Oliver Raymond Harms

Seventh President of the Missouri Synod: 1962-1969

Born: 11 December 1901, Cole Camp, Missouri
Died: 3 June 1980, Houston, Texas

Oliver Harms graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1926 after vicaring at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wichita Falls, Texas. He was ordained at Trinity Lutheran Church, Eden, Texas, by Rev. L. Karcher on 4 October 1926. In 1953 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Harms served as pastor at Trinity, Eden, from 1926 to 1935, when he accepted a call to Trinity Lutheran Church, Houston, as successor to Pres. John W. Benhken. Also in 1926 he married Bertha Serrien in Wichita Falls.

Harms served the Texas District as second vice-president (1939-1942), first vice-president (1942-1948), and president (1948-1956). From 1941 to 1947 he was on the Board of Electors of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He served the Synod as a member of the Board of Directors from 1950 to 1956, fourth vice-president (1956-1959), and president (1962-1969).

A finding aid to the Harms Collection can be found here:

Oliver R. Harms Presidential/Personal Records, 1906-1981.

Harms is buried in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Houston, TX, along with his wife, Bertha Frieda Serrien Harms.

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