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Michigan Synod.

1. Swabian immigrants settled 1830 in Washtenaw Co., Michigan They asked the Basel* Miss. Soc. for a pastor. F. Schmid(t)* was sent to them 1833. He est. ca. 20 congs. and helped found the 1st Luth. syn. in Michigan (called Missionary Syn. of the West, to indicate its interest in missions) 1840. It sent 3 miss. to Ojibwa at Sebewaing, Michigan, in the mid-1840s. J. K. W. Löhe* put his Indian missions under supervision of the syn. on Schmid(t)'s pledge that confessional Lutheranism would prevail. Löhe men G. W. C. Hattstädt,* P. J. Trautmann,* F. J. C. Lochner,* and F. A. Crämer* joined the syn. They soon realized that Schmid(t)'s pledge was a paper promise and left the syn. 1846. The syn. disbanded. Schmid(t) joined the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Ohio* and Other States, but soon became indep., served congs, in S Michigan, trained some men himself, received some from Basel, and by 1860 was ready for a 2d venture in organizing a syn.

2. S. Klingmann* and C. L. Eberhardt* came to Michigan from Basel 1860 and the 2d Michigan Syn. (“Ev. Luth. Synode von Michigan und andern Staaten”) was organized Detroit December 1860 with 8 pastors and 3 delegates. Schmid(t) was its pres. Klingmann and Eberhardt were leaders in successfully insisting that the confessional statement of the syn. be soundly Luth.; but practice in syn. began to diverge as miss. fields and manpower grew. Many pastors (some volunteers, some from Basel) were unionists; some withdrew with their congs. Those who remained in the syn. often lent financial support to the Basel Miss. Soc., to the eventual detriment of the Michigan Syn.

3. The Michigan Syn. joined the General* Council of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in (N.) Am. 1867 but persistently protested the Four* Points. The syn., represented by Klingmann, was put off from one meeting to the next, yet remained hopeful. When the Gen. Council met 1884 in Monroe, Michigan, 2 Eng. pastors of the Gen. Council preached in a Presb. Church. A protest by the Michigan Syn. delegates was tabled and evaded; protests in 1885 and 1886 were also discounted. The Michigan Syn. sent no delegates to the 1887 Gen. Council conv. and withdrew from the Gen. Council 1888.

4. The Michigan Syn. had drawn pastors from various sources (e.g., Basel, St. Chrischona,* Hermannsburg* Mississippi, Kropp* Sem.). A theol. sem. was est. 1885 at Manchester with 6 students, moved to Saginaw 1887 (see also Hoyer, Otto Daniel August), discontinued 1907, reopened 1909/10, when it was est. as a high school (Progymnasium) by the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States (see Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod); called Michigan Luth. Sem.

The Michigan Syn. joined the Synodical* Conf. and united with the Wisconsin* Syn. and the Minnesota* Syn. to form the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States 1892. The agreement with the other syns. required that the sem. be discontinued, but in 1895 the Michigan Dist. Syn. resolved to continue the sem. for those already enrolled. A minority lodged a successful protest against this resolution with the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States. This minority (10 pastors) was excluded by the Michigan Dist. 1896, organized the Ev. Luth. Dist. Syn. of Michigan, and remained part of the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States and of the Syn. Conf.; the majority, on the other hand, withdrew 1896 from the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States and from the Syn. Conf., joined the Augsburg* Syn. 1897 on a doctrinally shaky basis in a joint-syn., 2 dist. arrangement which dissolved 1900.

5. New leaders arose. Conferences with the Mo. Syn. (1904) and the Ev. Luth. Dist. Syn. of Michigan (1906) led to reconciliation. In 1909 the Michigan Syn. reunited with the Ev. Luth. Dist. Syn. of Michigan and rejoined the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Other States.

6. Official organ: Evangelisch-Lutherischer Synodal-Freund.

For further hist. see Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. 3.

3. Kurzgefasste Geschichte der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Synode von Michigan u. a. St. (Saginaw, Michigan, [1910?]).

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

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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