On-site research by appointment not necessary but recommended

LCMS, Commission on Architecture Records, 1953-1979.

  • Collection Number: A-0007
  • Collection Size: 0.2 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 with the CHI reference staff for assistance.


The Committee on Church Architecture was established at the Synod convention in 1923. The English District had created such a committee in 1922, and it had received such a good response that the Synod decided to expand the services to include all districts. The committee was composed of five members: an architectural engineer, an architect, a builder and two clergymen. A precursor to the committee may have been the Committee on Church Matters in 1849. In 1854 it was divided into four subcommittees: Interior Church Architecture, Exterior Church Architecture, Church Furnishings and Church Music. After 1860 a single committee, the “Building Committee,” appeared but did not continue. The function of the Committee on Architecture was to advise congregations that intended to build or remodel church buildings, especially those who would receive financial assistance from the Synod for the building. The committee also gave advice on organs, church furnishings and ecclesiastical art. This advice was given primarily through correspondence between the committee members and the congregations. In 1941 the membership of the committee was increased to seven due to the great demand for architectural advice from congregations. Formal semiannual organizational meetings started in 1953. Before that time the members seemed to have communicated with one another through correspondence and informal meetings. In 1965 the Synod enlarged the committee to eleven members to include at least seven architects, at least two pastors and at least one teacher. It also changed its name to the Commission on Architecture. The composition of the eleven members changed in 1979 to consist of nine architects, one pastor or teacher and one artist engaged in or teaching in an art profession. By 1982 the Commission had become a standing committee under the Lutheran Church Extension Fund–Missouri Synod (incorporated in 1978). The LCEF now handles all requests for architectural advice as part of its duties. For more information concerning the Commission on Church Architecture please see the following sources:

  • Proceedings of the Synodical Conventions (1923-1981)
  • Synodical Handbook (editions 1923-1981)


The Commission on Architecture Records consists of minutes and reports from semiannual meetings. The collection is arranged chronologically. The minutes outline the work of the Committee as a whole. The reports are from the individual members and show the work which was being done in each of their respective areas of the country. Although the committee was organized in 1923, this collection has records only from 1953 to 1979. Correspondence pertaining to the work of the Committee before 1953 may be found in the F. R. Webber Collection, as he was secretary of the committee from 1923 to 1953. For materials pertaining to the commission after 1979, please see the LCMS. Board for Church Extension Records.


Minutes and Reports

f.1 Fall 1953 – Fall 1965 f.2 Fall 1966 – Fall 1970 f.3 Spring 1971 – Fall 1975 f.4 Spring 1976 – Fall 1979


The material in this collection was donated to CHI by various people.

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