Franz August Otto Pieper

Fourth President of the Missouri Synod: 1899-1911

President Pieper
Born: 27 June 1852, Carwitz, Pomerania, Germany

Died: 3 June 1931, St. Louis, Missouri

Franz Pieper immigrated to the U.S. in 1870. Five years later, he graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He was ordained by Rev. A. Hoenecke on 11 July 1875 in Centerville, Wisconsin. In 1903 he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin and an honorary Th.D. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Pieper served as pastor in Centerville for one year before accepting a call to Manitowoc. On 2 January 1877 he married Minnie Koehn in Sheboygan. He served the Manitowoc post until 1878, when he became a professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In 1887 he became the seminary’s president.

From 1882 to 1899, Pieper served on the Board of Colored Missions for the Synodical Conference. He was the Synod’s president from 1899 until 1911.

Pieper is the author of Christliche Dogmatik (3 vols., 1917-1924; translated as Christian Dogmatics, 1950-1953); What Is Christianity and Other Essays (trans. John Theodore Mueller, 1933); Das Grundbekenntnis der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche (1930); Zur Einigung der amerikanisch-lutherischen Kirche in der Lehre von der Bekehrung und Gnadenwahl (1913; English edition: Conversion and Election: A Plea for a United Lutheranism in America); and numerous pamphlets and articles.

A finding aid to the Pieper Collection at CHI can be found here:

Francis August Otto Pieper (1842-1931) Collection, 1878-1832.

Pieper is buried in Western Lutheran Cemetery, St. Louis, MO, along with his wife, Minnie Koehn Pieper.

For more information on Franz Pieper see:

• Theodore Graebner. Dr. Francis Pieper: A Biographical Sketch. St. Louis: CPH, 1931.

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