Lutheran Historical Conference Report

Victoria outside the library of the Concordia campus

Last week, Assistant Archivist Victoria Jesswein attended the Lutheran Historical Conference (LHC), in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Maria Erling was also there representing ULS.

Concordia Seminary campus

The conference, which meets every two years, brings together archivists, historians, historiographers and independent researchers from all over the county and from various Lutheran backgrounds. The talks ranged from the story of the miraculous recovery of rare Laestadian manuscripts to important figures in Black Lutheran History to the case for filmmaking as a way to preserve and publicize Lutheran history.

In addition to the presentations and the Business Meeting where new Board members were elected, the conference also included a trip to Perry County, MO, where, in 1838, hundreds of German (Saxon) Lutherans, led by Martin Stephan, immigrated. Following controversies, Stephan was exiled from the community and C.F.W. Walther because the leading pastor of the community.

It is from this German Lutheran settlement that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod arose, with Concordia Seminary founded in 1839, in a log cabin school which now stands in Altenburg, MO, across from Trinity Lutheran Church, in Perry Co. The Seminary was removed to St. Louis 1849 and since 1926 has had its campus in the suburb of Clayton.

Sign on the “Log Cabin College”

In their spare time, Victoria and Maria also toured the area around St. Louis, stopping at:

-the Cahokia Mounds, the largest and most influential sites of Mississipian culture, which began 1000 years before European settlement in North America

-the Elijah Lovejoy monument, a tribute to the abolitionist journalist killed by pro-slavery partisans outside his publishing house

-the Lyman Trumbull House, a private residence which was once home to the co-author of the 13th Amendment.

The largest Cahokia mound
View of downtown St. Louis from atop the Cohokia mound
Monument to Elijah Lovejoy within the cemetery in Alton

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