One hundred and seventy-five years ago on this date in 1845, Rev. Wilhelm Sihler was installed as pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne (as well as Zion Lutheran Church of Friedheim). This is the Sihler after whom Sihler Auditorium here on campus—where most of our Symposia lectures take place—is named. He lived and served in Indiana for 40 years, helping to found CTSFW as well as the LCMS, among other accomplishments. From the “What Does This Mean?” blog, by Rev. Bob Smith, CTSFW librarian:
In 1843, a copy of Wyneken’s ‘Distress of the German Lutherans of North America’ fell into [Sihler’s] hands. Moved to help German immigrants on the American frontier, he came to America as a teacher, but was soon called as a pastor in Pomeroy, Ohio. Wyneken and Löhe convinced him to embrace F. C. D.’s idea to found a seminary for second career pastors nicknamed Nothilfer (“Emergency Helpers”) and Sendlinge (“Sent Ones”) By then, Tens of Thousands of Germans each year poured onto the American frontier, looking to carve new lives out of virgin forests and swamp land. There was little time to follow the usual path of identifying future pastors in their middle school years, provide a classical high school education followed by seminary. Löhe provided an initial education in Germany and Sihler and his assistant pastor would complete it.
[Blog excerpt pulled from https://whatdoesthismean.blog/2020/07/01/meet-wilhelm-sihler/.]