Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken

Second President of the Missouri Synod: 1850–1864

President Wyneken

Born: 13 May 1810 in Verden, Hannover
Died: 4 May 1876, San Francisco, California

Friedrich Wyneken attended the universities of Göttingen and Halle. After graduating, he taught for several years, both privately and at a public high school. He emigrated to America in 1838.

Soon after arriving from Germany in Baltimore, Wyneken took over the local Lutheran congregation when the pastor became ill. He then became a traveling missionary for the Pennsylvania Ministerium, spreading the Gospel through Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. He also held pastorates in Fort Wayne and Adams County, Indiana, before being called to Baltimore in 1845. Five years later he was called to Trinity Lutheran Church, Saint Louis. His final parish was Trinity Lutheran Church, Cleveland, from 1864 to 1875.

In 1850 Wyneken was elected president of the synod. He served this office for fourteen years.

Wyneken is the author of Die Noth der deutschen Lutheraner in Nordamerika (1841), a call to German Lutherans to send pastors to serve scattered Lutheran immigrants on the America frontier. The tract led Pastor Wilhelm Loehe, Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, to seek funds and volunteers for service in America. Men trained by Loehe formed the largest number of founding pastors of the Missouri Synod. Wyneken’s “Notruf” has been published in English as The Distress of the German Lutherans in North America, ed. R. F. Rehmer, trans. S. Edgar Schmidt (Fort Wayne: Concordia Theological Seminary Press, 1982).

Further information on Wyneken is found in G. E. Hageman, Friedrich Konrad Dietrich Wyneken, vol. 3 in the Men and Missions Series (St. Louis: CPH, 1926). See also the Wyneken page on the Project Wittenberg Web site and a Wyneken genealogy page from Germany.

A finding aid for the Institute’s collection of Wyneken papers in PDF format may be downloaded here.

Wyneken is buried in Lutheran Cemetery, Cleveland, OH, along with his wife, Sophie Marie Wilhelmine Buuck Wyneken.

Wyneken Resources Online

• Robert E. Smith, “Wyneken as Missionary: Mission in the Life and Ministry of Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken,” in Daniel N. Harmelink, ed., Let Christ Be Christ: Theology, Ethics and World Religions in the Two Kindgoms (Huntington Beach, Calif.: Tentatio Press, 1999): 321–40.
• Norman J. Threinen, “F. C. D. Wyneken: Motivator for the Mission,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 60:1–2 (January-April 1996): 19–45

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