Fifth President of the Missouri Synod: 1911-1935
Born: 22 April 1859, Altencelle, Hanover, Germany
Died: 9 October 1939, Chicago, Illinois
Friedrich Pfotenhauer immigrated to the U.S. in 1875. He attended both Concordia College, Fort Wayne, and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, before being ordained on 7 November 1880 in Odessa, Minnesota. In 1920 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
After his ordination, Pfotenhauer served as a travelng missionary in the Northwest for seven years. He married Helene Brauer in Crete, Illinois, on 10 October 1882. In 1887 he accepted a call to Lewiston, Minnesota. And in 1894 he accepted a call to Hamburg, Minnesota, at which he worked until 1911. In 1935 he returned to the parish ministry as an associate pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Chicago.
From 1891 to 1908 Pfotenhauer served as the president of the Minnesota District. In 1908 he was elected as the first vice-president of the Synod, and three years later he became president. After his retirement, Pfotenhauer was named honorary president of the Synod.
Pfotenhauer is the author of Fuenfzehn Ansprachen (1914) and Predigten (1938).
To see a description of the Friedrich Pfotenhauer Collection at CHI click here.
Pfotenhauer is buried in Bethania Cemetery, Justice, IL, along with his wife, Helene Brauer Pfotenhauer.
For additional information, see E.A. Mayer, “Dr. Friedrich Pfotenhauer (1859-1939),” Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 13 (April 1940):1-22; Samuel P. Schuldheisz, “Shepherd of Missouri: The Life and Theology of Friedrich Johann Pfotenhauer,” Part One, Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 82 (Summer 2009); Part Two, Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 82 (Fall 2009).
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