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Publication Houses, Lutheran.

By the time M. Luther* posted his 95 Theses* 1517 (see Christian Church, History of the, III 1) printing was widespread; Luther made extensive use of it. See also Gutenberg, Johann(es).

In the US, Luth. immigrants immediately printed periodicals and other literature, some before organizing into ch. bodies. Luth. pub. houses in Am. include:

Augsburg Publishing House. Minneapolis, Minnesota Beginning traced to 1873, when a periodical committee was elected by the Conference (see Norwegian-Danish Augustana Synod in America, The). In 1890 the Conf., helped form The United* Norw. Luth. Ch. in Am., which est. Augsburg Pub. House 1891. The business changed quarters several times.

When The Norw. Luth. Ch. of Am. was formed 1917, Augsburg Pub. House absorbed the pub. business of Hauge's Norw. Ev. Luth. Syn. in Am. (see Eielsen Synod) and the Norw. Syn. (see Evangelical Lutheran Church, The, 8–13); The Norw. Luth. Ch. of Am. changed name to The Ev. Luth. Ch. 1946. A new bldg. was erected 1953 for gen. offices and some production operations.

When the ELC, ALC, and UELC formed The ALC 1960/61, the pub. operations of the 3 uniting bodies (Augsburg Pub. House, Minneapolis; Lutheran Pub. House, Blair, Nebraska [UELC]; Wartburg Press, Columbus, Ohio [ALC]) were merged under the Bd. of Publication of The ALC, with the name Augsburg Pub. House. Main offices were est. Minneapolis, branch offices Columbus, Ohio; Omaha, Nebraska; Seattle, Washington; Calgary, Alta., Can. The Messenger Press (see below) of the LFC, which merged with The ALC 1963, was inc. into Augsburg Pub. House.

Augustana Book Concern. Publishing activities of the Augustana Syn. began 1851 when L. P. Esbjörn* issued a tract for immigrants. T. N. Hasselquist* set up a printing press in his home in Galesburg, Illinois, 1855 and issued various books, pamphlets, and periodicals.

The Swed. Luth. Publication Soc. was organized 1858 to take over the periodicals and conduct a printing business in the basement of Immanuel Ch., Chicago, Illinois The Augustana Syn. took over this business 1860. When the est. was lost in the 1871 Chicago Fire, Augustana Coll. (see Augustana Theological Seminary) was asked to take up the work. The school sold the business 1874 to Engberg-Hohnberg & Lindell, Chicago, who served the syn. 15 yrs. Then a new publication soc., Ungdomens Vänner, was est. at Augustana Coll. This soc. was later reorganized as Augustana Tract Soc. and secured interest in the printing plant of Thulin and Anderson, Moline, Illinois Another reorganization took place 1884, when the Augustana Book Concern was est. “for the benefit of Augustana Coll.,” Rock Island, Illinois This was a venture without syn. sanction; there were other publishing ventures; gen. confusion resulted.

The Augustana Syn. resolved 1889 to est. a Bd. of Publication, which took over the affairs of the Augustana Book Concern and formed a new corporation, Luth. Augustana Book Concern, which also absorbed other ventures and was in turn absorbed in The Bd. of Publication of the LCA (see below).

Concordia Publishing House. In 1844 mems. of Trin. Luth. Ch., St. Louis, Missouri, acted on their conviction that their leaders should reach out through the printed word to more people. C. F. W. Walther* became mgr. of printing activities and ed. Funds came from individual contributions and from appropriations by the cong. In 1849 the Mo. Syn. created a publication society. From 1854 the basement of Trin. Luth. Ch. was used by August Wiebusch and Son as a syn. printery (Synodal-Druckerei). Several yrs. later the syn. elected a publication committee.

In the late 1860s a successful effort was made under leadership of Louis Lange (1829–93; b. Hesse, Ger.; to Am. ca. 1846; worked in printeries in NYC, Detroit, and St. Louis; became pub. of Die Abendschule [previously pub. Buffalo, New York] 1857) to est. a Synodal-Druckerei that was approved by the Mo. Syn. and came to be housed on the campus of Conc. Sem., with the composing room in operation by December 27, 1869, and the plant dedicated February 28, 1870. The name “Lutherischer Concordia-Verlag” was adopted 1878; the Eng. counterpart, “Concordia Publishing House,” carne into use at least as early as 1882.

New property was acquired on the NW corner of the intersection of Miami and Indiana 1872, the new bldg. completed 1874; units were added 1887 and 1892/93 (the latter on Jefferson); other bldgs. were added 1911, 1925, and 1941; pressroom and bindery were enlarged 1948; another large bldg. was added 1951; a 4th floor for offices was added to the 1925 bldg. 1955; the 1874 bldg. was replaced by a 5-story structure 1963/64.

M. C. Barthel was made Gen. Agent in charge of production and sales 1874; Martin Tirmenstein replaced him as Manager 1891 and was succeeded by J. E. Seuel* 1907; O. A. Dorn succeeded Seuel as Gen. Manager 1944 and was succeeded 1971 by Ralph L. Reinke as pres. (resigned 1985), succeeded 1985 by John W. Gerber as pres. and chief ex. officer 1986. Served until 1995 when replaced by Stephen J. Carter.

One of the early major projects was Der Lutheraner. 1st issue dated September 7, 1844. Another project was Evangelisch-Lutherisches Schulblatt (1865–1920; Lutheran School Journal 1921–47; Lutheran Education from September 1947). Lehre und Wehre (1855–1929), Magazin für ev.-luth. Homiletik (1877–1929), and Theological Monthly (1921–29; successor of Theological Quarterly 1897–1920) merged into Concordia Theological Monthly (1930–72), which became CTM (January 1973–January 1974) and was followed by the Concordia Journal (January 1975– ). CPH pub. The Lutheran Witness (formerly organ of the [Eng.] Ev. Luth. Syn. of Missouri and Other States) from 1912. This Day, a Christian family magazine, was pub. 1949 to January 1971, Spirit, a magazine for Christian teen-agers, October 1963 to August 1971.

Dr. Martin Luthers Sämmtliche Schriften, 23 vols. in 25, including index, was pub. 1880–1910. A 56-vol. Am. ed. of Luther's works in Eng. (joint project with Fortress Press [see below]) was begun 1955. Various eds. of Luther's SC have been pub.

F. A. O. Pieper,* Christliche Dogmatik, 3 vols. plus index vol., was pub. 1917–28, an Eng. version 1950–57. Concordia Triglotta was pub. 1921.

The Concordia Cyclopedia was pub. 1927, Lutheran Cyclopedia 1954, rev. 1975, 2000. Future editions will Exist as Electronic text.

Publications cover a wide range of vocal and instrumental music. The audiovisual dept. produces and distributes many religious films and filmstrips and acquired Family Films 1959. There is a large ecclesiastical arts dept.

Lutheran Publishing House. Pub. activities of the UELC are traced back to the 1st issue of Dansk luthersk Kirkeblad August 1877 (see Danish Lutherans in America, 5). A committee was appointed 1884 to plan establishment of a pub. plant. Pub. activity was taken over officially by the ch. 1891, to be dir. by a publication committee. In 1893 it was resolved to est. Dan. Luth. Publishing House at Blair, Nebraska At first nearly all publications were Danish, but use of Eng. increased to meet growing demands. The organization was controlled by a bd. elected by the convention of the church. LPH merged into Augsburg Publishing House (see above) 1961.

The Messenger Press. Beginning may be traced to Folkebladet Publishing Co. (organized 1877 by S. Oftedal*), which merged 1922 with the Free Ch. Book Concern (formed 1896 by Friends of Augsburg [see Lutheran Free Church]); a new corporation, the Luth. Free Ch. Publishing Co., was formed; name changed 1946 to The Messenger Press; merged with Augsburg Pub. House (see above) 1963.

Northwestern Publishing House. The Wisconsin* Syn. resolved 1876 to est., a syn. bookstore; it opened in Milwaukee 1876. In 1891 the syn. resolved to est. a bookstore-printshop; the venture was inc. 1891 as Northwestern Pub. House. Early publications included Evangelisch-Lutherisches Gemeinde-Blatt (est. 1865). Church Hymnal for Lutheran Services appeared 1910. The Northwestern Lutheran first appeared 1914, The Junior Northwestern 1919. The plant was housed successively in 4 downtown locations (1891–97, 1897–1902, 1902–14, 1914–48) before moving late 1948 into its present W North Ave. home, dedicated 1949.

The United Lutheran Publication House. The Bd. of Publication of the ULC, chartered 1919, resulted from merger of the corresponding bds. of the bodies that merged to form the ULC Beginning traced to organization 1855 of the Publication Soc. of The General* Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the USA Trade name: Muhlenberg Press. Merged into The Bd. of Publication of the LCA (see below).

The Bd. of Publication of the LCA resulted 1963 from merger of pub. activities of the AELC, the Augustana Ev. Luth. Ch., the Fin. Ev. Luth. Ch. in Am. (Suomi Syn.), and the ULC; property and business of the Fin. Book Concern were sold by the Bd. later in 1963. Printing plants are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Rock Island, Illinois Publications include The Lutheran; curricular materials; books on theol.; devotional material; fiction. Trade name: Fortress Press; London, Eng., subsidiary: Lutheran Books Ltd. Operations include an ecclesiastical arts dept.

The Wartburg Press traced its beginning to an 1880 resolution of a committee of the Ev. Luth. Joint Syn. of Ohio* and Other States; operations were est. 1881 in Columbus, Ohio, under the name Lutheran Book Concern. Became HQ of ALC pub. activities 1930. Wartburg Publishing House, Chicago, Illinois (see Iowa and Other States, Evangelical Lutheran Synod of), was closed 1944 and the name Wartburg Press given to the Luth. Book Concern; a branch store and office opened in Omaha, Nebraska Merged into Augsburg Pub. House 1961 (see above). OAD GT


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

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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