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A gifted preacher, teacher, and organizer, the Rev. Dr. C. F. W. Walther was one of the most important Lutheran theologians in America and a significant figure in nineteenth-century Christian history. He participated in the Saxon immigration to Missouri, helped found the log cabin college that became Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo (1839), wrote numerous books, led publication of Der Lutheraner journal (1844), and became the first president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
In 1847, when Walther helped to found the Missouri Synod, the church body included 19 pastors, 30 congregations, and 4,099 baptized members; at the time of his death forty years later (May 7, 1887), this church body had grown a hundredfold.
“C. F. W. Walther was called ‘the Luther of North America’ by those outside the circle of his own church body, but scholars in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have largely neglected him. The effort of Concordia Publishing House to promote study of his writings and to encourage new attempts to evaluate his significance and the impact of his thought and churchmanship on the American ecclesiastical scene is an important step toward opening up discussion of this figure who dare not be ignored.”
Dr. Robert Kolb
Emeritus Mission Professor of Systematic Theology
“Walther is often thought of as a theologian, professor, seminary president, synodical president, author, leader among Lutherans, etc. What is frequently overlooked is that he was first and foremost a pastor. From 1841 until his death in 1887, at the same time he accomplished all the things associated with the above titles, he was the pastor of the St. Louis joint congregation—first, Trinity, then also Holy Cross, Zion, and Immanuel.”
From the Foreword to the new 2010 translation of
C. F. W. Walther’s Law and Gospel
William J. Schmelder
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