LCMS museum opens

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

KIRKWOOD — The second-largest Lutheran denomination in North America opened a museum Sunday at its international headquarters on Kirkwood Road, telling the story of its growth since being founded in 1847 in the St. Louis area by Saxon and German immigrants seeking religious freedom.

One can see editions of some of Martin Luther’s books from the mid-1500s; a model of a ship that brought Lutherans to America in 1838; and the carriage that carried the synod’s first president. One can also hear radio broadcasts from the 1940s played on KFUO, the nation’s longest continually running Christian radio station.

Go to the link for some pictures from the dedication of the museum.


LCMS museum opens — 12 Comments

  1. My questions in no particular order –

    How much does it cost to get in?

    Where was the praise band during the dedication thingy?

    Where were the young people?

    How are you going to get the young people into this MUSEUM? – Hello, young people do not go to museums of any kind.

    Does any one really listen to KFUO? What is the purpose of that station anyway?


  2. I think it is good–maybe the President will take the tour [and I am surprised that he is not in any of the photos?] and realize what a great Synod we have–and then help it remain that way. And Marcy, I beg to differ about young people visiting museums. I have been with many young people in museums–ages 10-15 and they really enjoyed the time spent! One should visit as many museums as possible to see the past which helps us understand the present so much better.

  3. Dear Pastor Sterle,

    Then I maintain that these same 10 to 15 year olds should also enjoy the Divine Services as found in the LSB as these also connect us to the past and “helps us understand the present so much better.”

    It was a tongue in cheek comment. One can not tell someone to get with the times and then open a museum to the past. It does not make sense.

    By the way, I learned this history in a confirmation class many, many years ago. I do believe the minister called it – the history of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in America.

  4. My invitation got lost in the mail! Seriously. A life member of CHI, and no invite. *sigh* Possibly has to do with the questions I asked Mr. Lumpe at the preview of the half-finished museum a few months back.

    Or, to be charitable, maybe the dog ate it.

    I was underwhelmed with the museum back then, seeing a lot more fluff under installation, but then, I used to browse the exhibits at the building on the Sem campus regularly, so … tough audience time.

    It bothers me a little that the exhibits are now going to be housed at the Palace. Granted, the building is more accessible and there’s lots more parking. And the archives and vaults, as I understand it, remain in Clayton.

    There’s just that niggling doubt about the future of the exhibits, much less the museum itself. YMMV and surely does.

  5. I wondered from the beginning of this how much stuff would be “deaccessioned” (library speak for “discarded”) and why the church that is “not our grandfathers” would want a museum in the IC.

    It was suggested that the museum would tell the story as lcms inc. would like me to believe it happened. We’ll see.

    Sorry about your invitation, ‘Walther descendant’. (I don’t suppose Martin Noland got invited either).

  6. I enjoyed the museum when it was at the Seminary. It was nice as a student to stroll over, look at the used books for sale, and draw a bit of encouragement from the Walther Exhibit and the various traveling exhibits. Even, very occasionally, classes were held there.

  7. The Post-Dispatch article, “Lutheran museum opens in Kirkwood”, stated: “One can see… a model of a ship that brought Lutherans to America in 1838”.

    For historical (and journalistic) accuracy:

    First, the model ship pictured in the Post-Dispatch article has a caption which correctly states, Scott Meyer of Creve Coeur takes a close look Sunday at a model of the sailing ship Hualco that transported Lutherans to America during the mid-1800s..

    Second, it was not the Hualco, but four other ships, the Republik, the Copernicus, the Johann George, and the Olbers (the Amalia and its passengers were lost at sea) that transported the Lutheran Saxons from Bremen to New Orleans.

    Third, the Missouri Saxon Lutherans were not brought to America in 1838, but in 1839 (Republik – arrived January 12, 1839; Copernicus – arrived Dec. 31, 1838, but not deboarded and officially recorded until January 2, 1839; Johann George – arrived January 5, 1839; Olbers – arrived January 20,1839).

    Fourth, the Concordia Historical Institute Historical Footnotes (Vol. 54 (3-4), Fall-Winter 2008) correctly captions a similar picture of the Hualco: “A replica of the Hualco, on which “Old Lutheran” immigrants bound for Wisconsin came to America”.

    Fifth, the Hualco is displayed at the Concordia Historical Institute’s museum (both at its former and current location), because the Hualco was the sailing ship that brought the ancestors of Dr. August Suelfow to America. Dr. Suelflow served in the Concordia Historical Institute for more than fifty year as an assistant to the curator, as its director and, from 1995-97, in an advisory capacity. Dr. Suelflow delivered the address, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me,” at the dedication of the Hualco replica at CHI. More information on the history of the Suelflow family emigration is in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 69 (1996) 2: 107-110.

    Sixth, the manifest for the Barque Hualco for its August 21, 1843, arrival at New York from Hamburg shows several members of the Tulflow (Suelflow) family. Two of the Suelflow family, Fredricka (29) and Bertha (1), died during the voyage.

    Seventh, a noted group of “Old Lutherans” did sail from Hamburg in July, 1839, arriving in in New York in September. These were the approximately 1,000 Prussian Lutherans, led by their pastor, Johannes Andreas August Grabau. But these Prussians sailed on the Georgiana, the Alfred, the Republic, the Britannia, and the Echo and settled in upper New York, forming the Buffalo Synod. Grabau later had some disagreements over church and ministry with C.F.W. Walther, the Missouri Saxons, and, eventually, the Missouri Synod. Some of the Buffalo Synod congregations later joined the Missouri Synod; there are probably a few Grabauites in the Missouri Synod today.

  8. Nice work, Carl Vehse! I had noted the inaccuracies but would never have commented as well and completely as you did.

    helen, thanks for the empathy. 😎 I will tell you that the most recent time I talked with Dr. Noland, he sincerely and eartnestly encouraged me to continue to support CHI and attempted to lay to rest any concerns I had about deaccessioning, etc. An excellent Christian, historian and human being.

  9. I suppose if you are looking for reasons to keep the IC open while closing the seminaries, this would be a good first step.

  10. The CHI web site notes:

    The Institute’s main facility remains on the campus of Concordia Seminary at 804 Seminary Place, Clayton (Saint Louis), MO 63105-3014. Here we maintain our collections of manuscripts, publications and artifacts related to the history of Lutheranism in America and provide reference and research services, as well as additional museum exhibits of limited duration that focus on specific persons, organizations and events in the life of the church on a rotating basis.”

    OTOH, if the CHI collections gets moved off-campus to, say, Conex boxes in the corner of the Purple Palace parking lot, then this would not be a good sign.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.