From time to time we receive questions about Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS) convention history, e.g., what was the theme for the 1969 convention? where was the 1923 convention held? how many times have we held a convention in Cleveland? is there a listing of LCMS conventions?

In order to answer these questions, we would first turn to The Lutheran Annual, where under LCMS General Information there is a listing of LCMS convention history. Sometimes we could just direct the patron there, since most LCMS churches have a copy in their church office. But we found that in order to answer some of the questions we needed to do more research. The table in The Lutheran Annual only provides the convention number, the year the convention was held, and the city in which it was held.

In an effort to answer the questions posed we started compiling a list of each question, but soon realized that it would more efficient to create a table which built on the listing in The Lutheran Annual.

We decided to add not only the year, city and number of each convention, but also the dates when the convention was held, the actual location of the convention, the president who was elected, and if applicable, the theme of the convention.

The table below is our answer to these frequently asked questions (FAQ). Please note that you can sort each column by clicking on the heading, you can expand the number of entries displayed, and you can search for a term.


YearMonth, DaysCityPlaceGeneral ConventionDelegate ConventionPresident ElectedTheme
1847Apr. 26-May 6ChicagoGerman Evangelical Lutheran Church aka First St. Paul's Lutheran Church1N/AWalther
1848June 21-July 1St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church2N/AWalther
1849June 6-16Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church3N/AWalther
1850Oct. 2-12St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church4N/AWyneken
1851June 18-28MilwaukeeTrinity Lutheran Church5N/AWyneken
1852June 23-July 3Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church6N/AWyneken
1853June 1-11ClevelandZion Lutheran Church7N/AWyneken
1854June 21-July 1St. LouisImmanuel Lutheran Church8N/AWyneken
1857Oct. 14-24Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church9N/AWyneken
1860Oct. 10-20St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church10N/AWyneken
1863Oct. 14-24Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church11N/AWyneken
1864Oct. 19-29Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church12N/AWalther
1866Oct. 31-Nov. 10St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church13N/AWalther
1869Sep. 1-11Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church14N/AWalther
1872Apr. 26-May 7St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church15N/AWalther
1874Oct. 14-23Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church161Walther
1878May 15-25St. LouisTrinity Lutheran Church172Schwan
1881May 11-21Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church183Schwan
1884May 7-17St. LouisConcordia Seminary Aula194Schwan
1887May 4-14Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church205Schwan
1890June 25-July 3MilwaukeeTrinity Lutheran Church216Schwan
1893April 26-May 6St. LouisHoly Cross Lutheran Church227Schwan
1896April 29-May 9Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church, April 29-May 4; Immanuel Lutheran Church, May 5-9238Schwan
1899April 26-May 6St. LouisHoly Cross Lutheran Church249Pieper
1902June 4-14MilwaukeeTrinity Lutheran Church2510Pieper
1905June 21-July 1DetroitImmanuel Lutheran Church2611Pieper
1908May 13-23Ft. WayneSt. Paul's Lutheran Church2712Pieper
1911May 10-20St. LouisHoly Cross Lutheran Church2813Pfotenhauer
1914May 6-16ChicagoSt. Luke's Lutheran Church2914Pfotenhauer
1917June 20-29MilwaukeePlankinton Hall3015Pfotenhauer
1920June 16-25DetroitHarmonie Hall3116Pfotenhauer
1923June 20-29Ft. WayneConcordia College chapel3217Pfotenhauer
1926June 9-18St. LouisHoly Cross Lutheran Church3318Pfotenhauer
1929June 19-28River ForestConcordia Teachers' College Auditorium3419Pfotenhauer
1932June 15-24MilwaukeeConcordia College Auditorium3520Pfotenhauer
1935June 19-28ClevelandCleveland Public Auditorium Convention Hall3621Behnken
1938June 15-24St. LouisSt. Louis Municipal Auditorium3722BehnkenJubilee Convention
1941June 18-27Ft. WayneConcordia College Gymnasium3823BehnkenWyneken Memorial Convention
1944June 21-29SaginawArthur Hill High School Auditorium3924BehnkenFranconian Centennial Convention
1947July 20-29ChicagoPalmer House Grand Ballroom4025BehnkenCentennial Convention
1950June 21-30MilwaukeeConcordia College Gymnasium4126Behnken
1953June 17-26HoustonMusic Hall4227Behnken
1956June 20-29St. PaulSt. Paul Auditorium (theater section)4328Behnken
1959June 17-26San FranciscoCivic Auditorium4429BehnkenDeclare His Glory
1962June 20-29ClevelandCleveland Public Auditorium4530HarmsStand Fast! But do not Stand Still
1965June 16-25DetroitCobo Hall4631Harms (4-year term)Even So I Send You
1967July 7-14New YorkNew York Hilton Hotel4732Justified by Grace
1969July 11-18DenverCurrigan Exhibition Hall4833Preus (4-year term)The Edifying Word
1971July 9-16MilwaukeeMilwaukee Arena4934Sent to Reconcile
1973July 6-13New OrleansRivergate5035Preus (4-year term)Ever Only All for Thee
1975July 4-11AnaheimConvention Center5136Jesus Christ is Lord
1977July 15-22DallasDallas Convention Center5237Preus (4-year term)That We May Grow
1979July 6-12St. LouisAlfonso J. Cervantes Convention Center5338God Opens Doors …
1981July 3-10St. LouisAlfonso J. Cervantes Convention Center5439BohlmannForward in Remembrance
1983July 8-15St. LouisAlfonso J. Cervantes Convention Center5540BohlmannHim We Proclaim
1986July 18-25IndianapolisConvention Center5641BohlmannAlive in Christ
1989July 7-14WichitaCentury II Convention Center5742BohlmannTell Everyone what HE has Done
1992July 10-17PittsburghDavid Lawrence Convention Center5843BarryWith Great Boldness ... Tell Everyone What He has Done!
1995July 15-21St. LouisAmerica's Center Convention Complex5944BarrySent Forth by God's Blessing
1998July 11-17St. LouisAmerica's Center Convention Complex6045BarryTo the Ends of the Earth
2001July 14-20St. LouisAmerica's Center Convention Complex6146KieschnickTell the Good News about Jesus
2004July 10-15St. LouisAmerica's Center Convention Complex6247KieschnickOne Mission--Ablaze!
2007July 14-19HoustonGeorge R. Brown Convention Center6348KieschnickOne Message--Christ!
2010July 10-17HoustonGeorge R. Brown Convention Center6449HarrisonONE People--Forgiven
2013July 20-25St. LouisAmerica's Center Convention Complex6550HarrisonBaptized for This Moment
2016July 9-14MilwaukeeWisconsin Center6651HarrisonUpon This Rock: Repent, Confess, Rejoice
2019July 20-25TampaTampa Convention Center6752HarrisonJoy:Fully Lutheran : Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks
2023July 29-August 3MilwaukeeBaird Center (formerly Wisconsin Center)6853HarrisonWe Preach Christ Crucified
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