Ralph Arthur Bohlmann

Ninth President of the Missouri Synod: 1981-1992

Born: 20 February 1932, Palisades, Nebraska
Died: 24 July 2016, St. Louis, Missouri

Ralph Bohlmann graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1956. He was ordained on 29 June 1958 in Des Moines, Iowa, by his father, the Rev. Arthur E. Bohlmann. He later received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

From 1958 to 1960 Bohlmann served Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Des Moines. While serving at Mt. Olive he married Patricia Anne McCleary (1934-2012) in 1959. In 1961 he accepted a call to be the assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Pagedale, Missouri, where he served until 1971. Bohlmann also taught at Concordia College, Milwaukee, from 1957 to 1958. In 1960 he became a professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and in 1975 he became president of the school.

Bohlmann was a member of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations from 1965 to 1981, serving as the commission’s executive secretary from 1971 to 1974. He also served on the ALC-LCMS Commission on Fellowship from 1969 to 1981. He has also worked for the Division of Theological Studies of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. and participated in various national inter-confessional/inter-Lutheran dialogues. In 1981 Bohlmann became the president of the LCMS, serving until 1992. He was granted the status of president emeritus on July 17, 1992.

Bohlmann is the author of Principles of Biblical Interpretations in the Lutheran Confessions (1968).

Bohlmann is buried in Concordia Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri, along with his wife, Patricia Anne McCleary Bohlmann.

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