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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives, Global Missions, Series 1

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Introduction: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives: Series 1:Global Missions: Parts 1-6

Introduction: Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaArchives: Series 1: Global Missions: Parts 1-6


Scope and Content Note


Since 1842, when Rev. J.C.F. Heyer went to India as amissionary of the Pennsylvania Ministerium, representatives of the EvangelicalLutheran Church in America (ELCA) and its predecessor bodies have helped spreadthe Gospel throughout the world. This microfilm collection provides essentialand unique research materials for the study of the role of missionaryactivities in developing countries, the impetus for missionary work, and thedevelopment of the Lutheran Church worldwide.


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives GlobalMissions, Series 1 consists of 108 reels and is organized by predecessorchurch bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Correspondence andmemoranda, mission program materials, minutes of meetings, photographs, andfinancial materials make up much of the collection.


Part 1: American (Danish) Evangelical Lutheran Church,1 reel


This reel consists of materials from the Womens MissionarySociety (WMS) of the American (Danish) Evangelical Lutheran Church. The WMS,founded in 1908, developed a program for home mission activities, similar tothe various foreign mission boards of the Lutheran church. It did work in thearea of foreign missions, but not to the same degree as its home mission work.This was due in part to the fact that foreign work, namely the Santal Missionin India, already had its own board and operated as a quasi-independent missiongroup with support from several churches. The Womens Mission Society alwaysencouraged its members to contribute to the Santal Mission and maintained aninterest in its work.


Part 2: American Lutheran Church, 1930-1960, 22 reels[India, Ethiopia]


In 1930 the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and OtherStates (Iowa Synod), the Joint Synod of Ohio (Ohio Synod), and the BuffaloSynod united to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC). The Iowa Synod broughtNew Guinea mission work and the Ohio Synod brought India mission work to thismerger. The Buffalo Synod, although not directing any mission work of its own,brought a history of financially helping the Hannover Free Church Mission inSouth Africa. In 1957, mission work spread to Indonesia, Ethiopia, andTanganyika.


Of the 22 reels, 12 reels include materials from the Boardof Foreign Missions (including 1 reel regarding Ethiopia and 8 reels regardingIndia), 9 reels are from the ALC Missionary Federation, and 1 reel is from theALC Mission Auxiliary.


Part 3: General Council [of the Evangelical LutheranChurch in North America], 7 reels [India]


The General Council materials highlight the activities ofthe Womens Missionary Society (WMS) and the Board of Foreign Missions. The WMSwas established in 1888, and by 1911 became the Womens Missionary Society ofthe General Council - representing all womens mission activities. India wasthe primary foreign mission of the WMS. Beginning in 1867, the issue of foreignmissions has been an important part of the work of the General Council. TheGeneral Council maintained a strong presence in India well into the middle ofthe 20th century.


Part 4: Iowa Synod[Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States], 2 reels [Papua NewGuinea]


Lutheran work began in New Guinea with the 1886 arrival ofJohann Flierl in Kaiser-Wilhelmsland. Kaiser-Wilhelmsland was a German colonyin the northern part of Eastern New Guinea. Flierl, sponsored by theNeuendettelsau Mission Society of Germany, also had the encouragement of (andsome limited financial aid from) the Lutheran Immanuel Synod in South Australiawhere he had been working (1878-1885) as a missionary with the aborigines.


Flierl began work in Finschhafen among the people of the NewGuinea Company (a trading company) and the governors family. He was joinedthree months later by Karl Tremel. Due to an epidemic in 1891, the New GuineaCompany withdrew from the area. This withdrawal may have helped establish themission work, for after it the missionaries were not as closely allied to whatseemed to the nationals to be a repressive foreign government.


New Guinea was Neuendettelsaus only mission field. Duringthe next two decades Flierl and others established ten additional missionstations in and around Finschhafen. World War I saw the Australian takeover ofwhat had been German New Guinea. German missionaries were allowed to remain,provided they would swear an oath of neutrality. However, it became difficultto receive funds from Germany, and the mission appealed to Australia for help.F. Otto Thiele of Australia organized relief efforts and persuaded Lutherans ofthe Evangelical Lutheran Church Iowa and Other States (Iowa Synod), led byPresident F. Richter, to provide funds for the orphaned German missions in NewGuinea. The Iowa Synod had already been following progress in New Guinea underthe German missions and had been providing some support for them.


Part 5: Joint Synodof Ohio [Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and Other States], 8 reels[India, Brazil]


The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio (JSO) showedits first evidence of interest in foreign missions when the Eastern Districtestablished a Domestic and Foreign Mission Society in 1837. The society did notestablish any foreign mission work of its own, but encouraged support of theIndia mission work of Father Heyer (General Synod and General Council). In 1908a committee was appointed to explore the feasibility of opening a field inSouth America and establishing work in India.


The 8 reels in this part include the following materials: 3reels from the Board of Foreign Missions India, 1 reel from the Board of HomeMissions Brazil, and 2 reels from the Womens Mission Federation (WomensMissionary Conference).


Part 6: UnitedLutheran Church in America, 68 reels [India, Liberia, Argentina, Japan,China, Malaysia, Singapore]


When the church was formed in 1918, the United LutheranChurch in America took over the foreign mission work of the merging groups:that of the General Synod in India, Liberia, and British Guiana; that of theGeneral Council in India, Japan, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico; and thatof the United Synod South in Japan. In 1919, it took over the Argentina work ofthe Pan-Lutheran Society for Latin America. In 1924, it purchased the BerlinMissionary Societys Shantung mission in China. It was given theSchleswig-Holstein Societys field in East Jeypore, India in 1928. In 1952,when forced to withdraw from China following the Communists rise to power,work was undertaken in Hong Kong in cooperation with Augustana, the EvangelicalLutheran Church, and the Lutheran Free Church. In 1953, a new field was opened[in] Malaya. Supervision of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico missions whichhad been in charge of the ULCAs West Indies Mission Board was transferred tothe Board of American Missions in 1928.


The 68 reels in this part are all from the files of theBoard of Foreign Missions. Twenty-two reels are General Administration files, 8reels are materials from the Secretary for Japan-Japan Missions, 8 reels relateto Liberia, 7 reels are from the Secretary for Asia (including Malaysia,Singapore, and China), 19 reels are materials from the Secretary for India, and4 reels are materials from the Secretary for South America-Argentina.


Source Note


This collection, filmed by Yale Divinity Library, is part ofthe Kenneth Scott Latourette Initiative for the Documentation of WorldChristianity from the holdings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaArchives.


The Latourette Initiative is a proactive program to preserveand provide access to the documentation of world Christianity. It providesfunding for microfilming of published and archival resources documenting thehistory of Christian missions and the life of the churches in countries wheremissionaries served. The Initiative is named for Kenneth Scott Latourette(1884-1968), who was D. Willis James Professor of Missions and WorldChristianity at Yale Divinity School. Latourette was instrumental in changingthe focus of the Day Missions Collection at Yale from a resource for trainingmissionaries to a collection documenting the history of Christian missions. Theendowment he established to further work of the Yale Divinity Library providesthe funding for the Latourette Initiative.


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives are thecollective memory of the ELCA church wide organization, including records ofpredecessor church bodies, inter-Lutheran organizations, and certain recordsrelating to ELCA synods and their predecessors, as well as leaders andcongregations of the church.




Organization andFormat


Evangelical LutheranChurch in America Archives: Global Missions, Series 1 has been organizedinto the following six parts:


Part 1: American (Danish) Evangelical Lutheran Church Reel1


Part 2: American Lutheran Church, 1930-1960 Reels 2-23


Part 3: General Council [of the Evangelical Lutheran Churchin North America] Reels 24-30


Part 4: Iowa Synod [Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa andOther States] - Reels 31-32


Part 5: Joint Synod of Ohio [Evangelical Lutheran Synod ofOhio and Other States] Reels 33-40


Part 6: United Lutheran Church in America Reels 41-108


Each part consists of individual collections that have beenassigned a unique identifier (such as ULCA 19/1/5 and ULCA 19/1/7/1/1). Theletters are a brief acronym for the church body, ULCA = United Lutheran Churchin America, and the first number (19) represents the Board of Foreign Missions(Record Group 19), and then is subdivided there under by their differentdepartments and/or functions (i.e. 1/5 = General Administration. AnnualReports, 1919-1961 or 1/7/1/1 = General Administration Executive Secretary,Earl S. Erb, Correspondence, Program Files, 1952-1963).




Additional documents were filmed for each collection: acomprehensive finding aid (including background information and folder levelinventory), a guide to the original microfilm, and a catalog record. Pleaserefer to the beginning of the specific reel to review these documents (forexample: see reel 91 for the ULCA 19/7/2/1 documents). In addition to theabove, administrative histories were also written for the various churchbodies/record groups. As a reference for the user, the available administrativehistories have been reprinted in the appendix.


Notice of Reel NumberChanges


Please be advised that Primary Source Media, an imprint ofGale, a part of Cengage Learning, has retained the original microfilm targets,including the former reel numbering information. PSM has renumbered all of thereels in this product consecutively. The guide to this microfilm editionreflects the new reel arrangement. For example, reel 68 in this microfilmedition was originally reel 2 of ULCA 19/2/3. (ELCA negative number 116). Thenew and original microfilm targets can be found on the microfilm.


DELC 21 Administrative History


Compiled by: Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, October2002
American (Danish) Evangelical Lutheran Church
Danske Kvinders Missionsfond/Womens Mission Society


A small group of women in the Danish Evangelical LutheranChurch in America (DELC), who desired to do Christs work, held a meetingduring the churchs national convention at St. Stephans Lutheran Church,Chicago, Illinois, June 1908. At the meeting approximately twelve women and twopastors discussed the need for an organization to serve as a bond between thevarious district and congregational womens organizations, and act as a conduitthrough which congregations could participate in the national and internationalmission work of the church. As a result of these discussions, the group inattendance created the Danish Womens Mission Fund, or Danske KvindersMissionsfond (DKM), as it was first known.


The goals of the DKM were to create a love of mission withinthe church, proclaim Gods blessings created from being part of a Christianfellowship, and to aid small congregations and young pastors in theirministerial efforts. Groups who contributed money to the DKM included congregationalmission groups, ladies aid societies, and guilds.


At this first meeting the DKM elected an executive boardcomprising Mrs. Sofie Madsen Gregersen, president; Mrs. Karoline BrandtKjolhede, secretary; Mrs. Anna Refshauge Hostrup, treasurer; and board membersMrs. Kjerstine Jacobsen and Mrs. Annie Larsen.


The DKM adopted a set of governing rules that addressed theaim of the society, who could become members, who comprised the executiveboard, provisions for electing the board, where to send contributions, and howcongregations were to apply for aid from the society. Its first rule was alsoits mission statement: According to ability to support the mission work of theDanish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, wherever such support is needed.1


In 1919 the society began publishing Aarsskrift forDanske Kvinders Missionsfond. This yearbook contained timely articles, aswell as an accounting of funds received by the society and how these funds weredispersed. It was a Danish-language publication that was discontinued in 1937when it was decided there were not enough young people reading Danish tojustify its continued existence. Sometime around 1940 the women were given apage in the DELC publication Lutheran Tidings. Known as the WomensPage, this served as the societys publication until the time of the mergerthat created the Lutheran Church in America. The first editor of this page wasMrs. Ernest Nielsen.


In its first few decades in existence, the society wasloosely organized and throughout its entire existence it never had aheadquarters or paid staff. The smaller scale of the organization warrantedneither. Its founders believed in not having too much organization and theboard preferred to conduct its business on a more informal basis. At first theDKM did not conduct business meetings and there were no reports or elections.In 1936 when Mrs. Anna J. Stubb became the secretary for the DKM, she askedabout a secretarys book and was told there was not one. Subsequently, Mrs.Stubb asked that since the society would celebrate its 30th anniversary in1938, should not they start the fourth decade by beginning to keep records? Asecretarys book was purchased for her use and she began it with a shorthistory of the work of the societys first 30 years.


Several changes in the organization occurred in the late1930s and early 1940s. At the annual meeting in 1937, the first group of womenborn in the United States was elected to the board, and in 1940 the society hadits last meeting conducted in Danish. At the 1940 annual meeting, the office ofdistrict representative was created. One representative from each of the DELCnine districts and one member from Canada served on an advisory board for aterm of three years. They would serve as a link between the nationalorganization and congregational mission groups. Also at the 1940 meeting, itwas decided to change the name of the society from Danske Kvinders Missionsfondto Womens Mission Society (WMS) of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church. At theannual meeting in 1941, the hymn that was the societys theme song was sung inEnglish, and also at that meeting the issue of the name change was raisedbecause two other societies had the same name. After discussion it was voted onto keep the name they had decided on the previous year, but to keep DKM on thesocietys letterhead. The 1941 meeting also had the last Danish language reportissued and the first English language report issued.


The primary interest of the society was that of home missionwork. It supported the building of new churches and gave aid to Grand ViewCollege and Seminary, Des Moines, Iowa. The society also actively supported theDELC Canada mission by, for example, providing a car for a pastors use inSaskatchewan. Throughout its history the DKM/WMS provided financial aid for thebuilding of new churches and parsonages. In particular the society contributedmore than $1,200 toward rebuilding efforts of a church in Texas that wasdestroyed by a hurricane in 1945.


The society also actively supported the work of Grand ViewCollege and Seminary, Des Moines, Iowa. It aided seminary students by providingfunds for travel expenses during ordination, student loans, and scholarships toattend conferences. From 1946-1950 the society provided more than $9,000dollars toward a project to furnish a new girls dormitory on the campus.During the 1950s the society contributed funds toward the renovation of alecture hall, to enable the publishing of a collection of songs by S.D.Rodholm, toward the renovations of a boys dormitory, and the improvement ofthe seminary facilities by contributing to the seminarys purchase of the YoungPeoples Home in Des Moines, Iowa, for conversion into student housing.


The society did work in the area of foreign missions, butnot to the same degree as its home mission work. This was due in part to thefact that foreign work, namely the Santal Mission in India, already had its ownboard and operated as a quasi-independent mission group with support fromseveral churches. DKM/WMS always encouraged its members to contribute to theSantal Mission and maintain an interest in its work. Examples of the societysaid to this mission include the purchase of a tape recorder for use bymissionaries in the field, many of whom were American Evangelical LutheranChurch (AELC) members, and funds contributed for the construction of a hospitalat Mohulpari, India. Local DKM/WMS groups also had special projects devoted toSantal Mission work whereby funds collected went into the general fund of theSantal Mission. In later years the DKM/WMS tried to encourage interest in theSantal Mission by promoting subscriptions to the publication, The SantalMissionary. It also encouraged local mission groups to become moreinterested in foreign missions in general.


The WMS struggled throughout its existence to strengthen thebond between the national organization and congregations mission circles, orother churchwoman groups. The majority of women who returned a WMSquestionnaire in 1955 believed the society was not organized in such a way thatit could help women of the synods congregations carry out their Christianwork. Women in local congregations desired assistance from the society inprogram planning, and increased availability of pamphlets and other materialsthey could use in furthering their Christian work. Specifically they wanted aWMS handbook containing basic information about the WMS and its goals, aims,history, purpose, a copy of its constitution, and leadership helps.


In response to this and other concerns voiced by women, theWMS constitution was revised and the society reorganized in 1957. This revisionin the constitution and organization was known as the Six Point Plan. Wherebefore emphasis had been placed on individual memberships, the society decidedto organize member groups and use these groups as the link between the nationalorganization and individual members. There would also be an increase inmissionary education efforts. In addition to these changes, a district constitutionwas adopted at the same time the national constitution was revised. After thereorganization, several standing committees were created that issued reports atexecutive board meetings, as well as annual reports at the national convention.These committees included, but were not limited to, nominations, budget andfinance, publications, education and program, handbook, and constitutions.There were also special committees created on a temporary basis, for example,the Golden Jubilee Committee.


The WMS celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1958. It markedthis occasion with a special Golden Jubilee Thankoffering earmarked for use asa scholarship fund for students with a desire to perform Christian servicefull-time in an AELC field, and to publish a special commemorative issue of LutheranTidings devoted entirely to the societys Golden Jubilee.


The last convention for the WMS took place in Tyler,Minnesota, in August 1961. At this meeting officers were elected and reportswere given. There was much discussion about the pending merger of the UnitedLutheran Church in America, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church SuomiSynod, the Augustana Lutheran Church, and the America Evangelical LutheranChurch. Discussion centered on where the WMS and its goals and objectives wouldfit into the new churchs womens auxiliary. The society proposed and passedits final budget for 1962, and also passed a motion allowing the executiveboard to begin the process of making arrangements for the dissolution of theWMS in anticipation of the merger that would create the new auxiliary, LutheranChurch Women of the Lutheran Church in America.




DELC 21/2 Minutes and Reports, 1938-1961.


Lutheran Tidings. Vol. 14, Number 19, May 5, 1958.


Mortensen, Enok. The Danish Lutheran Church in America:The History and Heritage of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church.Philadelphia: Board of Publication, Lutheran Church in America, 1967.


Womens Mission Society. Cedar Falls, Iowa: HolstPublishing Company, 1946.



ALC 29 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, ProjectArchivist, July 2000
American Lutheran Church (1930-1960)
Board of Foreign Missions


In 1930 the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and OtherStates (Iowa Synod), the Joint Synod of Ohio (Ohio Synod), and the BuffaloSynod united to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC). The Iowa Synod broughtNew Guinea mission work and the Ohio Synod brought India mission work to thismerger. The Buffalo Synod, although not directing any mission work of its own,brought a history of financially helping the Hannover Free Church Mission inSouth Africa.


The ALC continued the Iowa Synod New Guinea work and theOhio Synod India work, dividing its Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) into a NewGuinea Section and an India Section. It also continued the financial support ofthe South Africa work until the depression made such funding impossible. Eachsection had its own officers. Work was begun in Ethiopia and Indonesia in 1957,and occasional ALC missionaries were assigned to Tanganyika under the NationalLutheran Council.


P.H. Buehring served as chairman of the BFM from 1930 untilhis death in 1958. The vice chairman, A.W. Sund, served temporarily aschairman, completing Buehrings term. T.H. Rossing became chair in 1959,serving until 1960, when a merger of the American Lutheran Church, theEvangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church createdThe American Lutheran Church (TALC). Secretaries of the BFM were F. Braun,1931-1938; E.W. Schramm, 1939-1941; Carl Henkelmann, 1942-1943; and E.R.Dornbirer, 1944-1959.


Initially the board met annually. Later years saw morefrequent meetings but not a set number. The board heard reports from bothfields and set budgets and personnel policies.


Direct administration of the mission work came under theExecutive Secretaries of the New Guinea and the India Sections. Richard Taeuberserved as Executive Secretary of the New Guinea Section and C.V. Sheatsley asthe Executive Secretary of the India Section from 1930-1943. Sheatsley died in1943. The two sections were combined in 1944, with Richard Taeuber named as thefirst Executive Secretary of the combined board. He was succeeded by TheodoreP. Fricke from 1948-1960. Fricke had previously served as Commissioner from1944-1947, visiting and surveying the mission fields, a task he continued asExecutive Secretary.


In 1960 the work of the Board of Foreign Missions of the ALCbecame a part of the Board of World Missions of the newly formed The AmericanLutheran Church. Fricke served as Associate Director of the Division of WorldMissions (DWM) from 1961-1962 and as Executive Director from 1963-1970.




American Lutheran Church, Board of Foreign Missions,Minutes, 1932-1959.


American Lutheran Church, Yearbooks, 1931-1960.


Braun, F. and C.V. Sheatsley, On Both Sides of theEquator. Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1937.



ALC 29/7 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, Project Archivist,September 2000
American Lutheran Church (1930-1960)
Board of Foreign Missions


When the American Lutheran Church (ALC) was formed in 1930by the merger of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States (IowaSynod), the Buffalo Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio(JSO), it assumed the mission work in India previously carried out by the JSO(see JSO 9 and JSO 9/1).


Administrative oversight was placed under the India Sectionof the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM). P.H. Buehring served as chair of the IndiaSection throughout its entire history (1930-1943). C.V. Sheatsley served asExecutive Secretary of the India Section from 1930-1943, having servedpreviously on the Board of Foreign Missions of the JSO from 1920-1930 and asCommissioner to India for the JSO in 1920. Upon Sheatsleys death in 1943 theIndia Section and the New Guinea Section were combined, with Richard C.Taeuber, formerly Executive Secretary of the New Guinea Section, serving asExecutive Secretary of the combined board. Taeuber served in that capacity from1944-1947 and was succeeded by Theodore P. Fricke from 1948-1960. When theboard of Foreign Missions was absorbed into the Division of World Missions ofthe newly created The American Lutheran Church (TALC) in 1960, Fricke continuedin an administrative capacity until 1970. Thus the India work was administeredprimarily by only three men throughout the entire existence of the Boards ofForeign Missions of the JSO and the American Lutheran Church and the Divisionof World Missions of TALC.


On the field, the work was administered by the IndiaConference, consisting of the male and single female missionaries. In 1945 theSouth Andhra Lutheran Church (SALC) was established, with gradual control ofthe work and properties going to this indigenous body.




Braun, F. and C.V. Sheatsley, On Both Sides of theEquator. Columbus, Ohio: The Lutheran Book Concern, 1937.


Lutheran World Missions, edited by Andrew S. Burgess.Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1954.


American Lutheran Church, Board of Foreign Missions, IndiaSection, Minutes, 1930-1943.


American Lutheran Church, Board of Foreign Missions,Minutes, 1930-1960.



ALC 52 Administrative History


Compiled by: Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, November2002
American Lutheran Church (1930-1960)
Womens Missionary Federation


On May 12-13, 1931, 164 delegates met in Toledo, Ohio, toorganize the Womens Missionary Federation (WMF) of the American LutheranChurch (ALC). They represented the Womens Missionary Conference of the JointSynod of Ohio, the Iowa Synods General Federation of Womens Organizations,and local womens societies of the Buffalo Synod. Preparations for a merger hadbeen underway since at least 1929 when representatives of the three groupsbegan attending each others annual business meetings.


At that first meeting at St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Toledo,Ohio, a draft constitution was submitted for consideration at theorganizations next meeting. Also that first day, delegates approved aresolution calling for the position of president to be paid a salary of $2,000annually. Other matters addressed were the decisions to retain projects startedby predecessor organizations; continue the Womens Department page in theEnglish and German-language church periodicals; and adopt Womens MissionaryOutlook as the federations official publication. The remainder of businessconducted at the first meeting included election of officers, formation of newregional organizations, and general planning for the work of the WMF.


The first officers elected were: Miss Katharine Lehmann,president; Mrs. Anna Trebel Poppen, first vice-president; Mrs. Gertrude HeimanMeier, second vice-president; Mrs. Margaret Atzinger, general secretary; Mrs.Faery Huber Adams, financial secretary; and Miss Clara Seward, treasurer. Thepresident and treasurer were salaried positions and each was elected to asix-year term. The vice presidents and secretaries each had four-year terms.The officers comprised the Executive Committee. Also elected to four-year termswere the chairpersons of six inaugural departments: Thankoffering, Life and InMemoriam Memberships, Junior Department, Special Needs, India Lace, andMissionary Education. These department chairpersons, along with the executive officersand district presidents, comprised the Executive Board. The two executivebodies were responsible for all business transacted between the federationsbiennial conventions. The Executive Board met annually, while the ExecutiveCommittee met when needed.


The purpose of the WMF, as outlined at its first meeting,and subsequently in its constitution and bylaws, was to aid the AmericanLutheran Church with its missionary endeavors; assist local congregations intheir missionary endeavors; recruit and train young women for service in themission field; encourage women to read missionary literature; publish and makeavailable promotional and educational material regarding mission work; andbring together the women of the American Lutheran Church to think and prayabout the churchs mission work.


Membership in the WMF included womens societies, juniormission bands, life members, in memoriams, and honorary life members. Thefederation was composed of eleven districts, the boundaries of which wereapproved by the WMF Executive Board. Within each of these districts were groupsthat comprised congregational womens organizations. The composition of eachdistrict was approved by its executive board. Operating funds for thefederation came from membership dues, Thankofferings, and Life Members and InMemoriam.


The WMF actively supported home and foreign mission work. Itwas involved in projects that began within predecessor organizations and soughtto create new opportunities for service in mission work for women of the ALC.The federation supported an industrial school, widows home, work of Biblewomen, and a hospital in India. It also sent general supplies, medical suppliesand furnishings to ALC mission fields in Papua New Guinea. Both of theseprojects started in predecessor womens organizations.


In regard to mission work at home, the federation promotedthe work of the Diaconate and other Christian service work. Through its JuniorDepartment it supported a mission school in San Antonio, Texas. It establisheda special needs department designed to assist orphans, pastors widows,retired pastors, and missionaries through distributions of special gifts.Examples of special needs gifts included household items, clothing, and moneyfor hospital bills and other living expenses not covered by church salaries orpensions. The federation also actively supported students studying to becomemissionaries and it raised funds to build a womens dormitory at LutherCollege, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


The women also participated in coordinating annualThankofferings to raise funds for continued work. The Thankoffering, as inother churchs womens mission organizations, was not a new idea. After thecreation of the WMF, the women decided the first Thankoffering project of thenew federation would be to raise funds for the construction and outfitting of ahospital in Papua New Guinea. As the years progressed, additional projects, athome and abroad, received Thankoffering funds.


One purpose of the WMF was to educate churchwomen aboutmission work and service. The Missionary Education Department originated in theJSO Womens Missionary Conference where it was the Literature Department. Withthe merger that created the WMF, it became the Missionary Education Department.Missionary education included the publishing of educational and promotionalmaterial in the form of pamphlets, leaflets, tracts, monthly missionaryprograms, material submitted to the churchs periodicals, and the monthlypublication Womens Missionary Outlook.


Initially, the Womens Missionary Conference of the JSOproduced a publication titled Womens Missionary Outlook (WMO). Thispublication had grown out of a similar publication that comprised monthlymissionary education programs. When the WMF was created in 1931, it decided toadopt the WMO as its official publication. Its first editor was Mrs. JuliaBauch Burman. She remained in that post until her resignation in 1952. She wassucceeded by Miss Althea Christenson in 1954. The editor of the WMO was alsothe chairperson of the Missionary Education Department and received a salary.In addition to this periodical, the WMF also had a womens page in each of thechurchs papers. In the Lutheran Standard, it had two pages in the firstissue of each month and in the German-language Kirchenblatt the WMFsubmitted German translations of tracts and leaflets. Other items carried inboth papers included news items and excerpts from convention proceedings.


By 1960 participation in the WMF had grown to more than 1,800societies with a total membership of more than 79,000. Its operating budget wasmore than $400,000. In July 1960, the WMF joined with the womens organizationsof the United Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Churchto form the American Lutheran Church Women (ALCW), the womens auxiliary forthe newly created The American Lutheran Church.




ALC 52/1 Historical Files, n.d., 1927-1934.


ALC 52/2 Constitutions and Bylaws, n.d.


ALC 52/4/1 Convention Material, 1932-1958.


Atzinger, Margaret, Mrs. L.J. Kutz, Miss Katharine Lehmann. TheSpirit That Quickeneth. Columbus, Ohio: Womens Missionary Federation,American Lutheran Church, 1955.


Lagerquist, L. De Ane. From Our Mothers Arms: A Historyof Women in the American Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Augsburg PublishingHouse, 1987.



ALC 30 Administrative History


Compiled by: Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, April2003
American Lutheran Church (1930-1960)
Mission Auxiliary


The Mission Auxiliary (MA) of the American Lutheran Church(ALC) was a continuation of an organization created by members in EvangelicalLutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States (IOWA). At the time of the merger thatcreated the ALC, auxiliary leaders had offered to merge with a mission societyfrom the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States, but leadersof the ALC decided the auxiliary should retain its independent status. Itsobjective remained to support the missions of the ALC and create and promoteinterest in missions among members of the church.


Officers of the MA were the same officers in place at thetime of the last meeting of the Iowa Synod Mission Auxiliary; the Rev. WilliamF. Kraushaar, Chairman; the Rev. John G. Baermann, Secretary; the Rev. AugustHoeger, Treasurer; the Rev. Carl Taubert, Business Manager. In later years theauxiliary added the office of Publicity Secretary. The auxiliary had a GeneralBoard comprising members of the Executive Committee and district chairmen. Itmet annually, but also would meet if the Executive Committee called any specialmeetings. The Executive Committee, comprising the officers and editors of themission publications, met whenever needed. Special committees met at varioustimes.


When the official merger took place, the Mission Auxiliarywas not among those organizations listed as carrying over into the new church.Apparently it was an omission without any explanation as to why it occurred.The suggestion was made once again that the auxiliary merge with existingorganizations, but this request was again declined. Church leaders believed itimportant for the auxiliary to retain its independence. The Mission Auxiliarywas officially recognized as an organization of the ALC at the 1938 churchconvention.


The MA as an organization had membership open to men, women,and children. When the organization was a part of the Iowa Synod, womenssocieties within the church could also join, but after the merger, it wasdecided to restrict membership to individuals so as to not conflict with theALCs Womens Missionary Federation.


The main objectives of the MA were to promote an interest inforeign mission work and disseminate mission information. Both these objectiveswere accomplished with ALC guidance through its Board of Foreign Missions. Toachieve its goals, the MA published the two mission publications, pamphlets andtracts, produced mission films, and in its earlier years, participated inspecial projects to raise funds and awareness for the cause of foreignmissions.


The MA raised funds for medical mission work until thatresponsibility was transferred to the Luther League. It also had responsibilityfor the Christmas Boxes of Cheer program, where items were sent to missionariesdeployed in the field. It administered this program until it was transferred tothe Womens Missionary Federation. The MA also administered the Mission StampProject. This project involved ALC members saving used stamps and donating themto the MA, who would in turn sell the stamps. Funds raised would be set asidefor postwar reconstruction work in the New Guinea mission fields.


Occasionally the MA would undertake a project at the requestof the ALCs BFM. One such project undertaken during World War II was to raisefunds to replace missionaries who had lost their lives in the New Guinea field.The project known as the Memorial Fund was completed during the 1944-1946biennium and achieved its goal of $14,000. The MA also raised $10,000 for thePrintery Fund which was established to furnish a new printing office andliterature for the people served by the New Guinea mission fields.


In addition to projects undertaken by the MA, it alsopublished two magazines devoted to mission work. These two magazines werestarted in the Iowa Synod and continued after the 1930 merger. Die MissionsStunde was the German-language publication and The Lutheran Missionarywas its English-language counterpart. These monthly publications were a vitalpart of the MAs objective of promoting mission work of the ALC. DieMissions Stunde ceased publication in 1943 due to a decrease of ALCGerman-speaking members.


Unfortunately, by 1948 membership in the auxiliary hadseverely declined. A decrease in membership meant a decrease in funds raisedfor mission work. The auxiliary came to the conclusion that not enough peoplewithin the church were interested in the work it was doing. It considereddropping the membership requirement and becoming an organization that onlypublished a mission magazine and raised funds for mission work, but it felt thatdid not represent the definition, in spirit, of an auxiliary.


In the spring of 1948 the MA entered into discussions withthe BFM about transferring its work to that board. At the 1948 convention ofthe ALC, a resolution passed allowing for the transfer of the work of theMission Auxiliary to the Board of Foreign Missions. The Assistant ExecutiveSecretary of the BFM would be in charge of affairs related to the auxiliary:New Guinea scholarships, The Lutheran Missionary, and any other projectsundertaken by the auxiliary. When it dissolved in 1948, the auxiliary had amembership of 1,521 persons, but the impact of its 31 years of promoting theforeign mission work of the ALC was immeasurable.




ALC 2/1 American Lutheran Church (1930-1960) Conventions,Minutes, 1930-1960.


ALC 30/1 Constitution and Minutes, n.d., 1931-1948.


Die Missions Stunde. Waverly, Iowa: Mission Auxiliaryfor New Guinea within the Evangelical Lutheran Iowa Synod and Other States,1913-1943.


IOWA 28/1 Constitution and Minutes, 1916-1930.



GC 16 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, Project Archivist, October1999
General Council
Board of Foreign Missions


In 1867 the first regular convention of the General Councilof the Lutheran Church in America (renamed General Council of the LutheranChurch in North America in 1876) appointed a committee to outline a plan forhome missions. The matter of foreign missions was referred to this committee aswell. The committee presented a report to that same convention that includedthe recommendation that In reference to Foreign Missions, it is respectfullysuggested that the Executive Committee of Missions of the Pennsylvania Synod berequested to effect arrangements for the prosecution of the work of Missions amongthe heathen during the coming year. The Ministerium of Pennsylvania hadalready had a missionary committee for several years and was cooperating withother missions. They immediately began efforts to open work in China. However,the 1868 General Council convention rescinded its directive before any Chinawork had begun, and appointed a committee of its own.


Meanwhile, the General Synod was considering transferringits Rajahmundry and Samulkot work to the Church Missionary Society of theChurch of England. Former General Synod missionary, the Rev. C.F. (JohnChristian Frederick) Heyer, alerted the Ministerium of Pennsylvania to thisplanned transfer and succeeded in having the Rajahmundry work transferred to itinstead, with the expectation that the General Council, of which theMinisterium of Pennsylvania was now a part, would subsequently assume thisresponsibility. The General Council did indeed accept this responsibility atits 1869 convention and appointed the Executive Committee of the Ministerium ofPennsylvania to serve as the Executive Committee on Foreign Missions of theGeneral Council.


This structure continued until 1876, when the ExecutiveCommittee, hoping to increase work, urged the formation of another committeeand a general secretary who could devote his entire time to this work. ACommittee on Foreign Missions, consisting of seven people located in thevicinity of Philadelphia, was appointed, and the appointment of a generalsecretary and the matter of publishing a mission paper referred to them.Publication of Missionsbote began in 1878 and of Foreign Missionaryin 1880. The matter of the general secretary does not seem to have beenaddressed.


The names Committee on Foreign Missions, Committee ofForeign Missions, and Committee for Foreign Missions seem to have been usedinterchangeably in the early years. In 1891 the name of the Committee onForeign Missions was changed to Board of Foreign Missions, and the appointmentof a Superintendent of Missions was recommended. This was done in 1893 with theappointment of the Rev. John Telleen of the Augustana Evangelical LutheranChurch as the superintendent of Foreign Missions. In 1897 the number on theboard was increased to sixteen.


Mission work was inaugurated in Puerto Rico in 1899. The officeof Superintendent of Foreign Missions was discontinued in 1903. Rev. GeorgeDrach became the first General Secretary in 1905.


During World War I the All-India Lutheran Missionary Societywas formed by Indian initiative, merging the General Council work in the areaof Rajahmundry with the General Synod work in the area of Guntur. In 1918 themission work of the General Council came under the umbrella of the Board ofForeign Missions of the newly formed United Lutheran Church in America.Although the Augustana Synod did not participate in this merger, they didcontinue to relate to the work in India now under the ULCA.




Ochsenford, S.E., Documentary History of the GeneralCouncil of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America. Philadelphia: GeneralCouncil Publication House, 1912, pp. 458-470.



GC 16/2 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, Project Archivist, April2000
General Council
Board of Foreign Missions


The General Council of the Lutheran Church in North America(General Council) came to its work in India in a roundabout way. Work in theRajahmundry area was started by the North German Missionary Society in 1845. In1850, due to financial difficulties, this work was transferred to the GeneralSynod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America.


Soon the General Synod made plans to transfer itsRajahmundry work to the Church Missionary Society of the Church of England.Rev. C.F. (John Christian Frederick) Heyer, the first American Lutheranmissionary to India, alerted the Ministerium of Pennsylvania to this plannedtransfer and succeeded in having the Rajahmundry work transferred to itinstead. (Heyer had originally gone to India under the Ministerium ofPennsylvania, although he was first appointed by and then withdrew from theGeneral Synod. Later he returned to India under the General Synod.)


The Ministerium of Pennsylvania had become part of theGeneral Council and asked it to assume this responsibility. (The GeneralCouncil had separated from the General Synod in 1867.) The General Council didso at its 1869 convention and appointed the Executive Committee of theMinisterium of Pennsylvania to serve as the Executive Committee on ForeignMissions of the General Council.


By 1918, the General Council had work in eight districts inIndia. In addition to evangelistic work, their reports list a Boys CentralSchool, Girls Central School, Hindu Girls School, medical work, Zenana(Womens) Work, two Peddapur High Schools, Bhimawaram High School, TrainingSchool for Masters. Rangoon Work, and a Theological Class. There was a Hospitalfor Women and Children in Rajahmundry. The Bible Training School in Luthergiriprovided the first Lutheran theological training in India, later becoming theLuthergiri Theological College.


In 1918 the General Council, along with the General Synodand the United Synod South, reunited to form the United Lutheran Church inAmerica (ULCA). The work in India now came under the board of foreign Missionsof the ULCA, and the Rajahmundry work of the General Council was joined withthe Guntur work of the General Synod.




Administrative Histories, General Council (GC 16) andGeneral Synod (GS 15).



GC 14 Administrative History


Compiled by; Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, January2002
General Council
Womens Missionary Society


The origins of the Womens Missionary Society in the GeneralCouncil of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America are found in thecreation of conference and synodical womens missionary societies. Womenrepresenting seven congregations of the Pennsylvania Ministeriums AllentownConference met in 1885 to discuss topics related to the mission work of theGeneral Council. They officially established their womens missionary societyin 1888. In 1890 women from the Philadelphia Conference attending the AllentownConference decided to organize a similar society.


The General Council saw it was only a matter of time beforeadditional conference and synodical societies formed. Delegates to the 1891General Council convention adopted a series of resolutions calling for theformation of womens missionary societies at the congregational, conference,and synodical levels.


In 1909, there was talk of a movement to bring together thesynodical societies into one General Council Womens Missionary Society. A callwas issued for representatives of all synodical societies to meet during theGeneral Council convention to discuss forming a federation of womensmissionary societies. Six synodical societies were represented at the meeting.Plans were created, adopted, and given to the respective synodical societiesfor further discussion.


The Womens Missionary Society of the General Council of theEvangelical Lutheran Church in North America was organized September 11, 1911.Its constitution and bylaws were adopted the following day. Its objectivesincluded uniting the womens synodical societies of the General Council formutual furthering and strengthening of the work of each society, cooperatingwith the missions and church extension boards, and conducting missionaryoperations through regular channels of the General Council and its synods.


Elected officers were Miss Laura V. Keck, President; Mrs.G.L. Eckman, Recording Secretary; Mrs. Frank E. Jensen, Corresponding andStatistical Secretary; and Mrs. H.N. Miller, Treasurer. Officers were electedat each convention. Conventions were held biennially. Officers were noteligible for more than two consecutive terms, except in the position oftreasurer, and, in later years, statistical secretary. The president of eachsynodical society was a vice-president in the Womens Missionary Society (WMS).The Executive Committee comprised the elected officers and chairpersons of thestanding committees. The committee held meetings annually and special meetingsat the call of a quorum, which was five members.


The work of the WMS was divided among standing committees.These included Mission Study Work, Life Membership, Medical Missions, HomeMissions, Puerto Rico, India Lace, India Post Card, Permanent, Organizing,Inner Missions Work, and Junior Work. In later years, additional committeeswere added as different needs arose.


There was no central office for the WMS. Each officer,chairperson, and standing committee received correspondence at an addressspecified by them. The only office was that of the Societys officialpublication, the Lutheran Mission Worker. It was published quarterly at2323 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Since the WMS was a federation of synodical and conferencesocieties, one of its primary roles was that of facilitator. Its principal aimswere to raise funds for mission work, encourage synodical support of variousmission endeavors, and raise public awareness and support for missionaries andtheir work. The Society tracked and reported on the work of synodical andconference societies. It published literature for dissemination in GeneralCouncil congregations in order to publicize mission work and raise funds. Itcreated a permanent exhibit of literature, photographs, and other interestingobjects to be made available for mission outreach purposes. It initiatedfund-raising campaigns for various mission programs, made suggestions tosynodical societies as to what projects might need additional attention, andinformed societies about new projects and appeals.


At its 1917 convention, the WMS adopted a resolutionaddressing the frustration it felt at the lack of full information and regularcommunication with mission fields about their needs and operations. It believedthat at times these obstacles hampered helpfulness in its aiding the work ofthe mission boards. The resolution, sent to the General Council convention, wasto allow the WMS to submit a slate of nominees for presentation to GeneralCouncil convention delegates for election as full and voting members on missionboards. The General Council at its convention said the resolution would beadopted if it could legally do so. The matter was then referred to a specialcommittee. The issue was not addressed again until 1920.


The Womens Missionary Society of the General Councilcontinued its work until November 16, 1918, when it was carried on by theWomens Missionary Society of The United Lutheran Church in America. This wasthe church formed by the merger of the General Council, General Synod of theEvangelical Lutheran Church in the United States of America, and United Synodof the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the South.




Bachmann, E. Theodore, The United Lutheran Church inAmerica, 1918-1962. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1997.


General Council 14/1 Womens Missionary Society,Constitution and Bylaws, n.d.


General Council 14/2 Womens Missionary Society History,1837-1911.


General Council 14/3/1 Womens Missionary Society,Convention Minutes, 1911-1917.


General Council 14/3/2 Womens Missionary Society, ExecutiveCommittee Minutes, 1911-1917.



IOWA 26 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, Project Archivist, July2000
Evangelical Lutheran Synod Of Iowa And Other States
Board of Foreign Missions


Lutheran work began in New Guinea with the 1886 arrival ofJohann (or Johannes) Flierl in Kaiser-Wilhelmsland. Kaiser-Wilhelmsland was aGerman colony in the northern part of Eastern New Guinea. Flierl, sponsored bythe Neuendettelsau Mission Society of Germany, also had the encouragement of(and some limited financial aid from) the Lutheran Immanuel Synod in SouthAustralia where he had been working (1878-1885) as a missionary with theaborigines.


Flierl began work in Finschhafen among the people of the NewGuinea Company (a trading company) and the governors family. He was joinedthree months later by Karl Tremel, and together the two moved on to the villageof Simbang, about an hour away from Finschhafen, to open the first missionstation. Due to an epidemic in 1891, the New Guinea Company withdrew from thearea. This withdrawal may have helped establish the mission work, for themissionaries were now not as closely allied to what seemed to the nationals tobe a repressive foreign government.


New Guinea was Neuendettelsaus only mission field. Duringthe next two decades Flierl and others established ten additional missionstations in and around Finschhafen. Flierl was usually referred to as SeniorFlierl. Although the number of workers and stations grew, there were nobaptisms until 1896, and these were baptisms of workers in the missionaryhouseholds. It was not until 1905 that a baptism at Sattelberg included tenvillagers. The breakthrough finally came when the missionaries, especiallyChristian Keysser, realized the need to understand the local culture andreligious beliefs. Once this happened, there were not only many New Guineaconverts, but these converts in turn began to evangelize others, with thebacking of their local congregations.


While the work was developing around Finschhafen, theRheinische Missions Gesellschaft (RMG, translated Rhenish Mission Society) ofBarmen, Germany, was granted the right to begin work in the area of Madang atAstrolabe Bay. Wilhelm Thomas and Friedrich Eich were the first twomissionaries sent by Barman, arriving in 1887. Eich established the firststation at Bogadjim. As the Finschhafen work had prospered by the withdrawal ofthe New Guinea Company and German government, so the Madang work suffered bythe transfer of this same company and government to Astrolabe Bay.


World War I saw the Australian takeover of what had beenGerman New Guinea. German missionaries were allowed to remain, provided theywould swear an oath of neutrality. However, it became difficult to receivefunds from Germany, and the mission appealed to Australia for help. F. OttoThiele of Australia took a leading role in this change. Thiele organized reliefefforts and persuaded Lutherans of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iowa andOther States (Iowa Synod), led by President F. Richter, to provide funds forthe orphaned German missions in New Guinea. The Iowa Synod had already beenfollowing progress in New Guinea under the German missions and had beenproviding some support for them.


The Versailles Peace Treaty, which ended the war, called forthe expulsion of all Germans, including missionaries, from former Germancolonies. The Australian government decreed that all German missionaries wouldneed to leave New Guinea by 1922. Thiele negotiated for them to be allowed tostay. The government agreed, but the New Guinea missions could no longer belongto the German mission groups. In 1921 the two mission fields, Finschhafen andMadang, were united under the name of Lutheran Mission New Guinea (LMNG). Theyear 1921 also saw the formation of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church inAustralia (UELCA), which included the Immanuel Synod already aligned with theNew Guinea mission. The LMNG was to be jointly administered by the UELCA andthe Iowa Synod, with legal ownership resting with the UELCA. Thiele wasdesignated Mission Director and directed the work from Australia.


Though the New Guinea work of the Iowa Synod was directed byThiele, there was active administrative work done by Iowa as well. A New GuineaAid Society (later called the Mission Auxiliary) was established in 1916. W.Kraushaar was elected chairman and Richard Taeuber secretary. In 1917 the IowaSynod appointed a Heidenmission Komitee, translated Heathen-Mission Committeeor Foreign Mission Committee, soon renamed the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM).The first meeting of this group was in 1919. G. Gundel was chairman, GeorgeFritschel secretary, F. Braun treasurer, and A. Hoeger and Richard Taeuber weretwo additional members. Taeuber became secretary in 1920 and served either assecretary or chairman from that time until 1930, when he became the ExecutiveSecretary of the New Guinea Section of the Board of Foreign Missions of theAmerican Lutheran Church, a post he held until 1948. Braun likewise served intothe early 1940s, both as financial agent and chairman of the New Guinea Sectionof the ALC (see ALC 29).


The Mission Auxiliary published Die Missions-Stundebeginning in 1913. In 1921 it began, in cooperation with the BFM, to publishthe English-language monthly magazine The Lutheran Missionary. Most ofthe mission records of the Iowa Synod, however, are in German.


The first missionaries sent to New Guinea by the Iowa Synodwere Friedrich and Emma Knautz and sisters Ida and Luthilde Voss. From1921-1929 the Iowa Synod sent 21 missionaries, only 14 of whom were ordained.Although the Iowa Synod and the UELCA had legal and financial responsibility, themajority of staff was still provided by Neuendettelsau and Barmen.


When Germany entered the League of Nations in 1926, the waywas opened for German mission societies to return to New Guinea. There was astruggle among the UELCA, Iowa Synod, Neuendettelsau Mission Society, and RMGover land and work then held by the UELCA and Iowa Synod. In 1929 the fourgroups met in Brisbane and agreed that the RMG would take back Madang. Becausethe RMG was not exclusively Lutheran, the other three did not feel they couldwork cooperatively with it. They instead agreed to divide the Finschhafen workinto two districts, with Neuendettelsau administering Finschhafen and IowaSynod administering a new district called Finisterre. The UELCA was to overseerecruitment, furloughs, and pensions. William Flierl was designated presidentof the Finschhafen District, George Hueter of the Finisterre District, andStephan Lehner was superintendent of the two together.


The division of Finschhafen into two districts did not gowell. The local churches had not been consulted. The American missionaries whohad been working in Madang were pulled away from established work in languagesalready mastered to struggle with new languages and programs.


In 1930 the Iowa Synod united with the Buffalo Synod and theJoint Synod of Ohio to form the American Lutheran Church (ALC). When the RMGrealized it would be unable to continue its work in Madang, both because thedivision of territory had left it little room in which to expand and because offinancial difficulties, it negotiated the return of the Madang work to the ALC.In 1932 the ALC happily returned to the Madang work. The New Guinea work wasnow separated into the Lutheran Mission Madang, administered by the ALC, andthe Lutheran Mission Finschhafen, administered by Neuendettelsau. There wassome overlap of staff and program, but the field was not again united into theLMNG until after World War II.




Bachmann, E. Theodore and Mercia Brenne Bachmann. LutheranChurches in the World. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989.


Braun, F. and C.V. Sheatsley. On Both Sides of theEquator. Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1937.


The Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea: The FirstHundred Years 1886-1986, edited by Herwig Wagner and Hermann Reiner. Adelaide,Australia: Lutheran Publishing House, 1987, revised edition.


Lutheran World Missions, edited by Andrew S. Burgess.Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1954.



JSO 9 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J. Leonard, Project Archivist,September 2000; Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, February 2003
Joint Synod of Ohio

Board of Foreign Missions


The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio (JSO) showedits first evidence of interest in foreign missions when the Eastern Districtestablished a Domestic and Foreign Mission Society in 1837. The society did notestablish any foreign mission work of its own, but encouraged support of theIndia mission work of Father Heyer (General Synod and General Council).


When the American Civil War caused financial difficultiesfor the General Synod work in India, the Hermannsburg Mission Society inGermany sent an experienced India missionary, August Mylius, to aid in the workat Rajahmundry. Because conditions had improved, however, the General Synod wasreluctant to accept help. Mylius therefore moved south, selecting a new fieldand choosing Nayudupet as a headquarters. He then petitioned Hermannsburg foradditional help. Hermannsburg sent three additional missionaries in 1886. Theirwork was called the Hermannsburg Evangelical Lutheran Mission. The JSO took aninterest in this mission and provided some financial support for it.


Meanwhile, there was increased interest among the members ofthe JSO in a foreign mission field of its own. In 1908 a committee wasappointed to explore the feasibility of opening a field in South America,establishing work adjoining Hermannsburg work in India or in Africa, orpurchasing part of the Hermannsburg mission field. This committee, with EdwardPfeiffer as chairman and G.W. Lose as secretary, met annually from 1910-1912.


In 1912 two actions established JSO work in foreignmissions. The first was the creation of the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM),with the Rev. Edward Pfeiffer as president, the Rev. Joshua H. Schneider,secretary, and A.W. Werder, treasurer. Pfeiffer, who served until his death in1927, was replaced by the Rev. Augustine H. Dornbirer (1927-1930). Schneiderserved as secretary for the entire tenure of the board. Werder was followed byWilliam Altmann (1914-1924), the Rev. Otto George Gerbich (1924-1925) andGeorge L. Conrad (1925-1930).


The second event of 1912 was the JSO purchase of two of theHermannsburg stations in India, Puttur and Kodur, for a purchase price ofapproximately $18,000. Hermannsburg agreed to continue to provide missionariesfor these stations until the JSO was able to send its own. The outbreak ofWorld War I, however, resulted in the return to Germany of all of theHermannsburg missionaries except C. Scriba, an Indian-born British subject.Scriba was appointed acting secretary for both Hermannsburg and the JSOmission.


Because during this period the Indian government did notallow the entrance of missionaries from either Hermannsburg or the JSO,oversight of the already established work was undertaken by Scriba and aninter-mission committee of five from the Guntur Mission (General Synod andUnited Lutheran Church in America), American Baptist Mission, Wesleyan Mission,Australian Presbyterian Mission, and the Dutch Reformed Mission. In 1916Hermannsburg transferred the remainder of its Indian field to the JSO. Stillunable to get missionaries into India, the JSO borrowed S.C. Burger, an Indiamissionary of the United Lutheran Church in America, as provisional secretary,a post he filled from 1918-1921. The work continued during this time ofrestrictions on missionaries, but much ground was lost in both property andmembership.


In 1920 the JSO was finally able to get four missionaries onthe field. It also sent C.V. Sheatsley, commissioner of the Board of ForeignMissions, to India in 1920 to organize the work and report back to the board.Sheatsley organized the India Conference (see ALC 29/7/2), a governing body forthe oversight of the mission work on the field.


When restrictions against the German missions were lifted,Hermannsburg was eager to return to its former fields. The JSO sent C.C. Hein,president of the synod, and C.V. Sheatsley, then president of the board, toGermany in 1929 to discuss the India missions with Hermannsburg. At that timeHermannsburg agreed to turn all of its India work over to the JSO instead ofreturning to administer the work itself. In return for the field so gained, theJSO gave a contribution of $15,000 to Hermannsburg for its mission work inSouth Africa. The JSO had also acquired work in India formerly held by theLondon Missionary Society and the Arcot Mission in 1928.


The BFM also had a brief involvement in the JSO foray intoMexican Missions. At the 1922 convention, it was reported by the Texas Districtthat a Spanish school had begun in San Juan, Texas the previous year. As aresult of this news, the JSO decided to budget 2500 dollars per year for thiswork. It was decided to place responsibility for this new mission work with theBFM. BFM involvement began in September 1922 and it subsequently held monthlymeetings to discuss matters pertaining to Mexican mission work. In February1924 the first BFM Mexico Mission missionary, the Rev. Albert Ell ofSaskatchewan, Canada, began work. The Texas District was heavily involved inthis work and even had a committee devoted to Mexican Missions. This committeedid much of the work of administration and budgeting and then submitted finalreports and requests for review and approval by BFM. It was acknowledged at the1924 JSO convention that the BFM had much work to do in the India field andthat a special board needed to be elected for Mexican Missions. This committeeheld its first meetings in October 1924 and at the 1926 JSO convention it submittedits first report which included a constitution for the Board of MexicanMissions submitted to the convention for approval.


In 1930 the JSO became a part of the newly formed AmericanLutheran Church (ALC). The work of the Board of Foreign Missions of the JSO wastaken over by the ALC, becoming the India Section of the Board of ForeignMissions of the ALC (see ALC 29/7).




Lutheran World Missions, edited by Andrew S. Burgess.Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1954, pp. 20-34.


Minutes of the Forty-Seventh Convention of theEvangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States. Columbus, Ohio:Lutheran Book Concern, 1924.


Minutes of the Forty-Eighth Convention of the EvangelicalLutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States. Columbus, Ohio: LutheranBook Concern, 1926.


Sheatsley, C.V., History of the Evangelical LutheranJoint Synod of Ohio and Other States.Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1919, pp. 215-223.



JSO 11 Administrative History


Compiled by: Catherine Lundeen, Project Archivist, February2003
Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio And Other States
Womens Missionary Conference


While attending with her husband, the 1913 convention of theEvangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (JSO) Mens MissionaryConference held in Sandusky, Ohio, Mrs. Wilhemina Young Kuhlman became inspiredto form a womens counterpart to this mens organization. Mrs. Kuhlmanmentioned the idea to her husband, the Rev. J.H. Kuhlman, and after muchdiscussion, the idea was presented to the conferences Resolutions Committee. Aresolution encouraging women of the Synod to form their own organization wasread. After some opposition it carried and the Fremont Conference was asked toformulate plans for a womens organization. At the Fremont Conferences nextmeeting, recommendations were presented regarding the formation of a womensconference organized along the same lines as the Mens Missionary Conference.


Womens missionary societies from the Eastern, Western,Northern, and English districts were asked to appoint two members to acommittee to plan the first meeting of the new organization. This first meetingof the Womens Missionary Conference (WMC) took place at St. Pauls LutheranChurch, Toledo, Ohio, on September 24-26, 1913. At this meeting presentationswere made, missionary papers read, services held, and mission topics discussed.An executive committee was elected to plan for the next meeting and thecreation of a formal organization. It was at the second meeting of theconference on September 22-24, 1914, that a constitution was presented andofficers were elected. They were: Mrs. Wilhemina Young Kuhlman, president; Mrs.Perry Davis, vice-president; Mrs. E.T. Corner, corresponding secretary; MissKatharine Lehmann, recording secretary; Mrs. Mary Conwell Parks, financialsecretary; and Mrs. Arthur Schmidt, treasurer. Though the conference started bymeeting annually, in 1916 it switched to holding its general conventionsbiennially.


The Executive Board comprised the conferences executiveoffices, presidents of the district conferences, department chairpersons,editors, and past conference presidents. It met annually, in February, and alsoafter the close of the biennial conference meeting. An Executive Committee comprisedthe officers of the conference and one member-at-large. This committee met whenneeded. These two bodies were responsible for all administrative mattersneeding attention between the biennial meetings of the conference. In 1928 theoffice of president became a salaried position and the office of a full-timefield secretary was created. Miss Katharine Lehmann was the first elected toserve in that post.


Throughout its existence, the WMC did not have aheadquarters. Officers, the field secretary, and editors for WMC publicationsworked out of their homes. Meetings of the executive board and conferenceconventions occurred in churches. In later years, the executive board wouldmeet on several occasions at the offices of the Lutheran Book Concern, Columbus,Ohio.


Speaking before the WMC at its 1916 convention, the Rev.C.H.L. Schuette, president of the JSO, encouraged the conference to take upspecial work of its own and pursue it vigorously. Up until this point, theconference was more of a forum in which to examine various missionary topicsand present papers for discussion and review. Starting in 1919 and continuingthrough 1928 the WMC established the following departments of work: Junior,Life Membership and Memorial, Statistical, Thankoffering, India Lace,Literature, Extension, and Special Needs. Each department concentrated on aspecific aspect of WMC work to support mission endeavors of thechurch-at-large. The WMC divided its time and attention between home andforeign missions and missionary education.


In terms of foreign mission work, the conferenceparticipated in support of the JSO mission field in India. In 1922 the WMCinitiated a Dollar Drive to collect money for the construction of a hospital inRenigunta, India. Through this drive the WMC collected more than $15,000 andwhen a special Thankoffering was issued, it collected the remaining amountneeded. In total the WMC met its goal of raising $75,000. The women alsosupported work of the India mission by marketing and selling, through the IndiaLace Department, lace and embroidery work created by young women attending theLace School at Gudur, India. Other support for India mission work was channeledthrough the WMC Junior Department where childrens organizations, known asJunior Mission Bands, collected funds for the construction of a hostel formissionaries at Kodaikanal, India. The WMC used pamphlets, leaflets, booklets,and picture sheets it created through the Literature Department to educatemembers about the work in India, the mission field itself, and to promote aninterest in supporting that work.


The WMC was also involved in efforts to support home missionwork. The Life Membership and Memorial Department provided support for JSOMexican Missions. The conference decided in 1926 to use interest from investedfunds to help pay the salary of a woman missionary working in Mexican missionwork in Texas. When the Special Needs Department was established in 1928, itsmission was to distribute needed materials to retired clergy, widows, orphans,senior citizens homes, and home missionaries who found themselves insituations where they were in need of either financial or material assistancein filling basic needs. Special gifts distributed included household items,apparel, money, and quilts sewn by conference members. Other home missionprojects were those that benefited from funds collected through Thankofferings.These included the Parsonage Building Fund established for missioncongregations to borrow money to build a parsonage, and a WMC project to outfitthe kitchen at the girls dormitory at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.


One of the principal responsibilities of the WMC was topromote the mission work of the JSO among its members and to educate membersabout the various mission fields in which the church worked and projectssupporting those mission fields. Through promotion and education, the WMC wasable to fulfill one of its constitutional mandates to Zealously aid the greatwork of home and foreign missions by developing the missionary activity of itsown members and of all the congregations of the Synod. This shall be done bypapers and discussions at the meetings, and by circulating missionaryliterature.2


The WMC published, through its Literature Department,pamphlets, booklets, leaflets, picture sheets, and monthly missionary programsfor use by local congregations interested in furthering the cause of JSOmission work. The Literature Department was created in 1924 as an outgrowth ofthe work done by the office of Literature Secretary created in 1922. The WMCalso promoted mission work of the church, as well as its own work, through itsown mission publication, Monthly Missionary Programs and WomensDepartment pages in the JSO church publications Lutheran Standard and LutherischeKirkenzeitung.


The WMC created its own mission publication as a result of arequest of the Literature Committee of the Fremont District to create a bookletcontaining a study outline for monthly missionary education programs. AnnualMissionary Programs was published from 1916-1923. The ExecutiveBoard of the WMC had a committee of three people responsible for preparing thispublication. Mrs. Corra Libbe Long served as committee chairperson from1916-1920; Mrs. Julia Bauch Burman, 1922-1926; and Mrs. Anna Trebel Poppen,1926-1930. Starting in 1924, the publishing frequency increased to twelveissues and the publication was renamed Monthly Missionary Programs.Additional pages in each issue were added in 1929, as well as additionalfeatures such as department reports. It was printed at the Lutheran BookConcern, Columbus, Ohio. By 1930 the publication had a subscribers list of10,975.


The Womens Missionary Conference remained in existenceuntil the 1930 merger of the JSO, the Evangelical Lutheran Iowa Synod and OtherStates, and the Lutheran Synod of Buffalo which created the American LutheranChurch (ALC). The womens organization of these churches merged to create theALC Womens Missionary Federation. At the time of its dissolution, the WMC had amembership of approximately 14,600 women with 330 societies in seventeendistricts across the United States.




Atzinger, Mrs. John, Mrs. L.J. Kutz, Miss Katharine Lehmann.The Spirit that Quickeneth: A Brief History of the Departments in the WomensMissionary Conference of the Joint Synod of Ohio, General Federation ofLutheran Womens Organizations of the Iowa Synod, Womens Missionary Federationof the American Lutheran Church. Columbus, Ohio: Womens MissionaryFederation, 1955.


Kuhlman, Wilhemina Young. A Brief History of the WomensMissionary Conference. Columbus, Ohio; Lutheran Book Concern, n.d.


Lagerquist, L. De Ane. From Our Mothers Arms: A Historyof Women in The American Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Augsburg PublishingHouse, 1987.


JSO 11/2 Womens Missionary Conference, Minutes and Reports,1913-1931.


Official Reports of the President and the Various Boardsand Committees. Columbus, Ohio; Lutheran Book Concern, 1930.



ULCA 19 Administrative History


Compiled by Rosalita J. Leonard, November 1999
United Lutheran Church in America
Board of Foreign Missions, 1918-1962


When the church was formed in 1918, the new body took overthe foreign mission work of the merging groups: that of the General Synod inIndia, Liberia, and British Guiana; that of the General Council in India,Japan, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico; and that of the United Synod Southin Japan. In 1919, it took over the Argentina work on the Pan-Lutheran Societyfor Latin America. In 1924 it purchased the Berlin Missionary SocietysShantung mission in China. It was given the Schleswig-Holstein Societys fieldin East Jeypore, India in 1928. In 1952, when forced to withdraw from Chinafollowing [the] Communists rise to power, work was undertaken in Hong Kong incooperation with Augustana, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the LutheranFree Church. In 1953, a new field was opened [in] Malaya. Supervision of theVirgin Islands and Puerto Rico missions which had been in charge of the ULCAsWest Indies Mission Board was transferred to the Board of American Missions in1928.


It was the policy of the ULCA to encourage and promote theestablishing of autonomous churches in the various mission areas. After suchchurches were formed under indigenous leadership, continued assistance andcooperation were offered in the form of personnel, facilities, and funds. Assoon as a new church received full legal status all property was turned over tothe church according to a time table that was mutually satisfactory. Where anindigenous church was established missionaries were sent out only on therequest of that church and by it assigned to their posts of service. Areas ofmissionary activity included evangelism, education, medical, social and studentwork, agricultural missions, and other specialized ministries. (from ULCAfinding aids, Administrative History, pp. 3-4)


Officers and Administrators


The opening convention of the ULCA elected board members andemployed the three heads of the uniting mission boards (George Drach, GeneralCouncil; Luther B. Wolf, General Synod; and Charles L. Brown, United Synod) todirect the new Board of Foreign Missions. Members of this board in turn electedtheir own officers, including the three above named, to serve as generalsecretaries. The work of these three was defined and divided among them.Although Brown died in Africa in 1921, Wolf continued until 1933 and Drachuntil 1943. The officers were president, vice president, recording secretary,and treasurer, with Drach and Wolf serving as recording secretary (1918-1943)and treasurer (1918-1928) respectively. The president and vice president werechosen from the elected board. In 1924 a field secretary was added, J. FrankHeilman for one year only and then M.E. Thomas. In 1928 an Executive Secretary,Paul W. Koller, was appointed, serving over the general (sometimes calleddepartment) secretaries, field secretary, and treasurer. Thomas became ageneral secretary in 1933, and the designation field secretary was dropped.When Koller died in 1937, the term executive secretary was dropped temporarily,with Drach and Thomas becoming administrative secretaries, and Edwin Mollgeneral secretary, with Molls work similar to that of the original fieldsecretaries. In 1945 the term administrative was dropped and in the late 1940sthrough the 1950s the number of secretaries increased as duties were divided.The position of executive secretary, directing the work of the othersecretaries, was reinstated in 1946. The first woman listed officially as a secretarywas Helen Shirk (1947-1954).


Board Membership


The board was composed of 21 members, 13 clergy and 8 lay.The president and vice president were chosen from this group. Terms were sixyears and individuals could serve no more than two terms consecutively. Theboard nominated its own members, with the nominations sent to the ULCA forapproval. This board met bi-monthly until 1933 when the frequency of meetingsbecame quarterly due to financial constraints, and then further decreased tothree times a year in 1947.


From the beginning there were advisory members from theAugustana Synod, the United Danish Church of America (later the UnitedEvangelical Lutheran Church), and the Womens Missionary Society. In 1932 theIcelandic Synod began providing advisory members. When Augustana requested fullboard membership in 1919 it was denied, but it and the United Danish Churchwere then designated cooperating members and were granted the right to vote oncommittees that dealt with the countries in which they provided financialsupport or personnel.


By 1921 the Augustana representatives were being listed asboard members, but when the Danish Church requested similar listing and votingprivileges in 1936 (granted in 1937), the ULCA again stressed that both the Danishand Augustana members were to vote only on the committees to which their workwas related. Augustana threatened to pull out altogether if this rule wereapplied too stringently. In 1940 the Icelandic Synod representative was alsolisted as a member. These bodies chose their own representatives, but theirnames had to be approved by the ULCA. The number of these cooperating memberswas not to exceed 3 (later 5) and they were in addition to the 21 ULCA members.Sometimes they were listed in the yearbook as members, sometimes as cooperatingor advisory members.


The Womens Missionary Society requested full membership in1920, but they remained listed as advisory members until 1946. Throughout theentire ULCA history, however, the BFM and WMS worked together very closely inselecting, screening, financing, and directing the work of the missionaries ofthe ULCA.


Board meetings and administrative work took place inBaltimore until the ULCA headquarters moved to New York City in 1945.




Administrative History ULCA


Minutes, Board of Foreign Missions, ULCA 1918-1962



ULCA 19/2 Administrative History


Compiled by: David L. Lindberg, March 1997
United Lutheran Church in America
Board of Foreign Missions
Secretary for Japan, Japan Mission


United States LutheranMission activity in Japan prior to the formation of the United Lutheran Churchin America (1880-1918)


In 1886 the United Synod, South (USS) was formed by a unionof the General Synod, South (GSS), the Holston Synod and the Tennessee Synod.The GSS, through its Board of Missions and Church Extension, had been doingmission work in India, but its missionary there had just resigned. That board,now part of the USS, decided in 1887 to begin mission work in Japan instead.


After several clergymen declined calls to serve and one manresigned his appointment before going overseas, two men from Virginiavolunteered. One was James A.B. Scherer from the Southwest Virginia Synod andthe other was Robert E. Peery from the Virginia Synod. Both men were examined,ordained and sent to Japan in 1892. Although Scherer resigned in 1897 becauseof poor health, Peery was joined in 1898 by the Rev. Charles L. Brown and in1900 by the Rev. C.K. Lippard, both of whom were supported by the USS.


The Lutheran Missionary Society of West Schleswig, Germanyappointed a missionary from Denmark, the Rev. J.M.T. Winther, to go to China;but while visiting Japan in 1898 he decided to work in Japan instead. In 1903the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (UDELC) begansupporting Winther as well. He soon began cooperating on an informal basis witha Mission Conference organized by Peery, Brown and Lippard.


In 1908 the USS Board and the Foreign Mission Board of theGeneral Council began to discuss cooperative work in Japan. The latter Boardhad been formed at the time that the General Council was formed in 1867. Itsfirst missionary to Japan, the Rev. Frisby D. Smith had arrived in 1908. Priorto his arrival Peery had resigned but two new USS missionaries, the Rev. A.J.Stirewalt and the Rev. L.S.G. Miller had begun work in Japan, joining Brown andLippard. These five men formally urged the USS and General Council to cooperatein educational work in Japan. In the United States the USS Board, at its 1909meeting, invited the UDELC to join the talks as well.


In 1910 representatives from the USS, the General Counciland the UDELC met to implement joint educational work in Japan and also toapprove a common conference of Lutheran missionaries in Japan to represent thethree American churches. In this organization, called the Joint Conference ofLutheran Missions Cooperating in Japan, all missionaries, regardless of boardaffiliations, were considered equal. Reports of the meetings were sent to allthree churches and the conference assigned all workers including missionariesto work stations and a common treasurer received and disbursed all funds. Thisarrangement continued until the United Lutheran Church in America was formed in1918. After the Rev. Robert C. Holland died in 1915, Charles L. Brown from theJapan Mission became the USS Mission Secretary in the United States. The Rev.George Drach was the mission secretary in the United States for the GeneralCouncil during this period.


United Lutheran Churchin America Mission activity in Japan prior to World War II (1918-1941)


The ULCA was formed onNovember 11, 1918, thereby uniting the mission boards of the General Synod,General Council and the USS. On August 23, 1918, the Joint Conference ofLutheran Missions Cooperating in Japan had already asked the new Board ofForeign Missions of the ULCA and the UDELC to effect, if possible, arelationshipwhereby the missionariesmay be one body, engaged in one unifiedwork, irrespective of distinctions in supporting boards In September 1919,after the UDELC had approved an official union with the mission field in Japan,the board of the ULCA invited two representatives of the UDELC to participatein all the deliberations of the board, as voting members of the Japan committee,and also as cooperating members in the general meeting. At the time of theformation of the ULCA, twelve Japan missionaries were supported by the GeneralCouncil, twelve by the USS and four by the UDELC. The Icelandic Synod (U.S.)had begun work in Japan in 1916 as part of the General Council.


In 1918 the new board ofForeign Missions of the ULCA had unanimously elected the three secretaries oftheir predecessor boards as secretaries of the new board: USS - Charles L.Brown; General Council - George Drach (Corresponding Secretary for Japan); andGeneral Synod - L.B. Wolf. Charles K. Brown died in Liberia in 1921, L.B. Wolfretired in 1933 and George Drach retired in 1943. Paul W. Koller served asExecutive Secretary from 1928 to 1937.


A standing committee onJapan Missions handled the detailed work on Japan for the ULCA Board of ForeignMissions. As already noted, representatives from the UDELC served on thiscommittee. From 1918 until 1945 the foreign mission headquarters of the UnitedLutheran Church was in Baltimore.


Prior to the firstconvention of the Japanese Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC) the JointConference of the Lutheran Missionaries Cooperating in Japan in 1919 hadalready adopted A Basis of Cooperation Between the Japan Mission of the ULCAand the NENKWAI of the JELC. The two organizations; one comprisingmissionaries and the other, the NENKWAI, comprising Japanese pastors,evangelists and lay delegates from local churches, were each to adopt their ownconstitutions and elect their own officers. They were to hold their annualmeetings at the same time, in the same place, but the business sessions were tobe held in separate chambers and no members of one chamber shall be present atthe business sessions of the other except by invitation. However, anyresolution from either chamber concerning new work, employment or dismissal ofJapanese pastors or evangelists, and the location of both missionaries andJapanese workers required approval by both chambers. (Final authority regardingseminary decisions was in the hands of a Board of Trustees). There would alsobe a Joint Ministerium consisting of all ordained men from the Mission and theNENKWAI. At the first convention of the JELC held in Kumamoto on April 6-13,1920, the Rev. Kokichiro Takimoto was elected chairman of the JointMinisterium. While this constitution remained in effect the chairmen of theJoint Ministerium were:


Rev. Kokichiro Tatimoto:1920-1921, 1922-1923
Rev. J.P. Nielsen: 1921-1922
Rev. Edward T. Horn: 1923-1925, 1930-1931
Rev. Tsunekichi Yonemura: 1925-1926, 1927-1928, 1929-1930
Rev. L.S.G. Miller: 1926-1927
Rev. J.M.T. Winther: 1928-1929

In 1927 a committee wasappointed to begin work on a new constitution and special agreement which wouldclarify the specific responsibilities of missionaries. A new constitutionfinally came into being on April 27, 1931, after numerous revisions both inJapan and the United States. The bicameral arrangement of the two chambers wasdiscontinued as well as the Joint Ministerium. The Japan Mission of the ULCA aswell as the Japan Lutheran Church, however, still continued to meet separately:the latter operated under the new constitution and the former under StandingRules.


The Ministerium alsocontinued without the designation of Joint. Rev. Inoko Miura was elected andre-elected president of the JELC through 1942. The presidents of the Missionduring this period were:


Rev. C.W. Hepner:1931-1936, 1941-1942
Rev. L.S.G. Miller: 1936-1940
Rev. Edward T. Horn: 1940-1941


The Law for the Controlof Religious Organizations was passed by the Japanese government in 1939 andtook effect April 1, 1940. The JELC reorganized under a new constitution in1940. It had been hoped that any denomination with as many as 50 congregationsand 5,000 members might receive separate recognition as a denomination by thegovernment. The JELC had 5,152 members but only 44 congregations. In October1940 the smaller Evangelical Lutheran Church Finnish (ELCF) with twelvecongregations and 2,000 members together with the JELC approved a merger.Missionaries who had served in executive or administrative posts in churchinstitutions resigned. By the time the U.S. joined World War II in December1941, all missionaries except A.J. Stirewalt and the Rev. and Mrs. C.W. Hepnerhad left Japan, who were then expatriated in 1942.


At its convention in May1941, upon being assured that Lutheran faith and practice would be guaranteedby a new Protestant constitution mandated by the government, the Japan LutheranChurch voted for a new union with other Protestant denominations. This neworganization was called Nippon Kirisuto Kyodan also known as The Church ofChrist in Japan (KYODAN). The Rev. Inoko Miura who had been president of theJELC served as its vice president during World War II although the guarantee ofmaintaining Lutheran faith and practice was abolished by the new church in1942.


United Lutheran Churchin America Mission activity in Japan after World War II (1945-1962)


Two months after thesurrender of Japan to the United States on August 14, 1945, the ULCA Board ofForeign Missions received word from the Japan Committee of the Foreign MissionsConference of North America that arrangements had been made for a group ofChristian leaders to go to Japan to contact Christian leaders there. TheLutheran board immediately informed the Foreign Missions Conference that E.T.Horn, L.S.G. Miller and Nona Diehl would be its first postwar representativesin Japan. Upon their return from Japan the Foreign Missions Conferenceconcluded that for the time being only a few missionaries should be sent toJapan.


In Japan the Rev. InokoMiura, the former president of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church, becamechairman of a committee to prepare a new constitution for the Kyodan whichwould have made that ecumenical body a federation of independent churches.Others in the Kyodan, however, insisted that it remain a church and not afederation. The consequence was that the Lutherans withdrew in 1947 andre-organized in 1948 as the JELC and the ELCF. Meanwhile six permanentrepresentatives of the Foreign Missions Conference were sent to Japan as acommission to act as an agent of different mission boards in securing clearancefor missionaries to enter occupied Japan. Through their assistance, Lutheranmissionaries A.J. Stirewalt, Maude Powlas, and Annie Powlas returned to Japanin 1947. Martha Akard and L.S.G. Miller had returned to Japan in 1946, thelatter without special assistance from the commission.


In 1950 the JELC, whichhad been an associated synod of the ULCA prior to World War II, became anaffiliated church instead. It divided itself into four districts in 1951: oneeach in the Tokyo and the Osaka areas and two in Kyushu. When the AugustanaLutheran Mission began in Japan, a fifth district was established in southwestHonshu. A sixth district was formed in 1953 when the ELCF again united with theJELC. This was in Northwestern and Northern Japan.


The presidents of theJELC from 1948 until 1962 were:


Chitose Kishi: 1948,1956-1958, 1959-1962
Kiyoshi Hirai: 1948-1953
Yukichi Makise: 1953-1955
Rokuro Yamaouchi: 1958-1959


Between 1948 and 1953eleven new Lutheran missionary groups from the United States and Norway beganwork in Japan. The Evangelical Lutheran Church from the United States beganwork in 1949 and established a close relationship with the Japan LutheranTheological Seminary by providing a professor and financial support. TheAugustana Lutheran Mission, as already mentioned, organized congregations in anew district of the JELC and also contributed financially to both the churchand its seminary. As had been true prior to World War II the UELC, formerly theUDELC, continued to send missionaries as part of the United Lutheran Church inAmerica Mission. That mission was renamed the Japan Lutheran MissionaryAssociation in 1947 in order to indicate a closer relationship with the JELC.


The presidents of theassociation from 1947-1962 were:


L.S.G. Miller: 1947-1951
Howard A. Alsdorf: 1951-1955
Harold Deal: 1955-1957
Lloyd Neve: 1957-1960
Alexander Meyer: 1960-1961
Charles Dawkins: 1961-1962

In 1945 the ForeignMission headquarters of the ULCA moved from Baltimore to New York City. TheRev. Edwin Moll was the General Secretary in 1945, the Rev. Luther Gotwaldbecame Executive Secretary in 1948 and the Rev. Earl S. Erb served in thatcapacity from 1953 until 1962.


The secretaries for Japanduring this time were:


Ms. Helen M. Shirk:1948-1954
The Rev. Warren C. Johnson: 1956-1959
The Rev. David Vikner: 1959-1962


Vikner was an AugustanaLutheran missionary who served in Japan from 1950 until 1959.




Huddle, Benjamin P., Historyof the Lutheran Church in Japan (1958) Wolf, L.B., History of the AmericanLutheran Foreign Missions, 1935-1935 (unpublished manuscript).


A Statement of theStructural Organization of the Board of Foreign Missions of the United LutheranChurch in America (unpublished manuscript)



ULCA 19/7 Administrative History


Compiled by: Rosalita J.Leonard, Project Archivist, April 2000
United Lutheran Church in America
Board of Foreign Missions
Secretary for India


Mission work of theUnited Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) in India was a merger of work begun bytwo of its predecessor church bodies, the General Council of the LutheranChurch in North America (General Council) in the area of Rajahmundry and theGeneral Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the USA (General Synod) inthe area of Guntur. This merger occurred in 1918 when the General Council andGeneral Synod, along with the United Synod South, merged to become the ULCA.For information on the work of the General Council and General Synod in India,see GC 16/2, GC 16/2/1, GS 15/2, and GS 15/2/1. Although the AugustanaEvangelical Lutheran Church, at that time known as the Augustana Synod of theGeneral Council, did not participate in this merger, they did continue torelate to the work in India under the ULCA.


The Board of ForeignMissions (Board of World Missions after 1956) of the ULCA had administrativeoversight of the work. Initially, three general secretaries (later calledadministrative secretaries) divided administrative oversight of the missionwork. George Drach, among other duties, had oversight of the work in India.Drach served as General Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) from1918-1943, having previously served in a similar capacity in the GeneralCouncil from 1905-1918. Successors to Drach, as far as supervision of the Indiawork was concerned, were J. Roy Strock, 1944-1946; M. Edwin Thomas, 1946-1947;Luther A. Gotwald, 1947-1952; and Earl S. Erb, 1952-1954. In 1954 J. FrederickNeudoerffer became the first Secretary for India, a post he held until hisretirement in 1984, although the title was changed to Secretary for SouthernAsia and the Middle East in 1973. Neudoerffer thus served as a bridge betweenthe ULCA and its successor, the Lutheran Church in America (1962).


Much of the work in Indiacentered around medical and educational projects. Two institutions in which theULCA was involved were Andhra Christian College and Luthergiri Seminary. AndhraChristian College, located in Guntur, India, was initially a cooperative effortof the missionaries and the British civilian officers of the district. In 1857it received recognition from the government. Due to financial difficulties, itwas closed in 1863 and was not re-opened until 1874, at which time Lemon L. Uhloversaw its reorganization. In 1885 it became affiliated with the University ofMadras as a Second Grade College, with Luther B. Wolf becoming the firstprincipal. In 1926 it was upgraded to a First Grade College and affiliated withthe newly established Andhra University, with its students pursuing the degreeof Bachelor of Arts.


In its earliest days thecollege was named American Evangelical Lutheran Mission College (GeneralSynod). Later it became the United Lutheran Church Mission College (ULCA), withadministration falling to the ULCA Council of the India Mission. In 1928, withthe added cooperation of the Church Missionary Society and the American BaptistMission, it became known as the Andhra Christian College, although the ULCAstill maintained much of the property and provided most of the funding.Ultimately the direction of the college was undertaken by the Andhra EvangelicalLutheran Church, with the property held by the Council of the India Mission.Sometime in the early 1960s the property was transferred to the church as well.


Luthergiri TheologicalSeminary began as a Bible Training School of the General Council in Rajahmundryin 1885, moving to Luthergiri in 1908. Similarly, the General Synod opened aBible Training School in Guntur in 1883. The two schools merged in 1921 atLuthergiri under the ULCA. In 1939 the Theological Department of AndhraChristian College was transferred to Luthergiri, changing its name fromLuthergiri Theological College to Luthergiri Theological Seminary (although theterms college and seminary seem to have been used interchangeably), and addingthe Bachelor of Divinity degree. In addition to the ULCA and Andhra EvangelicalLutheran Church, the seminary was also supported by the American LutheranChurch and the Andhra Lutheran Church South. In 1964 Luthergiri became a partof the newly established Andhra Christian Theological College.




Minutes, Board of ForeignMission, United Lutheran Church in America.


Minutes, Board of WorldMissions, Lutheran Church in America.


Minutes, Division forWorld Mission and Ecumenism, Lutheran Church in America.






1 Womens Mission Society.(Cedar Falls, Iowa: Holst Printing Company, 1946), 4.


2Constitution of theWomens Missionary Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohioand Other States. JSO 11/2 Minutes and Reports, 1913-1931. pp. 110.