Introducing the

WELS Historical Institute Board

The WELS Historical Institute operates under the control of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod as a separate corporate entity and is operated by a separate board of directors responsible and accountable to the Synodical Council of WELS.

The official purpose of the Institute is:

  • To promote interest in the history of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (hereinafter referred to as the Synod) and Lutheranism in general;
  • To assist WELS’s archivist in the collection and preservation of articles and artifacts of historical value;
  • To stimulate historical research and to publish its results in journals, newsletters, and other such publications.
  • To maintain Salem Lutheran Landmark Church and museum.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors oversees the work of the Institute. The Board establishes policies and programs for maintaining, supervising, and enlarging the Institute on a sound financial basis. They meet throughout the year.


Communicant members of a WELS congregation or of a church body in fellowship with WELS, who have attained the age of eighteen, may become voting members of the Institute by payment of dues. Other individuals who have attained the age of eighteen or organizations interested in the work and purpose of the Institute may become associate members with no voting privileges by paying associate membership dues. An annual meeting of the Institute is held in October, and all voting and associate members are invited to attend.

Join us at this event!

Board Members of WELS Historical Institute

Chairman Prof. Joel Otto
Vice-Chairman Mr. Dan Nommensen
Secretary Rev. Em. William J. Schaefer
Treasurer Mr. Ryan Haines

Rev. Justin Dauck
Mr. Steve Miller
Mr. Carl Nolte
Rev. Peter Prange
Rev. Ben Schaefer
Rev. Paul Schleis
Rev. Robert Weiss
Mary Rindfleisch

Susan Willems (Archivist)
Prof. John Brenner (Editor)

History is God’s grace in action. Being part of the Institute gives me a front row seat to the Lord Jesus supporting sinner-saints like us.