On-site research by appointment recommended

LCMS, Fiscal Review Commission, 1962-1976.

  • Collection Number: A-0004
  • Collection Size: 0.4 linear feet


LCMS records created 25 years ago or less are normally closed to research. Access to these materials may be obtained only with the written approval of the chairman, secretary, or executive secretary of the board or commission concerned. Please consult the CHI reference staff for assistance.


The synod altered its budgeting procedures at the 1965 convention. The 1966 Handbook listed the Council of Administrators as the body charged with preparing and submitting the work programs and their cost estimates. The council submitted these proposals to the synodical Board of Directors, which then submitted budget proposals to the newly created Fiscal Review Commission. Such a commission had been discussed in a 1962 convention report on constitutional matters. Its predecessors, the Work Program Conference (1963-1965) and its Budget Review Commission, were short-lived bodies in the LCMS budgeting process.

The synodical president and vice-presidents, the synodical Board of Directors, the district presidents (or their representatives), and one layman not employed by each district comprised the voting members of the Fiscal Review Commission. The Synod’s executive director, the controller, and the stewardship counselor were non-voting members of the commission. In 1975 the layman from each district was required to be knowledgeable in fiscal affairs. In addition, one of the following was also eligible to become a member: the district treasurer, the district stewardship chairman or the district stewardship executive.

The 1966 Handbook listed the duties of the Fiscal Review Commission as reviewing the budget proposals from the Board of Directors, setting the budget and examining work programs. The Synod required the commission to meet annually no more than 30 days after the beginning of the fiscal year.

The 1965 convention added a special floor committee of the convention to the procedure, the Work Program Review Committee. The Synod’s president appointed this committee to review and to report on the two-year comprehensive program submitted to synodical conventions by the Board of Directors. On presentation of this report, the biennial delegate conventions were given the opportunity to adopt (or reject) a two-year comprehensive work program.

At the 1977 convention, the Fiscal Review Commission was dissolved by adoption of bylaw revisions that eliminated bylaws 9.11, 9.13 and 9.15 in favor of a five-step budget confirmation procedure outlined in bylaw 9.03 (see 1977 Handbook). Responsibility for budget and work program communication throughout the Synod fell to the district and synodical stewardship boards.

In addition, the floor committee’s name was changed to Program Implementation. The president appointed its members and chose a representative from each district plus at least one board and staff advisor from the Board of Directors and from the Board of Stewardship. The committee still held primary responsibility for reviewing the biennial budgets and work programs. However, the Synod also required its members to communicate more actively with the districts. After 1983 floor committees existed with similar duties but with different names.

Also at the 1977 convention, the Synod’s Board of Directors gained more responsibility in the budgeting process. The Council of Administrators became responsible for gathering the biennial budget proposals and work programs from the Synod’s boards, commissions and operating departments. The Synod no longer required it explicitly to prepare the work program. The Council of Administrators passed the proposals on to the synodical Board of Directors. The Board of Stewardship was also required to provide the Board of Directors with information on long- and short-term income projections. The Board of Directors adopted the final budget.

This system remained in place with few changes until 1992. Bylaw 9.53a, which explained the budget adoption procedures of the LCMS, changed from the explanation given in the 1989 Handbook to the following in 1992: “The Board of Directors of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Inc., shall establish policies and guidelines relating to the preparation of the annual budget and its adoption.”

Budget procedures continue to be reviewed and altered. Researchers are encouraged to consult the following sources for more information and updates:

  • Synodical Handbook (editions printed from 1873 to present)
  • Proceedings of the Synodical Convention
  • LCMS. Board of Directors Records, c.1873-present
  • LCMS. Council of Administrators Records, 1961-present


The Fiscal Review Commission Records are composed primarily of prospectuses and minutes from the annual meetings held from 1966 to 1969. There are no records for the commission from 1970 to 1972 and 1974. The prospectus contain proposed program budgets from the various synodical boards, commissions and operating departments. The minutes contain some schedules, exhibits or addresses given at the meetings. They also reveal the close ties to the Synod’s Board for Stewardship.

The first folder contains the section of the 1962 convention report on constitutional matters that outlines the formation and duties of the commission. The 1973 folder contains materials from the Fiscal Advisory and Planning Conference which appears to be another name used for the Commission at this time. The final three folders contain a variety of material from the Fiscal Review Commission for 1973, 1975, and 1976. There are no prospectuses or minutes in these last folders, only scattered correspondence, agendas, exhibits and some incomplete financial papers.

For more materials related to the LCMS budget procedure, see also the LCMS. Fiscal Conference Records, 1926-1962, and the LCMS. Work Program Records, 1962-1980.


f.1 Proposal, 1962
f.2 1966: Prospectus and Minutes
f.3 1967: Prospectus and Minutes
f.4 1968: Prospectus and Minutes
f.5 1969: Prospectus and Minutes
f.6 1969: Synodical District Budgets
f.7 1973: Fiscal Advisory and Planning Conference
f.8 1975: Miscellaneous
f.9 1976: Miscellaneous


The Fiscal Review Commission records were transferred to CHI by Hermann H. Koppelmann in September 1967, by Walter F. Wolbrecht in May 1969, by the comptroller in August 1975. Additions have been made from materials removed from the LCMS. Executive Office Records, 1944-1979.

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