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Concordia Historical Institute Honors Lutheran History Authors

President Harrison and others recognized for moving Lutheran history forward


On November 10, 2022, Concordia Historical Institute hosted its 49th annual Awards Banquet to recognize those scholars who are contributing in manifold ways to the study of Lutheranism in North America. The eight-member Awards Committee nominated eleven authors to the Board of Governors to receive an Award of Commendation for scholarly works published in 2021. Works included a bibliography, monographs, book chapters, and articles on a variety of North American Lutheran topics, such as the English District of the LCMS, Norwegian-American Lutheranism, and the 1953 Martin Luther film. A full list of the awardees is included at the end of this press release.

Additionally, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, was given Concordia Historical Institute’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award in recognition of the work President Harrison has done to expand and popularize Lutheran history in North America. Harrison has translated and edited a number of German- and Latin-language resources that have historic significance to Lutherans in North America, most significantly At Home in the House of My Fathers, a collection of writings from the early presidents of the LCMS. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest and most prestigious award given by the Institute, recognizing “exemplary contributions and service to the cause of Lutheran history and archives in North America.” Recipients of the Distinguished Service Award receive a reproduction of a one-of-a-kind sixteenth-century gilt silver Reformation medal of Martin Luther, the original of which is part of Concordia Historical Institute’s Reformation Coin and Medal Collection.

President Harrison also gave the banquet essay, “Called to a Monumental Task,” which stressed the importance of history in the life and faith of the Christian, especially church history that is grounded in the reality of the Gospel. “We confess a God of creation, time, and eternity,” Harrison said. “So tonight, I give thanks. Tonight, give thanks with me for the Gospel throughout history—for the Gospel at the time of Luther and in our great post-Reformation church. And I give thanks for CHI trumpeting the treasures, treasures owed all to the Gospel of free forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ.”

Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) is the Department of Archives and History for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. CHI exists to trumpet the treasures of our Lutheran legacy. In addition to its activities as an active archive open to the public for research, CHI also seeks to increase the awareness and appreciation of the church’s history within the LCMS through maintaining two museum exhibits, recognizing major publications on Lutheran history, and sharing the story of our church and her faith with the world. To support CHI’s ministry of honoring Christ by remembering His work among North American Lutherans, become a member of the Institute by calling 314-505-7900 or visiting https://concordiahistoricalinstitute.org/membership/.

Award Recipients for 2021 Publications

Award of Commendation

Major Publications

Berger, David. Seminex in Print: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Published Material and Selected Archival Resources for Historical Research. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2021.

Callahan, Ben. Promises Unfulfilled: A History of the First Lutheran College in North Carolina. IUniverse, 2020.

District History

Stechholz, David P. The English District Saga: A Niche in the History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America. Angels’ Portion Books, 2021.

Regional History

Winde, Hermann. Early History of the Lutheran Church in Georgia. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2021.

Institutional History

Schmeling, Gaylin R. Sent by the Shepherd: Seventy-Five Years at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. Mankato, Minnesota: Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, 2021; and Schmeling, Gaylin R. editor. Lutheran Synod Quarterly 61:2 and 3 (2021).


Haemig, Mary Jane. “Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s Catechetical Efforts in Colonial America, 1742-1752” in Teaching Reformation: Essays in Honor of Timothy J. Wengert. Luka Ilić and Martin J. Lohrmann, ed.s. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2021.

Safstrom, Mark. “Lutheran Pietist and Covenant Church History: C.O. Rosenius and the Reading Culture of the Mission Friends” in Sacred Migrations: Borderlands of Community & Faith, Essays in Honor of Philip J. Anderson. Hauna Ondrey and Mark Safstrom ed.s. Chicago: The Swedish-American Historical Society, 2020.


Einertson, Christian J. “Caught Between Norway, Denmark, and Missouri: The Confessional Identity of the Norwegian Synod from 1853 to 1917.” in Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 94:1 (2021).

Otto, Joel D. “The Church Grows Under the Cross: Mission Expansion in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 1929-1983.” (in five installments). Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, 117:2–118:2 (2020–2021).

Phelps, Benjamin T. “A Cause of Distress: The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the West.” in Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 94:2 (2021).

Phelps, Benjamin. “Newspaper War: The Lutheran Observer and the Lutherische Kirchenzeitung Fight the First Open Battle over Lutheran Doctrinal Identity in 19th Century America.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019, (2021).

Ruff, Mark Edward.  “The Martin Luther Film of 1953 and Confessional Tensions in the United States and Germany.” in Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 94:2 (2021).

Honorable Mention


A Centennial History: The Dakota-Montana District History (1920-2020). Produced and published by the Dakota-Montana District (WELS) Centennial History Book Committee.

Yee, Edmond and Lily Wu. Behold the Stream: A History of Asian Lutheran Witness. Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders, 2021.

Mayes, Theodore E. Memories of the Walkout from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri: February 1974. Self-published, 2021.

Dissen, David V. and Cheryl D. Naumann, ed. Letters from Havana: LCMS Vicar Writes Home During the Cuban Revolution (1957–1959). Kindle Direct Publishing, 2021.

Weingartner, Philipp. A Journey of Faith Across a Turbulent Century: Memoirs of a Refugee Pastor. FriesenPress, 2021 

Celebrating 150 Years – Celebrating Our Past – Embracing Our Future. Seymour, Indiana: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2020 (2021).


Lintelman, Joy. “Glimpses of Hope: A Swedish Lutheran Academy in Moorhead, Minnesota” in Sacred Migrations: Borderlands of Community & Faith, Essays in Honor of Philip J. Anderson.

Hauna Ondrey and Mark Safstrom ed.s. Chicago: The Swedish-American Historical Society, 2020.

Worsfold, Elliot. “Gatekeeping in the Lutheran Church: Ethnicity, Generation, and Religion in 1960s Toronto” in Being German Canadian: History, Memory, Generations. Alexander Freund, ed. Winnipeg, Manitoba: University of Manitoba Press, 2021.


Aakre, Alex M. “‘Lift High the Word of God:’ A Social and Theological Examination of Altar-Pulpits in Norwegian-American Lutheran Churches.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019. (2021).

Brauer, James L. “Recalling the Work of the Special Hymnal Review Committee.” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 94:1 (2021).

Braun, Mark. “WWLJ – ‘Where Would Luther Join?’ William Nicholas Harley’s Little Journeys with Martin Luther: An Assessment of American Lutheranism in 1916.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019, (2021).

Granquist, Mark A. “American Lutheran Colleges and The Influenza Epidemic of 1918.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019, (2021).

Hannah, John. “The Chaplain: Instrument of Peace or Cheerleader for War? A. C. Piepkorn and the Military Chaplaincy.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019, (2021)

Koontz, Adam C. “From Reinhold Pieper to Caemmerer: How Our Preaching Changed.” in Concordia Theological Quarterly, 85:3-4 (2021).

Koontz, Adam C. “Reinhold Pieper’s Classical Lutheran Homiletic.” in Concordia Theological Quarterly, 85:1 (2021).

MacKenzie, Cameron A. “Concordia Springfield as the “Conservative” Alternative to St. Louis.” in Concordia Theological Quarterly, 85:2 (2021).

MacKenzie, Cameron A., II. “Secondhand Memories: The Springfield Class of 1942.” in Concordia Theological Quarterly, 85:3-4 (2021); see also Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 85:2 (2021).

Nickodemus, Benjamin J. “The Unwaved Flag in Churches: The U.S. Flag in American Lutheran Church Sanctuaries.” Raven: A Journal of Vexillology, 28 (2021).

Sidenwall, Erik. “Swedish and American Lutherans Negotiate Joining the World Council.” in Lutheran Quarterly, 35:4 (2021).

Weinrich, William C. “Concordia Theological Seminary 1985–2020: A Story of Decline and Renewal.” in Concordia Theological Quarterly, 85:3-4 (2021); see also Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly, 94:4.

Wojciechowski, Jennifer. “Lutheran Women and Social Reform in Minnesota.” in Journal of the Lutheran Historical Conference: 2019, (2021).

Online Resource

Huenink, James. A Series of Online Articles on Chicago Lutheran History. https://hueninkwrites.medium.com/

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