Researching the Lutheran Pastor at Concordia Historical Institute

For the Family Genealogist

The popularity of tracing family roots has steadily grown over the years. Researching the Lutheran pastor has also grown over the years. CHI welcomes genealogists who have inquiries concerning their ancestor who was a  Lutheran pastor in the Missouri Synod. Information available is normally limited to the education and ministry of the pastor, although obituaries and records often do contain information about a pastor’s family. The researcher should anticipate that records before 1920 are in German. Let us help you in researching the American Lutheran pastor!

For the Church and Congregation Researcher

Congregations celebrating significant anniversaries often produce a written history of their church. Writing a history recounts the unique story of God’s gracious dealings with His people at that particular place. Naturally, information about each pastor is an important part of a church’s history. This information usually includes details about his education, previous ministry and perhaps a brief report of what happened to him after he left.

Personal Collections

Personal collections of pastors (sermons, lectures, diaries, etc.) may be on deposit at CHI. However, these are generally of prominent individuals such as leaders of the Synod, professors of seminaries and colleges, etc..


CHI maintains an extensive picture collection of pastors. Other possible resources include histories of congregations the pastor served, official publications of the synod and graduation pictures.

Biographical Record

CHI provides a Biographical Record of Missouri Synod pastors. This information is especially helpful to congregations seeking to compile a church history that includes their former pastors. Biographical Records are also useful to genealogists who are researching a Lutheran pastor.

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