Hear ye, hear ye! Spelling Change

Going forward, our spelling for the term “diakonal” will change to the more popular “diaconal” (as used by Synod and many of our fellow Lutheran organizations). Originally I hadn’t planned to make any sort of announcement about this spelling change, but when I asked about the historical use of the “k” spelling here at the Fort Wayne Seminary, I received this answer from our academic dean:

“I think the reason you see a K (diakonal) instead of a C (diaconal) among those at CTSFW is largely due to Dr. Just transliterating the Greek noun for “service” with a K (diakonia) rather than a c (diaconia). A Greek kappa looks and sounds like a K. I think either transliteration can be used in English…The advantage of the C transliteration is then there is consistency between ‘deaconess,’ ‘diaconal’ and ‘diaconia.'”

Ask a simple question, get the translator’s cliff notes. It makes for a short but interesting piece of Seminary history: Dr. Just (who is now our chairman of Exegetical Theology and director of Spanish Language Church Worker Formation) served as our first director of Deaconess Formation, which is why his spelling is the one that made it into our internal lexicon.

But really, folks: it’s all Greek to me.

Wyneken’s Journey

Short history lesson this afternoon, from one of our librarians, Rev. Bob Smith, who likes to research our forefathers in his spare-time. We talk a lot about Friedrich Wyneken here at CTSFW (and for good reason: he was instrumental not only in the formation of our seminary but in the LCMS itself; his is the voice that called out in distress to his homeland, pleading for them to send more Lutheran pastors and missionaries to the German pioneers), but there are still some unanswered questions. Like where did Wyneken himself come from? Why was he even here to see the great need for pastors?
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The answer can be traced to the death of another man: Pastor Jesse Hoover. On June 4, 1838, an elder at St. Paul’s congregation in the frontier town of Fort Wayne wrote to the Mission Committee of the Pennsylvania Ministerium, following the death of Pastor Hoover. From his letter:
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“Have pity, honored fathers and brothers and send us a Pastor… If you canvas the northern part of Indiana you will soon see how important it is that you send us a faithful Shepherd. The harvest is great but unfortunately there are no workers. If it is not possible to send us a Pastor, dear brothers, then send us a circuit rider. We hunger and thirst for the Word of God.”
Adam Wesel
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The committee had, in fact, planned to send a survey missionary in their direction come September, but this candidate had fallen through. However, a young pastor interested in serving on the American frontier had just arrived in Baltimore. By the end of August (180 years ago this summer), Wyneken was in Indiana.
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None of this can be found in published histories. When I asked how Rev. Smith discovered these facts, he explained:
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Ancestry.com gave me ship passenger lists, newspapers.com the date of the ship’s arrival, a friend scanning through Lutherische Kirchenzeitung the Wesel letter. Reading the histories, he seems to just stumble into Adams County. So, we have Hoover’s death, end of May. Wyneken, moved by mission journals to serve on the American frontier, boards the ship of his family’s captain friend (likely how he afforded passage). Wesel writes the letter in early June, just as the designated survey missionary falls ill. The letter arrives in June to PA, just as Wyneken arrives, finds the Baltimore Lutheran pastor and is befriended. In August, Wyneken, with the recommendation of the Baltimore pastor shows up in PA. He then hops a train to Pittsburgh, buys a horse and for some reason (we now know why) picks an Indian trail that runs through Lima, Ohio and along the banks of the Maumee (or is it the St. Mary’s? I mix up my rivers!) to Adams Co. Has a divine hand all over it, doesn’t it?”
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Rev. Smith is currently writing a blog series on Wyneken. To read more, go to https://whatdoesthismean.blog.

60th Anniversary: Campus Dedication

Sixty years ago, on Friday, May 30, 1958, dedication festivities began for the new Concordia Senior college; what would someday become our CTSFW campus.

The dedication was big news back in the day. It made such publications as the Vidette-Messenger of Porter County, the Hartford Courant, The Minneapolis Star, The Terre Haute Star, The Indianapolis Star, The Times (Munster, Indiana), The Winona Daily News, and The Town Talk (Alexandria, Louisiana).

In the course of the search, we also unearthed this photo of a Concordia Senior College class back in October of 1967, taught by Dr. Ludwig. Below it is the exact same classroom, taken 49 years later in October of 2016, this time of Concordia Theological Seminary students. That’s Kantor Kevin Hildebrand teaching the class on the left with Dr. Grime on his right.

The Dedicatory Service itself on May 30, 1958 opened with the hymn “Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord” (224 in the TLH back in the 50s, and now hymn number 497 in the LSB), then continued with the following:‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
R. Amen
V. Our Help is in the name of the Lord
R. Who made heaven and earth
V. I will go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles, that I may go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy, and praise Thee, O God, my God.
R. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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The Officiant shall say:
Let us now dedicate this campus, with all of its buildings and facilities, to the honor and service of the Triune God. To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the chapel, that it may be a house of prayer and praise for all who live and worship here, wherein Thy saving Word may be proclaimed and Thy Sacraments administered according to Thy command and promise.
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May Thy people ever love the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the buildings set aside for study, for instruction, for culture, for counsel, and for the administration of this school, that men may come to know Thee better through Thy Word and works, to foster those things that please Thee, and to serve Thee through the wisdom which Thou alone canst give.
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Grant that those who teach and those who learn may grow in the knowledge of Thee and in love to their fellow-men.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the residential quarters on this campus, for students and for staff, that those who dwell there may find rest for their bodies, quiet for their work, and the spirit of love and fellowship through the indwelling of Thy Spirit.
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May the coming in and going out of those who dwell there be ever in the name of the Lord, and may Christ be the ever-present Guest under every roof.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the service facilities and buildings, that there men may find refreshment for their daily tasks, health of body, and the opportunity to serve Thee, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.
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Bless unto those who serve and unto those who are served, the hours which they spend between these walls.
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To Thee, O Lord, we dedicate the recreational facilities, the fields and grounds of this campus, that in their beauty and their utility, they may glorify Thee and serve the welfare of Thy people.
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May Thy people ever use Thy gifts and benefactions to the honor of Thy name and to the service of their fellow-men.

Commemoration: Friedrich Wyneken

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:
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“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.

Seminary Bells

Here’s an underside view of both of our bell towers. In the background, the 1,320 pound bell that rings every day for chapel can’t quite be seen behind the chapel roof, while the bell in the foreground will see a lot more action come May. This bell (called the Springfield Bell) was originally cast in 1882, moved to Fort Wayne in 1976, was found in storage in 1984, and finally hung and dedicated in its newly constructed tower in 1994.

Graduating students ring this bell after finishing their final class, celebrating their release.

Historical Presentation: Dr. Rast

President Rast spoke at “Take Heart, Take Action,” a theological conference hosted by the Michigan District. His session was on “Missouri in Mission,” which included a lot of historical stories about the Missouri Synod during the 1800s. In Dr. Rast’s words:

“There was an intentionality about the Missouri Synod and being doctrinally faithful and missional. Not one or the other. Doctrinally faithful and missional together. Because what good does it do you if you have all the pure doctrine in the world and you never tell anybody? Pure doctrine is what? Christ Jesus and proclamation of Him. And if you don’t know that doctrine, what are you going to tell people? You’ve gotta know something to tell people about Jesus.”

You can watch the video by CLICKING HERE. It starts at 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 7 seconds. Please note that the audio and the video are incorrectly synced for most of his lecture (which lasts for about an hour in all), but it’s worth keeping at least half an eye on the video for his use of visuals.

Rosa Young Scholarship

In 1961, a remarkable woman by the name of Dr. Rosa Young received an honorary doctorate from Concordia Theological Seminary (still located in Springfield, IL at the time) in recognition of her service.

God had first brought together the African American schoolteacher and the Lutheran Church in January of 1916, at a special meeting of the LCMS Mission Board. Just over a hundred years later, CTSFW would officially partner with the LCMS Foundation in August of 2016 to fund and promote the Dr. Rosa J. Young Scholarship endowment.

Through the Rosa Young Scholarship, we hope to continue her legacy, particularly by encouraging men and women in the African American community to pursue training in church work. If you would like to join in the effort to support future faithful servants of Christ, visit www.ctsfw.edu/support, email Advancement@ctsfw.edu or call 877.287.4338.
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Only a single generation removed from slavery, Rosa Young was a teacher in the early 1900s, serving central, rural Alabama. Desperate for the funds to continue her school, she applied to many organizations and individuals. Finally, Dr. Booker T. Washington wrote her a letter, suggesting she contact the LCMS as they were doing more for African Americans than any other denomination he knew.
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Their partnership in 1916 led to the establishment of 30 schools, 35 congregations and a college. Here in her own words, Dr. Young explains why she first wanted to build a school and how that desire shown a light in the darkness:

“Though the teaching of the Bible and of the Six Chief Parts of the Christian religion was neglected, I cannot say that this was one of my reasons for wanting to build a school for my race, for in this respect I was in the dark myself. Sad! Sad! We were all blind and leaders of the blind. We did not know the Bible, neither did the preachers know it. We did not know what we must do to be saved, neither did the preachers. They were preaching false doctrine, and we did not know it. We did not know that Jesus has done all that is necessary for our salvation, and the preachers did not know it. We did not know what Jesus, the Savior, meant to us. We did not know that we were sinners. We wanted to go to heaven; but we did not know the way, and the preachers did not know it. We were trying to work our way to heaven, and the preachers were doing the same. We were not following our Bibles, neither were the preachers…

“The Lord, our Savior, who loved us saw all this and had compassion on us. He saw that the sad plight of our immortal souls was far worse than our physical condition. The Lord looked down from heaven upon us. He saw this hellward-leading teaching, this man-made doctrine of salvation by works. He saw darkness had covered our land. Our eyes were blind to the knowledge contained in His blessed Gospel. The Lord saw that we were all on the wrong road, regardless of how well we meant, and could never reach heaven that way.

“God saw that I was concerned, that I was worried, about many things pertaining to the temporal welfare of my people. God saw my eager desires and longings to do something for Him and my race. I did not have the least of what was to be done. I could not preach, for women are not allowed to preach. But the Lord instilled in me the thought of building a school, gave me strength to begin this work, and sustained me.

“At that time I knew nothing about the Lutheran Church and its pure Gospel preaching; but God knew all about it and was pleased with it. God was going to use my school as an instrument to put the true Church in this dark land.”

The above is quoted from her autobiography “Light in the Dark Belt.” To learn more about her work and the generations that she has touched since then, read an additional CTSFW article by CLICKING HERE.

CTSFW Campus History

The silhouette from the cover of this booklet reprinted from “Progressive Architecture” (December 1958) is a familiar one. The assistant archivist from the Michigan District LCMS Archive at Concordia University in Ann Arbor emailed this to us yesterday, having discovered it while sorting through materials in their archives.

The 191 acres on which we’re built was originally a reservation deeded to Pe-chewa, a Miami Indian chief who later became a Christian. The Charles Kramer family purchased and homesteaded the land in the early 1900s, before it changed hands again, this time to the Synod. Construction from 1954 – 1957 transformed the Kramer farm into a preministerial college, which makes this booklet only slightly younger than the campus itself. It was published about fifteen years before the LCMS voted (in 1975) to combine the Senior College here with the Junior College in Ann Arbor, allowing our Seminary to move from the aging campus in Springfield, Illinois, to this much newer one in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In short: here we still stand. For 43 years we have done no other.

Wilhelm Löhe

On January 2, 1872, one hundred and forty-seven years ago yesterday, Rev. Johannes Konrad Wilhelm Löhe died, still serving as pastor back home in Germany. He was instrumental in the formation of CTSFW (in fact gifting the practical seminary to the LCMS when the newly formed church body asked him to at their first convention), answering–and in many ways repeating and then more loudly broadcasting–Wyneken’s desperate plea for pastors to come serve the German settlers in America. One of our classroom buildings, Loehe Hall (the spelling of his name changes depending on who tried to Americanize it and when; it’s typically pronounced “lay-uh” here on campus), was named after him.

CTSFW Librarian Rev. Bob Smith put together a brief but excellent write-up on who he was and what he means to our history. You can read about Löhe’s work here: https://whatdoesthismean.blog/2019/01/02/meet-wilhelm-lohe/.