The Original 14 Congregations of the Missouri Synod
(aka The Charter Members of the Missouri Synod)

(Used by permission from the April 1997 issue of The Lutheran Witness. All rights reserved.)

The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States came into being on 26 April 1847 when twelve pastors, representing their congregations (one of which was a dual parish, another a two-in-one), signed the synod’s constitution. The fourteen charter congregations, as listed in the proceedings from the first convention, are these (original pastors are given in parentheses):

  • First Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo (now Tonawanda), New York (E. M. Bürger)
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Bingen (now Decatur), Indiana (F. W. Husmann)
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Neuendettelsau (now Marysville), Ohio (A. Ernst)
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Nashville (now New Minden), Illinois (W. Scholz)
  • Saint Lorenz, Frankenmuth, Michigan (F. A. Craemer)
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Mishawaka (now Bremen), Indiana (G. K. Schuster)
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana (W. Sihler)
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Femme Osage (now New Melle), Missouri (C. J. H. Fick)
  • Saint Peter Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne (now North Decatur), Indiana (F. W. Husmann)
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Saint Louis, Missouri (C. F. W. Walther)
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Friedheim (now Decatur), Indiana (G. H. Jäbker)
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Willshire, Ohio, and, as part of a dual parish, Saint Paul Lutheran Church , Liberty Township, Mercer County, Ohio (J. G. Streckfuss—note: Saint Paul, Liberty Township, would eventually join the American Lutheran Church)
  • The German Lutheran Church, Hassler Settlement (Peru), Illinois, and the French Lutheran Church, Saminaque (Peru), Illinois (F. W. Pöschke—note: these were considered a single congregation, now long since closed)

Site of Constituting Convention

Though not one of the original fourteen charter members of the Missouri Synod, Pastor C. August Selle’s Chicago church—now known as First Saint Paul—was the scene of the synod’s constituting convention. With no railroads yet at their disposal, the Missouri Saxons came to Chicago via river and canal, the Ohio and Indiana men were on horseback.

(revised and edited by the reference staff of Concordia Historical Institute)

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