April 26, 2013
Artifact: Synod Gavel
Significance: The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod was officially organized 166 years ago on 26 April 1847. The gavel pictured (Walther side) is an artifact that represents the LCMS. Since the gavel was made in 1911, Synod presidents have used this beautifully carved gavel to open and close each Synod convention. It will be used once again at the convention this July 20-25.
Details: The wood of the gavel was taken from the original log cabin seminary in Perry County, Missouri, and carved by a German artist in Europe. It was made in 1911 under the direction of Theodore Lange in honor of the 100th anniversary of C. F. W. Walther’s birth. One side of the head of the gavel has an image of Martin Luther and the other side has one of Walther. Other images carved into the gavel include a cross, Luther’s Coat of Arms (Luther Rose), and the log cabin seminary. The words which encircle the carvings of Luther and Walther are taken from Romans 3:28 and read, “Thus we believe now, that man is justified by faith alone apart from the works of the law.”
When not in use at Synod conventions, the gavel is kept on display at the Concordia Historical Institute Museum at the LCMS International Center in Kirkwood, Missouri.