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German Evangelical Church Society of the West, The

(Der Deutsche Evangelische Kirchenverein des Westens; “Verein” is variously tr. in contemporary documents, e.g., “society,” “association,” “conference,” “synod,” “union”). Founded October 1840 by H. Garlichs,* L. E. Nollau,* G. W. Wall,* and others at Gravois Settlement, near St. Louis, Missouri The constitutional assem. was held near St. Charles, Missouri, May 1841.

The Kirchenverein considered itself related to the Ev. Ch. est. by the Prussian* Union. Its mems. acknowledged the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God and the only norm of faith, and the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures found in the symbolical books of the Ev. Luth. and the Ev. Ref. Ch. of Ger. “insofar as they agree.” Confessional statements mention Augsburg Confession, Luther's and Heidelberg Catechisms. Where the Confessions disagree, mems. were to adhere to “the passages of Holy Scripture bearing on the subject” and retain freedom of conscience. The 1st issue of Friedensbote, organ of the Kirchenverein, appeared January 1850. In 1866 the name of the Kirchenverein was changed to Deutsche Evangelische Synode des Westens (German Evangelical Synod of the West). Increasing favorable use of the term “synod” made inappropriate the old name, which was changed 1877 to Deutsche Evangelische Synode von Nord-Amerika (German Evangelical Synod of North America).

See also United Church of Christ, II B.

A. Schory, Geschichte der Deutschen Evangelischen Synode von Nord-Amerika (St. Charles, Missouri, 1889); C. E. Schneider, The German Church on the American Frontier (St. Louis, 1939). EL

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

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