 conv. resolved syn. to be in a state of fellowship in protest with The ALC; the 1981 conv. terminated the fellowship.
IX. Pres.: C. F. W. Walther 184750, 186478; F. C. D. Wyneken 185064; H. C. Schwan 187899; F. A. O. Pieper 18991911; F. Pfotenhauer 191135; J. W. Behnken* 193562; O. R. Harms* 196269; Jacob A. O. Preus 196981; Ralph A. Bohlmann 19811992; Alvin L. Barry 1992
W. O. Forster, Zion on the Mississippi (St. Louis, 1953); K. E. Marquart, Anatomy of an Explosion (Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 1977); C. S. Meyer, Log Cabin to Luther Tower (St. Louis, 1965); Moving Frontiers, ed. C. S. Meyer (St. Louis, 1964); C. S. Mundinger, Government in the Missouri Synod (St. Louis, 1947); C. E. Vehse, Die Stephan'sche Auswanderung nach Amerika (Dresden, 1840), tr. R. Fiehler, The Stephanite Emigration to America (Tucson, Arizona, 1975).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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