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Additional Resources for We the Church: The Priesthood of All Believers

Use these additional resources to supplement your study on this topic. Because of the Internet's changing nature, a link may modify or get deleted. If you discover a bad link in the list below, please contact us!


  • The Saxon Immigration Video Series
    The Founding of the LCMS

    This video series discusses various aspects of the Saxon immigration and the founding of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
  • Lutheranism on the American Frontier
  • How Was Lutheran Ministry Conducted on the American Frontier?
  • The Impact of Wyneken's Writings
  • Perry County, MO
  • The Removal of Martin Stephan
  • The Saxons after the Removal of Stephan
  • From Perry County to Missouri Synod
  • Articles on the Saxon Immigration
    The Voyage of the Saxons (by P. E. Kretzmann-traces the Saxon immigration from Saxony, through the ocean voyage, up the Mississippi River to Saint Louis)

    "The various events of the ocean voyage were preserved in note-books and diaries, especially by a Mr. G. Guenther, whose accounts were embodied in a small volume, which appeared in Dresden in 1839, entitled Die Schicksale und Abenteuerder aus Sachsen ausgewanderten Stephanianer. These accounts are here drawn upon; they refer to the voyage of the Olbers."
  • The Arrival of the Saxons in St. Louis
    "Even before Stephan's arrival, articles had appeared in the German newspapers of St. Louis ... in which the immigrants were attacked and ridiculed as deluded people ... Dr. Vehse and a candidate were publicly insulted and stoned on the street. Stones were thrown through the windows into Stephan's quarters."
  • The Saxons Move to Perry County
    (After Stephan's departure) "Even the pastors suffered the severest qualms of conscience, for they likewise were no longer sure whether they could perform the work of their ministry according to God's ordinance. It really seemed that Satan might succeed in disrupting the colony completely and in plunging all its members into destruction and perdition."
  • Altenburg Debate
    "One shudders to think what course Lutheran church history in America might have taken if Walther had not carried the day in Altenburg."
  • Martin Stephan
    Rev. Dr. David P. Scaer of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, revisits the events surrounding Stephan's deposal and discusses some of the failings of the clergy who opposed him.
  • Martin Stephan Collection
    Additional Stephan-related material from the Concordia Historical Institute
  • Perry County Sites
    Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum, Altenburg, MO
  • Saxon Lutheran Memorial - Frohna, MO
  • "Hill of Peace" Lutheran Church - Friedenberg, MO
  • A Man for the Ages (C.F.W. Walther)
  • Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther Churchman
    "In order to understand fully what kind of a churchman Dr. C. F. W. Walther was, we should have to discuss several episodes out of his life. However, the one we shall primarily consider is the Altenburg Debate."
  • Personal Reminiscences of Walther and Wyneken
    "Now that I am on the home stretch of my pilgrimage on earth, my thoughts often revert to the past. In these memories of my childhood and youth are included many interesting reminiscences of my dear, unforgettable teacher and friend Prof. Dr. C. F. W. Walther .... Altogether different we felt towards another noted man, who also, especially as long as he was president, was a standing guest in the home of my parents. I refer to President Friedrich Wyneken ...."
  • Walther's Editorial in the First Issue of Der Lutheraner
    "It is our duty to give an account to our fellow citizens about what our church believes and teaches and about the principles according to which we operate."
  • Friedrich Wyneken
    "If C.F.W. Walther was the mind of first-generation Missouri Synod Lutheranism, Friederich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken was its heart and soul."
  • F. C. D. Wyneken: Motivator for the Mission
    "Wyneken avidly read mission periodicals ... (which) alerted him to the great need for pastors in America to gather the scattered German immigrants into congregations. Moved by the desperate conditions depicted in these mission reports about scattered Germans in North America, Wyneken decided to volunteer his energies to being a missionary-pastor on the American frontier."
  • Ministry on the American Frontier
    "As (Wyneken) moved through the woods, he would come across small groups, sometimes one settlement, one household, one hut of German immigrants who had carved out for themselves a small place to live. Upon finding these groups, he would ask, 'Are you German? If you're German, what's your background? Catholic? Lutheran? Reformed? Nothing?' ... He was repeatedly told by these folks that they hadn't heard a sermon in seven years, eight years, ten years, that their children had not been baptized. And when he asked why, they simply answered with the same response over and over. 'We have no pastors.'"
  • The More Things Change: Capturing Wyneken's Vision for Today
    "An economy in collapse due to market speculation; bank failure; record unemployment; the housing market in a downward spiral-these all too human realities can make ministry challenging, to say the least! But I'm not talking about 2010. The Panic of 1837 challenged the youthful United States in ways it had never before experienced .... This was the context into which Friedrich Wyneken stepped."
  • The Missionary Who Never Left Home
    Wilhelm Loehe never left his native Germany, yet his untiring work for the Kingdom helped the young LCMS-and Lutheran churches around the world.
  • Wilhelm Loehe: His Voice Still Heard in Walther's Church
  • An Introduction to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
    Various downloadable documents related to the founding of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
  • Die Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische Synode von Missouri, Ohio und andern Staaten (in English)
    Looking at the Germanic origins of the LCMS
  • German Immigration in the 1800s
    German Immigration to the U.S. in the 1800s

    "A member of the Schuette family, who departed Germany for Manitowoc County in 1848, wrote: 'The neighbors and friends were on hand to say a last farewell and tears flowed in profusion (since) anyone leaving for America was considered about to pass into eternity.'" Sometimes bitterness toward those "deserting" the homeland split families apart, and on occasion the separation proved too much for those left behind. Jacob Eifler of Sheboygan recalled that his grandfather "passed away from grief and heartache" two years after members of his family set sail for the United States.
  • Other Ethnic Lutheran Immigrants
    "Our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregation was still called, even in the 1970s, the German church. In our midst were also Finnish churches, Danish churches, Norwegian churches, Swedish churches, a variety of different Lutheran congregations from a variety of ethnic backgrounds."
  • Growth in the Synod
    "I would like to point out two important periods of significant numerical growth in the Synod and say something about each of those and the distinctive features that contributed to the growth during each period."
  • "The Real LCMS: Strands of DNA from the Movement called Missouri"
    This presentation by Rev. Mike Newman was made at the 2015 Lutheran Society for Missiology Banquet at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Missouri Synod Undertakes Foreign Missions
    "The Missouri Synod became the first Lutheran church body in America to acknowledge mission work as a definite part of its program, rather than that of a society within the church."
  • History of the Fort Wayne Seminary
    "Along with Wilhelm Sihler, pastor of St. Paul's in Fort Wayne, Loehe decided to establish a truly Lutheran seminary on the American frontier. He recruited and then sent 11 students and a teacher. By the fall of 1846, they had safely arrived in Fort Wayne and classes had begun. This was the birth of Concordia Theological Seminary."
  • Missouri Synod's Switch from German to English
    "One of the very founders of Synod, Pastor Brohm, is known to have preached in English to the English-speaking people in Perry County, Missouri, in Synod's earliest days. The question then arises as to how it came about that the Missouri Synod during the first fifty years of its existence engaged so predominantly in German work."
  • LCMS Missions to China, India, Native Americans, Arabs
    Our Missions in India and China

    "Missionary interest was indeed in evidence in our Synod from the very beginning. At the very first meeting of Synod, in 1847, there was a good deal of discussion as to possible mission work among the heathen."
  • The English District
    A look at the formation of the English District of the LCMS
  • The German Vote
    "Legend has it that in 1795 a bill to establish German as the official language of the fledgling United States of America was defeated in Congress by a single vote."
  • German-Americans During World War I
    "Over the years (German-Americans) had been viewed as a well-integrated and esteemed part of American society. All of this changed with the outbreak of war."
  • When did the Missouri Synod Begin to Speak English?
    "In 1914 a war broke out in Europe, a war that beginning in 1917 would also involve the United States. World War I marked a turning point in the Missouri Synod's relationship to the surrounding American culture because in 1917, German became the language of the enemy. This was the language of the Kaiser, and suddenly, even though there were lots of German immigrants around, the language of German was viewed with great suspicion."
  • One Factor in Missouri's First Pause in Growth: The Flu
    "One anecdote shared of 1918 was of four women playing bridge together late into the night. Overnight, three of the women died from influenza."
  • The International Lutheran Laymen's League
    Lutheran Hour Ministries: Our History

    "A group of 12 men attending a convention of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Milwaukee (1917) met to settle a $100,000 debt incurred by the church body. They accomplished that goal and in the process formed the Lutheran Laymen's League.
  • Dr. Walter A. Maier
    "Maier initiated an evangelism approach using the new medium of radio that gained ascendancy between the time of the Fundamentalist movement of the early twentieth century and the new movement that eventually became known as Evangelicalism."
  • Missouri Synod Lutheran Schools
    Education (from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod webpage)

    "The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod believes education should address the whole person-body, mind and spirit-beginning in early childhood and through higher education."
  • Youth and Faith
    Youth ministry has always been a focus of the LCMS.
  • The Walther League
    Here's a KFUO radio broadcast featuring The Lutheran Ladies' Lounge. They're discussing The Walther League.
  • The Rise and Fall of the Walther League
    "In 1893, a call was issued for congregations of the Synodical Conference to send representatives to meet at Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, NY, for the purpose of forming an international organization of Lutheran young people ... The culmination of fatal events occurred at the 1965 Delegate Convention of the LCMS in Detroit, Michigan, in which it was debated whether the Walther League should be permitted to have Pete Seeger, an admitted Communist, entertain LCMS youth at its national convention."
  • Lutheranism on the Cover of Time Magazine
    Religion: The New Lutheran (requires a subscription to Time Magazine to read entire article)

    "Well," said Satan, "what's new with the Protestants?"
    "You mean in America, don't you, sir?" answered the Demon for the Democracies, who was showing him around. "It's all pretty old stuff over in Europe."
    "Of course I mean America," snapped Satan, tapping his hoof impatiently. "We've put a lot of work into the churches, and I'm not at all sure it's paying off the way it should. Who's Mr. Protestant these days?"
  • A look at the Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML)
  • ALC- American Lutheran Church
  • LCA- Lutheran Church in America
  • Church History 3 - Volume 63 - Seminex
    (video with Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr.)

    "... As time went by and the Missouri Synod Americanized, it simply could not any longer isolate itself from broader cultural and theological influences. And one of the main influences was a topic that was confronting all of American Lutheranism by the middle part of the 20th century. I'm simply speaking here of the question of the authority and character of Scripture."
  • Anatomy of an Explosion: A Theological Analysis of the Missouri Synod Conflict by Kurt E. Marquart
  • Resources from LHM


  • Growth of the Church in the Global South
    While Christianity may be on the decline in the United States, the world is becoming more religious, not less. While rising numbers of "nones"--those who claim no religious affiliation when asked-claim the attention of religious pundits, the world tells a different story. Religious convictions are growing and shifting geographically in several dramatic ways.
  • Reversing the LCMS membership decline
  • The World Is Changing
  • Where Do We Go from Here?
  • The Priesthood of All Believers
    "One-hundred and fifty-one pastors and 72 commissioned and lay workers (29 of the latter being women) grappled with such questions as the following:
    * How best do pastors (representing the office of the public ministry) and lay workers and leaders (representing the priesthood of all believers) work together in a congregational setting?
    * What is the Synod's understanding of pastoral and lay roles in the congregation? Jesus, of course, is in charge, but who runs the show in human terms on an everyday basis?
    * What's the role of the congregation in all this, and how do pastors and congregational members hold themselves and one another accountable in fulfilling their roles?
    * How do pastors and congregations reconcile with each other when things go wrong?"
  • The Universal Priesthood of Believers with Luther's Comments
    "The infallible source of information regarding the universal priesthood of believers is God's Word, whose treasures no one has been better able to bring to light than Luther. Scripture reveals that there has always been such a priesthood. From the very beginning of the human race the believers have performed priestly works. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob--all of them sacrificed and called upon the Name of the Lord."

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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