Today is the commemoration of Friedrich Wyneken, pastor and missionary. We don’t make a point of every commemoration throughout the year, but this pastor is of particular note to our very own CTSFW, where Wyneken Hall serves as one of the two main classroom buildings here on campus. Pastor Wyneken tutored the first two students of Concordia Theological Seminary out of his own home in 1844 (before its first formal classes in October 1846), and was the third founder of the Fort Wayne seminary.
This year is also the 175th anniversary of the publication of the “Distress of the German Lutherans in North America,” Wyneken’s successful call for pastors to come to America. Nicknamed “Notruf” (“The Cry of Need” or “Emergency Call”), this desperate plea for help moved the Lutherans back in Germany to help their pioneer brothers and sisters, who were spiritually starving on the Midwest frontier where they might see a pastor only once every few years. Wyneken eventually served as the second president of the LCMS.
In honor of the occasion, one of our librarians, Rev. Robert Smith, put together the following collect:
“Lord of the Living Harvest, Who sends workers into the harvest field of souls, we thank You for the gift of Your servant, Friedrich Conrad Dietrich Wyneken, who urged pastors to serve in America 175 years ago. As you blessed the work of his hands, gathering scattered Germans into Lutheran congregations In Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio and forging the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod into a warm fellowship united in doctrine, mercy and mission, bless our work as we seek to proclaim your Word in our lost and dying generation, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.”
Picture taken from “Shepherd for Christ’s Sheep,” a short booklet about the early history of the Fort Wayne Seminary, which can be read by CLICKING HERE.