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LCMS. Executive Offices Records, 1944-1980.

  • Collection Number: A-0019
  • Collection Size: 69.3 linear feet

Restrictions

Folder #1452 (Box 40) is restricted. Please consult the Archivist concerning access to this file.

Historical Note

The LCMS. Executive Offices Records, 1944-1980, reflects the record keeping practices of the highest officials of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The president, the first vice-president, the secretary and the executive director/administrative officer maintained a central file in the Lutheran Building headquarters at 210 North Broadway. The executive staff shared the information in these files with one another. This central file was arranged in alphabetical order by topic, and additions could be made by any of the executive officers.

Several important record groups are located within the central file. The Institute’s entire holdings of files from the Office of the President for the Oliver R. Harms Administration (1962-1969) is located here. Many of the files for the J. A. O. Preus Administration (1969-1981) are also located here, although there is a collection entitled LCMS. Office of the President Records, J. A. O. Preus Administration, 1969-1981. The Preus files located in the Executive Offices Records contain more information on a wider variety of topics. There are some materials that originated during the J. W. Behnken administration that mostly likely served as background information for his successors.

There are many materials from Walter F. Wolbrecht, executive director (1962-1971), in his capacity as liaison for the president with the boards, commissions and operating agencies of the synod. Wolbrecht’s successor, John P. Schuelke, as administrative officer (1971-1998) added many materials to these files during the Preus Administration. Before his retirement in 1998, the title of Schuelke’s position was changed to chief administrative officer. There is also a collection titled LCMS. Chief Administrative Officer Records, 1972-1998.

Scope and Content Note

The collection comprises two series: Subject Files and General Correspondence. The Subject Files are arranged in alphabetical order by topics, which include organizations (both Lutheran and non-Lutheran), synodical entities, individual names and various issues prominent during this time period.

On the following folder list the main topics in the Subject Files appear in bold with the more exact folder descriptions subsequent. Some topics have see/see also notes next to them in order to lead researchers to related topics.

The Executive Offices maintained subject files according to the synod’s administrative triennia or biennia, and the files’ contents appeared in reverse chronological order. During the arrangement process the folders have been placed in chronological order and broken into smaller groups for ease of use. However, due to the size of the collection, individual items within each folder are still in reverse chronological order.

The bulk of the records consists of correspondence. There are financial documents and miscellaneous reports scattered throughout. The correspondence has been left in the order in which is was maintained: replies to incoming letters appear before those letters (originally stapled). The color of the replies’ carbon paper (e.g. yellow is from the President’s Office) often makes it easy to determine to which executive officer the file belonged despite the occasional lack of closing/signature on the carbons.

Many duplicates and unannotated records have been removed from this collection and have been placed with their appropriate record groups. File copies of various meeting minutes were sent to one or more of the executive officers for two primary reasons: in order to reflect their positions as members of the groups or in order to keep them informed of the groups’ actions. Unlike publications sent to the CHI Library, no notes to researchers have been made to record these removals. For more information on synodical entities discussed in this collection, please consult the records held at Concordia Historical Institute.

The Finance files have been grouped more closely under general headings. Due to the lack of dates and of headings on the documents and on the original files in this section, the materials have been left very much as they were kept by the Executive Offices. The inability to determine to which officer the files belonged also contributed to the decision to leave the files in their original arrangement. Therefore, there are several general files from the same year on one or two topics, such as Fiscal Review Commission and Work Program. Many unannotated duplicates, several of which were Board of Directors meeting docket exhibits from the Controller’s Office, have been removed from this section during the arrangement process.

Folders pertaining to the synod’s higher education institutions are in alphabetical order by the names of the cities in which the schools are located, not by the names of the schools.

The folders concerning the Inter-Lutheran Consultation, 1962-1967, contain correspondence, minutes and reports concerning the establishment of the Lutheran Council in the U. S. A. The LCMS joined The American Lutheran Church (TALC), the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) and the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (SELC) in planning the organization that would replace the National Lutheran Council.

The Lutheran Council in the USA (LCUSA) was formed by the Inter-Lutheran Consultation. There are files concerning both groups in this collection. Many materials located in the LCUSA files, such as file copies of various committee meeting agenda and minutes have been removed. The records of LCUSA are available at the Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Chicago as part of the Helen M. Knubel Archives of Cooperative Lutheranism. Microfilm copies of the LCUSA portion of this collection will eventually be available at Concordia Historical Institute.

The Legal Counsel files contain correspondence and enclosures on a wide variety of topics that required legal advice or assistance. In most cases the topics deal with insurance, investments and property held by the synod. In the years 1972 to 1977 there are references to lawsuits and copies of legal agreements between the synod and other parties. Researchers are urged to consult the rest of the Subject Files series for any additional information on the areas, programs or individuals mentioned in these files.

There is much material about LCMS mission activity. These folders are arranged alphabetically by the names of the boards to reflect the administrative changes that the 1965 convention approved. By 1 February 1966 there was a single Board for Missions with units responsible for the areas formerly overseen by individual boards. As of 1 February 1966 the following boards listed in the 1965 Handbook no longer existed: Board for Missions to the Deaf, Board for Missions to the Blind, Board for European Affairs, Board for World Missions, Board for North American Missions, Commission on College and University Work.

The General Correspondence series is arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the correspondent, the name of the congregation/organization or the topic assigned to the letters (e.g. ecology). The letters are dated from both the Harms and the Preus administrations, dating approximately 1968 to 1978. While most of the letters are to and from the president’s office, some are from the executive officer or the secretary.

This section of the records represents those materials that were maintained as general correspondence files. There are usually fewer than five letters from a single individual or organization. Therefore, separate subject headings appearing here were not placed into the larger subject files series of records, which comprise the Subject Files series of this collection.

Some letters have enclosures or were attached to other letters. To determine where a group of materials begins there is, in most cases, a name or subject written in the upper righthand corner of the reply or of the incoming letter. This is the same method that was used in the Subject Files series. In both series, large amounts of material are held together as a unit by acid-free paper wrappers within the files.

Donor Information

The Executive Offices Records arrived at four different times: in May 1970 from the Board of Directors, in May 1972 from the Executive Director, in August 1972 from the Executive Director, and in February 1993 from the Office of the President (115 c.f.).

Topics List

Due to the size of the Executive Office collection, the web-based finding aid includes a Topic List instead of the usual Folder List. The actual finding aid at CHI has a complete Folder List.

  • Ad Hoc Committees
  • Administration
  • Administrative Council
  • Administrative Divisions
  • Advisory Council on Church and Social Change (see also Race Relations and Racial Revolution)
  • Aid Association for Lutherans
  • Air Force Trip (Walter F. Wolbrecht – November 1969)
  • Alcoholism, 1968-1975
  • Altar and Pulpit Fellowship Post
  • American Association of Theological Schools, 1965-1968
  • American Bicentennial
  • American Bible Society
  • American Lutheran Church
  • American Lutheran Church and LCMS
  • American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 1965-1968
  • Americans United for Life
  • Amnesty, 1972-1974
  • Anniversaries
  • Anonymous Correspondence
  • Antioch School of Law
  • Armed Forces Commission
  • Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, 1976
  • Australia Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Auxiliaries
  • Balance, 1969
  • Baptism
  • William J. Barge, 1968-1977
  • John C. Baur
  • Arthur E. Beck
  • Benefit Planning Corporation, 1965-1968
  • Bethesda Lutheran Home
  • Biography Data
  • Dr. W. C. Birkner, 1959-1971
  • Black Clergy, 1967-1972
  • Black Youth Unlimited, 1969
  • B’Nai B’Rith — Anti-Defamation League
  • Board of Appeals
  • Board of Directors
  • Bradbury, David A.
  • Brauer, Otto A. J.
  • Marcus R. Braun
  • Paul Bretscher
  • Brockmerier, Fred C.
  • Brother to Brother, 1969-1972
  • Adolph A. Brux.
  • Catechism, 1963-195
  • Chain Letter, 1970
  • Chapel, 1963-1978
  • Charism
  • Charron Research and Information, Inc., 1977
  • China, 1967-1968
  • Chicago Meeting (Labor Day, 1969)
  • Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1963-1965
  • Christian News (see also Herman Otten)
  • Christmas Letters, 1969-1976
  • Church and State
  • Church Executive Development Board
  • Church Extension
  • Church Indigenous, 1961-1964
  • Church League of America, 1962-1964
  • Church Literature Correspondence
  • Church of Norway
  • Church World Service Community Appeals (CROP), 1966-1967
  • Circular Concern
  • Circular Letters
  • Civil Defense, 1963-1965
  • Civilian Overseas Ministry, 1964-1965
  • Robert H. Clausen, 1962-1964
  • W. P. Clausen, 1963-1965
  • Clergy
  • Clippings, 1969-1972
  • Colloquy, 1964-1975
  • Commerce Building
  • Commission on Church Architecture
  • Commission on Ministerial Health
  • Commission on Mission and Ministry
  • Commission on Nominations of Executives, 1962-1963 (see also Synodical Service Commission)
  • Commission on Religion in Appalachia, Inc.
  • Commission on Services to Mental Retardation
  • Commission on Theology and Church Relations (see Theology and Church Relations)
  • Communism
  • Concordia Historical Institute
  • Concordia Publishing House
  • Concordia Retirement and Welfare Plans
  • Concordia Tract Mission, 1962-1978
  • Condolence Correspondence
  • Confessional Lutheran, 1962-1966
  • Confirmation/Communion
  • Congratulations, 1971-1978
  • Conscientious Objection
  • Constitution of Elim Lutheran Church (Berkeley, MO)
  • Constitutional Matters — Correspondence
  • Consultation on Church Union, 1966-1973
  • Convalescence/Illness, etc., 1970-1978
  • Convention Nominations – Correspondence
  • Coordinating Committee for Parish Services/Coordinating Council Conferences
  • Council of Lutheran Ministries
  • Council of Presidents
  • Data Processing
  • Dedications
  • Dr. H. C. Deneke
  • District
  • Districts
  • East Ridge Lutheran Retirement Village
  • Ebenezer Thankoffering
  • Ecology, 1971
  • England
  • Estonian Pastors, 1965
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nigeria, 1967
  • Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Belgium, 1967-1970
  • Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Denmark, 1972
  • Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of France, 1967-1973
  • Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1961-1969
  • Evangelism, 1962-1973
  • Executive Director Correspondence
  • Executive Offices Personnel, 1968-1971
  • Faith Forward
  • Rev. L. W. Faulstick, 1961-1965
  • Fellowship Resolution Implementation Committee, 1967-1969
  • Finance
  • First Vice President (Roland P. Wiederaenders)
  • Foundation for Reformation Research
  • Fraternal Organizations
  • Freedoms Foundation (Valley Forge, PA), 1961
  • Free Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, 1961-1973
  • Fund Raising Service 1952-1963
  • Gamma Delta, 1970-1972
  • Arnold H. Gebhardt
  • General Correspondence, 1960-1962
  • Generations Study
  • Germany
  • God Gives to His Church (essay), 1964
  • A. N. Gould, 1962-1965
  • Carl Greinke, 1970-1971
  • Mr. George J. Greene, 1972-1973
  • Elmer Hackbarth, 1962-1964
  • Rev. J. T. Heinemeier, 1966-1968
  • Higher Education
  • Higher Education Institutions
  • O. C. J. Hoffman – Report on Trip to Russia and Poland, 1960
  • Rev. Carl Hoffmeyer, 1962-1965
  • Holden Village (Chelan, WA), 1965-1968
  • Benjamin M. Holt, 1969-1978
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Scottsdale, AZ), 1965
  • Robert Hopmann, 1962-1968
  • Hotels/Motels
  • Housing, 1968-1971
  • Robert J. Hoyer, 1962-1965
  • Mrs. C. H. Ilg, 1966-1968
  • Illinois Council of Churches, 1965-1968
  • India Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1959-1968
  • Institute on the Church in Mission (see also Parish Administration Institute)
  • Institute for Ecumenical Research, 1965-1970
  • Insurance, 1962-1970
  • Inter-Lutheran Consultation (see also Lutheran Council in the USA)
  • Inter-Synodical Committee on Altar and Pulpit Fellowship, 1969-1970
  • International Lutheran Theological Conference
  • International Union of Official Travel Organizations-Congress of Spiritual Values of Tourism, 1967
  • Rev. Bela Karolyfalvi, 1965-1966
  • Karl Keller, 1966
  • Key 73 (Dr. T. A. Raedeke), 1970-1974
  • KFUO
  • Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Lester Kinsolving, 1968-1970
  • Richard Koenig, 1966-1970
  • Mrs. Ruth Kreiss Correspondence
  • Walter Lang, 1964-1970
  • Larger Churches Seminar, 1966-1969
  • Lay Minister Certification Committee, 1971-1972
  • Lay Ministry
  • League of Women Voters Literature, 1971-1972
  • Leaving Synod
  • Legal Counsel
  • Living Lutheran Leadership, 1965-1970
  • Ralph C. Lohrengel, 1966-1970
  • Lutheran–Miscellaneous Organizations
  • Lutheran Academy on Scholarship-Colloquy on Law and Theology, 1962-1970
  • Lutheran Action Committee, 1967-1969
  • Lutheran Brotherhood, 1962-1968
  • Lutheran Brotherhood, 1969-1976
  • Lutheran Building-Library, 1968-1971
  • Lutheran Church-Canada
  • Lutheran Church in America
  • Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Foundation Correspondence
  • Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Gavel
  • Lutheran Communication Conference, 1963
  • Lutheran Cooperation
  • Lutheran Council in Canada
  • Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. (see also Inter-Lutheran Consultation)
  • Lutheran Deaconess Association
  • Lutheran Education Association
  • Lutheran Family & Children’s Services
  • Lutheran Film Associates, 1965-1968
  • Lutheran Foundation for Interconfessional Research, 1963-1971
  • Lutheran Free Conference
  • Lutheran Hospital (St. Louis), 1970-1974
  • Lutheran Hospital Association of America, 1963-1965
  • Lutheran Human Relations Association Correspondence
  • Lutheran Immigration Service
  • Lutheran Lawyers Association, 1967-1968
  • Lutheran Laymen’s League
  • Lutheran Medical Mission Association
  • Lutheran School for the Deaf (Detroit, MI), 1970-1977
  • Lutheran Service Commission Correspondence
  • Lutheran Travel Bureau, 1962-1968
  • Lutheran Women’s Missionary League
  • Lutheran World Federation
  • Lutheran World Relief
  • Francis Machina, 1959-1962
  • Rev. Dr. Martin E. Marty, 1962-1968
  • Mass Media in Mission Survey (C. T. Spitz Jr.), 1967
  • William J. Matko, 1970-1971
  • Guido Merkens, 1962-1965
  • Messengers for Christ (Lutheran Bible Translators)
  • Metro Lutheran Center, 1971-1973
  • Dr. Lawrence B. Meyer, 1958-1977
  • Miami Lutheran Refugee Service Committee, 1962-1964
  • Migrant Farm Workers, 1969-1970
  • Military Service – Teachers, 1960-1961
  • Ministry Studies Board
  • Mission Self Study and Survey
  • Missions
  • Missouri Council of Churches, 1966-1968
  • Dr. John W. Montgomery, 1966
  • Movies
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
  • National Evangelical Church, 1971
  • National Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • National Industrial Conference Board, 1970-1971
  • National Lutheran Council (see also Lutheran Council in the USA)
  • National Lutheran Educational Conference
  • National Lutheran Parent Teacher League, 1962-1978
  • Richard Lawrence Nelson & Associates, 1964-1969
  • Dale Ness, 1967-1969
  • Olaf Morgan Norlie, 1951
  • Notary Public, 1966-1970
  • Openness and Trust, 1970
  • Orders for Publications, 1971-1972
  • Orientation Meetings
  • Herman Otten (see also Christian News)
  • Overseas Churches, 1962-1963
  • David Pankow, 1975-1976
  • Parish Administration Institute, 1961-1965
  • Parish Education
  • Pastoral Conferences, 1962-1973
  • Peace Corps, 1961-1963
  • Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company, 1969 (see also Fred C. Rutz)
  • John Pekrul (Time Insurance Company)
  • Pensions and Support — Board for Pensions & Support
  • Personnel
  • Placement
  • Planning – LCA Program Structure, 1972
  • Planning, Programming, Budgeting Systems
  • Policies, 1970
  • Poverty, 1964-1965
  • Power of Attorney, 1963
  • Prayer
  • President
  • President/Vice Presidents
  • President’s Appalachian Regional Commission, 1964
  • Presidential Election of 1960 (U.S.)
  • Prince of Peace Volunteers
  • Prisoners of War/ MIA’s
  • Property, 1960-1961
  • Public Relations
  • Publications
  • Purchasing, 1963-1972
  • Race Relations (see also Districts-Southern)
  • Racial Revolution
  • Realtors, 1962
  • Records Management
  • Reformation (450th)
  • Regional Meetings
  • Louis Reith, 1968-1971
  • Religion in American Life
  • Requests
  • Research
  • Resorts, 1964
  • Resources for Christ, 1970-1971
  • Retreat Pere Marquette
  • Ridge Lutheran Home
  • Roman Catholic
  • Fred C. Rutz, 1967
  • Sacred Design Associates, Inc., 1962-1963
  • Rev. Clarence E. Saegert, 1963-1965
  • Wayne Saffen, 1965-1969
  • Saint (churches)
  • Geza St. Galy, 1968-1971
  • Saint Louis
  • Dr. Alfred von Rohr Sauer
  • Dr. Martin H. Scharlemann
  • Karl Schuessler, 1971-1972
  • Science and Scripture
  • Scouting, 1972-1978
  • Secretary
  • Social Action
  • Social Ministry
  • Social Security
  • Social Welfare (Board of)
  • Speaking Requests (Preus)
  • Fred Spurgat, 1965-1967
  • Stamps for Missions, 1964-1976
  • State of the Church
  • Statistics Bureau, 1962-1965
  • Stewardship
  • Martin Streiter, July-August 1965
  • C. A. Swanson
  • Herbert C. Synatschk, 1966-1974
  • Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (SELC)
  • Synod (LCMS)
  • Synodical Calendar, 1972
  • Synodical Conference
  • Synodical Convention
  • Synodical Conventions (general)
  • Synodical Handbook
  • Synodical Office Building, 1962-1965
  • Synodical Organization, 1962-1965
  • Synodical Projects Catalog, 1961-1971
  • Synodical Seal, c.1970
  • Synodical Service Commission, 1963-1972 (see also Commission on Nominations of Executives)
  • Synodical Staff
  • Synodical Survey Commission
  • Task Force on Constitution, Bylaws, and Structure (1977)
  • Television
  • Theologians Conference (Behnken’s file), 1959-1960
  • Theological Convocation, April 1975
  • Theology and Church Relations (including Commission on Theology and Church Relations)
  • Dr. Gilbert Thiele, 1962-1963
  • Transportation Department
  • Travelers’ Christian Fellowship, 1972-1974
  • Treasurer Reports (printed), 1944-1962
  • Trinity Lutheran Church (Crete, IL), 1960-1962
  • Trinity Lutheran Church (Oak Park, IL), 1959-1963
  • Trinity Lutheran Church (Wayland, MI), 1965-1966
  • Trustees (Board of Trustees of Synod’s Trust Funds)
  • Gustav W. Twenhafel, 1972
  • Una Sancta, 1965-1968
  • United Fund of Greater St. Louis
  • United Lutheran Church in America, 1957-1962
  • United Presbyterian Church, 1962-1978
  • United States Churchmen Meeting, March 1972
  • United States Government Offices Correspondence
  • Urban Training, 1963
  • Valparaiso University
  • Vatican Council
  • Vice Presidents
  • Vietnam, 1972-1973
  • Virginia Union University Seminar, 1962-1963
  • Walther League
  • John P. Webb, 1971-1972
  • Samuel I. Wells Jr., 1973-1978
  • Rev. Waldo J. Werning, 1963-1964
  • Arnold Wessler, 1962-1970
  • Frida Wetzel, 1958-1962
  • Wetzel Gifts, 1958-1961
  • Wheat Ridge Foundation
  • Eugene Wiegman, 1967-1970
  • Wills/Endowments, 1964-1976
  • Gordon Winrod
  • Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
  • Woman Suffrage, 1959-1977
  • Workshop–Church and Ministry, 1962-1963
  • World Association. for Christian Communications, 1969-1970
  • World Council of Churches
  • World Home Bible League, 1975-1976
  • World Relief
  • Worship
  • Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, 1966-1974
  • Youth Ministry
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