The WELS Historical Institute Journal and other note worthy publications
In the Spring 2022 issue of the WELS Historical Institute Journal (Vol. 40, no. 1), Pastor Nathaniel Biebert continues to recount the life and ministry experiences of Pastor Johannes Streiter, a German immigrant pastor of the Missouri Synod who served fiver rural congregations in central Wisconsin in the 1860s. In this installment, he recalls the interactions that some Wisconsin Synod pastors had with disgruntled members of Streiter’s congregations, highlighting the competition that often developed between pastors of the various Lutheran synods at the time.
Also included in this issue, is Professor Souk Phetsanghane’s translation of a January 1934 article by Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Professor August Pieper entitled, “Hitler and the Protestant Church of Germany.” Pastor Rolfe Westendorf also offers accounts from the life of his grandfather, whom he never knew, and Professor John Brenner provides a list of notable church history happenings from years past.
Hitler has won for his chancellorship not only the unprecedentedly-inspired support of millions of Germans, but also the trust of the highest circles and finally the approval of the rigid, old rock of the Reich, of the Reich president. We do not say this to praise Hitler, but merely to show how under God’s act of providence a great man becomes a savior of the people.”—Professor August Pieper, January 1934 (Pieper photo)
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Started in 1981, the purpose of the WELS Historical Institute is to preserve and present the story of God’s grace to the WELS.
Together with the WELS Archives, the Historical Institute works to preserve articles and artifacts of historical value. The Institute also promotes historical research and education through its Journal, published twice a year.
More about the Journal
The purpose of the Journal is to provide a vehicle for articles of historical interest about the Lutheran Church with special reference to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. It is also hoped that the Journal will stimulate WELS members to pursue research in Lutheran history.
The interest of the Journal is not simply the past for its own sake. In authorizing the publication of the Journal, the Institute’s Board of Directors stated as one of the Journals purposes to “contribute to understanding our WELS identity and background.” Like Plato’s shadows in the cave, some things can be seen only against the proper background.
Volume 1 Issue 1 – 1983 – Foreword – Editor of the Journal – James P. Schaefer
The current editor of the Journal is Prof. John Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Inquiries can be directed to him at John.Brenner@wisluthsem.org.
WELS Historical Institute believes it’s critically important to preserve and educate on the history of the WELS Synod. Your membership in the WELS Historical Institute will help continue this mission.
As a members of WELS Historical Institute, you’ll receive:
All past issues of the Journal, up through Volume 36 (2018) can be downloaded below. All files are PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. Note that all of these journal files were re-scanned and converted to PDF files in early 2012-2014, greatly improving the quality of what had formerly been available.
What kind of articles are published in the Journal?
The Journal welcomes articles and essays about the history of WELS….
Who are the Journal authors?
The Journal authors consist of ….
How may I submit an article for consideration to the Journal?
To submit an article for Journal consideration….
What should a potential author consider when submitting an article?
Potential authors should consider sound evidence and reference facts…
How long does it take to approve or reject a submission?
Once your submission has been received, the process…
There are a few books about the history of WELS. These three books give insight and perspective on moments in time of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
This book provides a clear understanding of the forces that have shaped the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). —Northwestern Publishing House
In an effort to provide the most relevant and useful content, we may provide links to non-WELS resources. WELS is not responsible for the content on external websites. WELS is not officially endorsing these websites, nor does WELS endorse all content on these sites.
In 1865, the Wisconsin Synod convention commissioned the establishment of a synodical journal that would help promote the synod’s new college, Northwestern University, in Watertown, Wis. It would also provide news about other synodical endeavors and serve as an outlet for theological articles and responses to outside criticism, especially from conservative Lutherans in the American Midwest. The issues through 1911 have been scanned and are available through the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay File.