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TPHE author of this book, the Rev'd. M. L. Wagner, 
-*■ has brought to light, and preserved historical data 
of great value to the church. The material shows, thor- 
oughness in the investigation of the original sources, as 
well as great care in selecting the same. 

Much time was spent in unearthing, gathering, and 
editing the great mass of matter, pertaining to the church 
of those early times. The work sets forth the heroic 
struggles of the fathers to preserve the truth. 

The manuscript was given, by the author, to the 
Chicago Synod for publication. The committee having 
this matter in charge sends forth the book with the hope 
that it will bring much needed enlightenment relative to 
the planting and developing of the Church of the Refor- 
mation on American soil. 

The Committee. 


Academy, Colburn 252 

Campbellites 200 

Carpenter, Rev. William 31, 32 

Chicago Seminary 248 

Character of Population 9, 245 


With Southern District Synod 190 

With Methodists 42 

With Campbellites 85, 128 

With Presbyterians 129 

Conferences, Free 207, 215, 236 

Congregations, List of 165, 218, 267 

Candidates, List of 162, 218 


Kentucky 64 

Indiana 71 

Jeffersontown, Ky 72 

Reading, Pa 202, 227 

Deacons, List of 164 

Deck, Rev. WiUiam H 100 

Destructionism 96, 131 

Dill, Rev. John Caspar 31 

Dissemination of Doctrine 119 

Education, Interest in 184, 247, 251 

Ft. Wayne Church founded 22 

General Council 203 

General Synod 57, 127, 256 

Generaliste 55, 60, 66, 77 

Good, Rev. Samuel 132, 136, 143 

(truber, Rev. Jacob 21, 46 

Haverstick, Rev. Prof 27 

Henkel, Rev. David 41, 61, 111 

Henkel, Rev. Eusebius S 50, 151, 212, 231 

Henkel, Rev. Philip 22, 43 

Henkel, Rev. Paul 84,56,58 

Henkelism and Henkelites 40, 55, 59, 66 

Heyer, Rev. C. F 29, 31 

Hymn Book 153 

Indiana— Chicago Synod 223 

Organization 238 

Doctrinal Basis 240 

Missionary Operations 241 

Statistical Summary 269 

Infidelity 10, 81 

Indiana Conference 231, 236 

Itinerary of Early Missionaries 27, 31, 47 

Joint Synod of Ohio 187, 228 

Keller, Rev. Ezra 47 

Kentucky Synod 64 

Kentucky, Lutherans in 23 

Kurtz, Rev. Henry A 32, 63, 66 

Lautenschlager, Rev. J. F 133, 137, 139, 141 

Licentiates, List of 163, 217 

Livengood, Rev. John P 101, 158 

Markert, Rev. John L. 23, 26, 44, 100 

Markert, Rev. Elias 99, 132 

Mau, Rev. John Samuel 24, 30 

Meyers, Rev. L. H 32 

Miller, Rev. Abraham 46 

Miller, Rev. Robert J 57 

Miller, Faction 145 

Moritz, Rev. Christian 46 

North Carolina Synod 20, 26, 57 

Owen, Robert 10 

Pennsylvania Synod 24, 27, 63 

Pastors, List of 164, 217, 262 

Political Questions, Attitude on 155 


Rationalism 13 

Reck, Rev. Abraham 49 

Revivalism 55, 81, 88 

Rudisill, Rev. Ephr., M. D, . . . 84, 131, 135, 137, 159, 212 

N. C. Synod 59, 113 

Synod of Indiana 142 

Synod of the West 104 

Schober, Rev. Gottlieb Ill 

Schnee, Rev 32 

Scherer, Rev. Daniel 26 

Settlements, Early Lutheran. 

In Indiana 19 

In Kentucky 23 

In Illinois 24 

Simon, Rev. Andrew 31 

Smith, Rev. David 208 

Stirewalt, Rev. Julius L 213, 234, 239 

Stirewalt, Rev. M. J., D. D 236, 242 

Synod of Indiana 71, 103, 108, 116, 159, 168 

Synod of the West 72, 103 

Tennessee Synod 20, 25, 68, 114 

Unionism 56, 58 

Union, Efforts at 75, 125, 186, 187, 201, 225 

Universalism 83, 131 

Union Synod 177 

Organization 177 

Standpoints of 192 

Missionary Efforts 182 

Educational Efforts 184 

Western Conference 225, 230 

Wynnekin, Rev. F. CD 94 

Zink, Rev. Jacob 34 



"Who is this that Cometh up from the 
wilderness leaning upon her Beloved ?" 
Song of Solomon 8, 5. 

THESE words have often been applied to the Church 
in her strange and varied history and experience. 
DoWn in the wilderness she has often been. Up from the 
wilderness she has ahvaj's come. Down she has always 
gone when she ceased to lean on her Beloved, and sought 
to nourish herself from earthy and human sources. In the 
wilderness she has always wandered when she followed 
the fox-fires and rush lights of human reason, unaided by 
the Light of the world. Up from the wilderness she has 
always come when she despaired of her own resources and 
strength, ceased to lean on her own understanding and 
leaned again on her Beloved. This new book with its 
strange story is another demonstration of the old truth in 
the above text. 

The writer of this history had a difficult task. The 
original seeds and roots of what is now the Chicago Synod 
were scattered in distant and obscure places. It required 
painstaking digging, searching and sifting to find them. 
The results of this labor of the historian are before us. 
They are intense in interest and pregnant with practical 
lessons. These things were written for our admonition. 
May the Church take them to heart and profit by them. 

Here we learn much concerning the unknown and 
forgotten beginnings of the Lutheran Church in the South. 

Mistakes were made there also. May the Church never 
repeat them. 

What a graphic picture is here of the early settlers 
of Indiana and Ohio. Their isolation, their hardships,- 
their struggling in the solitude, alone with nature, did not 
make them religious. Nothing here of the refining, edify- 
ing, renewing and elevating influence of nature. They 
were not lifted by nature up to God. They needed the 
supernatural brought through Word and Sacrament, 
carried by the messengers of Christ, lifting their voices in 
the wilderness. Here we meet the Hej^rs and the Henkels, 
the Rudisills and the Stirewalts. Here we are reminded 
again how the fathers of the Tennessee Synod stood for 
sound doctrine, studied and loved our catechisms and 
confessions, gave them first to the American Lutheran 
Church in English and contended earnestly for the faith 
once delivered to the saints. 

These sturdy pioneers were heroes of the faith. Amid 
privation and poverty, ridicule and opposition they 
threaded the wilderness, fought against wild beasts, fever 
and ague, frost and storm, content to be homeless here 
for the Kingdom of heaven's sake. In the early spring 
time they saddled their horses in Tennessee or the 
Carolinas, bade a sad farewell to weeping wives and chil- 
dren, with Bible and catechism and hymn book and 
Luther's postil in their saddle bags, they were off for a 
six months homeless itinerary in Indiana without promise 
or prospect of worldy ease or emolument. They labored 
and suffered. They spared not themselves. They preached 
and prayed and catechised and administered the sacra- 
ments wherever they could gather a few hearers. In barns, 
in cabins, in school houses or under the open sky they 
ministered to the souls of men. Their story puts us to 

shame with our love of ease and earthly recompense. 
We need to read, mark and earnestly apply the lessons 
of this book. 

But good men make mistakes. The founders of the 
Tennessee Synod were not as wise as the founders of the 
Missouri Synod. Evangelization without education is 
doing only a part of the Church's work. The teaching 
office, the teaching books, the teaching family, the teach- 
ing church-school are needed to make permanent and 
sure the work of the evangelist. While our pioneers deserve 
all credit for trying to supply the most needed literature, 
they did not seem to see the great need of the church- 
school. There was a long and losing wait before the 
Academy, the College and the Theological Seminary came 
into being. Had they planted log schools like the Missou- 
rians did the history would have been different. 

Another serious weakness was that they were not clear 
on the doctrine of the ministry. They seemed to have no 
conception of the call and of the proper relation between 
pastor and congregation. Even after congregations had 
been gathered, they were neither organized nor supplied 
with settled pastors. The band of itinerant preachers 
supplied all the congregations in turn, each pastor taking 
his turn in going over the whole circuit. With such a 
loose and unchurchly arrangement it was impossible to 
do thorough and permanent pastoral work. 

Another mistake transplanted from Tennessee to 
Indiana was that no provision was made for christian 
beneficence. The congregations were not instructed as to 
the great church of which they formed infinitesimal parts, 
of the mission and duty of the church in the world, of the 
Kingdom of God to be builded and of the relation and 
responsibility of each congregation and of each individual 

member to this general work. There was no outlook, no 
great hope, no training in giving and working for the grand 
whole. This mistake was a serious hindrance to growth 
in grace, and kept the congregations ignorant, narrow and 
selfish. And this spirit was carried into the early synods. 
It required several generations to get the congregations 
trained out of this selfish narrowness. In fact there is 
much of it left to this day. 

On account of the unsettled pastorates, the roving 
and restless ministry that it fostered, other evils followed. 
While the preacher was a traveling evangelist rather than a 
settled pastor there could be at best only occasional lectures 
or talks on the catechism and its teachings. Regular, 
systematic instruction — from the beginning to the end of 
the book was out of the question. And so that good, 
effective Lutheran custom of thorough catechization was 
neglected more and more until, in most places, it became 
obsolete. But something must take its place. The 
earliest preachers were wont to stop long enough where 
there was a group of hearers, to preach a series of doctrinal 
sermons and receive into the congregation those who 
accepted and confessed the doctrines and professed a 
heartfelt desire to live henceforth as becometh those who 
have and hold such faith. Their successors became more 
and more lax. Doctrinal preaching was neglected. Hor- 
tatory and rousing sermons took its place and by and by 
it became the regular custom "to hold a series of meetings" 
and "sing in" new members without any previous instruc- 
tion. The results were ruinous to sound and spiritual 

The most serious drawback of all to the Lutheran 
cause in Indiana was the doctrinal defection of its two 
leaders. The Rev. E. S. Henkel. so different from his 

noble progenitors and relatives, apostatized from the old 
faith and for a time was a Universalist. The Rev. E. 
Rudisill embraced and preached Destructionism. The 
whole Lutheran Church and cause in Indiana received 
a staggering blow. Confusion reigned in the congre- 
gations, some laymen followed one or the other of the 
apostates, others left the Lutheran Church and went into 
churches of a different faith, still others lost all faith and 
became agnostics and unbelievers. But a faithful rem- 
nant studied the Word, the catechism and the old devo- 
tional books, prayed, believed and rejoiced in the Lord. 
But oh the blighting influence, the ruin and wreckage of 
false doctrine. The Church was in the wilderness. 

But she did not die. Lutheranism has a strong 
vitality. It dies hard. Nay it never dies while it is true 
to its name and faith. And "the ears of the hearers are 
often more pure than the lips of the preachers." 

And so our Church did not die. God raised up true 
witnesses. Neither the heresy, nor the unholy ambitions 
of the old leaders could kill the Lutheran Church. And 
what a warning against pride, ambition for leadership, 
desire to rule which grows into rule or ruin have we here 
in these men. A drastic warning to self-seeking am- 
bition in those who do not live near to the cross and have 
cold hearts even while they preach to others. A sound 
faith, a warm heart and a holy life must go together. 

The old weak and poorly organized Synod of Indiana 
died. The Union Synod, disappointed as to its purpose, 
torn and distracted, was disbanded. The sainted Dr. 
Passavant saw the sorrows of this part of Zion and from 
far off Pittsburg counselled the good and true new leaders. 
The General Council was organized. Help came from 
that quarter. The new Indiana Synod united with that 

body. Good men came from the Philadelphia Seminary. 
A new hope and a new life came into our cause. 
Opportunities for enlargement came. The great cry was 
for more good men. And then, in God's good time the 
Chicago Seminary was opened. The Indiana Synod be- 
came the Chicago Synod. In ten years fifteen congre- 
gations were organized. And now there is life and hope 
and forward movement on every side. Colburn Academy 
has made a noble beginning and is big with promise. 
The Chicago Seminary is on the eve of a great future. 
The rustling in the tops of the mulberry trees is an earnest 
of a greater wind from the spirit of God. Now if only 
the spirit of self-seeking could be kept out, if each would 
learn to esteem the other better than himself, if each one 
could take Passavant's motto for his own and ever strive 
"to live, to love, to labor," then would the history of the 
next twenty-five years be devoid of the narration of the 
mistakes and blunders of the past ; then would the beauty 
of the Lord our God be upon us ; then would He establish 
the work of our hands, yea the work of our hands. He 
would establish it. 

Cottage Rest, Grand Junction, Mich. 

May the fifth, 1909. 



OInlmtisatitm an^ jprpparatton 

Chapter I. 
Ololottt^atton nnh Preparation. 

CCORDING to the best sources of information 
the first Europeans that set foot on what is 
now Indiana soil were a party of French Ca- 
nadians who sailed up the great lakes in 1670, 
and, landing on the southern shore of Lake 
Michigan, explored the neighboring regions. They were 
missionaries bent upon the conversion of the natives to 
the Roman Catholic faith. They made no attempt at 
colonization. In the course of a few years these were fol- 
lowed by others, missionaries, adventurers and fur-traders, 
who extended their journeys far into the interior of the 
state. The first trading posts established were along the 
Maumee and Wabash rivers, about the year 1700. The 
most important of these was Vincennes, the oldest town 
in the state. Another was Ouiatenon, not far from the 
present site of La Fayette. It never assumed much im- 
portance, and eventually became extinct. The third was 
near the present site of Fort Wayne. 

The Maumee and Wabash rivers were the highway 
for these missionaries, adventurers and fur-traders in their 
expeditions from Canada to the Mississippi and the Gulf 

of Mexico. The trading posts were designed chiefly as 
places for barter with the Indians, to furnish halting 
places for the traders and rovers of the wilderness, and to 
establish the claims of France to the fertile valley of the 
Mississippi. It was not until 1725 that Vincennes as- 
sumed any importance. 

The first settlement made in Illinois, also by the 
French, was a mission at the village near Starved Rock, 
in 1682. It was named Kaskaskia. Within three or 
four years it was removed to the site of the present Kas- 
kaskia, near Chester. Soon after missions were estab- 
lished at Cahokia and two or three neighboring points. 

At the close of the French and Indian War, 1754- 
1763, the territory east of the Mississippi known as New 
France, was ceded to England, and that west of that river 
to Spain. At the time of this cession there were within 
the region embraced by Indiana and Illinois about two 
hundred white families. 

In 1778 Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia sent an 
expedition under General George Rogers Clark against 
the British posts west of the Alleghanies. He succeeded 
in capturing Kaskaskia, Cahokia and Vincennes, and thus 
added an immense fertile territory to that Colony. Bj' 
virtue of this conquest the western boundary of the United 
States was fixed at the Mississippi river by the treaty of 
Paris, in 1783. Virginia subsequently ceded the whole 
region to the general government, and in 1787 it was 
organized into the Northwest Territory, with ample pro- 
visions for free schools, and a guarantee for the free exer- 
cise of religion. Slavery was forever prohibited in this 
Territory, and these wise provisions in the Ordinance of 
1787 had much to do in inducing settlers to locate in 
this region. 

— 5 — 

The first settlement not made by the French within 
the bounds of Indiana was at Clarksville on the Ohio 
river, in 1786. It was named after General Clark, who 
also had received a grant of a large tract of land border- 
ing on the Ohio, in Clarke county, for military services. 
The location of Clarksville proved to be unsuitable and 
it never assumed much importance. 

In 1800 Indiana was detached from the Territory of 
Illinois, and organized into Indiana Territory with Gen- 
eral William Henry Harrison as the first governor, and 
Vincennes the Territorial capital. At that time the pop- 
ulation was 4875. 

In 1804 Fort Dearborn was built at the mouth of the 
Chicago river. In 1809 Illinois was organized as a Terri- 
tory and Kaskaskia was made the territorial capital. 
The population was about 10,000. 

The settlement and development of these Territories 
was at first very slow, notwithstanding their immense 
natural resources. The settlers were in a defenseless con- 
dition, and the Indians were very hostile, being instigated 
by the British agents in the north and west, who supplied 
them with firearms and ammunition. The British still 
held some of the posts in the extreme north and west, 
contrary to the stipulations of 1783. Tecumseh, a wily 
chief, was organizing the western tribes into a powerful 
confederacy for the purpose of exterminating the white 
settlers. The notorious Simon Girty, who had cast his 
lot with the Indians, also exerted all his power and influ- 
ence to arouse the savages against the settlers. Finally 
the attitude of the Indians became so hostile that 
Governor Harrison decided upon severe measures. After 
a fruitless effort at peaceful negotiations with tiie chiefs 
at Vincennes, where treachery on the part of the Indians 

was foiled by the vigilance and foresight of Governor 
Harrison, and the alertness of his soldiers, he marched an 
army against the Prophet's town,' about a mile from the 
mouth of the Tippecanoe river, intending to secure a 
treaty or strike a blow. Harrison halted his army for the 
night on the banks of Burnett's Creek, where he expected 
a conference with the chief's the next day. But early in 
the morning of November 7, 1811, he was furiously at- 
tacked by the Indians, who, concealing themselves in the 
tall grass, had surrounded the camp. After a hard fought 
battle the savages were defeated and driven off. Securitj^ 
for the settlers might now have been assured, but the war 
with Great Britain, which began the next year, and in 
which the Indians allied themselves with the British, 
prevented any protection until after the establishment of 
peace in 1815. 

In Illinois the same hostile conditions prevailed. A 
number of stockades were erected for the protection of the 
settlers. Fort Russel, near Edwardsville, in Madison 
county, marked the northern boundary of the settled por- 
tions of the state. When war was declared, the British at- 
tacked Fort Dearborn, which surrendered on August 15, 
1812, and the stockade was burned to the ground. There- 
after the Indians in the central part of the state became 
very hostile, and several expeditions against them were 
necessary to bring them to terms. 

When the clouds of war had disappeared, and peace 
established with both Briton and Savage, immigrants 
from the eastern, middle and southern states and from 
Europe, poured into this region. The southern portions, 

1 The Prophet, Elkswatawa, was Tecumseh's brother, a vile 
imposter, who had co-operated with Tecumseh to destroy the 

— 7 — 

though far less fertile than the northern, were first settled. 
From the banks of the Ohio river, which was the highway 
for the colonists from the east, they pushed northward 
into the interior. Venturesome pioneers penetrated far 
northward into the almost interminable forests, and re- 
turned with glowing accounts of the fertile and well 
watered regions of that section of the territory. Overland 
in great Conestoga wagons, and driving their herds before 
them, came settlers from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York 
and Virginia, entering the eastern borders of Indiana, 
establishing their homes and subduing the wilderness. 
From the sunny southland came hardy pioneers, desiring 
to improve their temporal conditions, and to escape the 
baneful influence of slavery. Everywhere the woodman's 
ax was heard and the smoke ascended from hundreds of 
clearings, where the finest poplar, oak and walnut were 
consigned to the flames to make room for the corn and 
wheat of the thrifty farmer. Towns sprang up in all 
sections, many of them surviving only a generation, while 
others grew into populous cities and centers of commercial 
activity. Richmond and Cory don were founded in 1808, 
the latter becoming the territorial capital in 1813. In 
1815 Fort Wayne was begun, it having been, prior to that 
time, only a trading post and military station. The next 
year Terre Haute was founded, and Indianapolis in 1818, 
becoming the state capital in 1825. The rapid growth of 
population in Indiana is indicated by the following sta- 
tistics: In 1810 it was 24,250; in 1816, when admitted 
into the Union, it was 147,178. Five years later it was 
250,000, and in 1830 the state had 343,031 inhabitants. 
Illinois kept pace with the sister state. In 1810 the 
population was 12,282, in 1820, 55,162, and in 1830, 
157,445. In 1819 Vandalia was founded and became the 

state capital the next year, and retained this honor until 
1839, when the capital was removed to Springfield. 

All shades of religious beliefs were represented 
among these settlers. Roman Catholics were most num- 
erous, but Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and Quak- 
ers were also quite well represented. 

The earliest colonists were French Catholics. Those 
at Vincennes were under the spiritual care of the priests 
residing at Kaskaskia and Cahokia. The first resident 
priest in Indiana was Father Meurin. He resided at 
Vincennes, and besides ministering to the French resi- 
dents, he also labored for the conversion of the Pianke- 
shaw Indians, the head of which tribe was near that 
town. This was as early as 1749. How long he labored 
here is not known. In 1792 Father Benedict Joseph 
Flagert began to labor at Vincennes, but remained only 
three years. He found affairs in a deplorable condition. 
He set about vigorously to restore order and to establish 
his authority, but in vain. Religion had lost its influence 
and the church her authority over those people. The 
church building, probably erected under Father Meurin's 
administration nearly half a century before, was an old 
dilapidated log structure, open alike to sunshine and rain, 
and almost tottering.. The congregation was, if possible, 
in a more miserable condition. Out of a population of 
about seven hundred souls, and after earnest admonition 
by the priest, only twelve could be induced to approach 
the holy communion during the Christmas festivities. 

The Presbyterians were found in this region at quite 
an early day. In 1827 they had 17 pastors and 44 
churches, and 1352 members in Indiana. The data for 
Illinois are not at hand, but doubtless they were equally 
well represented. The Methodists and Baptists were 


Pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Fort Wayne, Ind. since ISbS 

President of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Lutheran 
Theological Seminary since 1894. 


Fort Wayne, Ind, 

The General Council was organized in this church in 1867 

President of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary 

— 9 — 

probably as numerous as the Presbyterians. They mani- 
fested great zeal in the prosecution of the interests of 
their respective denominations. Lutherans also were 
found in considerable numbers in these territories. As 
early as 1810 they were in Harrison county, Indiana, in 
Union county, Illinois, as early as 1817, and in Missouri, 
in Wayne, Madison and Perry counties, about the same 
time. The approximate numbers we have no means of 
determining. The records are scanty and very defective. 

The spiritual, moral and social conditions of the 
people of these regions, during this early period, was far 
from the ideal. The first settlers were, as a rule, mere 
adventurers, who cared nothing for the claims of religion. 
As there was practically no public preaching, and no 
ministers of the Gospel to present, emphasize, and en- 
force the claims of religion and morality, the social and 
moral conditions could not improve. In these matters 
everyone followed the inclinations of his own will. The 
vast stream of immigration which poured into this region 
after the war of 1812-1815, did not materially improve 
these conditions, but on the contrary, rather gave strength 
to the prevalent scepticism and irreligion. That deplora- 
ble conditions existed until about 1830 in many sections 
is the concurrent testimony of the missionary pastors 
sent by the different denominations to labor in this region. 

From a religious viewpoint, there were three distinct 
classes found among these early colonists — the openly 
defiant unbeliever and ungodly, the polished rationalists 
and the truly pious and devout. 

The first class was very numerous, and for a long 
time largely in the ascendency in many sections of the 
state. Among these were found men of culture, learning 
and refinement, men whose private life was above re- 


proach. But these were in the minority. The majority 
of these unbelievers were of the worst character, impure, 
blasphemous, and licentious beyond restraint. These 
logically carried out in their lives what the more cultured 
preached in their public utterances. It was an evil sys- 
tem which brought forth corrupt fruit. 

The most prominent among the apostles of unbelief 
in this region were Robert Owen and his gifted son, Rob- 
ert Dale Owen. Both were scholarly men, but disbeliev- 
ers in the Christian religion. Robert Owen was an 
avowed unbeliever, and his son was an ardent believer in 
Spiritualism. He denied the supernatural origin of 

These two men came to Indiana in 1823, after having 
zealously disseminated their peculiar views by means of 
the press and public lectures. Theirs was a refined form 
of unbelief, so clothed as to command respect and win 
adherents. It was a fascinating unbelief, as it appealed 
very powerfully to the inclinations and desires of the nat- 
ural man. Along with their religion of unbelief, they 
associated a form of socialism, which, however, proved a 
magnificent failure in actual trial in Owen's socialistic 
community on the Wabash, called New Harmony. 

The salient points in the elder Owen's religious views 
are apparent in his challenge to the world which he fii;st 
made at New Orleans, after delivering a course of lectures, 
and subsequently published throughout the whole coun- 
try. In this challenge among other things he proposed 
to prove that "all the religions of the world have been 
founded upon the ignorance of mankind ; that they are 
opposed to the never-changing laws of our nature ; that 
they have been the real source of vice, disunion and mis- 
ery of every description ; that they are now the only real 

barrier to the formation of a society of virtue, of intelli- 
gence, of charity in its most exalted sense, and of sin- 
cerity and kindness among the whole human family ; and 
that they can be no longer maintained except througli 
the ignorance of the mass of the people and the tyranny 
of the few over the mass." 

Here was the challenge, and until it was met and 
disproved, it was the charter and warrant for the unbeliev- 
ing class to continue in their course. It was not until 
1829 that a man appeared who was ready to take up the 
challenge and meet Mr. Owen face to face and debate 
the merits of the question. This man was Alexander 

The influence of these apostles of unbelief was wide- 
spread and powerful. It affected all conditions of societj-. 
It is the testimony of creditable witnesses that in Ken- 
tucky, in cities of twelve hundred population, not enough 
people could be gotten together to hold a religious service. 
From evidence at hand we infer that in Indiana and 
Illinois conditions were no better. Christianity had be- 
come a term of opprobrium, a synonym for superstition 
and ignorance, and ministers of the Gospel were looked 
upon as men whose business it was to interfere with the 
personal liberties of the individual. All moral restraint 
had become removed, and the vices flourished and ma- 
tured their bitter fruit. Society to a large degree became 
abandoned, and reprobate. The carnal nature ran riot 
until it exhausted itself in its own excesses. 

Deplorable as was the moral condition of society 
produced by these tenets of refined but defiant unbelief, 
there was a determination on the part of many of this 
class to oppose and frustrate if possible all efforts to im- 
prove it. When Prof. Haverstick, in 1885, proposed to 

— J2 — 

preach in a German community in St. Clair county, Illi- 
nois, they replied, "We need no priests. Over yonder 
live some ignorant Germans who may be glad to have 
you come to them." When Rev. C. F. Heyer visited 
Shawneetown, Illinois, the same year, the guests at the 
hotel were so ungodly that Rev. Mr. Heyer spent the 
greater part of the night in the stable with the dumb 
beasts rather than submit to the insults of the blasphem- 
ers. This ungodly class were everywhere in evidence and 
looked upon all religious teaching as a means for sub- 
verting their personal liberty. They were determined to 
be let alone, and that nothing be said or done that might 
awaken their sleeping and seared consciences. The man 
most hated by this class was the minister of the Gospel, 
and the temperance lecturer. The minister had to temper 
his zeal and guard his expressions, lest he incur the dis- 
pleasure of the bullies of the community, who regarded it 
as their special calling to administer chastisement upon 
all ministerial offenders against their code. It not infre- 
quently happened that a minister or a temperance lecturer 
was assaulted and shamefully abused by those who had 
taken umbrage at his public remarks. Only those minis- 
ters who possessed a powerful physique and were ready 
in any emergency to use their fists were able to command 
respect, and could be fearless in their denunciation of 
vice. They were respected for their physical strength, 
but not for their office. 

It is claimed by some authorities^ that the term 
Hoosier originated from this custom of the bullies hush- 
ing the preachers in those early days. They were called 
Hushers, and in course of time the term took the form 

2 Prof. Holcorab, ex-State Superintendent Public Instruc- 
tion, of Indiana. 

Hoosier, and was indiscriminate^' applied to all residents 
of Indiana. If this explanation of the origin of this term 
be correct, it shows what a reputation the early Indi- 
anians had. 

The second class were the polished rationalists. 
These were found mostly among the Germans. They 
professed religion, confessed in some instances the ortho- 
dox faith, and observed the external forms of religion 
punctiliously. They came from the Fatherland, which 
had but recently passed through the throes of Rationalism, 
and brought the baneful seeds with them, which, under 
the freedom and license of a new state, soon grew into a 
strong plant, maturing its fruit and exerting a pernicious 
influence upon religion in general. There was neither 
decency, consistency nor propriety among this class. 
They committed shocking indecencies in the name and 
under the sanction of religion which pained the devout, 
and arrayed the sceptical all the more against all forms 
of Christianity. In some localities, where these ration- 
alists were numerous, congregations were organized, 
churches erected and pastors set over them to perform the 
functions of that office. But in a few cases these pastors 
lacked every virtue and qualification for the holy office. 
In character they were unfit. Their reputation was bad. 
Learning they had, but it was that of the head, and not 
of the heart. The private life of these men was impure, 
being drunken brawlers, profane, vicious and corrupt. 
Some were renegades, some were fugitives from justice, 
men whose offenses in the Fatherland compelled them to 
flee to America to escape the penalties of the law. Such 
was the character, and such were the qualifications of 
men who in not a few cases were elected pastors of con- 
gregations which claimed to be Lutheran, to preach 

— }4 — 

repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 
And the worship was the merest sham, a mere form with- 
out spirit, saving truth, reverence or grace in it. After 
services on the Lord's day morning, the congregation, 
pastor, deacons, elders and all would retire to some hall 
or grove and spend the remainder of the day in revelry 
and debauchery. 

Many of these congregations claimed to be Lutheran, 
but they were not, neither in doctrine nor practice. They 
rejected the distinctive principles of the Lutheran church 
and abused the Christian liberty which the Gospel con- 
fers. They had no synodical connection and their pastors 
were amenable to no ecclesiastical or synodical authority. 
In some cases the pastors were unordained men, in others, 
men who had been deposed from the ministry, but who 
still had possession of their ordination certificates. There 
were also men who, because of the lax practices that ob- 
tained in some of the eastern synods, secured license to 
preach, and then foisted themselves upon the churches in 
the West. Very often Lutheran congregations were im- 
posed upon by these ecclesiastical freebooters. The 
stigma that these unlutheran congregations and these im- 
postors in the ministry brought upon the Lutheran name, 
and upon the Lutheran church, has not yet been effaced. 

But there were also true Christians to be found 
among these pioneers, Lutherans true to the name and 
the faith, godly men and women whose lives shone brightly 
in these regions and times of deep spiritual darkness. 
Their piety was deep, fervent and heartfelt and abounded 
in that ''GemuetlicMeit^' for which the English lan- 
guage has not even a name. The Lutheran church had 
her representatives in these western wilds, who had been 
taught the true faith, and who adorned the same with a 

— J5 — 

godly life and conversation. They knew the power of 
truth in their lives. True they were not so numerous, but 
they were the salt that preserved the church from total 
corruption and decay. In them the spark of piety was 
kept alive. They had their bibles, which was God's 
Word, His message to them, and these they studied dili- 
gently. That Word was the fountain at which their thirst 
was quenched and their souls revived. They had their 
Catechisms which they taught diligently unto their chil- 
dren. They had their hymn books, from which they 
attuned their lips and souls in praise unto their Savior. 
These, although without the services of a pastor for years, 
were not led away from their faith. From such moorings 
the tides of infidelity and rationalism could not sweep 
them. They were anchored unto the Rock of Eternal 
Truth. Some of these congregations were so staunch in 
their Lutheranism that they would not receive the Lord's 
Supper from any minister unless he belonged to their 
church, nor could they be persuaded otherwise. 



Chapter II. 

UTHERANS were found in consideral)le num- 
bers among the early settlers of the region under 
review. After the Louisiana purchase in 1803, 
"thousands of German families, as well as 
American citizens, induced by the flattering re- 
ports of the fertility of the lands of the west, and the 
advantageous offers made to settlers to secure for them- 
selves a home almost without money and without price, 
sold their paternal possessions in North Carolina and 
migrated to Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and 
other states and territories."' Besides these from North 
Carolina, there were thousands also who came from Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and from beyond the 
sea, to make their homes in the fertile valley of the Mis- 
sissippi. It is with those who settled in Indiana, Illinois 
and adjacent parts that we are mostly concerned in this 
History. In this tide of immigration we find the Luth- 
erans making their appearance in the southern portions 
of Indiana as early as 1810, when their cries went back 
to the land of their nativity praying for spiritual attention. 
In this year there already existed a congregation on Tur- 
tle Creek, an affluent of the Ohio, served by one Andrew 
Alms.* In Harrison county there were many Lutherans, 

3 Bernheim, 393. 

4 It seems that Alms was an impostor, as the Penn. Synod 
would have nothing to do with him. Min. Pa. Synod, 1812. 

— 20 — 

and doubtless one or more congregations existed in that 
county, prior to 1820. The Mt. Solomon congregation 
was probably organized prior to the war of 1812-1815, as 
the traditions are that the Indians were so hostile that 
the people went armed to church to be prepared for any 
emergency. In 1819 Rev. C. F. Heyer visited Harrison, 
Floyd and Jefferson counties, Indiana, and preached to 
the Lutherans he found there. As early as 1815 a con- 
gregation existed in Washington county, which earnestly 
petitioned the North Carolina Synod in that year for 
pastoral services. From this we infer that they were 
North Carolinians, and that the congregation dates back 
a year or more earlier. In 1820 a congregation existed 
on Fourteen Mile Creek, in Clark county, which petitioned 
the Tennessee Synod for preaching. They were visited 
by Rev. Christian Moretz in 1823, on his return from the 
meeting of the Tennessee Synod in Greene county, Ten- 
nessee, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, his home. As early 
as 1818 we find North Carolinians in Knox county, who 
a few years later formed the nucleus of the present Mount 
Zion church. 

The Synods of North Carolina and of Tennessee felt 
deeply concerned for the spiritual wants of these their 
children, and hearing their continual call for the bread 
of life, sent missionaries to them, who, themselves 
becoming enamored with the flattering advantages and 
prospects of the new country, likewise soon became 
classed among the new settlers. In this manner were 
congregations formed in the state. ^ 

Wayne county received Lutheran immigrants from 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, and the Fatherland as early as 1820. 
These located at Georgetown on The Walnut Level. 

^ Bernheim. 

— 21 — 

The name was subsequently changed to Gerniantown be- 
cause of the large influx of Germans. The town was not 
laid out until 1832, and was named Georgetown after the 
surveyor, George Shortridge. These Lutherans early 
made provision for their spiritual and intellectual wants. 
In 1822 two acres of ground were purchased lying south 
of the public highway, at the northeast corner of this 
ground a log building was erected, which served for a 
school house and a house of worship. Part of the land 
was set apart for a burying ground, and a man by the 
name of Albright was the first person buried there. The 
congregation was organized in 1822 by the Rev. Jacob 
Gruber, who was a member of the Ohio Synod, and re- 
sided at Euphemia, now Lewi'sburg, Ohio. He served 
the congregation about ten years. In 1833 a brick church 
was erected which for many years was the largest church 
in that region of the country. The German Reformed 
assisted in the erection of this church, and in return were 
given its use every alternate Sunday. They had no title 
to the realty. The Reformed element became extinct in 
about 20 j'ears. 

About ten years after the organization of the Zions 
congregation, Germantown,'' a number of Lutheran fam- 
ilies from the vicinity of Miamisburg, Ohio, located in 
Henry county, west of Hagerstown. For a time they at- 
tended services at Zion's church, from eight to twelve 
miles distant. Services were also held in their homes, 
and during the summer season in their barns or in the 
groves. The interest manifested in these services led 
them to organize the St. Jacobs church, named after 
Jacob Kimmel, a godly pioneer of the community, and a 

6 The name of the post-oflice is East Germantown, 

- 22 - 

church building was erected which served the congrega- 
tion as a house of worship for over half a century.' 

As early as 1829 Lutherans settled in Parke and in 
Fountain counties. They came from North Carolina and 
eastern Tennessee. In 1831 they were organized into a 
congregation by Rev. Philip Henkel. This was the Phil- 
adelphia congregation, in Parke county. The first church 
was erected on Big Raccoon Creek. Before it was com- 
pleted, fire destroyed it, but the congregation, undismayed 
by this misfortune, resolutely set to work and rebuilt 
the church, which served them as a house of worship 
for many years. About four years later the Phanuel con- 
gregation in Fountain countj^ was organized. 

Among the pioneers of Fort Wayne were a number of 
staunch Lutherans who were willing to make sacrifices 
that the church of their fathers might be established in 
their new home. Among these was Henry Rudisill, a 
Pennsylvanian, and whose wife was a descendant of the 
Henkels. Through their entreaties Rev. Jesse Hoover, 
of Woodstock, Virginia, a member of the Ministerium 
of Pennsylvania, cast his lot among them, and laid the 
foundations of the Lutheran church of that city. But the 
workman soon fell a victim to the unhealthy climate, 
1838, and his ashes repose near the place where he so 
faithfully labored. He was a good man and his deatli 
was sincerely mourned by the church at large. 

The material upon which to base any extended and 
detailed account of the Lutheran immigration to the 
state, and of the founding of Lutheran congregations is 
very meager, fragmentary and defective. After a long 
and patient search only a small amount has been gath- 

<■' This building is still standing, 1907, 

- 23 - 

ered upon which to base our conclusions. But we have 
become satisfied that there were Lutheran congregations 
in Indiana in no less than twenty different counties by 
the year 1835, which marks the end of the period under 
review. In all there were from thirty to forty congrega- 
tions, numbering perhaps 2,000 communicants. In one 
year one missionary organized five congregations in four 
different counties. Besides these already mentioned 
there were a number of German congregations which re- 
mained independent of all synodical connection. 

From material that has recently come to hand it ap- 
pears that there was, at quite an early date, a tide of 
Lutheran immigration into the state from Ohio and Penn- 
sj'lvania, which formed colonies and congregations in or 
near Liberty, Union county, Philomath in Fayette county, 
Raleigh in Rush county, and Waldron in Shelby county. 
This probably was the field of the early labors of Rev. 
John L. Markert. 

The existence of the Lutheran church in Kentucky 
dates from the year 1792, when the congregations in Jef- 
ferson and Nelson counties were organized, but by whom 
we are unable to state. Thirteen years later a Lutheran 
colony from Virginia located in Boone county and in 1818 
Rev. Wm. Carpenter, their former pastor, cast his lot 
with them and served them faithfully until his death in 
1833. He also established a congregation in Lexington, 
but as he was unable to care for it, it in a short time dis- 
banded. In 1811 a Rev. Mr. Zink went into the state 
and labored for several years. He claimed to have been 
licensed by Rev. Dr. Helmuth and Schmidt, but acknowl- 
edged that his license had long since expired. He per- 
suaded the people, however, that he had a right to act as 
their minister. The place where he labored was Buler's 

- 24 - 

church. In 1813 the Rev. S. Mau was sent into the state 
by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, authorized to serve 
such congregations as the pastors in Ohio might desig- 
nate. In 1814 a petition, signed by seventy-two persons 
from the vicinity of Bardstown, prayed that Synod to 
send them a pastor. In response to this appeal, the Rev. 
Mr. Zaesline was commissioned as a traveling missionary 
for that region. He visited the place, and although he 
said he could not settle there, he remained for several 
j^ears. In 1820 the cries for pastoral services were so 
urgent that the Ministerium decided upon sending mis- 
sionaries thither to look after their spiritual needs. Rev. 
C. F. IIe3'er and Rev. Mr. Wachter were appointed. In 
1818 the Rev. Henry A. Kurtz was sent into the state as 
a missionary, and labored successfully for a number of 
years. In 1822 he appealed to the Ministerium for more 
laborers for this promising field. 

In Illinois Lutherans were also early on the ground. 
Before its admission into the Union, a colony of this 
faith removed from North Carolina and located in Union 
county, not far from the present site of Anna and Jones- 
boro. These were followed by others who settled in 
Wabash, Jackson, and Montgomery counties. Their 
numbers were swelled by representatives from Lehigh 
county, Pennsylvania, and from Germany. Some of 
those who came from North Carolina crossed the Missis- 
sippi and located in Cape Girardeau, Perry, Madison and 
Wayne counties, Missouri. This was prior to 1820. 

In order that the reader may form some conception 
of the vast stream of immigration that poured into these 
regions we quote from a report made to the Jeffersontown 
Convention in 1834, by a committee appointed to present 
a survey of the field. The report touches upon the con- 


^^^KlT 8 ?■*' ***• 

. ■■'■,. >'S^II 


Anderson, Ind. 

> 2 

*^ I 

a > 

> ^ 

r ?o 

Q 'X 


Destroyed in the great Chicago fire 

The firit English Lutheran Church erected west of Ohio 

— 25 - 

dition of the church in the states of Indiana, Kentucky, 
Illinois and Missouri: "From the land of our fathers, 
thousands and tens of thousands are annually pouring 
forth, like a mighty stream of water in a manner inundat- 
ing the soil. Indeed, so very rapid has been the tide of 
German immigration to this country that many sections 
have been almost wholl}' settled with Germans. And the 
spiritual want of this German community has become so 
great and distressing as to attract the notice and excite 
the sympathy not only of our own church, even to a great 
distance, but the English community of other denomina- 
tions has been aroused on the subject, and the whole 
Christian body united in the same feeling of commisera- 
tion, in behalf of our suffering, aye, almost perishing 
German brethren in the faith." 

The spiritual condition of these people was pitiable. 
They appealed most earnestly to the Synods, both in the 
east and in the south, for the ministration of the Word, 
and the efforts put forth by these bodies to supply their 
wants were marvelous when we consider the times and 
the means of transportation. Lutheran pastors were few, 
the field was so extensive, and the points from which 
appeals for help were coming so numerous that it was 
next to impossible to supply them. The Synods were 
ready and prompt in their efforts to answer the call. The 
Tennessee Synod especially was energetic in its efforts to 
follow the immigrants from their former homes to the 
distant settlements, and supply them with the Gospel. 
It also was diligent in seeking the children of the church 
who came from other regions than the southland. To 
this it was spurred by its jealousy of the pure doctrine 
and Lutheran practices. It endeavored to prevent a fur- 
ther spread of that type of Lutheranism which it regarded 

— 26 — 

.as fundamentally heretical. Other Synods were equally 
diligent. Before 1820, the year that the Tennessee Synod 
came into existence, the North Carolina Synod was 
active in missionating among the scattered Lutherans 
in these states, and continued so until near the close 
of the period under review. In 1815 this Synod was 
petitioned by a congregation in Washington county for 
pastoral services.*' In 1818 a petition from the Lutherans 
in Union county, Illinois, was before this Synod, and it 
requested Rev. John L. Markert, then residing in Ohio, 
to visit them and minister to their spiritual wants. This 
duty he fulfilled within the next two years. In 1825 a 
call, signed by forty persons, came to the Synod from the 
same place, praying for a pastor who could preach in 
both German and English. Rev. Wm. Jenkins was sent 
to visit the place, but his brief stay only intensified their 
sense of destitution. Two years later Rev. J. C. Schoenberg 
was sent as pastor for the place, remained two years, and 
was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Scherer, in 1831, who in 
addition to his work in Union county, organized congre- 
gations at Hillsboro in 1831, Mount Carmel, Vandalia, 
1844, and at other points. 

Rev. Daniel Scherer may justly be regarded as the 
patriarch of the Lutheran church in Illinois. He was for 
a number of years the only Lutheran pastor in the state. 
He was pastor at .Jonesboro, Mt. Carmel, Hillsboro, and 
Vandalia, besides doing much missionary work in various 
sections. He was an untiring worker, frequently travel- 
ing 150 miles on horseback in order to minister to the 
scattered people of his field, who were not included in his 
immediate charge. He labored faithfully until his death 
on April 4, 1852. 

Bernheim, 401. 

— 27 — 

The Ministerium of Pennsylvania demonstrated its 
interest in this western field bj' sending earnest men to 
explore the field and minister to the scattered children of 
the church. The first man thus sent out was T\ev. Prof. 
Haverstick, of Philadelphia. He set out from Winchester, 
Virginia, at the close of September 1835, and spent nine 
months in Illinois and adjacent states. He visited Louis- 
ville, Jefifersontown, and other places in Kentuck3\ He 
crossed the Ohio river at Shawneetown, visited the Luth- 
erans at Jonesboro, assisted Rev. Daniel Scherer twice at 
confirmation and twice at communion services. He had 
planned to enter Missouri and visit Whitner's Mills and 
Apple Creek churches, but found the Mississippi river 
impassable. He therefore went 120 miles farther north 
into St. Clair county, and visited a German settlement 20 
miles southeast of Belleville. Here there ^ras a congrega- 
tion consisting of about 20 families. Here he met Rev. 
Jacob Reissom, from Basle. He next visited a settlement 
at Turkey Hill, of about 35 families. They had a school- 
master who usually read a sermon and baptized and con- 
firmed their children. He visited several other settlements 
in this county, but found them either polished rationalists 
or indifferent to his offers to conduct religious services. 
He regarded St. Clair county as a very unpromising field. 

From Belleville he went northward about 35 miles to 
New Switzerland, in Madison county. Then he returned 
southward and crossed the Mississippi at St. Louis, the 
chief landing place for German immigrants to Illinois 
and Missouri. Here he found a small German congrega- 
tion served by a German named Koernderfer. He was 
brought out by a Rev. Mr. Bueffner, who was sent out as 
a missionary by the (xerman Reformed Synod at New 
Lisbon, Ohio, May IS, 1835. He next visited St. Charles, 

- 28 - 

where he found many Romanists, who had endeavored to 
proselyte the Lutheran people, but with little success. 
He found a small Lutheran congregation here, by whom 
he was favorably received. He remained several weeks, 
confirmed four, baptized several children and administered 
the communion. Thence he went to Marthasville, about 
40 miles beyond St. Charles, where there were about 100 
German families, served by a Rev. Mr. Garlichs who also 
preached at St. Charles. The next point visited was 
Pinkney, about 20 miles distant from Marthasville, where 
he found eighteen families, to whom he preached and ad- 
ministered the communion. On his return he visited 
Beardstown, on the Illinois river, where he was delayed 
three weeks on account of the ice, which made fording 
impossible. Bj' going around 30 miles he was enabled 
to cross. He -then visited Edwardsville and Hillsboro, 
the residence of Rev. Daniel Scherer, thence to Vandalia, 
the capital of the state, where he preached a few times. 
From Vandalia he proceeded to Wabash county. He 
found the country covered with water and ice, often sank 
so that the water and mud came to the horse's breast. This 
in fair weather was a three days' journey, but it required 
eight days for Prof. Haverstick to cover it. He reached 
Wabash county the second week in March, a few weeks 
after the visit of Rev. C. F. Heyer, who had prepared the 
people for his coming. He found the country so attractive, 
and the people so cordial, that he cheerfully would have 
entered upon pastoral relations had not arrangements al- 
ready been made with a Rev. Mr. Kroh, a Reformed min- 
ister, to settle among them, and who was expected to 
arrive among them in the following May. There prevailed 
among them a churchly spirit, and they were ready to 
buy 80 acres of land for a church and school, and to 

— 29 - 

undertake the erection of a church. The building of the 
church was begun before Prof. Haverstick left. He as- 
sisted in the laying of the corner stone. This was the 
first brick cHurch in the state. These people were from 
Lehigh and Northampton counties, Pennsylvania. With 
few exceptions these were Lutherans, but being visited by 
the Rev. Mr. Kroh at a time when they did not know 
whether they should ever be able to secure a Lutheran 
pastor, they embraced the opportunity and accepted this 
man as their pastor. Prof. Haverstick remained here for 
six weeks, preaching and instructing the young. On Sat- 
urday, April 23, Rev. C. F. Heyer returned and assisted 
in confirming 15 young persons, and administered the 
communion to 69 persons. On Monday, April 25, they 
laid the corner stone of the new brick church, which was 
the fourth Lutheran church building in the state. It was 
built upon a plot, a part of 80 acres of land purchased as 
a church property. Two other points in Wabash county 
were promising places for Lutheran congregations. Mount 
Carmel, the county seat, and Centerville. From Wabash 
county Prof. Haverstick went to Vincennes, Indiana, 
thence to Louisville, Kentucky, and thence returned to 
Pennsylvania. During this missionary tour, he traveled 
3,200 miles, preached very often, administered conmiun- 
ion to 230 persons, confirmed 47, baptized 8 children, 
and collected $30.25 for missionary purposes. 

We have been unable to determine with any degree 
of certainty who was the first Lutheran pastor to set foot 
upon what is now Indiana soil. There is a tradition that 
Rev. George Forster, who resided in Fairfield county, 
Ohio, in 1805, and who regarded the whole northwest as 
his mission field, and who was imbued with a deep mis- 
sionary zeal, visited Harrison county, and ministered to 

- 30 - 

the scattered Lutherans there. We have been unable, 
however, to verify this tradition. 

Among the pioneer pastors who labored in western 
Ohio was the Rev. John Samuel Man. lie came into 
this section at a very early period, possibly in 1807. He 
had been a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and was 
somewhat eccentric in character. Several times he 
changed his church relation, but confessed himself a 
Lutheran before his death. He supported himself by 
teaching school. He is said to have been the first school 
teacher in the Twin-valley. His education was limited, 
and his preaching abilities were very deficient. His 
home was near Germantown. He organized the Salem 
Lutheran church at Lewisburg, Ohio, in the spring of 
1808. He also served congregations in Indiana, one of 
which was St. John's. This congregation probably was 
in Fayette county. In 1813 he was granted a license by 
the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, to serve such congrega- 
tions in Kentucky as may be designated by the ministers 
residing in Ohio. He continued his pastoral labors in 
Montgomery county, Ohio, as late as November 19, 1818. 
As he was not a settled pastor, his work was almost ex- 
clusively of a missionary character, and we are satisfied 
that his field of operations extended into Indiana. 
Whether he was ever ordained we do not know. He was 
present at the meeting of the Ohio Synod in 1818, and 
recognized as a Lutheran minister. He lived to a good 
old age, and died in 1830." 

Another one of the pioneers in this section was the 
Rev. Andrew Simon. He labored in German and Miama 

9 Based on Hentz's Lutheran Church in Germantown, 
Ohio, and other sources. 

- 3J - 

townships, Montgomery county, Ohio, for a number of 
years, from 1810 to 1818 at least.'" He was not a fluent 
speaker, scarcely able to express his thoughts intelli- 
gently, and consequently not very popular as a preacher 
nor successful as a pastor. It is said that he abandoned 
the ministry and turned his attention to the practice of 
medicine. He removed to Indiana, where he closed his 
earthly career. Whether he continued to preach after his 
removal to that state we do not know. He was present 
at the meeting of the Ohio Synod in 1818, and evidently 
was then still in the active ministry. He was a mis- 
sionary rather than a settled pastor. 

In 1815 the Rev. John Caspar Dill was called as the 
pastor of the Lutheran church in Germantown, Ohio, and 
remained in the office until his death in 1824. His field 
of labor was very extensive, embracing several counties. 
In his removal to the west he was commissioned by the 
Ministerium of Pennsj'lvania to act as a traveling mis- 
sionary and supply for other congregations in this section 
of the country. It is quite probable that in his mission- 
ary labors he entered the bounds of Indiana. 

Rev. Wm. Carpenter, who came to Boone county, 
Kentucky, in 1813, where he labored for twenty years, 
was interested in the Lutherans in Indiana, and familiar 
with their conditions. He advised Rev. Mr. Schnee in 
1821 to go to Indiana instead of Kentucky, which would 
indicate that he knew something of the field from per- 
sonal observation. It is probable that he did pioneer 
work within the bounds of the Hoosier state. 

Rev. C. F. Heyer was commissioned in 1819 by the 
Ministerium of Pennsylvania to visit some districts in 

10 Pates of earliest and latest marriages recorded as solem- 
nized by him in Montgomery county. Probate Court Records. 


Kentucky and Indiana, and provide the brethren there 
with the Word and Sacraments. He spent three months 
in this work. It was during this year that he organized a 
congregation or more in Harrison county, and ministered 
to it for a time. Whether this was the Mount Solomon 
church or some other we have not the data to determine, as 
there were several congregations in that county at an 
early day. He also visited Floyd and Jefferson counties 
and preached to the Lutherans he found there. 

As the reports of these missionaries, describing the 
spiritual destitution of the brethren in the faith, located 
in these western regions, came to the Synod its interest in 
them increased. In 1821 it commissioned the Rev. Mr. 
Schnee as its missionary in these western regions, em- 
bracing Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. Schnee evi- 
dently had had considerable experience in pioneer and 
frontier work. He entered upon his labors July 30, 1821. 
He traveled westward, preaching wherever opportunity 
offered. He spent some time in Ohio visiting the Luth- 
eran pastors, and conferring with them about the work. 
Among these pastors he found much opposition to the Gen- 
eral Synod, which had been recently organized, and which 
seemed to be the paramount question among the Luth- 
erans at that time. Rev. Charles Henkel he found most 
pronounced and bitter in his opposition to that body. 
At Carlisle, Ohio or Kentucky, we cannot say which, he 
was joined by Rev. L. H. Meyers, and together they visited 
Rev. Wm. Carpenter, in Boone county, Kentucky. Here 
the plans of the missionaries were discussed. Schnee's 
destination was Kentucky, but Rev. H. A. Kurtz, who 
had been sent to that state a year or two before by the 
same Synod, and whose reports represented the condition 
of the people as pitiable and distressing, had proposed 

- 33 - 

the organization of a Kentucky Synod, which Carpenter 
warmly opposed. He regarded the project as a wild and 
foolish idea, and urged the missionaries not to remain in 
Kentucky, but to go to Indiana. This advice the mis- 
sionaries took, and set out upon their journey. They 
traveled together until they reached Paoli, in Orange 
county. Here they separated, Schnee going westward as 
far as the Wabash, where he found a settlement of Ger- 
mans. Here he turned back, passing through Madison. 
His tour lasted three and one-half months. He traveled 
1,052 miles, organized one congregation baptized 34 
children, and administered the communion to 36 persons. 

From Paoli Rev. L. H. Meyers went southward. He 
visited Salem, in Washington county, and Corydon, in 
Harrison county. After tarrying here for a short time he 
returned to his scattered congregation in Cincinnati. In 
1822 Rev. L. H. Meyers was reappointed as missionary to 
Indiana and Kentucky for a period of two months. These 
duties he discharged, reporting that he had traveled 767 
miles, baptized 37 children, and preached 49 times. No 
congregations were organized. 

The Tennessee Sj-nod was also deeply concerned for 
the spiritual interests of the Lutherans in Indiana and 
adjacent parts. Its opposition to the General Synod, and 
its intense zeal for the pure faith which it professed, 
spurred its pastors to almost superhuman efforts to plant 
the Lutheran church in this new country. It was a true 
missionary Synod. It had no mission treasury, nor funds 
for the support of missionaries, yet it did a vast amount 
of true missionary work. Almost every pastor in that 
body was a zealous missionary, making extended tours 
into different sections of the country, and trusting to 


Providence for his support, and this trust was never mis- 
phiced. In addition to these individual efforts the Synod 
instructed certain of its pastors to visit the frontier settle- 
ments and minister to the destitute brethren. These 
instructions were always carried out, unless some provi- 
dential interposition prevented. 

The Rev. Jacob Zink, of Washington county, Vir- 
ginia, was probably the first missionary of the Tennessee 
Synod to labor in Indiana. His zeal was like his field, 
boundless. The whole region east of the Mississippi river 
was his parish. He journeyed almost constantly. In 
1821 his missionary tour embraced portions of Louisiana, 
Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Wherever he went he 
preached, catechised, and administered the sacraments 
as opportunity offered or the necessities required. In 
1823 he located permanently in Indiana, but at what 
point we do not know. This year he attended the con- 
vention of the Ohio Synod at Chillicothe. He labored 
in the state until his death in 1827. The place of his 
residence is not known, but probably it was near Martins- 
ville, Morgan county. Rev. Mr. Zink was a zealous and 
devoted Lutheran, and a man of strong convictions. He 
loved his church, and preached her doctrines from a con- 
viction of their scripturalness. He was a pronounced 
opponent to the General Synod and a loyal son of the 
Tennessee Synod. He did much to develop a deep 
Lutheran consciousness in the congregations he served, 
all of which were in harmony with his own pronounced 

It is certain that the renowned Rev. Paul Henkel 
was instrumental in planting the Lutheran church in In- 
diana, although the places visited and the congregations 

— 35 — 

organized by him are not known to the writer." The 
work accomplished by the zealous, consecrated and godly 
man, and the intense missionary spirit and zeal which 
his teaching and example provoked among his own sons, 
and those who were his pupils, entitle him to more than 
a passing notice in this connection. Of his five sons who 
entered the ministry of the Lutheran church, three, 
and one grandson, were instrumental in establishing 
the Lutheran church in this state, and another grand- 
son, the Rev. J. L. Stirewalt, in later years, both as a 
pastor and as the General Council's western missionary, 
did much to build up the Lutheran Zion in the common- 

Paul Henkel was born on the Yadkin river, in North 
Carolina, December 15, 1754. He died at New Market, 
Virginia, November 17, 1.S25. The family trace their 
descent through Count Henkel of Poeltzig, from .Johann 
Henkel, D. D., LLD., born in Hungary, who was father 
confessor to Queen Maria. The head of the American 
branch of the family was Rev. Gerhard Henkel, who came 
to America about the year 1700. In the Fatherland Rev. 
Gerhard Henkel was for a time court chaplain to Duke 
Moritz of Saxony, who becoming a Roman Catholic, 
exiled him. He was the first Lutheran minister in Vir- 
ginia, and afterwards pastor at Germantown, Pa. He 
died about the year 1742. From him descended a numer- 
ous family, many of whose members are prominent in the 
Lutheran church and in the learned professions. One of 
the sons of Rev. Gerhard Henkel was Justus, who was the 
father of Jacob, who was the father of Paul, Isaac, Moses 
and John. Moses entered the ministry of the Methodist 

n Hist. Tenn. Synod, p. (38. 


church, but Paul, Isaac and John were true to the faith 
of their father and entered the ministry of the Lutheran 

Jacob Henkel had settled in North Carolina, on the 
banks of the Yadkin. About 1760 the Indians became so 

12 We append an abbreviated genealogical table of the 
Henkel family. 

Johann Henkel, D.D., LL.D., born in Pleutschau, Hungary. 
Count Henkel, of Poeltzig. 
Gerhard Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Emigrated to America 1700 — 

1718, died cir. 1742. 

11 Justus Henkel. 

12 Jacob Henkel. 

13 Moses Henkel. M. E. minister. 
23 Isaac Henkel. Lutheran pastor. 

3 3 John Henkel. Lutheran pastor. 

4 3 Paul Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born December 15, 1754, 

died November 25, 1825. 
1-4 Solomon Henkel, M. D. Publisher. 
15 Samuel G. Henkel, M. D. Born February 12, 1807, died 

March 8, 1864. 
25 Heleah. Married Rev. D. M. Henkel, D.D. 
2i Philip Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born September 23, 1779, 

died October 9, 1833. 
15 Eusebius S. Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born July 26, 1811, 

died December 17, 1874. 
2 5 Irenaeus Henkel. Lutheran pastor. 
34 Ambrose Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born July 11, 1786, 

died January 6, 1873. 
15 Elnora. Married Socrates Henkel, D.D. 
44 Andrew Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born October 21, 1790, 

died April 23, 1870. 
15 George Henkel, M.D. 

25 Vandalona Henkel. Married Rev. J. L. Stirewalt. 
54 David Henkel. Lutheran pastor. Born May 5, 1795, died 

June 15, 1831. 
15 Polycarp C. Henkel, D.D. Lutheran pastor. Born August 

20, 1820, died September 26, 1889. 

- 37 - 

threatening that he removed with his family to western 
Virginia. Here young Paul grew up under the inHuence 
of frontier life, and became an expert hunter, and familiar 
with Indian warfare. Of his early religious training we 
know nothing. There is a tradition that when he was 
about twenty-two years old, he heard some eminent 
preacher and resolved to prepare himself for the ministry. 
He placed himself under the care of Rev. Mr. Krug, of 
Frederick, Maryland, from whom he acquired a fair 
knowledge of German, Latin, Greek and other branches 
necessary for the office. He was licensed by the Minist- 
erium of Pennsylvania, and accepted a call from congre- 
gations in the Shenandoah valley, at and near New Market. 
But his labors extended far beyond his immediate field. 
On the 6th of June, 1792, he was ordained by Rev. John 
Fred. Schmidt, in Philadelphia. After serving congre- 
gations in Staunton, Va., and Rowan county, North Car- 
olina, he located again in New Market, and labored as an 
independent missionary the rest of his days. Not depend- 
ing for a support on any special missionary fund but upon 
the promises of his Master, he entered upon one of the 

23 Socrates Henkel, D.D. Lutheran pastor. 

tH Charles Ilenkel. Lutheran pastor. Born March IS, 179S, 

died 1841. 
15 D. M. Henkel, D.D. Lutheran pastor. 

1<; Wife of Rev. A. L. Yount, D.D. 

1 " John Yount. Lutheran pastor. 

7i Hannah. Wife of Rev. John Stirewalt. 

15 Paul Stirewalt. Lutheran pastor. 

25 Julius L. Stirewalt. Lutheran pastor. 

35 Quintius Spener Stirewalt. Student of Theology. 

Rev. Jacob Stirewalt, married Henrietta Henkel, daughter of 

Elias Henkel. 

1 Rev. J. N. Stirewalt. 

2 Rev. Jerome P. Stirewalt. 

- 38 - 

most remarkable careers of missionary effort known in the 
annals of the Church of America. Animated by a truly 
apostolic zeal, he threw himself into the work with all the 
ardor of youth. His labors are characterized by a zeal 
and self-denial, and perseverance and indomitable courage 
equalled by but few men since the days of the apostles. 
Amidst dangers and the severest hardships, he made 
repeated tours penetrating into the wildernesses of the 
south and west, to the farthest limits of civilization, 
hunting up the scattered members of the household of 
faith, baptizing, instructing and confirming their children, 
preaching the Word, organizing congregations and schools, 
and supplying the people with books of devotion, a 
supply of which he generally carried with him. He 
exhorted the people to be loyal to their Church and faith- 
ful to God. In 1810 he made a tour into Ohio, entering 
the state opposite the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 
From thence he went to Chillicothe, thence to Springfield, 
then to Mad Rivers, the present site of Dayton, where he 
came near losing his life by drowning, being accidently 
thrown into the river. This was then the limit of white 
settlements. He proceeded to an Indian town some 
twenty miles farther north, probably Piqua. After a stay 
of eight days he traveled down the Great Miami River, to 
a congregation where he spent two weeks instructing the 
young and preaching the ■ Word. This probably was 
Germantown, as he was at this place in this year. From 
this place he returned home to New Market, and prepared 
for a tour into North Carolina. During this tour into 
Ohio, he preached almost daily, sometimes in German 
and sometimes in English, sometimes both in one day, 
and, as it appears from the data at hand, he organized 
one congregation and one school, confirmed 59 and 

— 39 - 

administered the Lord's Supper to 95. He labored very 
hard, and was much distressed because of the bad inHu- 
ence of the fanatical sects, and complained that the 
schools were English while the people, old and young, 
spoke the German. 

No more active, indefatigable and self-denying mis- 
sionary than Paul Henkel ever labored in this country. It 
is strange that no extended accounts of this man's life and 
labors are published. In other communions, men of less 
zeal and ability, whose work is less fruitful than is his, 
have been honored with published biographies, while this 
man's work is in danger of being forgotten. The church 
should know about his life, his deeds, his zeal and devo- 
tion for her and her faith. The whole unexplored west 
was his parish. Without any authorization from Mission 
Boards, or assurance of support save the Master's command 
"Go preach the Gospel," and the promise "Lo I am with 
you alway," he went forth in obedience to that command, 
and in firm reliance upon that promise, and entered upon 
his labors unmoved and undismaj-ed by the darkest 
prospects. Tennessee, Virginia, North and South Carol- 
ina, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia, were the 
fields of his operations. 

In some of these tours he was accompanied by his 
noble and heroic wife, who was animated by a like 
missionary spirit. In a two- wheeled wagon they traveled. 
Their journeys were not without dangers. In peril of 
waters, crossing swollen streams, in perils of land, often 
compelled- to spend the night in the forests, abounding 
with panther, bear and wolves, they passed their time that 
tlie Gospel might be preached unto the destitute. From 
a small farm he derived his subsistence. His sons owned 
a printing press, from which a small income was derived, 

— 40 - 

and the devotional books which they issued, he helped to 
distribute in his tours. He would accept no compensa- 
tion for his services. 

In his journeyings he often came upon gatherings of 
people, such as "log-rollings," house- or barn-"raisings," 
"corn-huskings" and the like. On such occasions he 
would announce his office, and offer to preach. The offer 
as a rule was gladly accepted. The people would seat 
themselves upon logs, stumps, or on the ground, while a 
stump or short "log cut" set on end served as a pulpit. 
Under these conditions and in these improvised sanctuaries 
he would deliver his sermon, in the language preferred, 
German or English, or possibly a sermon in each. If 
time permitted he would tarry for a few days, visit from 
house to house, baptize the children and comfort the sick 
and sorrowing. His kindly acts, and genuine Christian 
sympathy won the hearts of all, and the partings were 
often amid sobs and tears. Thus the settlements were 
visited, and the desolate made to rejoice in the treasures 
of grace. Thus the Word and Sacrament were ministered 
unto our forefathers in this region. 

In this manner a whole summer was spent in the 
field. As the winter approached, he would turn his face 
toward his home, and then prepare for a trip into the 
sunny southland, or prepare during the winter months for 
another trip throughout the north. With such zeal, 
fidelity and devotion on the part of her sons, even in a 
darkening hour, the Lutheran Church could not fail to 
live. By such sons her precious truths were kept fresh 
and uncorrupted among the people on the frontiers. 

Paul Henkel was a man of fine physique. He was 
well proportioned, large, erect, standing about six feet, 
with well developed physical organs, full of energy and 

Knox County, Ind. 

I. 4. Rev. Paul Roth 

2. Rev. Hiram Peters, D. D. 5. Rev. W. J. Finck 

3. Rev. M. E. Haberland 6. Rev. A. C. Anda 

7. Rev. J. R. E. Hunt 


k.' -"H^^Bllll 


.. .._,,. 

Mulberry, Ind. 








Near Mulberry, Ind. 

— 4J — 

perseverance. Without these he would have been unequal 
to the task before him. His mind was well balanced. 
His attaiiiments were liberal. In disposition he was kind, 
afifectionate and forbearing. He was universally honored, 
loved and esteemed. 

As a preacher he had few superiors among his 
contemporaries. He was fervent, animated and at times 
eloquent. He preached the doctrines of the Lutheran 
church from conviction of their scripturalness. His soul 
was in his Master's cause. Few ministers performed more 
arduous, faithful, and ellicient labor than he did. In all 
the relations of life he was true, faithful, pious, reliable 
and upright. 

Rev. David Henkel, moved by the same spirit that 
animated his father, was very active in propagating the 
faith, and in opposing not only the General Synod but 
also the Methodists, Unitarians and Baptists. He heartily 
received the doctrines taught and confessed bj^ the Luth- 
eran church as set forth in the Symbolical Books," and 
defended them with all the power at his command. He 
was among the few who saw that many who bore the 
Lutheran name, had departed from the Lutheran faith 
and practice. He exerted himself to induce the church 
in America to return to the old standards. "He was the 
best educated and most energetic of the family, although 
all ranked high in both for that day. Not so learned as 
some of his opponents but possessing great natural talent, 
and indefatigably industrious, he was more than their 
equal. It was he who by his writings and preaching 
became the leader in what was for years popularly and 
reproachfully called Henkelism, but which distinguished 
itself only by a more rigid adherence to the old Lutheran 

13 S. S. Schmucker, Luth. Ch. in Amer., p. 215. 

— 42 — 

theologj', and by a want of sympathy and co-operation 
with what was called the Evangelical section of the 
church. David Henkel was a strong man anoiong the 
men with whom he was associated, and exercised an 
unlimited control over their ideas and actions."'* With 
voice and pen he pressed his work. He challenged the 
Lutheranism of all the existing synods, and the sub- 
sequent history of the church has practically vindi- 
cated his position, although he was treated by his oppo- 
nents with almost contemptuous silence. In the south he 
was belittled by those who could not understand him, but 
held in reverence by those whom he had brought to a 
clearer apprehension and deeper appreciation of the Luth- 
eran faith. He was an earnest student of the Scriptures 
and of the Book of Concord, and knew what were the 
doctrines of the church. 

He had no sympathy with the new measures and 
innovations introduced into so many of the churches. 
For Methodism he had no love, neither for its extravagant 
methods and revivals, nor for its subjectiveness in its 
doctrines. With these people he came into sharp contro- 
versy. Henkel had published a pamphlet entitled "Bap- 
tism, or Heavenly Flood of Regeneration." One Joseph 
Moore published some strictures on this pamphlet, which 
fell into Henkel's hands. Moore was neither logical nor 
consistent, nor fair in his criticisms. Henkel then pub- 
lished his treatise "Answer to Joseph Moore, the Meth- 
odist," in which he handled his antagonist without gloves, 
and vindicated his own position. He also published a 
treatise entitled "Against the Unitarians," in which he 
ably defends the Lutheran view of the Person and Incar- 
nation of Jesus Christ. This was written because of the 

14 Morris, Fifty Years in Luth. Min., p. 44. 


doctrines that were advocated in both pulpit and print. 
This work was published by order of the Tennessee Synod. 
These works were widely scattered, even in Indiana many 
copies were sold.' ' Besides these controversies through the 
press, he had frequent public disputations with prominent 
men, both within and without the Lutheran church." He 
was in 1S26 requested to visit Pennsylvania and preach and 
vindicate the distinctive doctrines of the Lutheran church. 
To this he agreed.'" 

As early as 1S24 he visited the churches in Indiana, 
and encouraged them to be true to the faith of the fathers. 
Everywhere he was received with joy and liberally remun- 
erated for his services. How long he remained in the 
state, and what congregations he visited, we have not 
been able to ascertain. The next year he was at Jeffer- 
sontown, Kentucky, and it is quite probable that a portion 
of the year was spent in ministering to the churches in 
Indiana. His visit to these churches did much to estab- 
lish them in their opposition to the General Synod. He 
spent several weeks in Greene county, Indiana, but in 
what year we know not. His career was cut short by an 
untimely death in 1831. The churches in the south 
lamented his death for many j^ears. His opposition to a 
literary institution was his chief fault and the mistake of 
his life.'' 

Rev. Philip Henkel, an older l)rother of David, labored 
extensively in Indiana. It appears that he spent the 

1-^ The writer found several copies among the older families. 

i'" Henkel, Hist. Tenn. Synod, p. 71. 

1' Some idea of the labors of these missionaries can be 
obtained from their ministerial acts. David Henkel in a min- 
istry of about IS years preached 3200 times, baptized 'J997 infants, 
240 adults, and confirmed 1105. 

— 44 — 

greater part of the year 1831 missionating in the state, 
during which time he organized five congregations in four 
different counties, namely St. John's in Clear Creek town- 
ship, and Zions(?) in Beanblossom township, Monroe 
county, Salem in White River township, Morgan county, 
Philadelphia in Parke county, and St. John's, Bluff Creek, 
Johnson county. His son. Rev. Eusebius S. Henkel, 
came to the state in 1833, as a missionary adventurer, 
and labored almost exclusively within its bounds until 
his death. 

Very early in the century the Rev. John Lewis Markert 
labored in the state, but only in the capacity of a mission- 
ary. He had served congregations in North Carolina from 
1805 to 1816. During this period he visited Ohio, about 
1813, and supplied several congregations, among which 
was the one at Germantown. In 1816 he moved to In- 
diana, locating, according to the best information, in 
Fayette county. He may justly be regarded as the patri- 
arch of the Lutheran church in the state. In 1817 he 
reported by letter to the North Carolina Synod, and de- 
scribed the deplorable conditions of the church in that 
state. He told of many scattered congregations that he was 
then serving, and that he was the only Lutheran pastor in 
the state." In 1819 he was entreated by the North Caro- 
lina Synod to visit the brethren in Union county, Illinois, 
in response to their "heart-affecting memorial and prayer 
for spiritual ministration." He is spoken of as then re- 
siding in Ohio, but as his home was not far from the 
Ohio line, and serving congregations in that state, the 
brethren in the south were probably misled as to his 
place of residence. He visited the Lutherans in Union 
county, Illinois, in 1820, in compliance with the request 

18 Hist. N. C. Synod, p. 88. Min. N. C. Synod, 1817. 

— 45 — 

of the North Carolina Synod, made two years before. He 
labored in Montgomery county, Ohio, from April 18, 
1820, to September 29, 1823,'" at least ; but what congre- 
gations he served we have been unable to ascertain. In 
1823 he had charge of three schools, which he taught in 
connection with his pastoral work."" He did not co-oper- 
ate with the Ohio pastors in the organization of the Ohio 
Synod in 1818, nor did he connect himself with that 
body. But it is quite probable that he and Pastors Mann, 
Simon and Dill, and possibly also Heinecke, who came 
into this region as early as 1822, co-operated in their ef- 
forts to supply the spiritual needs of the large Lutheran 
population that had llowed into this region. Markert re- 
mained in connection with the North Carolina Synod 
until 1829, when he united with the Tennessee Synod. 
During this year he and Rev. Nehemiah Bonham, in 
compliance with that Synod's request, visited all the 
congregations in connection with it, a heavy task, but 
cheerfully and faithfully performed. 

For several years at least Rev. Mr. Markert re- 
sided in Fayette county, Indiana, where he served St. 
John's congregation in connection with his other fields of 
labor. He received such meagre support that he was 
compelled to work at his trade, that of a cooper, for a 
livelihood. He reported that no minister could subsist 
there without some support from a plantation. In 1831 

19 Earliest and latest dates of record of marriages solemn- 
ized by him in Montgomery county, Ohio. 

■M These pioneer pastors were away from their homes so 
much, and covered so large a territory in their ministrations, 
that it is dirticult to determine the place of their residence. The 
early minutes generally gave only the state, sometimes also the 
counties, in which they resided. 

— 46 — 

he located in Fountain county, Indiana, where he resided 
until his death, November 22, 1850. 

Rev. Christian Moritz located in the state as early as 
1829. Some years before he had visited Greene county 
in response to an invitation from the Lutherans there, 
many of whom had been his parishioners in North Caro- 
lina. He was so well pleased with the people and with 
the country that he decided to make his home among 
them. His first visit to the state, so far as we can ascer- 
tain, was in 1823, when he preached for the churches at 
Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and at Fourteen Mile Creek, 
Clarke county, Indiana. During the interim of these 
dates he labored chiefly in Cape Girardeau county, 

Rev. Abraham Miller, a deacon of the Tennessee 
Synod, located in the state in 1828, making his home 
near Columbus, in Bartholomew county. He began to 
preach at the age of 18, had been licensed, and served 
congregations in Virginia and Tennessee. He was but 
23 years of age when he came to the state, and supple- 
mented his support by teaching school. He supplied a 
number of congregations in the southern part of the state. 
Subsequently he moved to Shelby county, and finally to 
Bluff Creek, Johnson county, where he resided until his 
death, December 4, 1887. He continued to preach regu- 
larly until 1864, when he retired from the active work. 

Rev. Jacob Gruber, residing at Euphemia, now Lewis- 
burg, Ohio, labored as a missionary in the state for a 
number of years. He organized Zion's Church, East 
Germantown in 1822, and St. Jacob's Church several 
years later. Besides supplying these congregations, he 
served congregations in Clinton, and Blackford counties. 
He followed the avocation of a stone cutter, making a 

— 47 — 

specialty of grave stones. During his missionary tours, 
besides preaching and catechising, he would take orders 
for grave stones, which he would Hll upon his next visit. 
He travelled in a wagon, and thus delivered his goods. 
Like Paul the apostle, he would not be a burden upon the 
church but labored with his own hands for his support. 

Besides the pastors above mentioned, Rev. Andrew 
Henkel, residing at Germantown, Ohio, Rev. John Wag- 
enhuls, residing at Lancaster, Ohio, and Rev. Henry 
Heincke, residing at Miamisburg, Ohio, did pioneer work 
in the state at intervals, prior to 1835. It is evident, that 
the Lutheran population in the state was considerable, 
and that it was impossible for the pastors on the field to 
care for it, and save it to the Lutheran church. They 
made heroic efforts, and to them the church owes a debt 
of gratitude. 

In 1835, the Rev. Ezra Keller Was sent out by the 
Missionary .Society of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, 
as a missionary explorer. His field embraced portions 
of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The next year he made 
his report, a part of which, pertaining to the field under 
consideration, we append to this narrative. It is as fol- 
lows: "The first place at which I arrived from New 
Albany, where I entered the state of Indiana, was Rockford 
in Jackson county, where I found a settlement of Swiss, 
of about fourteen families. Most of them have been living 
here three or four years, and more are expected to settle 
in the neighborhood. They are generally piously disposed, 
but have no one to break unto them the bread of life. 
They are exceedingly desirous to have a minister, who 
would preach steadily, and catechise their children. I 
remained with them several days, preached once, and 
visited some families who were sick. What is very com- 

— 48 - 

mendable in these people is, that they are in the habit of 
meeting every Sunday for divine service, when a few 
hymns are sung, and one reads the church service. They 
requested me to return their sincere thanks to synod for 
the visit and service of your missionary, and also entreat 
you to consider their condition. 

From this place I proceeded northward into Shelby 
Co. where I was told were some destitute congregations. 
But before I reached them I was informed that they were 
under the pastoral care of Rev. A. Miller, so I passed on 
into Marion Co. Here, four miles north of Indianapolis, 
I met Eev. A. Reck, a venerable father in our Zion, who, 
after having long labored to build up our church in the 
east, emigrated in the spring of 1836, into this state, with 
the view of doing something for the Master's cause in this 
great valley. He has already organized a congregation in 
his immediate neighborhood, of about fifty members. 
They have put up a comfortable house for divine worship 
in sight of their pastor's dwelling. Here I had the plea- 
sure of being with him at his first communion. Sixteen 
were confirmed, and about fifty united in partaking of the 
Lord's Supper. At this place I preached thrice, and bap- 
tized one. It was a season of great interest to the mem- 
bers, and of novelty to many spectators, it being the first 
time these ordinances were administered in this neighbor- 

I next visited a settlement of European Germans, 
twelve miles east of Indianapolis, of about twenty families. 
They are generally in good circumstances, and some of 
them are well educated ; but as to religion they seem to 
be in a deplorable condition. I felt a great desire to 
preach for them, and made application. to that effect, but 
they seemed reluctant to hear me except on Sabbath, and 

— 49 — 

the reason they gave was that they could not spare the 
time ; and as I had an appointment for the Sabbath at 
another place I was compelled to leave them, after having 
traveled many miles through rainy weather, over bad 
roads and encountering high waters, without being per- 
mitted to preach one sermon. This was painful to my 
mind and a strong evidence that they need some one to 
lead them in the path of duty. Their condition is indeed 
deplorable. Their children are growing up without relig- 
ious instruction, and are likely to become as wild as the 
country in wich they live. 

The next place I visited was sixteen miles north of 
Indianapolis, near Germantown. There live about thirty 
members of our church from different states of the Union. 
I preached for these people in a private house. They are 
visited occasionally by Mr. Keck, who will perhaps soon 
form them into a congregation. 

From this place I went to a German settlement in 
Hamilton Co. five miles west of White River, In this 
neighborhood live about twelve Lutheran families, origin- 
ally from Pennsylvania, and many who are of German 
descent, but not members of the church. This settlement 
is quite new ; the people have no chairs, not even benches. 
They appear however to be hungry for the bread of life 
and receive it with a ready mind. I preached to them 
with great satisfaction in a little cabin, and afterwards 
baptized two infants. I had reason to believe that the 
truth made a deep impression on their minds. Many 
tears flowed and they appeared to be very anxious to ob- 
tain a minister, and promised to put up a house for wor- 
ship if they could obtain some one to teach them. 

From this settlement I returned to Indianapolis, and 
on my way preached in the evening at Abbesville. In 

— 50 — 

Indianapolis I preached to a small congregation, which 
has been recently organized by Rev. Reck. 

Another settlement I visited in Marion Co. is on 
Little Eagle creek. Here are about twelve families of 
Lutherans, all of whom can understand the English 
language. To these people I pleached in a private house. 

From here I went to Boone Co., where I found a num- 
ber of Lutherans from East Tennessee, settled about six 
miles south-east from Lebanon. These people have been 
visited occasionally by Rev. E. S. Henkel of the Indiana 
Synod, who speaks of taking up his residence among them. 
I preached to them in a cabin. In the afternoon I rode 
to Lebanon where I preached in the evening to a large 
and attentive audience in the courthouse. I found one 
member of our church here, from North Carolina, who was 
much pleased to hear a minister of his own faith. The 
roads in this part of the country I found so exceeding bad 
that I could not travel more than ten or twelve miles per 

The next place I visited was La Fayette, a flourishing 
town on the Wabash. Here I found about seven mem- 
bers of our church, who despair of getting a minister, and 
now speak of uniting with other churches. May God 
raise up laborers for our people ! I would here remark 
that since I left Indiana, I met a gentleman, a citizen of 
Logansport, Cass Co., who informed me that in that 
place were many European Germans who were Protestants. 
These should be visited. 

From LaFayette I went down the Wabash to a little 
place called Attica, which I reached on the 12th of No- 
vember. Here I found it necessary, for myself and my 
horse, to rest for a short time. At Attica I found twelve 
members of the Lutheran, and about an equal number of 

— 51 — 

the Reformed church, chieily from Maryland. During my 
stay here I preached six times, visited all the members 
at their homes and preached once in the neighborhood. 
At Attica a minister is much needed and desired. The 
people are willing to receive one either from the Lutheran 
or Reformed church. They are hungry for the bread of 
life, and care not who breaks it to them. 

From this place I went to Perryville, a beautiful 
town on the Wabash. In this place and vicinity I found 
fifteen members of the Lutheran and a few families of the, 
German Reformed church. I remained with them a 
week, preached four times, visited most of them in their 
homes, and baptized two infants. Most of these people 
are from Ohio, are wealthy, are anxious to hear a minis- 
ter, and would contribute liberally to his support. Perry- 
ville is situated in one of the finest portions of the state, 
is growing fast, has but one organized church, and would 
be a fine situation for a Lutheran minister. No German 
is needed here, or in Attica. While at this place I heard 
of a settlement of Lutherans in Fountain county, but 
could not visit them in consequence of bad roads and 
high water." ' 

From Perryville Rev. Keller entered Illinois and 
crossed the state to St. Charles, Missouri. 

Thus far we have spoken only of those pioneer pas- 
tors whose work was chiefly English, or whose congrega- 
tions became English in due time. These were first on 
the field. The Germans came later, during that period 
when German immigration to the state became so great. 
Among the earlier German pastors of whom we have any 
record were J., and .1. F. Isensee. brothers from the 

-1 This report is taken from The Life of l",zra Keller. 

— 52 — 

University of Halle. Rev. J. J. Meissner, Rev. F. C. D. 
W3'nekin, and Rev. William Sihler. Besides these, there 
were some who belonged to the Joint Synod of Ohio. 
The Germans were more successful in making their work 
permanent. This is due to their strict adherence to all 
the doctrines and principles of Lutheranism, and a larger 
supply of pastors for their specific needs. 


Sxpertmentation nnh ©rganizatiau of iFurrea 

Chapter III. 
iEx;iprtmrntattiin nnh ©rgamsatton of Wartts. 

X order to understand properly the history of the 
Lutheran church in this region, and estimate 
torrectly the difficulties under which her be- 
ginnings were made, it is necessary that we 
review briefly the times and the movements 
that obtained in the districts from whence her pioneer 
members came. The types of Lutheranism prevailing 
in the older sections of the church found their counter- 
part here, and the controversies that agitated her in 
the east and the south found an echo in the newly set- 
tled portions of Indiana and adjacent parts. If a pas- 
tor visited a congregation in the state — especially one 
composed of Tennessee Synod Lutherans — he was at 
once required to avow his adherence to the Henkelites, 
or else his services were not desired. The Generalists 
were not so strict, yet their congregations were, as a rule, 
adverse to having a Henkelite preach for them." Two 
divergent tendencies were early perceptible, and each de- 
veloped into a distinct and peculiar polity and life. 

At the time of which we write the Lutheran church 
in America was powerfully influenced on the one hand by 

•-*•.! These terms, Henkelites and Henkelism, Generalists and 
Generalism, designating the opponents and advocates of the 
General Synod, were in very conanion usage in this region during 
this period. 

— 56 - 

the Unionism of Germany, and on the other by the Re- 
vivalism introduced into America a generation or two be- 
fore by the Methodists. This religious awakening, like a 
tidal wave, swept over the whole country during the first 
quarter of the Nineteenth Century, and affected almost 
every denomination in the country. It swept over the 
Carolinas in 1800-1801, and the ablest men of the Luth- 
eran church in that section, Rev. C. A. G. Storch and 
Paul Henkel, became greatly disturbed and perplexed 
over the phenomena which they witnessed, and which in 
some measure unsettled their people. They hesitated to 
call the movement fanatical, or to denounce it as unscrip- 
tural, for they discovered a remarkable change in persons 
who had previously been either ungodly in their lives or 
avowedly sceptical in their views. Rev. Paul Henkel, 
while he studied the movement, disapproved of the 
measures. The extravagant practices and arrogant claims 
of some of the advocates of these measures, convinced 
him that the movement could not be salutary to the 
church. The tendency to ignore doctrine and substitute 
human experience as an evidence of divine favor, alien- 
ated the conservative pastors from the movement, and 
did much in preparing the Lutheran pastors for the organ- 
ization of the North Carolina Synod. 

The immediate effect of this Unionism and Revival- 
ism upon the Lutheran church in the south was deplora- 
ble. The enthusiasm it engendered was almost irresistible. 
The Patriarchs of the church, Muhlenberg and his com- 
peers, had passed to their reward, and their successors 
were men of a different spirit and aim ; men who did not 
subscribe to the confessions of the church. They evinced 
an anxiety to eliminate from the catechisms, liturgies 
and hymns, everything that distinguished her from the 

— 57 — 

sects, and under their leadership the church rapidly 
drifted from her moorings. They introduced doctrines 
and practices which were foreign to her nature and sul)- 
versive of her faith. Their plea was that they proposed 
to Americanize the Lutheran church. 

It was at the time when she had thus drifted away 
from her standards, and while these men were at the 
helm, that the General Synod was organized. That 
movement was not unanimous. There was a strong dis- 
sent in certain Synods, and determined opposition on the 
part of many pastors. This opposition was partly due to 
unfounded prejudices, but chiefly to the doctrinal inde- 
terminateness of the General Synod itself. Probably the 
most determined opposition to the formation of the Gen- 
eral Synod was found in the North Carolina Synod. For 
a number of years prior to 1820, when the General Synod 
was organized, there were divergent tendencies in the 
North Carolina Synod, arising from personal differences, 
questions of doctrine, of licensure and ordination, and 
the lax practices that had grown out of the prevailing 
Unionism and Revivalism. Personal differences arose 
because of charges that were made against David Henkel, 
a licentiate. A reaction against the doctrinal indetermi- 
nateness of the Synod was inaugurated by the Henkels, 
Paul, Philip and David, who were close students of the 
Book of Concord. The doctrinal questions that arose 
were chiefly "Original Sin," "The Person of Christ," 
"Baptism" and "The Lord's Supper." The formation of 
the General Synod also was involved. There was also 
great laxity in practice in the Synod. 

Mr. Robert Johnson Miller, who had been ordained 
in 1794, before a Synod was organized, for the Episco- 
palian ministry, became a member of the Synod, and 

— 58 — 

remained in connection with it for twenty-seven years, 
during which time he served Lutheran congregations. He 
never confessed himself a Lutheran, and when ordained 
he was obHgated to the doctrines of the Episcopal church. 
Gottlob Schober, who had been a member of the Legisla- 
ture, a lawyer by profession, and a Moravian in religion, 
was ordained by this Synod in 1810. He was then 54 
years of age. He became one of the most active and ag- 
gressive, but not representative members. He did not 
subscribe to the Augsburg Confession, and never con- 
fessed himself a Lutheran. He was chosen as the repre- 
sentative of the North Carolina Synod to the several con- 
ventions that were held preliminary to the organization 
of the General Synod. He was present at the conventions 
at Baltimore, 1819, preliminary," Hagerstown,"^ October, 
1820, and Fredericktown,'' 1821. 

The opposition in the North Carolina Synod to the 
proposed General Synod was led by Rev. Paul Henkel, 
his sons, David and Philip, and a few others. The 
Synod's affiliation with Episcopalians and Moravians, 
and its tendency to minimize the distinctive Lutheran 
doctrines, filled the Henkels with alarm, and they de- 
termined to save the Lutheran church in the south from 
casting off her birthright. The controversy between the 
Henkelites and the advocates of Unionism and new meas- 
ures became warm and decisive, and a disruption of the 
body was inevitable. The occasion soon presented itself. 
When the question of the formation of the General Synod 
came before the North Carolina Synod, Miller, Schober 
and others, whose Lutheranism was questioned by the 

23 Bernheim, 439. -i^ Luth. Church Review, Vol. XI. : 68. 
Bernheim, 440. 

- 59 — . 

Henkels, championed the movement, and succeeded in 
having the Synod meet six weeks earlier in 1819 than the 
reguLarly appointed time, in order to elect delegates to 
the proposed convention. The Henkels were not notified 
of this change of time, and did not attend. '"^ They char- 
acterized the session as the "untimely Synod," and never 
recognized it as valid or constitutional, and refused to be 
bound by its action. They met at the originally ap- 
pointed time and place, declared the acts of the "untimely 
Synod" null and void, and adjourned to meet at the same 
time and place selected by the "untimely Synod." At 
the convention of 1820 efforts to effect a reconciliation 
were made, but failed, and the Henkels withdrew from 
the North Carolina Synod and organized the Tennessee 
Synod. It published a "Short Account of the Business 
Transactions," in which, among other things, are found 
"Important Objections Against the Proposed Constitution 
of the General Synod." The German of the book is not 
classical, but there is much sound reasoning in it.'' 

Those who followed the Henkels in their opposition 
to the General Synod, and to all practices and teachings 
which they regarded as innovations in the church and de- 
partures from her faith, whether found in the General 
Synod or elsewhere, were reproachfully called Henkelites, 
and their strict adherence to the symbols of the church, 
Henkelism. They bore the stigma patiently, were driven 
by these attacks to a closer study of the Word of God and 
of the Confessions of the church, and into closer union 
with one another. They appealed to posterity to vindi- 
cate their position. These doctrines were the themes of 

26 David Ilenkel was present and tried on several cliarges 
at this convention. Min. N. C. Synod, 1S19. 

■-" Lutheranisni in .\nierica. W. .1. Mann, n. 93. 

— 60 — 

discussion at their Synodical conventions, in the family 
and in the shops. However they may have erred in 
their methods and ill-advised, as some of their attacks 
upon the General Synod were, it must be conceded that 
they were honest in their convictions and struggles to 
establish the church upon her true foundation. Their 
loyalty to the truth as they saw and understood it, cannot 
be questioned. It is not too much to say that Henkelism 
was the salt that preserved the church in the southern 
section of our country from doctrinal putrefaction. Their 
boldness, their earnest pleas for the Augustana, animated 
others to examine anew the Confessions, who were thereby 
brought to a clearer apprehension of the rich treasures of 
truth therein contained. 

The term Henkelite and Henkelism were met. by the 
rejoinder Generalist and Generalism on the part of the 
Henkels, and was applied by them to all advocates of the 
General Synod. These terms were long in use in the 
churches connected with the Tennessee Synod, or in 
doctrinal accord with it. 

Each party was zealous in the defense and promul- 
gation of its views. Representatives of each traveled 
over the southern states, visiting congregations and settle- 
ments, preaching their respective views and challenging 
the position of the opponents. Many Lutherans had 
emigrated from the southern states into Kentucky, Indi- 
ana, Illinois and Missouri. These were visited by the 
Henkelites and enlisted in their cause. Where therfe was 
sufficient Lutheran element, congregations were organized 
and pledged to the defense of the pure' doctrine. Pam- 
phlets and books were issued by the Henkels from the 
printing house at New Market, Va., and assidiously dis- 
tributed among the churches. Special agents were at 

— 6J — 

times sent out to introduce these works."" Many of these 
pamphlets and publications found their way into the 
western settlements. They were diligently read and the 
result was an intelligent laity. Some of the missionaries 
from the east who visited these Henkelite congregations 
expressed their surprise at the intelligence of the mem- 
bers and their acquaintance with the doctrines of the 
church. The publication house at New Market was the 
right arm in the Tennessee Synod's conflict. It has the 
honor of issuing the first truly Lutheran works in the 
English language in North America. It did more to 
arouse the Lutheran church in America to a Lutheran 
consciousness than any other factor in those trying times. 
In order that the churches might see for themselves which 
party occupied the true position the Synod ordered that a 
copy of the Augsburg Confession be deposited in every 

In the earlier stages of the controversy the opposing 
champions were Rev. David Henkel and Rev. Gottlob 
Schober, but in the course of a few years other men on 
either side were drawn into the arena. Henkel was ag- 
gressive and sweeping in his charges of heterodoxy. The 
Generalists were put on the defensive at every point. 
They never knew from what quarter they would be 
assailed. All the existing S^'nods, together with the 
fleneral Synod, were charged with having departed from 
the old landmarks. The Tennessee Synod alone, they 
contended, was sound in its teachings. "The Henkels 
confessedly receive everything found within the lids of the 
whole Concordienbuch," was the testimony of their chief 

28 In 1829 Mr. S. G. Henkel and his brother, Solomon, 
made a tour into North Carolina and Tennessee with a one- 
horee wagon-load of books to circulate in the churches. 

— 62 — 

opponent, and the strongest champion of the General 
Sj'nod, Dr. S. S. Schmucker."" He was pastor at New 
Market, Virginia, from 1820-1825, the home of the Hen- 
kels. He was openly and repeatedly charged by them 
with teaching doctrines not in harmony with the Augs- 
burg Confession. These charges Dr. Schmucker did not 
deny, but justified his course on the ground that the doc- 
trines he rejected were Romish errors,'^" and what he re- 
ceived were fundamental to the Christian faith. The 
Henkels regarded all others bearing the Lutheran name 
as errorists. In 1823, when a Mr. Sechrist left the North 
Carolina Synod, and applied for admission into the Ten- 
nessee Synod, that body examined him and required him 
to renounce the errors of the former body and avow his 
belief in the doctrines of the latter.^' On the other hand, 
the General Synod pastors regarded the Henkels as not 
in the Lutheran ministry, but as having separated them- 
selves from the communion of the Lutheran church.'^' 

While the Tennessee Synod was diligently promul- 
gating the views held by it throughout the south and 

29 Luth. Church in America, p. 215. 

30 Id., 219. 

31 Minutes of the Tenn. Synod, 1823, pp. 8, 9. 

32 Some years ago several individuals residing in North 
Carolina, who had previously been members of our church, on 
account of some dissatisfaction, separated themselves from our 
communion. They chose as their leader an individual named 
David Henkel, a weak, illiterate man, whose ground of dissent, 
as far as can be gathered from the crude, visionary and inflam- 
matory publications, which have from time to time appeared 
either under his name or that of his sect, was that the Evan- 
gelical church had departed from the true doctrines of the Refor- 
mation, which he and his church had attempted to restore. — Ex- 
tract from sermon by the Rev. John Bachman, D. D., Luth. 
Church in America, p. 216. 

west, the Pennsylvania Sj'nod also was active in mission- 
ating in the same regions, especially Kentucky, Indiana 
and Illinois. These missionaries as a rule were in sym- 
pathy with the General Synod. It was not long until the 
controversies which harassed the church in the east and 
south also found an echo in the west. The lines were 
sharpl}' drawn, and there was scarcely any fellowship be- 
tween the churches of the different parties. Whatever 
may have been the aim of the Generalists, it is quite 
plain that it was the purpose of the Henkelites to win 
the churches in these regions to their views, and hold the 
key for the future. 

At first the advantage lay with the Henkelites. The 
missionaries from the east could not overcome the oppo- 
sition offered. Revs. David, Charles and Paul Henkel 
were strong controversialists, and their influence was 
powerful and far-reaching. They were incessantly active. 
They visited the congregations throughout the country 
and set forth the Lutheran doctrines, quoting the confes- 
sions of the church as proof for their statements, and 
showing their harmony with the Word of God. Their 
opposition was not solelj' against the Generalists, but also 
against Unitarians, Methodists and Baptists. While these 
men lived and labored the Generalists were practically 
powerless to advance their work in the west. 

To secure the advantages gained, and in order to 
carry on their work more efiiciently, the organization of a 
synod for Kentucky, in harmony with the Tennessee 
Synod, was soon agitated. Rev. Henry A. Kurtz had 
been sent by the Pennsylvania Synod as a missionary to 
Kentucky in 1818. He was a Generalist. but coming 
face to face with the teachings of the Henkels, he became 
a convert to that typo of Lutheranism. and was active in 

— 64 - 

disseminating these views. By this course he incurred 
the displeasure of some of the General Synod pastors in 
the state, and resigned his commission as missionary. 
In 1821 he addressed a letter to the Tennessee Synod, 
asking aid in forming a synod for Kentucky, in harmony 
with the doctrinal basis of that body, and also deploring 
the innovations that prevailed in some synods. In this 
project he met with hearty encouragement on the part of 
the Tennessee brethren. After much planning and cor- 
respondence, a call was issued for a convention to be held 
September 28, 1822, in Harrison church. Nelson county, 
Kentucky, to take such steps as may be necessary for the 
organization of a synod to embrace Kentucky and Indi- 
ana. This was the first convention of Lutherans held so 
far west. There were present at this convention one 
minister and fourteen lay delegates, representing as many 
congregations in Kentucky and Indiana. A report of the 
proceedings of this convention was made to the Tennessee 
Synod, and upon hearing the same, it authorized the 
holding of another convention the next year. The con- 
vention of 1823 was held in the same place, on the third 
Sunday in June. Revs. Paul and David Henkel and 
Captain John Bible were appointed to represent the 
Tennessee Synod. The minutes of this convention were 
published, and all the actions of the convention approved 
by the Tennessee Synod, and its aid and co-operation 
promised in the movement. 

The immediate effect of this convention was gratify- 
ing to its friends. The congregations that were repre- 
sented in it became warmly attached to the position of 
the Henkels. Most of these were favorable to them be- 
fore the convention was held, but now they became en- 
thusiastic. Rev. Jacob Zink had visited all the congre- 

- 65 - 

gations in the region embraced in the contemplated 
synod, in 1821, and found them in harmony with the 
position of the Tennessee Synod. The next year Rev. 
Christian Moritz was instructed by synod to visit the con- 
gregation at Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and preach for 
them. This he did, and the result was that the year fol- 
lowing they petitioned the synod for a pastor, and espe- 
cially for David Henkel. In 1825 Rev. David Henkel 
visited them, and remained for a portion of the year. 
While here he wrote the larger part of his "Answer to 
Joseph Moore, the Methodist." The preceding year a 
congregation in Harrison county, Indiana, petitioned 
synod for a pastor. While it appears that about all the 
congregations in the bounds of the contemplated synod 
were in accord with the views of the Henkels the time 
had not yet come, in the judgment of those having inilu- 
ence. for the organization of a Kentucky Synod. 

The work so auspiciously begun in the interests of 
the conservative Lutherans ended, however, in a failure 
to realize their fondest hopes. It is not certain that 
another convention was held in Kentucky. A number of 
causes interposed to defeat the movement. The Henkels 
had a determined opponent in Rev. Wm. Carpenter, who 
served congregations in Boone county, Kentucky, and 
had considerable influence in other sections of the state. 
He foresaw the plans of the Henkels and Kurtz, and ex- 
erted his influence for their defeat. When missionaries 
from the east came to Kentucky, he advised them to go 
to Indiana, so as not to come under the teachings and 
influence of the Henkelites. Further opposition was also 
encountered in the Rev. Mr. Zaesline, who labored at 
Bardstown, Kentucky. It was impossible to unite all the 
congregations in the state in the project, and this fact im- 

— 66 — 

peded the movement until the opportune time was past. 

Other causes also interposed. Rev. Jacob Zink, an 
ardent Henkelite, moved into the interior of Indiana, in 
1823, and died there four years later. Rev. Henry Kurtz 
went to Pittsburg July, 1823.'' In 1825 Rev. Paul Hen- 
kel was called to his reward, after a life full of labors, 
and six years later his gifted son, David, succumbed to a 
malignant disease. With these strong men removed from 
the sphere of action, and no one able to take up the work 
with the zeal, ability and energy they displayed, the 
cause of the Henkelites in Kentucky gradually waned. 

On the other hand, the Generalists became more and 
more aggressive. The Henkelites had lost strength in 
North Carolina, and the whole Lutheran church in Amer- 
ica made them the target for attack. "The Lutheran 
Intelligencer" published letters and articles against them. 
The editor, Rev. Dr. D. F. Schaeffer, in 1827, says of 
them: "From these (several recent letters from North 
Carolina) we learn that those who represented themselves 
as Lutherans, the Henkelites, are sinking in the estima- 
tion of all who know by experience and from the sacred 
scriptures that to be born again and made meet unto sal- 
vation is more than to be baptized. Nay, others are in- 
duced to inquire into those matters and acknowledge that 
the doctrines taught by our regularly authorized ministers 
are scriptural, and that those who have arrogated to 

33 Kurtz is described by his critics as a small, insignificant 
man, with a long beard, a strong voice, a disagreeable, dissatis- 
fied man. Despite this description, it is evident that he was 
a man of courage, of great resources, of unfailing devotion to 
the Evangelical Lutheran faith. He swerved not in the stress of 
severe persecution. With him the right thing was the chief 
thing. Among the martyrs for truth Henry Kurtz is named 
as a faithful witness in the midst of a perverse generation. 

- 67 - 

themselves the authority to teach without submitting to 
an examination or ordination by one or other synod 
have departed from the true faith." '* These charges had 
their effects. The seminary at Gettysburg, under the 
leadership of Dr. S. S. Schmucker, the uncompromising 
opponent of the Henkelites, was training young men for 
the ministry, a number of whom sought fields of labor in 
the west. The Henkelites, having no institution of any 
kind for the training of ministers, could not recruit the 
ministerial ranks so as to hold the advantageous points 
secured. In 1824 Rev. Wm. Jenkins, an ardent advocate 
of the General Sjmod, and of New Measures, located in 
Bedford county, Tennessee, and took charge of ten con- 
gregations. He could electrify any audience, and wielded 
a powerful influence. In 1833 Rev. Wm. Carpenter died 
and was succeeded by the Rev. Jacob Crigler, a man of 
considerable influence, and of decidedly revivalistic ten- 
dencies. Rev. George Gerhart located at Corydon, Indi- 
ana, about the same time, and Rev. George Yeager at 
Jefifersontown, Kentucky. These men were warm adher- 
ents of the General Synod, and disciples of Dr. S. S. 
Schmucker. They were uncompromising opponents of 
the Henkelites and all conservative tendencies. Willi 
the leaders in the Henkcl party removed by death and no 
one to resist their movements, they entered wherever there 
was prospect of winning adherents. Their methods were 
those so popular in that day. Emotional religion was 
the order. The catechetical methods of the Henkcls were 
criticised and found fewer and fewer adherents. In the 
course of ten years the Generalists had secured control of 
almost every congregation in Kentucky and Indiana that 

34 Luth. Church in America, p. 218. 

- 68 - 

had been served by the Henkelites, that is, those congre- 
gations which survived the crucible of the transition. 
More congregations perished than survived. Several con- 
gregations in the interior of Indiana, and a few in south- 
eastern Missouri, were all that remained to the Henkel 
party. Those in Illinois passed into the hands of the 

The Henkelites were unable to hold the grounds se- 
cured through the energetic and self-denying labors of 
their missionary pastors, chiefly because they had no 
seminary to prepare candidates for the ministry. The 
Tennessee Synod had a constitutional provision that 
synod shall not have an incorporated theological seminary. 
They believed and insisted on having educated minis- 
ters, and that they receive adequate theological instruc- 
tion, but contended that the various schools throughout 
the country furnished the opportunities for the first quali- 
fication, and that the other could be secured by studying 
under some competent divine. The time required for 
a candidate to fit himself for the office under these regu- 
lations was so long, and the study so desultory, that but 
comparatively few of those who began ever completed 
the course of study. The recruits were scarcely sufficient 
to fill the ranks as they were depleted by death and 

Another defect in their system was the lack of a set- 
tled pastorate, and of the organization of a specific field as 
a parish. The pastors served all the congregations as their 
time permitted. They were all itinerants. Systematic 
personal and pastoral work was thus out of the question. 
While these men were imbued with a fervent missionary 
spirit, traveling, preaching, and organizing congregations 
as their time and strength permitted, and that too without 

- 69 - 

any remuneration scurcelj', they opposed any organized 
and systematic missionary effort, supported from a spe- 
cific mission fund. A congregation once organized had 
to petition synod annually for pastoral services, and in 
answer to its prayer, synod would instruct and direct one 
or more of its pastors to visit it and minister to its spir- 
itual needs. So long as the petitions came to synod, so 
long the congregations were supplied and regarded as 
belonging to the synod. When the petitions ceased, the 
service also ceased, and the congregation naturally fell 
into decay. Had the Tennessee Synod, in its early history, 
set permanent pastors over certain congregations as their 
specific parishes, in Kentucky and Indiana, as those con- 
gregations were organized, the subsequent history of the 
church in these states would have been very different. 

On the other hand, the General Synod was able to 
go in and cultivate what the Tennessee Synod had sown. 
In 1826 the seminary at Gettysburg was opened, and in a 
few years the graduates of that institution were found 
penetrating these regions, and zealously building up con- 
gregations. By the year 1835 the Tennessee Synod had 
lost almost all it had in Kentucky. 

But the intention to form another synod in harmony 
with the Tennessee Synod was not abandoned with the 
failure of the movement in Kentucky. The efforts were 
now confined to Indiana, in which many members from 
churches in Tennessee and North Carolina had settled, 
and many were still coming. Rev. John L. Markert, who 
had labored for some years in Ohio, located in the state, 
first in Fayette, then in Fountain county. Rev. Christian 
Moritz, after Uiboring in North Carolina, Kentucky and 
Missouri, located in Greene county, 1829. Rev. Eusebius 
S. Henkel, son of Rev. Philip Henkol, came to the state 

- 70 — 

as a missionary adventurer in 1833, and made his home 
in Boone county. Rev. Abraham Miller, a deacon of the 
Tennessee Synod, located in the state in 1828, and sub- 
sequently made his home at Bluff Creek, Johnson county. 
Rev. Jacob Zink had labored in different parts of the 
state for four j^ears prior to his death in 1827. Besides 
these pastors, there were two men in Missouri who pro- 
posed to unite in the movement. Deacons Conrad !F. 
Picker and Ephraim R. Conrad. These were all men of 
fair attainments. Conrad had been under the care of the 
Tennessee Synod as a candidate for the ministry since 
1833, and labored in Wayne county, Missouri. Mr. 
Picker was a scholarly man, who had studied at Halle, 
and was of a retiring disposition. He had been or- 
dained deacon by some synod, and had labored quite 
acceptably and successfully for some years among the 
scattered Lutherans in Cape Girardeau county. He was 
met in 1836 by Rev. C. F. Heyer, who says: "Why this 
young, well educated theologian had, as it were, concealed 
himself in such a remote district was strange and puzzling 
to me."^^ What became of him we do not know. He 
labored for some years in the state, and then is lost sight 
of. The other men were, with the exception of Abraham 
Miller, quite well educated. They knew the doctrines of 
the Lutheran church, and their fidelity to them was un- 
questioned. They had no sympathy with the new meas- 
ures that were growing so much in favor among the Gen- 
eral Synod congregations. They opposed all revivalistic 
tendencies. Feeling their isolation in being so far re- 
moved from their brethren in the south, they desired a 
(•loser union with one another, so that more. united efforts 

Life of Heyer, 64. 

— 71 — 

might be made for upbuilding the suffering church, and 
resisting tlie onslaughts of the sectarians. Several confer- 
ences were held when the subject of forming a new synod 
was discussed. The experience and fate of the Kentucky 
movement made them hesitate. But they felt that some- 
thing must be done to relieve the suffering condition of 
the church. Convinced that united action was the proper 
course, a call was issued for a convention, to be held in 
St. John's church,*'' Johnson county, Indiana, August 15, 
1835. At this convention the prospects and needs of the 
church in Indiana were again taken into prayerful con- 
sideration, and the decision was unanimously reached 
that the time was at hand for the organization of an 
Evangelical Lutheran Synod for Indiana. The outcome 
of the convention was, that the Evangelical Lutheran 
Synod of Indiana was formally organized August 15, 
1835. This was the first Lutheran Synod organized west 
of Ohio. 

The persons present at the convention, and who en- 
tered into the organization formed, were Rev. John L. 
Markert, Rev. Christian Moritz and Rev. Eusebius S. 
Henkel, Deacons Abraham Miller, Conrad F. Picker and 
Ephraim R. Conrad. The laymen, representing some ten 
congregations, were Jacob Keesling, Henry Stine, Daniel 
Sechrist, Frederick Slinkard, Moses Hovis, Matthias 
Sappenfield, and Henry Good. Deacons Miller, Conrad 
and Picker were examined and ordained to the pastoral 
ollice. Revs. John L. Markert and Christian Moritz per- 
forming the act. This was the first Lutheran ordination 
service held in the state. 

This synod adopted the constitution of the Tennessee 

30 This was a small lop chnrcli, built a few years before. 

— 72 — 

Synod, with its accompanying remarks '' as its basis and 
guide. Its doctrinal position was clearly defined. It 
received the Augsburg Confession as a true declaration of 
the principal doctrines of faith and of church discipline. 
It expressed its conviction that the Confession contained 
nothing contrary to the Scriptures. It allowed no minis- 
ter in its communion to teach anything repugnant to any 
article of the Augsburg Confession. Luther's Small Cat- 
echism was also received, because it contains a compend- 
ium of scriptural doctrines, and is of great utility in the 
catechization of the youth. The Tennessee Synod and 
its daughter, the Synod of Indiana, were the first Luth- 
eran synods in America that unqualifiedly received the 
Augsburg Confession. 

The movement resulting in the organization of the 
Synod of Indiana was hastened by a similar movement 
among the General Synod pastors residing in the west. 
In the year 1834 several Lutheran clergymen, residing in 
the states of Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and 
Illinois, decided to call a convention for the purpose of 
considering the propriety of organizing an Evangelical 
Lutheran synod in the west. The movement was sanc- 
tioned by prominent men of the church in the east, and 
approved by those eastern synods to which the pastors 
respectively belonged. Synodical organization and pow- 
ers were desired by these pastors, for they felt very keenly 
the need of a closer union and the concentration of their 
forces. The call was issued and the convention assem- 
bled in Christ's Church, Jeffersontown, Kentucky, Octo- 
ber, 1834. Revs. Jacob Crigler, George Yeager and Wm. 

37 This constitution, with its remarks, was adopted by the 
Tennessee Synod in 1828. The remarks were written by Rev. 
David Henkel. 

- 73 - 

Jenkins, and Messrs. David Mattheis, Ephraim Tanner, 
and John Shofner were the pastors and hiymen composing 
the convention. The eleventh and twelfth of October 
were spent in devotional exercises. On Monday, the 13th, 
the convention organized, and Revs. J. Crigler and Win. 
Jenkins were elected president and secretary respectively. 
Committees were appointed to report on "The Situation 
of the Church in the West," "Communications," and on 
"A Synopsis of the Doctrines of the Church, which are 
either Misrepresented or Misunderstood in this Western 
Country." This synopsis covered the following points: 
The Doctrine of the Atonement, the Influence and Opera- 
tion of the Holy Spirit in Regeneration, Baptism, the 
Lord's Supper, Free Communion, Practical Piety, Relig- 
ious Feelings, and Women. The report is quite lengthy, 
and gives a clear statement of the views held by these 
pioneer pastors. The most space is devoted to Baptism, 
laying special stress upon the mode and the subject. 
These statements of their views were deemed necessary 
because of the Calvinistic Baptists, who were numer- 
ous in Kentucky, and who held to a limited atonement ; 
of the Methodists who did not regard the Lutherans as 
converted, and as not believing in sanctification, and be- 
cause of the rapid strides made by Campbellism, which 
attacked and misrepresented the Lutheran view of the 
nature, mode and subject of baptism. This synopsis was 
printed in the minutes and widely circulated, and did 
much to establish the laity against the attacks of these 
rampant sects. After a three days' session, the conven- 
tion adjourned to meet the next year at Louisville, Ken- 
tucky. It was at this second convention that the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Synod of the West was organized. Rev. 
Jacob Crigler was its first president, and Rev. \\'. Jenkins, 

— 74 — 

secretary. The date of the organization was October 5, 
1835. The following pastors and laymen composed the 
synod: Revs. Jacob Crigler, William Jenkins, George 
Yeager, Peter Rizer, John J. Lehmanowsky, and Messrs. 
Ephraim Tanner, John Scivally, Philip Berice, Matthias 

The Synod of the West entered aggressively upon the 
cultivation of the field open to it. Arrangements were 
made for the supply of vacant congregations, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to survey the territory for the pur- 
pose of establishing new congregations where there were 

The aim of this synod was also to unite the Lutheran 
element in these regions into one body, and further, it 
hoped to attract to itself ministers of other denominations, 
resulting in the realization of that dream of some of the 
leaders in the east, the formation of an American Lutheran 
Church which should embrace all protestants in America. 
In order to reach this result, the synod made its doctrinal 
basis very indefinite. There is nothing in its constitution 
defining its doctrines, only the word Lutheran. In its 
form of license and ordination it required of its candi- 
dates an acknowledgement that "the fundamental doc- 
trines of the Word of God are taught in the doctrinal 
articles of the Augsburg Confession in a manner substan- 
tially correct." This allowed great latitude of opinion, 
and there were not a few who took advantage thereof. 
Everyone could decide in his own mind what were the 
fundamental doctrines, and to what degree they were 
correctly set forth in the Confession. Upon this platform 
almost any Protestant could stand ; to this declaration 
almost every Protestant, except a true Lutheran, could 
subscribe. The aim of the Synod of the West was to 

— 75 - 

make its doctrinal basis so broad and liberal that it 
would unite not only all the Lutherans in tlie west, but 
would also attract the pastors and congregations of other 
denominations, and thus realize a union of Protestants in 
this region. This hope it did realize to a certain degree. 
Pastors from the German Reformed and from the United 
Brethren churches were received as members of this body, 
and without any renunciation of their peculiar views. 
Even a Roman Catholic priest applied for membership. 
He was required however, to renounce his papistical 

In order to realize its purpose to unify the Lutheran 
element in these regions the synod made overtures to the 
Synod of Indiana for a union. This step was first 
ofhcially suggested by President Jacob Crigler in his re- 
port .to sj'nod in 1836. A committee was appointed to 
address the Synod of Indiana upon this matter. The 
latter body responded by the appointment of a similar 
committee to confer with them. But the results were 
disappointing to the Synod of the West. It mistook the 
temper of the Indiana pastors, and underestimated their 
convictions. The committee reported that "the Provi- 
dence of God had not yet indicated the way and means 
for the consummation of the desired object." In 1837 
the Sj^nod of Indiana held a special session for the pur- 
pose of taking the necessary steps for effecting a union 
with the Synod of the West. To this special session the 
members of the Synod of the West were invited. We 
have not the minutes of this special convention, but it 
appears that none of the invited pastors attended. The 
conditions upon which the Sj-nod of Indiana agreed to 
unite with the Synod of the West were the following: 
1. That the Synod of the West rescind its action which 

— 76 - 

attaches it to the General Synod. 2. That we oppose the 
falsely so-called benevolent societies of today, such as 
Tract, Temperance, Missionary, Bible, and a host of 
other such fantastical societies.'^'* But the Synod of Indi- 
ana also misjudged the spirit and temper of the pastors 
of the Synod of the West, if it believed that these terms 
would be acceptable. A union was absolutely impossible. 
The Synod of the West replied that they regretted that 
these brethren, otherwise so actively engaged, should 
labor under such unfounded prejudices and misappre- 
hensions. Each party now understood the other more 
fully, and all further attempts at union along this line 
were abandoned. 

The immediate effect of this effort was to widen the 
breach between the two bodies. The questions involved 
were discussed through the press and from the pulpit. 
The Tennessee Synod was again made the target of 
attack on the part of the adherents of the General Synod, 
and in its defense the Synod of Indiana joined. In 
his sermon before the South Carolina Synod in 1838 
Dr. John Bachman arraigned the Tennessee Synod, 
against which it solemnly protested, claiming that "the 
allegations were without the least shadow of foundation, 
or slightest approximation to the truth." The Virginia 
Synod also, by resolution, did "not recognize the mem- 
bers of the Tennessee Synod as Evangelical Lutheran 

38 This attitude toward such societies was common to al- 
most all the denominations in these regions at that time. It is 
possible that the Indiana pastors were influenced by Alex. 
Campbell's denunciation and arraignments of all such societies, 
and those who fostered them. In the south, from which these 
pastors came, opposition to "missionary efforts" was very de- 
cided on the part of all denominations. See American Church 
History Series, Vol. II. pp. 490, 491. 

— 77 — 

ministers.''^" In these attacks upon the mother the 
daughter synod considered itself also attacked and ar- 
raigned. The controversy became so violent that the 
Synod of the West appealed for its subsidence, as it 
wrought great injury to the interests of the church in the 

We have not the minutes of the Synod of Indiana 
for 1838, 1839 and 1840, but from the subjects demand- 
ing its attention in 1841, and the instructions it gave to 
certain of its pastors, these men were defending them- 
selves and their views with vigor against the attacks and 
charges of their opponents. This aroused a decided op- 
position in the congregations of the Sj'nod of Indiana to 
the General Synod. Petitions came from them to the 
synod praying that the "methods, innovations and impo- 
sitions of the Generalists here in the west be exposed." 
In repl}^ to this request a committee was appointed whose 
duty it was to prepare an exposition of these methods 
and impositions, and publish the same in the minutes of 
the synod. It appeared in 1842, and produced a deep 
impression. Within two years after its appearance seven 
congregations, which had been affiliated with the Synod 
of the west, or other General Synod bodies, applied for 
reception into the Synod of Indiana and petitioned for 
pastoral services, and promised steadfastness in the de- 
fense of truth. ^" 

39 Henkel, Hist. Tenn. Synod, pp. 94, 95. 

40 The methods of the Indiana pastors were not always 
above criticism. They would enter wherever there was hope of 
persuading the congregation to cast its lot with them. Once ad- 
mitted to the pulpit, the pastor would appeal to the Confessions, 
and generally won the congregation to his side. 

dlttfitipUty m\h 3lsms 

Ch.\pter IV. 
dlnftiielttQ aitln KantH. 

HE region in which we are tracing the history of 
the Lutheran church, was, during the first four 
decades of the nineteenth century, alternately 
swept by waves of unblushing and vaunting 
infidelity, and intense religious enthusiasm, 
which affected all denominations to a greater or less 
degree. Prior to 1800 infidelity and unbelief were ram- 
pant in the sparsely settled districts. In the initial year 
of the century a religious reaction against the prevail- 
ing scepticism began in the southern states, especially 
in Tennessee and North Carolina, and gradually swept 
northward through Kentucky and into Indiana, spreading 
over the whole southern portion of the state. ^' It put a 
check, for a time, upon the prevailing infidelity, but 
whether in the end it proved salutary to the cause of 
Christianity, is a question. Out of this revival grew the 
movements which culminated in the formation of several 
new sects, namely the New Lights, Shakers, Cumberland 
Presbyterians, and Campbellites or Disciples.*" 

In addition to these schismatic movements tiiere were 
such extravagant practices engaged in by the revivalists, 
preacher and convert, and such arrogant claims put forth 

41 American Church History, Vol. V. p. 298, Vol. XII. p. 17. 

42 Id. Vol. V. p. 327. 

- 82 - 

that did much to injure the cause of true religion and 
piety. Phenomena, such as "trances," "the jerks" and 
various cataleptic conditions were very common, and were 
regarded as evidences of the Holy Spirit's special presence 
and proofs of his saving power. These phenomena became 
epidemic, and affected all classes of persons. The master 
and the slave, the unbeliever and christian, the indifferent 
and the scoffer were indiscriminately and without warning, 
stricken down and lay in trance-like state, sometimes for 
hours. When they recovered, they told of visions and 
experiences that seemed supernatural. The effect of this 
upon the public was indescribable. The excitement pro- 
duced was intense. The preachers took advantage of these 
strange phenomena and wrought up their audiences to the 
highest pitch of religious enthusiasm, while the impenitent 
and ungodly were in almost abject fear. Although these 
phenomena were the natural consequence of intense pas- 
sionate and emotional effort, in harmony wuth psychplog- 
ical laws, and on these grounds all explainable, and 
not in any sense an evidence of the Holy Ghost's presence 
and power, yet the majority of those people sincerely be- 
lieved them to be manifestations of divine power. There 
were men however who while unable to explain these 
phenomena, did not concede the claims of the advocates 
of the revival methods, nor regard them as evidences of 
divine favor. 

So confident were the ardent advocates of this move- 
ment that these things were evidences and proofs of the 
divine favor and of the Holy Spirit's special presence, 
that they felt themselves warranted to attack and denounce 
all who disapproved and opposed their methods. The 
members of conservative churches were regarded by them 
as legitimate prey, and the clergy as deserving of attack 

— 83 — 

for their unspirituality. The old methods of preaching, 
the faithful use of the Means of Grace, and especially the 
catechization of the j^outh, were denounced as spiritless 
formalism. Under these persistent attacks and efforts to 
proselyte, the conservative churches suffered much, both 
by defection and by schism. 

This tide of revivalism in a few years began to ebb, 
and was followed by another and far different movement, 
namely Universalism. It proved a withering, blasting foe, 
and wormed itself into the churches like a deadly serpent. 
It was first preached in Indiana in 1825, and the senti- 
ments were readily accepted. To the masses it was more 
acceptable than infidelity. It promised to man, even to 
the most profligate and ungodly, as well as to the pious 
and faithful, an eternity of bliss, while unbelief promised 
nothing beyond the grave. For years this doctrine was 
zealously preached and became quite popular. Not many 
Universalist congregations were organized, but Univers- 
alist sentiment obtained in the minds of many, even those 
who were members of orthodox churches. It was looked 
upon as the ideal faith. It acted as an insidious spiritual 
poison, as a blighting force upon the spiritual powers, 
rather than a vitalizing energy. Its advocates, while in 
many cases unable to convince their hearers of the correct- 
ness of its tenets, succeeded at least in planting the seeds 
of doubt in their hearts, and left them to grow and bring 
forth bitter and disappointing fruits. A paper entitled 
"The Star of the West," devoted to the dissemination of 
Universalist doctrines, and pul)lished in the interests of 
the Universalist church, was issued from Cincinnati, and 
assidiously circulated among all classes. It was widely 
read and by its specious arguments appealed forcibly to 
the average reader. The wish in the unregenerate heart 

— 84 — 

became father to this faith, and the arguments appeared 
to it unanswerable. 

This periodical came into the hands of many Lutheran 
laymen through the instrumentality of Rev. E. S. Henkel, 
and it wrought havoc with their Lutheranism. Henkel 
encouraged them to read it, and study its arguments, and 
its insidious poison destroyed their living faith. A num- 
ber of laymen, prominent in the local congregations, and 
well known in the Lutheran church throughout Indiana, 
in their days, openly accepted Universalism and defended 
its doctrines. St. John's Church, Floyd County, Indiana, 
one of the oldest and numerically the strongest Lutheran 
congregation in the state at that time, and the one at 
Salem, Washington County, the only city congregation in 
the synod, were destroyed by the blasting influence of 
this heresy. But saddest of all some of the Lutheran 
pastors aided and abetted in this work. Rev. E. S. 
Henkel was openly charged with Universalism, and he 
confessed that it was his private belief. He did not 
publicly preach it. When he became convinced of its 
correctness, he acted consistently and demitted the min- 
istry, and engaged in secular business. In this he con- 
tinued about two years, from 1849 — 51, when looking 
upon a severe bodily affliction which came upon him 
regularly, as a visitation of Providence for his apostacy, 
he renounced his heresy and resumed the ministry. 

Rev. E. Rudisill also came under its baneful influence. 
We have no evidence that he ever publicly preached this 
doctrine, but like Henkel he also demitted the ministry 
and engaged in the practice of medicine. For several 
years he stood aloof from the church, and grew quite 
reckless. But returning home upon one occasion he an- 
nounced to his wife that he would resume the ministerial 

— 85 — 

office, which he did. But the eflfect of the apostacy of 
these two prominent ministers in the synod, upon tlie 
churches was disastrous. Their sincerity in their return 
to the faith was always doubted, and all their subsequent 
zeal could not atone for the evil they had wrought. 

By the year 1850 Universalism had lost its charm for 
the Lutherans in Indiana, and the churches began gradu- 
ally to recover from its baneful influence. While the 
churches of the Synod of the west suffered from revival- 
ism and intense emotionalism, those of the Synod of 
Indiana were paralyzed and ravaged by Universalism. 

During this period a violent controversy arose be- 
tween the Baptist sect known as Disciples of Christ, or 
Campbellites, after their founder, Alexander Campbell, 
and the Pedo-Baptists, on the question of Baptism, its 
mode and subjects. Alexander Campbell had renounced 
Presbyterianism, in which faith he had been brought up, 
and attached himself to the Baptists, although he did not 
accept all the views of this denomination. Failing to in- 
duce the Baptist body to adopt his views, he withdrew 
from it and became the leader and founder of the sect 
above mentioned. He was a man of wide reading, schol- 
arly attainments and unbridled ambition. He was a 
powerful debater, and enjoyed controversy. He was un- 
sparing in his criticisms and condemnation of what he 
regarded unscriptural in other denominations, whether in 
practice or in doctrine. Of this he found, in his judgment 
at least, an abundance. But his chief issue was Baptism, 
the mode of its administration and the proper subjects 
for its reception, and the steps in the operation of the 
Holy Ghost. Campbell made many converts to his faith, 
recruiting chiefly from other denominations. From the 
Lutheran ranks he won Rev. Samuel K. Hoshour and 

— 86 — 

Rev. W. R. McChesnej', a young man, and a member of 
the Synod of the West. He attended the "Great Debate" 
between Campbell and Rice at Lexington, Kentucky, 
1843, and became a convert to Campbellism. There 
were a good many defections also among the laity. 
Everywhere the controversy raged. Public debates were 
common and attended by immense crowds. As a result 
the partisan spirit became very pronounced. 

In order to counteract the influence of Campbellism 
and check the inroads it was making in the churches the 
S^mod of Indiana was requested by a number of its con- 
gregations to have a treatise prepared on the "Mode of 
Baptism," and published as an appendix to the minutes 
of the synod. Rev. Ephraim Rudisill was selected to 
prepare the essay, and it appeared in 1843. The essay is 
a plain, logical and exhaustive discussion of the subject, 
and a clear presentation of the faith and practice of the 
Lutheran church, without any reference to the views and 
practices of other denominations. It did much toward 
arresting the tide that had set in toward Campbellism. 
Two years later Rev. Mr. Rudisill, at the request of the 
synod, published a treatise on "Infant Baptism" in the 
minutes of that body. This also was an able presenta- 
tion of the teachings and practices of the Lutheran church. 

These productions from the pen of Dr. Rudisill, be- 
cause of the scanty literature on the subjects discussed, 
were widely circulated and diligently studied. They 
were commented on by the laitj' in every community 
where they were circulated. The faint-hearted Lutherans, 
who were yielding under the plausible arguments and 
ridicule of the Campbellites, took courage, while the fol- 
lowers of Campbell grew restive under the arguments of 
Rudisill. There went up a general request that this 

- 87 - 

Rndisill be silenced and his arguments be refuted. The 
tables were turned, and the ranks of Canipl)ellism were 
in danger of defections. Something must be done. The 
attention of a certain Elder James Mathes, a veritable 
Goliath in the Campbellite camp, and editor and pub- 
lisher of the Christian Review, a periodical devoted to 
the interests of the Disciple denomination, was called to 
the essays of Rudisill. Mathes, under the pressure of the 
general demand of his church, undertook to review the 
essay and refute Rudisill's arguments through the columns 
of the Christian Review. 

These "reviews" continued from the July number, 
1845, to the August number, 1846. After one or two had 
appeared, Rudisill's attention being called to them, he 
asked permission of Mr. Mathes to reply to them in the 
same paper. This request was granted, but after one or 
two "replies" had appeared the privilege was withdrawn, 
and Rudisill was denied any further hearing in the Review. 
He then asked that his essay might be printed in the Re- 
view, so that the readers might see the arguments pro 
and con, and the garbled extracts Mathes had published. 
This also was refused. This so wrought up the fiery Ru- 
disill that he proceeded to write his "Reply to Elder 
Mathes," and publish the same at his own expense." In 
his discussion he handles his opponent without mercy. 
In the opening pages Rudisill states the agreement that 
had been made between Mathes and himself as to the 
publication of the strictures and the replies in the Chris- 
tian Review, and explains why that agreement was broken 
by Mathes, namely, that he feared a defection from the 

43 Rudisill boasted that he wrote his reply, cleaned hit 
wheat and went to mill all in live davs. 

Campbellite ranks if Rudisill's replies were published. 
Prof. S. K. Hoshour is also charged with duplicity and 
cowardice in urging Mathes to break the agreement. Ru- 
disill's reply is a masterpiece. It is logical, fair and con- 
clusive. It was widely circulated throughout the state, 
and brought its author into great prominence as a contro- 
versialist. He was feared by the Baptists generally. He 
was ready to debate publicly the question of Baptism, in 
all its aspects with anyone, not even excepting Alexander 
Campbell. It is claimed by some of Rudisill's friends 
that an effort was made to induce Campbell to meet hirn 
in public debate, but that he declined. 

The result of this controversy was very gratifying to 
the Lutherans, but rather disheartening to their oppon- 
ents. They were now ready to keep silent. Their Go- 
liath had met his David. There was none to be found in 
the ranks of the Baptists who was willing to take up the 
gauntlet laid down by Rudisill. Their arrogance and 
aggressiveness subsided, and for a decade or more the 
Lutheran churches had rest, and were strengthened and 
edified so far as the question of Baptism was concerned. 

In the fourth decade of the century another revival 
swept over Indiana and westward to the Mississippi. It 
was attended with all the extravagancies common to those 
movements in that time. The congregations of the Synod 
of Indiana were slightly affected by this movement, owing 
to the conservative methods and the insistence upon cate- 
chization that still prevailed. There was, however, a 
tendency to yield in that direction. Protracted meetings 
were introduced by the Rev. E. S. Henkel, as a means of 
reaching a class of people who could not be reached by 
the catechetical method. They were not attended by any 
extravagancies or excitement, such as usually are con- 

Alexandria, Ind. 

2: > 

^ 00 

^ n 

— 89 — 

nected with the revival. The preaching was doctrinal 
and expository, and no attempt made to plaj' upon the 
emotions. Everything was orderly. The services were 
held daily for a period of one or two weeks. After the 
sermon an opportunity was offered to those desiring to 
unite with the church to come forward during the singing 
of a hymn, and after examination by the pastor as to 
their faith, were admitted by baptism or confirmation. 
This custom, called "singing in members," was the result 
of the influence of Campbellism upon the Lutheran 
churches. It prevailed in many of the congregations in 
the state for over half a century. 

The General Synod churches, however, were most 
powerfully affected by this revival, and were under its 
peculiar spell for a number of years. During a long 
period the synodical minutes abound with allusions to 
the revival spirit and with reports as to its effects. In 
1839 the Sj'nod of the West convened at Hillsboro, Illi- 
nois, and from the view-point of the revival, was perhaps 
the most remarkable in its whole history. Among the 
members of that body were Rev. Abraham Keck, Rev. 
Wm. .Jenkins, and his brother, Rev. Daniel Jenkins, Rev. 
John Krack, Rev. Geo. Yeager, and others who were ar- 
dent advocates of the revival measures. Abraham Reck 
was a white-haired, venerable man of scholarly attain- 
ments, refined manners and extraordinar}' pulpit abilities. 
The brothers Jenkins were dark-complexioned men of 
great excitable and emotional qualities, capable of elec- 
trifying almost any congregation. Rev. G. Yeager was 
of small stature, well educated and of gentlemanly bear- 
ing. The conservative men were Rev. J. J. Lehmanowsky 
and Rev. Daniel Scherer. But these were carried for a 
time with the tide. 

- 90 - 

During this convention revival services were held 
every day and evening. "One of the most remarkable 
demonstrations of which I ever heard," says Rev. S. L. 
Harkey, D. D., who was present, "occurred at this synod- 
ical convention. One evening Rev. A. Reck preached to 
a very large audience on the parable of the Prodigal Son. 
It made a deep impression. Rev. Wm. Jenkins then re- 
cited a death-bed scene of a wicked man, and also of a 
child of God, making a very impassioned appeal to the 
people to repent. Stopping suddenly he exclaimed, 
'Ho^v many are there here who wish to turn to God by 
repentance, as the Prodigal Son did to his father?' In an 
instant every soul in the house was upon their knees, and 
remained there weeping and praying for mercy. The 
scene beggars description. I have been in many so-called 
revivals since that day, among various fanatical people 
of different denominations, and have heard many sensa- 
tional preachers, but I never saw anything before nor 
since, in all my life, like that scene in 1839 at this synod- 
ical convention. When at a late hour on the same even- 
ing the question was asked by one of the ministers, 'How 
many here believe and trust in Jesus Christ for salva- 
tion?' the whole assembly rose to their feet." " 

This revival was considered of sufficient importance 
that an extended account of it was published in the min- 
utes of the convention, from which we quote the fol- 
lowing: "Silence reigned through the house save the 
speaker's voice only, and here and there a half-suppressed 
sigh or groan, which burst involuntarily forth from the 
breasts of deeply convicted sinners. The whole congre- 
gation became more or less moved. The place became 

44 Letter to Lutheran, Sept. 2, 1897 

truly awful and glorious, and it seemed that the time had 
come when a decided effort must be made upon the 
Kingdom of Darkness, and that under such circum.stances 
to shrink from the task and through fear of producing a 
little temporary disorder, to refuse to go heartily into the 
work would have been nothing short of downright spirit- 
ual murder. This surely was not the stopping point. 
Accordingly those who specially felt desirous of an interest 
in the praj^ers of God's people were directed to kneel in 
their seats, when probably between fifty and one hundred 
persons were seen at once prostrating themselves on their 
knees before God, and thus testifying before heaven and 
earth to their lost condition, in which they found them- 
selves. After this the scene became still more interest- 
ing. For the sake of convenience the mourners were in- 
vited to convenient seats, for the purpose of affording the 
brethren an opportunity of conversing freely with them 
upon their condition, and imparting instruction. The 
meeting continued in singing, exhortation and prayer un- 
til a late hour, when it was thought best to close. But 
the people, though invited to return at an early hour in 
the morning, were still loth to leave the house, so holy 
and blessed had the place become to them. About 
eighteen or twenty professions of religion were the fruits 
of this evening's meeting." The next morning's meeting 
is described as follows: "As usual, prayer meeting was 
held this morning. A much larger number than on 
former occasions attended ; and from the character of last 
evening's meeting it might well be expected that this 
would be a solemn season. Such it truly was. That it 
was altogether orderly, some who are particularly "con- 
scientious' and scrupulous about getting a little 'luke- 
warm,' and much more so about ^getting 'hot,' might 

— 92 - 

doubt. Be their views as they may. If there was a 
flood of tears shed, of sorrow and repentance by convicted 
sinners, and of joy and gladness by converted behevers, 
some audible weeping, sighing and groaning, some mov- 
ing around and shaking hands, or a number in studying, 
exhorting or praying at once, or even some clapping of 
hands and 'shouts of glory,' it is likely yet that the meet- 
ing had an 'order' peculiar to its nature, and very much 
similar to that observed at Jerusalem by the apostles on 
the day of Pentecost. This meeting continued until it 
was necessary to give place for the transaction of synod- 
ical business. But the tardy movements of the people, 
and especially of the distressed, and their lingering looks 
as they withdrew, clearly indicated that they felt them- 
selves still unwilling to leave the house of the Lord." At 
another time during this convention it was found neces- 
sary to invite the mourners to remove to the pastor's 
home in order to afford the synod an opportunity to close 
its business. 

That these revival efforts were general, frequent and 
popular in the churches of the Synod of the West is evi- 
dent, not only from the reports made by the pastors to 
the synod, but also from the following extract of a letter 
of Rev. Abraham Reck, one of the leading spirits in the 
revival movement: 

"One Sunday morning I went to preach in.S. As I 
rode along, I endeavored to think of a text from which to 
preach, but could find none to suit me. When I came to 
the church I had not yet determined on any particular text, 
and did not know what I should do. . . . Before giving 
out a hymn, I turned over the leaves of my Bible, but all 
in vain ; nothing would suit, and in this dilemma I still 
remained while the 'hymn was sung. What was to be 

— 93 - 

done I knew not, but I thought .1 would ask God in 
prayer. A short time after I had commenced praj'ing, 
the windows of heaven were opened, and more than one- 
half of the audience were on a sudden prostrated to the 
ground, crying out, with the most dreadful shrieks: 
'What must I do to be saved?' I continued on praying 
with great fervency, and when the prayer was concluded 
I was lost in amazement at the singular sight the congre- 
gation presented. As I could not find a subject on which 
to preach, I changed the meeting into a meeting of 
prayer, and in this way we spent the usual time appointed 
for public worship. ... I then appointed a prayer 
meeting for early candle lighting in a private house and 
particularly invited all who were convinced of sin to be 
present. We locked the doors and windows to prevent 
interruption from without, and endeavored to seek the 
Lord by diligent and earnest prayer. The God of prayer 
was truly in our midst, and the whole assembly were at 
work in mighty wrestling with Jehovah. No disposition 
was manifest to give over, and we continued until eight 
o'clock in the morning in this awfully solemn and de- 
lightful employment. As the room we were in was not 
large, we placed all those in the next room who had 
found peace in believing, and as soon as one was con- 
verted the door was opened and he would be welcomed 
in by those who were already there. Never did I see 
such rejoicing, such exceeding great joy, as in that room. 
They sang praises to God for deliverance, they embraced 
each other and strove with Jacob's God for the blessing 
on those who were yet groaning under the weight of sin. 
I can almost hear the glad sound of praise again, though 
twenty-five years have sadly dealt with my recollection. 

— 94 — 

... Oh ! the memory of that night is precious ! It fills 
my soul with gladness even at this distant period." 

It was a time when these methods were popular in 
all the churches, and supplanted the custom of catechiza- 
tion. So attached to this one-sided emotionalism, called 
"English Lutheranism," did the Synod of the West be- 
come, that it not only endorsed the revivals in 1839, but 
insisted upon them in 1840. It advised its laity not to 
read ''Die Kirchenzeitung^^ because it manifested an im- 
proper spirit relative to revivals, and opposed the efforts 
to do good. The Germans would not recognize it, but 
exposed it as dangerous and subversive of the essence 
and spirit of Lutheranism. The Synod of Indiana also 
opposed it, and in 1841 appointed a committee to write 
and publish an "Expose of the conduct of the Generalists, 
and show their attempts at subverting and destroying the 
Lutheran doctrines and discipline." 

The high water mark of the revival measure was 
reached in 1842, the year after this synod united with the 
General Synod. By the following year a strong reaction 
had set in, due largely to the influence of Rev. F. C. D. 
Wynnekin, who located at Ft. Wayne in 1839. Being 
compelled to return to Germany on account of throat 
trouble, he returned to Indiana in 1843, a man of ripened 
powers and of confirmed Lutheran convictions. "He 
was a man of powerful frame, and a well educated mind, 
fiery and energetic, filled with a burning zeal to carry the 
Gospel of Christ to his countrymen in the western soli- 
tudes, of whose wants he learned through missionary 
magazines in the old world." No sooner did he become 
a member of the Sj'nod of the West than he raised his 
voice against the revivalism he found there. He had 
published a portraiture of Methodism, in which he shows 

— 95 — 

clearly his opposition to such subjectivism and emotion- 
alism. For this he was violently assailed by both, Luth- 
erans and Methodists. And now he lifted up his voice in 
his own synod for the pure faith and churchly order and 
practice. In 1843 the subject of revivals provoked a 
spirited and prolonged discussion in the synod, which 
seemed to take precedence for a time over all other busi- 
ness. After that year, no further allusions to the subject 
are found in the minutes. In 1845 Wynnekin was sent 
as the representative of the Synod of the West to the 
General Synod, and there attracted prominent attention 
by his resolutions which he offered before that body. 
He moved "That the writings of Revs. S. S. Schmucker 
and Benjamin Kurtz, as well as the volumes of the Luth- 
eran Observer, and other books and papers in which the 
doctrines and practices of the General Synod are set 
forth, should be sent to Dr. Rudelbach and Prof. Harless 
and others for examination, so that the orthodoxy of the 
General Synod might be demonstrated to the Lutheran 
church in Germany." This proposition was indignantly 
laid upon the table by the body. This was followed by 
another, namely, "That the General Synod hereby disa- 
vow and reject the aforementioned writings of Drs. S. S. 
Schmucker and B. Kurtz, as well as the Lutheran Ob- 
server and Hirtenstimme as heretical and departing from 
the saving faith." This demand was considered pre- 
sumptuous, and not entertained for a moment. Wynne- 
kin's influence was powerfully felt in the churches in 
these regions, and did much toward finally disrupting the 
Synod of the West. His congregation in Ft. Wayne, 
which he resigned in 1845, severed its connection with 
the Synod of the West, "because of the heterodoxy of 
that body." 

- 96 - 

While the congregations of the Synod of Indiana 
were but little affected in their policy by this tide of re- 
vivalism which swept over the region, yet they suffered 
many losses through defection of members. From the 
earliest settlement until the present tjme Indiana and 
portions of Illinois were the foraging grounds for the sects. 
The ecclesiastical freebooter was in the land going hither 
and thither, recognizing no one as a Christian unless he 
got his religion in his prescribed way. Lutherans espe- 
cially were considered as lawful prey. They were not as a 
rule much given to making a display of their piety, nor 
to demonstrations in their worship, but their piety was 
none the less deep, fervent and heartfelt, and of a kind 
to which the evangelist was a stranger. They were for 
this reason shining marks for the proselyting evangelist. 
Every conceivable method was resorted to to "convert" 
these devout people. Pitiful pleadings, arrogant claims, 
specious arguments, captious criticisms of Lutheranism 
were employed as weapons. The end justified the means. 
If only these Lutherans would come to the anxious bench 
and get religion all the labors of the evangelist would be 
fully repaid. Methodist exhorters labored for their con- 
version, Campbellite elders for their immersion, and be- 
tween these two forces many a congregation was in danger 
of subversion by the desertion of its members. 

The congregations of the Synod of Indiana had much 
to endure, and the wonder is that any of them survived 
the successive waves of Infidelity, Universalism, Revival- 
ism and other isms which beat upon them. As the re- 
vival movement just traced began to subside, another 
movement arose which wrought havoc in them. This 
was Annihilationism, or Destructionism, as it was popu- 
larly called. It is the doctrine of the utter and final 

- 97 - 

annihilation of the wicked. It is an effort to mediate 
between the orthodox view and that of Universalism. 
This doctrine had by some means been imbibed by Rev. 
E. Rudisill, and he endeavored to foist it upon the 
churches composing the Synod of Indiana. It is doubt- 
ful whether Rev. E. Rudisill ever at heart believed this 
doctrine. He was intensely ambitious to become to the 
Lutheran church what Alexander Campbell was to the 
Presbyterian, the leader of a movement which would 
place him at the head of a new denomination. The doc- 
trine of Destructionism he hoped would be to his cause 
what Immersion was to Campbell's. But be the question 
what it may, one thing is certain, that Rudisill made the 
effort of his life to place himself at the head of this move- 
ment, and lead a following out of the Lutheran church 
which should attain to a separate denominational exist- 
ence. His popularity arising from his controversy with 
Elder Mathes, he had the vanity to believe would gain 
him a following that could not be resisted. He trusted 
to his skill as a debater and controversialist to beat down 
all opposition thatjnight be aroused. 

He began the promulgation of this heresy as early as 
1845. He visited most of the congregations and sowed 
in them the baneful seeds. He had, by specious argu- 
ments, flattery and threats, enlisted in his cause the Revs. 
Elias Markert, Samuel Good and possibly also Rev. J. H. 
Vagan, members of the Synod of Indiana. Tiirough the 
system of the itinerant ministry that existed in the 
synod, the heresy was preached in almost every congrega- 
tion of the synod, and many converts made to the new 
doctrine. With the laity Rudisill had almost unlimited 
influence. His word was to them yea and amen. 
Through the congregations he and his followers visited, 


he had memorials sent up to the synod for such legisla- 
tion as he deemed best to promote his ambitious schemes. 
Secretly and gradually their plans were formulated, and 
they bided the time for their execution. Rudisill was 
elected president and secured such legislation at the hand 
of the synod as to clothe him with almost arbitrary 
power. No pastor of the synod could enter into a public 
debate without his consent and approval. No candidate 
for the ministry could be advanced without his sanction. 
This absolutism he was not slow in exercising. Flushed 
with what seemed so easy a victory, he grew bolder and 
bolder. He challenged the Rev. E. Greenwald, then at Co- 
lumbus, Ohio, and editor of the Lutheran Standard, to dis- 
cuss the doctrine through the columns of that paper. To 
this Rev. E. Greenwald could not consent. In 1848, at the 
meeting of the synod in Johnson county, Indiana, Rud- 
isill believed all things were ready for his coup d' etat, 'to 
foist the doctrine upon the synod as an article of faith. 
A few delegates were there who would not consent, and 
an effort was made to decoy them away by arranging for 
a service at a neighboring school house. But the dele- 
gates suspected something and remained at the church. 
Rev. Samuel Good, a young man of excellent qualities, 
and a fine preacher, was put forward by Rudisill to preach, 
and set forth the new doctrine. But he utterly failed, 
and broke down, so that Rev. Mr. Rudisill had to come 
to his relief and finish the discourse. The next day three 
lay delegates, John Downey, of Knox county, Daniel 
Myers, of Daviess county, and Frederick Slinkard, of 
Greene county, filed their protest against the innovation, 
withdrew from the convention and went home. A reac- 
tion set in. The outcome of the affair was that the synod 
was disrupted, many of the congregations became divided, 

litigation for the possession of the property followed, and 
a pall settled upon the whole synod. The church suffered 
severely. In 1851, Rev. Samuel Good died, after having 
bitterly repented of his folly and renouncing the heresy. 
Markert abandoned the ministry and Rudisill, by pre- 
tensions and denials, succeeded in persuading the synod 
to believe that he never held any but orthodox views. 
By this movement the Synod of Indiana lost four of its 
pastors, one a young man of great promise, and some 
eight or ten congregations, besides its reputation for 
orthodoxy. The details of this movement are fully given 
in the chapter on the Synod of Indiana. 

The affairs of the synod assumed a deplorable condi- 
tion as a result of the acts of the Rudisill party, and the 
defection of Rev. E. S. Henkel to Universalism. Rudisill's 
prestige and influence was gone, and he was restive under 
the odium of defeat. His vanity was severely wounded, 
and he smarted under the criticism poured upon him 
from all quarters of the church. His defeat in the courts 
was a stunning blow to his ambition. But notwithstand- 
ing all this, he was resolved to retrieve his losses, and to 
regain his former influence. In IS.IO he with Revs. S, 
Good and E. Markert were publicly examined before the 
synod as to the heretical doctrines charged against them, 
and their defense apparently satisfied that Ijodj'. Rut 
the sincerity of their repudiation of Destructionism was 
doubted, and Rudisill did not find it so easy to resume his 
former position and influence. In 1852 the synod reaf- 
flrmed its adherence to the Augsburg Confession with a 
unanimous vote.*^ A revised constitution was also sub- 

45 This was due to the adverse criticisms made by other 
synods and ministers upon its doctrinal position. I\udisill was 
not present at this convention. 

— 100 — 

mitted and adopted the next year. The synod hoped by 
this plan to retrieve its reputation for orthodoxy. 

Rev. E. S. Henkel had gone off into Universialism, 
but he did not like Rudisill's endeavor to foist it upon 
the synod as an article of faith, nor to draw a following 
after him. He simply relinquished the ministry and 
moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he engaged in sec- 
ular business. In about two years he returned to Indiana, 
went before the synod, confessed his sin, renounced his 
errors and re-entered the ministry. His zeal thenceforth 
cannot be questioned. The churches forgave him and 
received his messages with greater joy, for his return to 
the Lutheran position was to them a living proof of the 
unsatisfying character of Universalism. He remained in 
the ministry until his death. 

Through the Rudisill heresy the synod lost the Revs. 
J. F. Lautenschlager, David and Abraham Miller, Rev. 
S. Good (died in 1851.) Rev. J. L. Markert's gray hairs 
were brought in sorrow to the grave in 1852 because of 
his son's defection and the synod's disruption. Enfeebled 
by old age, he could do little to stem the tide of Destruc- 
tionism. Rev. Enoch Goodwin died in 1851. Rev. Mr. 
Keester left the synod, and Rev. J. H. Vagan disappears 
from view. The convention of 1852 somewhat encour- 
aged the disheartened little band. Rev. Wm. H. Deck 
was that year added to the ministerial rank by ordination, 
and proved to be a pillar and stay in that body. He was 
without doubt the most brilliant, able and lovable man 
in the synod during its whole history. Of scholarly at- 
tainments, keen wit, and unreservedly accepting the 
Lutheran faith, he was more than a match for either 
Rudisill or Henkel. He had no sympathies with the 
heresies that had vexed the synod for years and had 

— lOI — 

distracted and disrupted his church. He was earnest 
and aggressive in his work, and a true son of the church, 
preaching her doctrines faithfully' and eloquently. He 
opened an academy in Newberry, Indiana, and had many 
pupils. He continued this institution until health and 
strength failed him. He began a work against Unitarian- 
ism, which promised to be an able production, but he 
did not live to complete it. 

Besides Rev. W. H. Deck another worthy accession 
to the synod was in the person of Rev. D. P. Groundt. 
He gave promise of great usefulness, but in a few years 
with Rev. Eli Myers, moved to Texas. These men, with 
the Rev. John P. Livengood, were the hope of the synod. 
The secretary expressed the sj-nod's hope ''that these 
proceedings may tend to the bringing about of a speedy, 
an honorable and an amicable adjustment of all existing 
dilliculties ; that the dilapidated walls of our distracted 
Zion may be speedily rebuilt, and she again maintain an 
honorable position among her sisters of other states, and 
thereby promote the best interests of the church at large." 

But the troubles that vexed the churches could not 
be removed by pious resolutions. Time alone could 
efface the effects of the terrible blow they received. The 
dilapidated walls could not be rebuilt in a day, nor the 
scars effaced at will. The demon of discord and jealousy 
still rankled in the bosoms of some, and on every favora- 
ble occasion would exhibit its ugliness. 

In 1858 the synod adopted the new constitution, and 
cherished the hope that it could thus restore itself to the 
confidence of the church. In 1S,"')4 Rudisill expected to 
remove from the bounds of the synod and asked for an 
honorable dismissal, which was granted, but which the 
secretary. Rev. E. S. Henkel, failed to note in the pro- 

— 102 - 

ceedings. He changed his plans, however, and remained 
in the state. But he took umbrage at the secretary's 
oversight, and refused to attend the convention of 1855. 
He demanded as a condition of returning that the synod 
take action upon certain political questions, which it de- 
clined to do. He therefore remained out of practical 
connection with the synod until it disbanded. 

Troubles began to multiply. Rev. E. Markert de- 
mitted the ministry on account of throat trouble, but most 
probably on account of Rudisill's influence over him. 
Rev. H, Fairchild became discouraged and advocated the 
dissolution of the synod. It was found in 1857 that the 
new constitution had not been signed and therefore inef- 
fective. The synod therefore organized under the old in- 
strument, and then adopted and signed the new, and 
formally organized under the new constitution. But how 
this synod had diminished ! Two pastors, three students 
and six lay delegates were all that were present at the 
twenty-second conveAtion. But these few were dauntless. 
They set about to re-enlist the co-operation of the disaf- 
fected and discouraged pastors, and to induce candidates 
to offer themselves for the ministry. Rev. J. P. Liven- 
good was elected president, and proved himself a good, 
able and wise leader. His popularity was growing and 
he deserved it. He was ably seconded by Rev. E. S. 
Henkel and Rev. W. H. Deck. By the next year several 
more pastors were added to the synod, but when the time 
came for the synod to convene in 1859 there was conster- 
nation. Rev. W. H. Deck passed to his reward in 1858 
in the prime of life and usefulness. He was followed by 
the synod's beloved secretary. Rev. J. P. Livengood. 
When Rev. E. S. Henkel heard of his death he wept 
aloud. A good and beloved man had fallen. There was 

— 103 — 

sorrow everywhere. Rev. E. Rudisill was still unap- 
peased. Revs. John and Christian Good had removed to 
Iowa, and Fairchild was discouraged beyond measure. 
It seemed that fate had decreed the sj'nod's destruction. 

When the tidings of Livengood's death reached 
Henkel, who was president, he wrote to Rudisill and en- 
treated him to renew his relation to the synod. It met 
in Whitestown in November, 1859. Henkel was unable 
to be present. Four pastors and three candidates were in 
attendance. Rudisill was there. Organization was ef- 
fected by the election of Rev. H. Fairchild as president 
and Rev. Philip A. Peter secretary. A motion to give 
Rudisill a seat and voice in the synod was made, and al- 
though vigorously opposed by one delegate, Mr. Joseph 
Klingensmith, of 8alem church. New Augusta, it pre- 
vailed. Rudisill accepted the offer, and the delegate 
withdrew from the synod. It was the opportunity for 
which Rudisill waited for years, and he was not slow in 
embracing it. With all his eloquence, pathos and lilting 
sarcasm, he censured, browbeat and maligned the synod 
until it was ready to accede to his demands, namely that 
that body dissolve and cease its very existence. 

Meanwhile the congregations composing the Synod 
of the West also had their dilliculties and contentions. 
The revival measures were distasteful to the German pas- 
tors, who, after 1840, began to arrive in these regions 
from the Fatherland. They were men of a churchly spirit 
and of conservative tendencies. They were largely under 
the influence of Wynnekin, while he was in the synod, 
and to which body the most of these German pastors at- 
tached themselves. Besides the revival question, the 
doctrine of the Lord's Supper also came to the front, as 
well as several others. The synod grew rapidly in num- 

— 104 — 

bers. Its territory was extensive, embracing Indiana, 
Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. It was evident that a 
rupture on these above-named questions was inevitable. 
In 1846, by mutual consent, the Synod of the West was 
divided, not on doctrinal, but on territorial lines. The 
Indiana body retained the name, title and seal of the 
original body, and its historic continuity. The other two 
bodies were the Synod of Illinois, embracing the pastors 
and congregations in that state, and the Synod of the 
Southwest, embracing those in Kentucky, Tennessee and 
Missouri. But this division did not evade the doctrinal 
differences. The congregation at Fort Wayne officially 
declared that this division was only for the purpose of 
attaching the Synod of the West more closely to the Gen- 
eral Synod, and it withdrew from that body. There were 
in this body men of the most opposite views, and they 
could not Ubor together in harmony. It became evident 
that that body would be short-lived. Rev. J, J. Leh- 
manowsky did all he could to perpetuate its existence, 
but failed. We have no evidence that another conven- 
tion of this body was held after 1846, though there might 
have been. Several of its pastors, Germans drawn to- 
gether by elective affinity and common sympathies, met 
in Indianapolis in 1846 and 1847 for mutual interests, 
enlightenment and encouragement, and in 1848 organized 
the Synod of Indianapolis. This was a German body, 
and grew rapidly. But in a few years it came in contact 
with the Missourians, who absorbed quite a respectable 
portion of its pastors and churches. The remnant con- 
tinued under their organization, and eventually became 
merged into the Southern District of the Joint Synod of 

The English pastors of the Synod of the West, after 

— 105 — 

the dissolution or default of that body, were absorbed by 
the Synod of Miami, and the Olive Branch Synod organ- 
ized in 1848. In the breaking up of the synodical organ- 
izations we note that the pastors attached themselves to 
those bodies which represented their respective doctrinal 

In a quarter of a century from the time that the 
Lutheran churches in Indiana were formed into synodical 
organizations, there was a general breaking up along 
the lines of their original aims, a readjustment of forces 
and a reorganization for further work. The causes that 
led to these were chiefly internal, although external causes 
had some influence. Among the German congregations 
there was a growth from the earlier rationalistic to a 
more distinctive Lutheran position, due chiefly to the 
labors of the pastors who came from Germany. There 
were two tendencies especially discernible, one which 
landed its congregations in the fold of the Joint Synod, 
the other in the bosom of Missouri. Among the English 
congregations, or rather the native American congrega- 
tions, there also were two tendencies, the one leading to 
the unionism and revivalism of the General Synod, and 
the other to the conservatism of the General Council. 

Thus far we have endeavored to trace the beginnings, 
the growth, the trial, and the results of the efforts of the 
Lutherans in the region under review. We have based 
our statements upon such material as has been available. 
The field is virgin soil, and we are conscious of the fact that 
we may have been mistaken in our judgment and conclu- 
sions on some of the questions discussed. A more exten- 
sive investigation and more thorough research may bring 
to light other material which would enhance the historical 
value of this work, and add interest to the narrative. We 

— J06 — 

now propose to present in detail the history of those 
synods whose work we have aimed chiefly to trace. In 
these subsequent chapters there will be repeated much of 
what has been presented before, but it will be in the con- 
nection where it most intimately belongs. 

We regard the Synod of Indiana, the Union Synod and 
the Indiana-Chicago Synod as historically one body. The 
changes were those of names rather than of organizations. 
The same congregations, and the same pastors which 
constituted the dissolving body, formed the new organiza- 
tion. These two, the Synod of Indiana and the Union 
Synod, are the historical and logical antecedents of the 
Chicago Sjmod. 


(311)0 iEuamjrliral ICutI|eran ^yitoiJ of 31ittimita 

Chapter V. 

T may very properly be said that the Synod of In- 
diana had its genesis in the settlement of Luth- 
erans in North Carolina. In the early part of the 
Eighteenth Century there was a large Lutheran 
immigration into that state, but it was for the 
most part absorbed by the Episcopal church. On account 
of Indian troubles many were constrained to remove to 
other colonies. The enterprising Germans of Pennsyl- 
vania pressed southward toward the frontier of their state 
and then into Maryland, far down the Shenandoah valley 
into Virginia. These were largely families springing 
from those who had settled in Montgomery, Berks, Lan- 
caster and York counties, strengthened by immigrants 
direct from the Fatherland. This stream of immigrants 
as early as 1750 reached North Carolina. Among them 
were many Lutherans who settled in Mecklenburg, now 
Rowan, and Cabarrus counties. Their first pastors were 
Rev. Adolf Nuessmann and Rev. Gottfried Arndt, who 
came to America in response to the petition sent by two 
laymen, one from Organ church in Rowan county and 
the other from St. John's church, Cabarrus county. They 
went first to Hanover, where the interest of the consistory 
was gained and then to London. The result was that the 
Lutheran church in North Carolina was placed in the 
hands of the Lutheran consistory at Hanover under 

— 109 — 

George III. of England. The constitution of St. John's 
church binds its pastors "to confess with the heart and 
mouth the symbolical books of our Evangelical Lutheran 
Church," and to send reports to Europe every six weeks. 

During the Revolution the church in North Carolina 
suffered severely, but the pastors. Revs. Mr. Nuessmann 
and Arndt, labored faithfully during and after the war 
with marked success. Appeals were sent to the Helm- 
staedt Mission Society, and in response to them Rev. 
Charles Augustus Gottlieb Storch was sent over in 1788. 
He located in Salisbury, and entered diligently upon his 
labors. In addition to his original field he extended his 
labors to other points. He organized churches in Rowan, 
Lincoln and Cabarrus counties, and made missionary 
tours into South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

The first convention of Lutheran pastors in the state 
was held in May, 1794, in St. John's church, Cabarrus 
county. It was called for the purpose of ordaining Rob- 
ert Johnson Miller to the Episcopal ministry. The ordina- 
tion was performed in response to a petition from Mr. 
Miller's people in Lincoln county. His ordination certifi- 
cate is still extant, and charges him to "obey the rules, 
ordinances and customs of the Protestant Episcopal 

The Ministerium of Pennsylvania never exercised 
jurisdiction over the churches in North Carolina. They 
were under the care of a European missionary society, or 
else independent alike of the care or fellowship of any 
ecclesiastical body. Two causes led to the formation of 
the North Carolina Synod. The principal impulse lead- 
ing to the organization seems to have been the religious 
awakening which passed over the country in the first 
years of the Nineteenth Century. The ablest minds of 

— JJO — 

the church in that section, Revs. C. A. G. Storch and 
Paul Henkel, became greatly disturbed and perplexed 
over the phenomena which they witnessed, and which in 
some measure unsettled their own people. They hesi- 
tated to call the movement fanatical, or to denounce it as 
unscriptural, for they discovered a remarkable change in 
persons who had been previously either ungodly in their 
lives or avowedly sceptical in their views. The German 
ministers were divided in their sentiments, and instead 
of alienating them, this movement drove them to more 
intimate communion with each other, and to investigate 
it more thoroughly. 

A second cause was the cessation of help from the 
Helmstaedt Mission Society, about the same time. The 
churches were therefore thrown upon their own resources. 
Distracted by revivalistic excitement, and deprived of 
parental guidance and the material support of their 
friends in the Fatherland, they felt the need of united 
counsels and active co-operation for their own defense 
and prosperity, and "that the Gospel may be brought to 
many thousands of souls who have hitherto been neces- 
sarily deprived of the same," they met in Salisbury, May 
2, 1803, and originated the Synod of North Carolina. 
The ministers present were Gottfried Arndt, Carl A. G. 
Storch, Paul Henkel and Robert J. Miller. There were 
fourteen lay delegates present also. 

For some years the churches of this synod prospered. 
The pastors of South Carolina, with a few exceptions, 
united with it. But divergent tendencies soon appeared, 
arising chiefly from the revival of the study of the confes- 
sions, by which a Lutheran consciousness was developed, 
and which highly prized its heritage. This soon gave 
rise to questions that violently agitated the synod. They 

— in — 

were questions both of practice and of doctrine. The 
licensure system, which prevailed very generally in the 
church at that time, was disliked by an element in the 
sjTiod, and the validity of ministerial acts performed by 
licentiates was questioned. An amicable controversy 
relative to this question was carried on with the Minis- 
terium of Pennsylvania, but the decision reached by that 
body was adverse to the views of the conservative ele- 
ment in the North Carolina Sjniod. The lax practices 
that prevailed were another matter upon which divergent 
tendencies soon became pronounced. The synod's afhli- 
ation with Moravians and Episcopalians filled the con- 
servatives with alarm, and the formation of a General 
Sj'nod was the wedge that finally sundered the bod}'. 

The leaders in the conservative movement were the 
Henkels, Paul and his four sons, but especially David, 
the youngest son. They were close students of the con- 
fessions of the church, of the writings of Luther, and of 
the Word. They had a Latin copy of the Concordia, and 
from this they would make translations with which to 
sustain their positions. The correctness of these transla- 
tions was questioned by their opponents, until David 
Henkel came into possession of a German copy, which 
settled the matter of the translations. The Henkels be- 
came convinced that the Lutheran church in America 
had departed from her confessional basis, and they were 
fearless in the expression of their convictions in the mat- 
ter. They were determined to save her from casting off 
her birthright. 

In ISIO the North Carolina Synod admitted into its 
ministerial ranks, by ordination, a man who was not a 
Lutheran, but a Moravian, Gottlieb Schober, and who 
remained in the communion of the Moravian church until 

— U2 — 

his death, although during all this time he served Luth- 
eran congregations as a Lutheran pastor. At the time of 
his ordination he was fifty-four years old, a lawyer by pro- 
fession and owner of large property interests, plantation, 
paper mill, and slaves. He had been a member of the 
North Carolina legislature, and wielded a wide influence 
socially, politically and religiously. In his practices he 
was decidedly unionistic, and upon his reception into the 
synod at once became a recognized leader, and the cham- 
pion of the unionistic tendencies. 

Besides Rev. G. Schober, there was another pastor 
in the synod who was not of the Lutheran faith, but an 
adherent of the Episcopal church. This was Rev. Robert 
Johnson Miller. True he had been ordained by the Luth- 
eran pastors, but charged to teach in accordance with the 
doctrines of the Episcopal church. Notwithstanding this 
he served Lutheran churches for twenty-seven years. He 
was prominent in the work and councils of the synod, 
served as the synod's travelling missionary, and mani- 
fested deep zeal for the church. Besides these there was 
a unionistic spirit pervading the whole synod which filled 
the conservative brethren with alarm, and they were re- 
solved that matters should go no farther without a protest. 
Many of their efforts to stem the tide were ill-advised, but 
none can question their sincerity, and time has vindicated 
the correctness of their judgment on not a few points 
upon which they were met with opposition and ridicule. 
It became evident, as early as 1816, even to the warmest 
friends of the synod, that a rupture was inevitable, and 
that only an occasion was needed to effect it. 

The doctrinal questions that arose, and which were 
the source of different views and practices, were Original 
Sin, the Person of Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Sup- 

- n3 - 

per. On all these the synod's position was challenged by 
the conservatives, and with much reason, for the North 
Carolina Synod did not receive the Augsburg Confession 
in its entirety,^" and the "Plan for a General Synod of the 
Lutheran Church," so warmly espoused by the unionistic 
element, was regarded as an effort to repudiate the Augs- 
burg Confession. 

The occasion for the rupture came in 1819 when, in 
order to send a delegate to the Ministerium of Pennsyl- 
vania for the purpose of considering the project of a Gen- 
eral Sj'nod, the North Carolina Synod met six weeks earlier 
than the appointed time. In thus changing the date of 
meeting thf- advocates of the General Synod movement 
overstepped their constitutional 'rights. The conserva- 
tives were not all notified of the change of date, and it 
appeared to them that this was a scheme to circumvent 
their opposition to that movement. Rev. G. Schober, the 
leader in the movement in the synod, and the pronoum-ed 
opponent and antagonist of David Henkel on all the dis- 
puted questions, was elected to represent the synod at 
the meeting at Baltimore. All this tended to intensify 
rather than mollify the personal feelings and doctrinal 
differences that existed, and convinced the conservatives 
that their wishes and views would be disregarded by the 
majority. Rev. Philip Henkel gave notice that he could 
not recognize the irregular meeting. When the time came 
for the meeting of the synod. Trinity Sunday, 1819, he, 
his brother David Henkel, a catechist. and Rev. Joseph 
Bell, a licentiate, met at Organ church. Rowan county, 
for the purpose of holding the synod as per the adjourn- 

46 Rev. S. S. Schiiiucker, Luth. Cluirch in America, pp. 

— 114 - 

ment of the previous regular convention. At this con- 
vention David Henkel and Joseph Bell were ordained by 
Rev. Philip Henkel. As the use of the church was de- 
nied them for synodical business, the ordination took 
place in an adjoining grove. The proceedings of the un- 
timely synod, as the other convention was termed, were 
declared null and void, and these three men assumed the 
name and title of the Synod of North Carolina. Warm 
controversies ensued, which developed a sharp conflict on 
doctrinal points, and rendered fruitless all efforts at recon- 
ciliation the following year, when both bodies assembled 
at the same time and place for the synodical convention. 
After an earnest discussion of their differences, the ma- 
jority withdrew to another building. Those who remained 
soon adjourned, and a few months later met and com- 
pleted the organization of the Tennessee Synod, (July 17, 
1820.) This was the first rupture that occurred in the 
Lutheran Church in America. 

The Tennessee Synod was the only Lutheran Synod 
in America at that time that unreservedly and unqualifiedly 
received the Augsburg Confession. The Henkels con- 
fessedly received everything within the lids of the Con- 
cordienbuch. They felt it their special duty and mission 
to challenge the orthodoxy of all other synods, and to 
oppose the General Synod, which they denounced as a 
hierarchy depriving the congregations of their rights, "a 
measure replete with mischief, threatening imminent 
danger to the liberties of the American people." It set 
itself diligently to the work of reviving the pure doctrine 
of the church, and by means of the printing press at New 
Market, Virginia, disseminated its views far and wide. 
It was exceedingly jealous of its name and faith, and re- 
quired pastors from other synods desirous of uniting with 

— US — 

it to submit to an examination as to their faith. The 
leader and ablest exponent of the synod, until his death, 
was the Rev. David Henkel. 

The work done by the pastors of the Tennessee Synod 
was thorough and solid. Catechization was faithfully 
practiced. Doctrinal preaching was prominent. The 
people were encouraged to study the Word, the catechism, 
the confessions, and the writings of Luther. This they 
did, and the result was an intelligent laity who could 
give a reason for their faith. The synod was averse to 
everything that savored of the sects, or of union of church 
and state. The constitution forbade the incorporation of 
the synod and a treasury for missions and education. 
But notwithstanding their mistaken idea about thorough 
organization for missionary operations, and for replenish- 
ing the ranks of the ministry, it did not dampen their 
ardor nor arrest their activity in prosecuting vigorously 
this work in their peculiar way. They were diligent in 
planting and watering, and trusted to the Lord for the 
increase. The statistics are very defective and not at all 
flattering in some respects, yet those pastors were all true 
and ardent missionaries. With no board to aid and di- 
rect their labors, with no treasury to support them, they 
made long, arduous but frequent journeys on horseback, 
over rough roads, through wild and thinly settled dis- 
tricts, exposed to serious dangers, and suffering untold 
privations, that they might bring the Gospel to their 
scattered brethren in the faith. Their time was spent in 
teaching, preaching, visitation, and the administration of 
the sacraments. The whole region south of the Ohio 
river was their territory, and they even penetrated the 
states north of that river, Indiana. Ohio and Illinois, and 
beyond the Mississippi. 

— JI6 - 

The exact date that pastors of the Tennessee Synod 
entered the state of Indiana we have not been able to 
determine. But as early as 1835 there were in the state 
at least four pastors belonging to that body. They were 
Revs. John L. Markert, E. S. Henkel, Christian Moritz 
and Deacon Abraham Miller. Two licentiates or candi- 
dates were in Missouri, namely, Ephraim R. Conrad, and 
Conrad F. Picker. Feeling their isolation, and the in- 
convenience of being so far removed from their synod, 
they had several conferences, at which the propriety of 
organizing a new synod was thoroughly discussed. See- 
ing the pressing needs of the church and the necessity of 
more united and concerted action for the welfare of the 
same, "a portion of the members of the Lutheran church 
in the west, believing it expedient that all ecclesiastical 
bodies should have some center of union, so that by their 
mutual considerations they may be enabled as much as 
possible to arrive at the truth, and take steps and devise 
means for the promulgation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
saw fit to invite as many of the Lutheran ministers and 
churches as practicable to meet in St. John's church,*' 
Johnson county, Indiana," for the purpose of organizing, 
if deemed expedient, an Evangelical Lutheran Synod for 
Indiana. The date set for this convention was August 
15, 1835. On that date three pastors, seven, laymen, rep- 
resenting as many congregations, and three applicants for 
ordination as pastors, were present, to take part in the 
organization. The minutes are silent as to who was 
elected president, but doubtless the Rev. John L. Markert 
was honored with the office. Rev. Eusebius S. Henkel 
was elected secretary. The synod had no treasurer until 

47 This was a log building erected several years before. 

-- 117 - 

1844. After a prolonged discussion they organized them- 
selves into a synod, and adopted the constitution of the 
Synod of Tennesee, adopted by that body in 1828, with 
its accompanying remarks, as their constitution, and 
chose the name the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of In- 
diana. They addressed a letter to the Tennessee Synod, 
"entreating their former brethren not to consider this 
course as an intention to separate from them, but as a 
means of strengthening the same cause." The mother 
synod heartily approved the course pursued by these 
brethren in Indiana. The most cordial relations between 
these bodies were maintained for many years. Both 
bodies occupied the same position relative to the General 
Synod, and other Lutheran synods. Both were avowed 
champions of Henkelism, over against General Synodism, 
and this did much to cement their union and friendship, 
until the Destructionism heresy made its appearance in 
the Synod of Indiana. 

The doctrinal position of this synod, being the same 
as that of the Tennessee Synod, was considerably in ad- 
vance of other Lutheran bodies in the United States. "It 
was a time when all the tendencies of progress were in 
wrong directions, when the Lutherans in America were 
few, and those who maintained the doctrines of the 
church were fewer." These two bodies were then the 
only synods that formally and unqualifiedly received the 
Augsburg Confession. The Tennessee Synod took de- 
cided grounds on the doctrines of Original Sin, the Person 
of Christ, and especially on Baptism and the Lord's Sup- 
per. It condemned all other synods as heretical and un- 
lutheran, and especially the General Synod, whose posi- 
tion on these points was very indefinite. In these matters 
the Synod of Indiana concurred when it was organized 

- ns - 

fifteen years later. It represented the pronounced type 
of Lutheranism in Indiana. It placed itself unequivo- 
cally upon the Word of God as the only rule of faith, 
doctrine and church discipline. It acknowledged without 
qualification the Augsburg Confession, "because it is a 
true declaration of the principal doctrines of faith and 
church discipline. Neither does it contain anything con- 
trary to the Scriptures. No minister shall therefore be 
allowed to teach anything, nor shall this body transact 
anything that may be repugnant to any article in this 
confession." Luther's Smaller Catechism was also re- 
ceived and acknowledged "to contain a compendium of 
scripture doctrines, and is of great untility in the cate- 
chising of youth." "Lutherans acknowledge the Holy 
Scriptures as the only rule of doctrine and discipline ; 
nevertheless, they receive the Augsburg Confession be- 
cause it exhibits the same views as they have on the 
Scriptures, and is a formal declaration of what they be- 
lieve. But if it were possible to prove that the views on 
the points of doctrine contained in the Augsburg Confes- 
sion were erroneous it would be the duty of this body to 
renounce it; nevertheless, in that case they could by no 
means be Lutherans, as they would have rejected the 
views of Lutherans." The synod required all its candi- 
dates to "covenant to officiate only in accordance with 
the Augsburg Confession of faith." Such was the doc- 
trinal position, officially declared, of the first Lutheran 
synod in Indiana. In the midst of the latitudinarian 
Lutheranism of the west, and the sneers and cavils of the 
sects in this new state, the Synod of Indiana stood out 
boldly as a precursor of better things for Lutherans in a 
future day. It would be a source of great satisfaction to 
the conservative Lutheran if it could be said that it 

— 119 — 

adhered faithfully to this position in its practices and acts 
in later days. But it cannot. It gradually yielded to 
the unlutheran tendencies, which led to the adoption of a 
new constitution in 1853, in which it expressed its doc- 
trinal position as follows: "This synod acknowledges 
and receives the Holy Scriptures, namely, the inspired 
writings of the Old and New Testament scriptures, as the 
only rule of faith and church discipline ; and as the great 
bond of union and of church fellowship among us." 
"This synod declares itself a Lutheran synod, because we 
acknowledge the Augsburg Confession of faith, .... 
to be on all the essential doctrines of salvation a true 
declaration of scripture principles, and upon the various 
doctrines and matters upon which they treat generally 
correct." This last clause was three years later, upon 
motion of Rev. W. H. Deck, stricken out, thus making 
its doctrinal statement more explicit. 

The synod and its individual pastors were diligent in 
their efforts to spread the Lutheran doctrine, especially 
on those things concerning which the church's position 
was misunderstood or misrepresented. Not having a 
periodical of their own, and unable to support one, al- 
though several attempts were made to establish an organ, 
they made their minutes the, means through which to dis- 
seminate the distinctive doctrines which they held. This 
was done by authorizing some member to prepare an 
essay upon a certain subject and have it printed as an 
appendix to the minutes. At the first convention the 
synod requested Rev. C. Moritz to prepare a treatise on 
Infant Baptism, and present it at the next meeting of the 
synod. This he failed to do, so far as the minutes show. 
In addition to this instruction of Rev. Mr. Moritz, the 
83'nod recommended to the membership of the churches 

- J20 - 

as sound doctrinal Lutheran literature and appropriate 
reading, the hymn book used by the Tennessee Synod, 
the Augsburg Confession, Luther's Small Catechism, and 
the Treatrise on the Incarnation and Person of Jesus 
Christ, by David Henkel. Rev. E. S. Henkel was author- 
ized to procure a number of copies of each of these, and 
distribute them among the congregations. At the synod- 
ical conventions doctrinal discourses were delivered in 
order to fortify both pastors and people against the heret- 
ical views and lax practices of the sects and pseudo-Luth- 
erans. In 1840 the synod instructed Rev. Mr. Rudisili to 
prepare a treatise on Infant Baptism, to be printed as an 
appendix in the minutes of the next year.*^ In 1841, at 
the synodical convention. Rev. E. S. Henkel preached a 
powerful sermon against "Innovations," and portrayed 
the evil consequences that would follow a departure from 
their established customs. This year's convention was 
replete with efforts to establish and promote sound doc- 
trine and churchly practice. It was resolved that at each 
session of the synod a discourse be preached upon one of 
the following subjects: Justification, Baptism, the Lord's 
Supper, or the Reformation, the preacher to be appointed 
a year in advance so as to have ample time for prepara- 
tion. Rev. E. S. Henkel was instructed to prepare a 
"form of ceremonies for the administration of the ordi- 
nances of the church," and submit the same at the next 
convention for examination and adoption. "During this 
convention Rev. E. Rudisili preached a strong sermon in 
defense of Infant Baptism." In 1842 Rudisili was re- 
quested by the synod to prepare a treatise on the mode of 

i^ This, owing to sickness, he was unable to do. In 1844 
the request was repeated. 

— 121 — 

baptism, to be printed as an appendix in the minutes of 
1843. This he did. The essaj^ is an able, forceful and 
logical presentation of the arguments in favor of sprink- 
ling as a scriptural mode of baptism. As a controversial 
treatise it has merit, and its wide circulation among the 
churches had a salutary effect. It was diligently read 
and widely commented upon in the churches. It gave 
Rev. Mr. Rudisill a commanding position in the synod, 
and throughout the state a reputation for erudition and 

The synod granted the right to every congregation in 
its connection to have one delegate to its conventions. 
Each delegate had equal right and vote in the sessions of 
the synod with the minister. Indeed, no business could 
be transacted exclusively by either ministers or delegates. 
A layman on several occasions was elected secretary, and 
during one of the conventions of the Miller faction a lay- 
man was honored with the presidency. 

In regard to the ministry this sjTiod taught that 
there are two grades, deacons and pastors. It provided 
that as a prerequisite to ordination to either of these 
offices the individuals must be called to the office by one 
or more congregations. Ordination to the diaconate was 
a prerequisite to ordination to the pastorate. The licen- 
sure system was introduced about the year 1843, and was 
in vogue until the synod disbanded. 

In its anxiety to avoid the recurrence of the evils 
that had arisen in the church in earlier ages, and believ- 
ing the incorporation of ecclesiastical bodies to be an ap- 
proach to the union of church and state, this synod made 
a constitutional provision forliidding the incorporation of 
the synod by any legislature or civil power. It also pro- 
vided that it shall not have any incorporated theological 

— 122 — 

seminary under its care, nor any particular treasury for 
the purpose of supporting missionaries and theological 
seminaries. Their idea was that the candidate for the 
ministry could obtain his classical training at the acad- 
emies and colleges then in existence, and his theological 
training under some competent divine. Time proved 
this provision to be very unwise. It prevented the synod 
from carrying into effect, in a business-like manner, the 
very things for which it was organized. Gradually the 
consciousness of this mistake dawned upon the minds of 
its members, but they hesitated to make a change. In 
1844 a treasury was created "in order that the synod may 
have the necessary funds in readiness to meet any of its 
pecuniary wants." By-laws were drawn up to regulate 
and govern said treasury. These by-laws provided that 
"this treasury be for the exclusive purpose of defraying 
the expenses of the Evangelical Lutheran Sj^nod of In- 
diana." The original idea of no funds for missions and 
education still prevailed. In 1849 the synod laid before 
its congregations, for approval or rejection, an amend- 
ment to the constitution providing for a "treasury for the 
purpose of supporting missionaries and students at theo- 
logical seminaries under the selection of the synod." It 
also expressed itself "that it is its opinion that it would 
seem just and right for the benevolence of christians to 
exercise itself in the assistance of such applicants for the 
ministry as are destitute of the means to educate them- 
selves." The synod was convinced of the necessity of a 
change in its policy in this department of its work by the 
great defect existing in their system. Its applicants for 
the ministry during this period pursued a desultory course 
of study under some one of the pastors. They thus failed 
in being brought face to face with the standard authors 

— J23 — 

of the church. They had to relj' upon the exposition 
and the testimony of their teacher as to what was and 
what was not Lutheran doctrine. In view of the unset- 
tled condition of the church, and the vagaries held by 
some of the pastors, such men were not likely to become 
living exponents of the pure doctrines. In order to create 
an interest in this cause the synod organized an education 
society, whose object it was to bring the united action of 
the whole synod to bear upon this work of benevolence. 
Thus, after fifteen years, the synod had the courage to 
admit that its original position on these questions was 
untenable and impracticable. 

Notwithstanding its position relative to educational 
and missionary' work, its zeal for spreading the truth was 
not curbed, nor was there any limit to its missionary ac- 
tivity in spreading the gospel. Every pastor in the synod 
was a travelling evangelist. There were no definite pas- 
toral charges within its bounds. It had no settled or 
permanent pastorate. The congregations annually peti- 
tioned the synod for the ministration of the Word, and 
that body would instruct certain of its pastors or deacons 
to visit the congregation during the ensuing year. Efforts 
were made repeatedly to have all the pastors of the synod 
visit at least once a year ever}' congregation in connection 
with it. This arrangement compelled the pastors to be 
almost constantly on their journeys, making their labors 
exceedingly heavy. They were at times separated for 
weeks and months from their families. Besides these 
pastoral visits to the established congregation, they would 
seek out new settlements, preach to the settlers, and or- 
ganize new congregations where, in their judgment, suf- 
ficient material was found to warrant it. For their 
services these pastors received such remuneration as the 

— 124 — 

congregation visited might bestow. This was always 
small enough. No stated salary was pledged. The 
whole synod was, what it later declared itself to be, a 
missionary society without officers or financial basis. 
Its chief work was missionating. Its pastors labored 
hard, trusting in the Lord for their support. It was a 
work of love, and an example of faith, that made them 

Considering the condition of the country, the bad 
roads, the frequently swollen streams, the sparsely set- 
tled districts, the rude character of many of the inhabit- 
ants, the exposures to the inclemencies of the weather, 
their trials and hardships were not of a light character. 
Their journeys were made on horseback. A few books were 
placed in the saddle-bags, and the trip was often a long 
and fatiguing one. For lodging and food they relied 
upon the hospitality of those living along the way. Their 
sermons were composed while in the saddle. The long 
and dreary journey was often spent in reading or in med- 
itating upon certain portions of holy writ while in the 
saddle. Across their paths darted the agile deer, and oft 
was their meditation broken by the fierce barkings of the 
wolf. In some settlements the preacher was hated more 
than the wild Indian, and these it was wise for him to 
avoid. At other places he was a welcome guest, and 
family vied with family to do him honor. 

The services were held in the cabins of the settlers, 
in school houses, or under temporary sheds erected for 
that purpose. Preaching day in a settlement was usually 
a red-letter day. Sometimes sheds were erected by 
planting four or more "crotches" in the ground and lay- 
ing poles from one to another, and then covering the 
whole with boughs, boards or straw. In these structures 

— 125 - 

the people joyously worshipped when the weather was not 
too severe. At other places the groves were the temples 

"When, in the darkling woods, 
Amid the cool and silence, they knelt down 
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks 
And supplication." 

To these services great crowds of people came, from 
far and near, spending the day in social converse and in 
public worship. The pastor felt his labor well repaid 
when greeted with such an audience, ready to hear all 
things whatsoever was commanded him of God. Two 
services were usually conducted, one in the morning and 
one in the afternoon, after which the assembly would 
gradually disperse. 

The Synod of Indiana came into contact and contro- 
versy with the "Generalists," as the adherents of the 
General Synod were called, at a very early stage of its 
existence. In 1836 Rev. Jacob Crigler, president of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Synod of the West, suggested that 
an eflfort be made to unite the two bodies. A committee 
was appointed to confer with the Synod of Indiana, which 
reciprocated the feelings of the former body, and in 1837 
appointed a committee on conference. After some cor- 
respondence, the Synod of Indiana held a called session 
in 1839 for the purpose of "making arrangements for ef- 
fecting a union with the Synod of the West," and for this 
purpose respectfully invited and earnestly solicited all the 
members of the Synod of the West to meet with it at its 
convention in 1840. Rev. Abraham Miller addressed a 
letter to the corresponding committee of the Synod of the 
West, dated June 1840, stating the terms and conditions 
upon which a union might be effected. These terms and 
conditions were agreed-upon at the c;illed session. They 

- J26 - 

were: "1. That the Synod of the West rescind its resolu- 
tion attaching it to the General Synod. 2. That we op- 
pose the so-called benevolent societies of to-day, such as 
Tract, Temperance, Missionary, Bible and a host of such 
like fantastical societies."^" It is needless to add that 
the Synod of the West rejected these terms, and no union 
between the two synods was effected. During the nego- 
tiations a strong opposition against the Generalists was 
exerted. In 1837 the congregations in Missouri "prayed 
the Synod of Indiana to be steadfast against the Gener- 
alists." The feelings against the General Synod grew 
more and more intense. There may have been some rea- 
son for this, but doubtless it was more from ignorance 
and unfounded prejudice than from any real facts. At 
least so the Synod of the West claimed. But be that as 
it may, a spirit of deeper and more pronounced opposition 
was aroused among the pastors and congregations against 
the General Synod pastors and churches. In 1841, pos- 
sibly from fear that a union would yet result, possiblj' 
from knowledge of some of the innovations practiced by 
the General Synod pastors, petitions came from Philadel- 
phia church, Parke county, to the synod, requesting it "to 

49 This attitude toward such societies was common among 
all denominations in these regions at that time. It is possible 
that the pastors of the Synod of Indiana were influenced largely 
by Alexander Campbell's denunciations and arraignment of all 
such societies and those who foster them. See Amer. Church 
History, Vol. 2, pp. 490, 491. Minutes Synod of the West, 1840, 
pp. 13, 14. In the south, whence Rudisill, Henkel, Markert 
and Miller came, there was decided opposition to "missionary 
efforts" among other denominations, especially among Baptists. 
Vid. D. Parker in Hist, of Baptists in American Church Hist. 
Series. The Tennessee Lutherans, or Henkelites, were not alone 
in this view. 

— J27 - 

expose the attempts of the General Synod to destroy and 
subvert the true Lutheran doctrines;" one from Union 
church, Montgomery county, "thanking the synod for the 
knowledge they have obtained through those labors (of 
its pastors), of the impositions and innovations of the 
General Synod;" one from St. James' church, Montgom- 
ery county, "asking the synod to annex to its proceedings 
of this session an expose of Generalism, so that all who 
desire to be Lutherans may see their impositions and 
innovations, and come out from among them." A letter 
was received from the venerable John L. Markert, in 
which "he earnestly admonished synod to have no con- 
nection either with the General Synod, or with the Synod 
of the West." 

In compliance with these earnest appeals from con- 
gregations and pastors, the synod resolved to publish an 
"expose of the conduct of the Generalists, and show their 
attempts at subverting Hud destroying the Lutheran doc- 
trines and discipline." Revs. E. S. Henkel and E. Rudi- 
sill were appointed to prepare said "Expose" and have it 
printed as an appendix to the minutes of 1841. It ap- 
peared in the minutes of 1841. What the character of 
this "Expose" is we have no means of determining, as no 
copy of the minutes of that j'ear have come to hand. 
Whether the charges against the General Synod pastors 
therein are just, or warranted, we cannot say. But it had 
its effect. Within two years Union church. Montgomery 
county, Indiana, West Union, Knox county, St. George's, 
Shelby county, St. Peter's, Carrol county, St. Paul's and 
Philadelphia churches, in Harrison county, and the con- 
gregation at Jeffersontown, Kentucky, applied for admis- 
sion into the Synod of Indiana. They all appear to have 
been affiliated with the General Synod. Some of these 

— 128 — 

expressed their determination to remain steadfast in de- 
fense of the truth.'" 

During this time Rev. E. Rudisill also came into 
sharp controversy with the sect known as Disciples or 
Campbellites. Campbellism was making rapid progress 
in the southern and western regions of our country. One 
of its favorite dogmas then, as now, was the mode of 
baptism, namely, immersion. Prof. S. K. Hoshour, a 
prominent Lutheran in Virginia, was converted to the 
faith of Campbell about 1840, and became an ardent dis- 
ciple. Hoshour came to Indiana, and took at once a 
prominent place and part in the propaganda of that sect. 
Another convert from the Lutheran ranks was Rev. W. R. 
McChesney, a member of the Synod of the West. This 
caused much rejoicing in their ranks, and every nerve was 
strained to make other proselytes. When Dr. Rudisill's 
essay on the mode of baptism appeared in the minutes of 
1843 a certain defender of Campbellism, Elder James 
Mathes, undertook to confute the arguments advanced in 
the essay through the columns of "The Christian Review," 
a paper published by him in the interests of his sect, and 
widely read in the church of that name. When his 
strictures appeared. Dr. Rudisill asked the privilege from 
Elder Mathes to reply to each article through the same 
periodical, so that every reader could have the opportunity 

50 Whether the methods employed by the pastors of the 
Synod of Indiana were always fair and honorable is a question. 
They would enter wherever they had hopes of persuading a con- 
gregation to leave the General Synod body and attach itself to 
theirs. The only justification and extenuation that can be offered 
for this is, that they were so opposed to the methods of the G. 
S. pastors that they felt it their duty to wrest the churches from 
their hands and set them right. 

— J29 — 

of studying both sides of the question. This was pro- 
mised him, and the controversy soon waxed warm and 
interesting. But after the appearance of a few replies by 
Rudisill space was no longer allowed to the doctor for his 
articles. Rudisill then published an exhaustive reply to 
Mathes' confutation in pamphlet form, in which he 
handled his antagonist without gloves. In the opening 
Dr. Rudisill states the agreement that had been made by 
Mathes, and then openly and fearlessly charges him and 
his chief supporter, Prof. S. K. Hoshour, with cowardice, 
and the fear of losing adherents to their cause if his re- 
plies were published. This reply to Elder Mathes did 
much to establish the Lutherans in their position on the 
subject. The effect of this controversy was that for a 
decade the Campbellite sect was more reserved and care- 
ful in its attacks upon Lutherans. It brought Rev. E. 
Rudisill to the front as one of the ablest controversialists 
in the state. 

About this time he also got into a controversy with 
a Rev. Dr. Dickson, of the Associate Presbyterian church, 
concerning the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. It culmi- 
nated in a public debate, held in the Associate Presbj'- 
terian church in Parke county, Indiana. The discussion 
lasted for two days, and was attended by vast crowds of 
lieople. In the discussion Rudisill acquitted himself with 
credit. His opponent was a mild-mannered, scholarly 
and pious man, but not able in this case to maintain his 
position against Rudisill. At the close of the second 
day's discussion Rudisill proposed to continue it, but the 
Presbyterians were ready to let it rest. The effect was 
salutary so far as the Lutherans were concerned. It 
strengthened them very materially, and added fame to 
their champion. Rut it also puffed up Rudisill, and fos- 

- 130 - 

tered his vanit3^ With all his faults and erratic move- 
ments Rudisill was strong in his defense of the Lutheran 
doctrine over against the erroneous views of the sects. 
He knew the Lutheran position, and when assailed was 
ready to fly to its defense. 

Important as was the work of this synod and abund- 
ant its opportunities for establishing the church in the 
state and spreading the gospel of peace, it was destined 
to be rent into factions by the demon of discord because 
of the unholy ambition of some of its most prominent 
men. The effect of this dissension upon the churches 
was disastrous. The bitter fruit thereof has not yet all 
disappeared. Some of its strongest congregations perished 
through this bitter and malignant controversy. 

In its early history, doctrinally, the Synod of Indiana 
was soundly Lutheran on all the articles of faith. Its 
ministers were pledged to teach in harmony with the 
Augsburg Confession. But the doctrinal basis of the 
synod did not remain the doctrinal basis of its pastors. 
Lutheranism was not as clearly defined in these regions 
as it should have been. The pastors were zealous in de- 
fense of the name, but permitted the thing to be repu- 
diated. The times were unsettled. In the Lutheran 
church dissensions, divisions and estrangements pre- 
vailed. Out of other communions sects arose under the 
leadership of ambitious men. In the Synod of Indiana 
were men that aspired to leadership who were inordinately 
ambitious, whose convictions of the truth were not deep- 
rooted, and whose actions were not wholly guided by di- 
vine grace. Religious movements swept like tidal waves 
across the country, breaking up the old order of things, 
and out of the confusion and chaos came new sects, whose 
leaders soon gained prominence and notoriety. Universal- 


ism had swept across the state during the first third of 
the centur}', and many a congregation went down before 
its withering, blasting and poisoning curse. It was 
openly insinuated that some of the pastors of the Synod 
of Indiana winked at its progress, and privately admitted 
that at heart they accepted its tenets. A reaction, how- 
ever, set in. Universalism was too blatant. The en- 
lightened judgment was repelled by it. Absolute Uni- 
versalism, therefore, gave way to the more acceptable 
doctrine of Destructionism. This was a new doctrine to 
the people of the Lutheran church in the state, and it bid 
fair of being widely accepted. It promised prominence 
and popularity to those who would champion the new 
heresy. But it had not sufficient merit to give it stand- 
ing. It must needs be leagued with other doctrines that 
possess merit, respectability and historic association. An 
effort was therefore made by certain pastors of the Synod 
of Indiana to incorporate this tenet as an article in the 
synod's doctrinal basis. These pastors were Revs. E. 
Rudisill, M. D., Elias Markert, Samuel Good, and possi- 
bly also John H. Vajan. 

As early as 1845, if not earlier, these men began to 
preach this heresy in the congregations and at the synod- 
ical conventions. They conspired to foist the doctrine 
upon the synod, and elaborate plans were laid and prepar- 
ations made to carry out successfully their project. Rev. 
E. Rudisill was the leader, and he was faithfully and ar- 
dently supported by his lieutenants, Markert and Good. 
Whether Rudisill was persuaded b}' some one to adopt 
this view, or whether he merely pretended to believe it, 
and used it as a means to gratify his ambition and to 
place himself at the head of another ecclesiastical body, 
we cannot say. That he aspired to be the head of ;.i new 

- 132 - 

ecclesiastical body is beyond question. That he knew 
this doctrine to be not only unlutheran but anti-lutheran, 
is also certain. He expressed his conviction repeatedly 
that it is a scriptural doctrine, and that it would be ac- 
cepted by the church. He therefore made strenuous ef- 
forts to have the synod adopt it as an article of faith. 
He was well fitted for this task. Eloquent and persuasive 
in speech, and shrewd in debate, he hoped to bear down 
all opposition. His success in the Baptist controversy 
made him sanguine of victory in this movement. He 
feared no opposition from Henkel,'^' and he considered 
himself more than a match for any other pastor in the 
synod. His vanity led him to believe that he could van- 
quish anyone in the whole Lutheran church who might 
oppose him. Especially did he desire "to lock horns 
with the Generalists on this question," as he expressed it. 
His plan was to preach the doctrine in the congregations 
and win them to his support, and then by flattery, argu- 
ment and threats win the pastors to his side. But he 
reckoned without his host. 

Rev. Elias Markert was nothing more than a willing 
tool in the hands of Rudisill. He had not the elements 
nor the ability of a leader. But under Rudisill's manip- 
ulations he aided very materially in spreading the heresy. 

Rev. S. Good was Rudisill's chief lieutenant, and 
heartily seconded his efforts. His confidence in Rudisill's 
judgment and learning had more to do in leading him 
into the movement than his own convictions, and when 
the cause failed so ingloriously the wily Rudisill made 
him the scapegoat for the sins of the conspirators. 

51 Henkel was at this time in the mazes and toils of Uni- 

— 133 - 

In 1844 a young German, John F. Lautenschlager, 
was commended to the sj'nod by Rev. C. Moritz, then re- 
siding in Iowa. Mr. Lautenschhvger was received bj^ the 
synod as a worthy candidate, and phiced under the care 
of Revs. E. S. Henkel and E. Rudisill. Under their di- 
rections he pursued his studies. He was a man of fair 
attainments, a close student of the confessions and of the 
M'ord, and of great courage and strong convictions. In 
1846 he was licensed to preach and was assigned as as- 
sistant to Rev. S. Good. He soon discovered the heretical 
views of Good and could no longer conscientiously 
serve under him.^' He then went to Rev. E. Rudisill for 
comfort, and to his astonishment, found him holding the 
same views as did Good. Thereupon he began publicly 
to expose and oppose the destructionist heresy, and thus 
becahie a thorn in the flesh of the conspirators. Under 
this opposition they became restive and entered aggres- 
sively and defiantl}' upon their course. Plans were laid 
to give the doctrine official and synodical sanction. To 
forestall the opposition that was arising, at the instigation 
of Rudisill, who was president, a resolution, drawn by 
him, was railroaded through the synod, clothing him with 
arbitrary and almost absolute power and authority over 
the candidates, licentiates, deacons, pastors and congre- 
gations of the synod."^ As there existed an emergency 

52 "When he. Good, and I conversed on religious subjects 
he would charge the Lutheran church with superstition, would 
deny the immortality of the souls of the wicked, the resurrection, 
a day of judgment, everlasting punishment, original sin and the 
Holy Ghost in toto. He declared the bible a heretical book, the 
work of man, and ordered church councils to burn Luther's 
catechisms." .1. F. Lautenschlager, Minutes Miller faction, 1850. 

53 This was at the convention in 1847. 

— 134 — 

it was made immediately effective, contrary to the rules 
and regulations of the synod. It was to remain in force 
one year, and if ratified by the congregations, should be-, 
come, after the next convention, a part of the rules and 

The resolution, as it was finally adopted in 1848, and 
which somewhat curtailed the powers vested in the presi- 
dent by the resolution of 1847, was as follows : "Resolved, 
that the duties of the president of this synod shall be, 
not only to preside over the deliberations of the synod at 
its sessions, but in the interim to call sessions of the 
synod when petitioned for by two ministers and two con- 
gregations ; and also to call councils of preachers, when 
the same is demanded by a minister or congregation. 
All students and licentiates shall be guided by his advice, 
and call upon him for counsel. He may examine and 
grant license to preach, catechise and to baptize during 
the interim of the synod. And when any minister is 
about to enter into a public debate he should seek his 
counsel as to its necessity, and if possible have his pres- 
ence. And when complaint or complaints are made to 
him in writing, against a minister, deacon or licentiate, 
by a minister or congregation, he shall call a council of 
two ministers and delegates from three congregations, and 
if the complaint is sustained, a majority of the council so 
voting, he shall suspend said minister, deacon or licentiate 
until the next meeting of the synod. He shall give in 
writing a full account of his official proceedings to the 
next session of the synod for its examination and ap- 
proval ; that this resolution be an amendment to Regula- 
tion No. 3 of the local and temporary regulations of the 
constitution of this synod." This resolution was carried 
through, all opposition, being borne down by the impetu- 

— 135 — 

osity of its author. Several of the pastors who voted for 
it sulisequently confessed that they did not understand its 
full import, else they would have opposed it. The subse- 
quent course of Rudisill clearly showed that he introduced 
it for designing purposes. 

The advocates of Destructionism, however, were not to 
go on unchallenged. Among both clergy and laity there 
were men who knew that this doctrine is not a part of 
Lutheranism, and who loved their church and her doc- 
trines too dearly to let the matter go on without a protest. 
While not equal to Rudisill in learning, eloquence and 
forensic skill, the clergymen who opposed him had the 
consciousness of being in the right, and the courage of 
their convictions. They had the scriptures, the Lutheran 
confessions and theologians on their side, and felt thrice 
armed because on the side of right. 

The first official notice we have of the heresy was at 
the convention of 1847. During the preceding winter 
and spring Rudisill was in the south endeavoring to se- 
cure funds for the purchase of a printing press, but in 
which effort he was not successful. His intentions evi- 
dently were to promulgate his views by that means. He 
wished to discuss the doctrine through the "Lutheran 
Standard," but Rev. E. Greenwald, the editor, could not 
consent to any such thing. At the convention in 1847 
Rev. Abraham Miller addressed a letter to the synod in 
which he stated "that some of the ministering brethren 
are debating against the Augsburg Confession, and that 
if the synod wishes to be Destructionist he would not, but 
desires to hold to all the articles of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion." In this protest Rev. A. Miller was heartily sec- 
onded by Licentiate John F. Lautenschlager. But the 
protest was treated with contempt. The synod resolved 

— 136 - 

to discountenance it, and no investigation was made. 
With much bhister and airs of injured innocence each 
suspected pastor present declared his readiness to answer 
every charge of heresy against him. The specific charge 
was evaded, and another year's time secured in which to 
strengthen their defenses, and to spread the error. 

The controversy waxed warm, and affected ahnost 
every congregation in the synod. The introduction and 
passage of the resohition above given was Rudisill's coup 
(V etat, and he cherished the hope it would enable him to 
carry his point. He declared repeatedly that "Destruc- 
tionism is the doctrine of the synod, that it had to be 
established as such within three years, and that all who 
would not come to it would have to go it." He ruled 
with a high hand. He wielded the resolution over the 
pastors, and they dreaded his displeasure and feared his 
wrath. Rudisill, Markert and Good were ready to debate 
the question publicly with anyone. Rev. Hugh Wells, a 
pastor of the General Synod, accepted a challenge from 
Good, and they had a public debate in Boone county on 
the 24th and 25th of September, 1847. In this debate 
Good denied the resurrection of the wicked and their 
everlasting punishment, the day of judgment and future 
punishment. In the course of the debate he repudiated 
the Augsburg Confession and Luther's Small Catechism. 
Rudisill also openly preached the doctrine. Even pastors 
of other denominations openly opposed him, and charged 
him with departing from the Lutheran position. Protests 
from Lutheran pastors and Lutheran synods were sent in, 
but these were disregarded.''^ 

The Destructionists became intoxicated with the 

w Rev. A. H. Meyers, Henry Fairchild, E. Goodwin. The 
Synod of Indianapolis and the Ohio Synod. 

- 137 - 

notoriety they gained, and construed it as evidence of 
ultimate success. They were sanguine as to the outcome. 

Meanwhile, Rev. Mr, Lautenschhiger was also active. 
He opposed the heresy with all his power, appealing to 
the scriptures, and showing from the confessions that it is 
not a part of the Lutheran doctrine, and that as Lutherans 
they should repudiate and denounce it. The unconstitu- 
tional procedures of the synod, and the arbitrary acts of 
its president, were exposed and denounced. Many of the 
congregations perceived that they had been hoodwinked 
by Rudisill, who, with all his faults, was almost idolized 
by the laity. In this work Lautenschlager was heartily 
supported by Revs. Abraham and David Miller. While 
neither learned nor eloquent, these men possessed a large 
degree of common sense, and were devout servants of the 
church. Their earnestness, humility and fidelity to the 
truth compensated for their lack of education. 

But Rudisill could brook no opposition. He was 
determined to rid himself of these troublers of his cause. 
In 1847, there were three petitions from as many con- 
gregations, " praying for the ordination of J. F. Lauten- 
schlager to the office of pastor. These petitions were 
disregarded by the synod, through Rudisill's influence, 
and he was ordained to the office of deacon, to which he 
was not called, but which ordination was, according to 
the regulations of the synod, a prerequisite to ordination 
as pastor. But this second ordination could also have been 
performed had it not been for the opposition of Rudisill,"" 

•''•' St. George'e, Shelby county, Slipher's, Clinton CDunty, 
and Zion's, Tippecanoe county. 

•^■' "At the same session of the synod there were also three 
petitions asking for my ordination as pastor, but as I had pre- 
viously exposed the heresy of Rudisill, (iood and Markert, and 

- 138 - 

who took advantage of a technicality.'" He stood a fair 
examination, and according to the rules of the synod was 
entitled to ordination to the pastoral office, but for some 
cause his ordination was opposed by Rev. E. Rudisill, 
who contended, and carried his point, for the postpone- 
ment of the ordination to the next meeting of the synod.^' 
After the adjournment of the synod Revs. J. F. Lauten- 

as the two former were officers of the synod, the prayers of the 
churches were not heard; but Rudisill, when three delegates and 
one minister arose and plead for my ordination, said: 'I can't, 
I won't, my conscience won't let me.'" — Rev. J. F. Lauten- 

"J. F. Lautenschlager would have been ordained pastor at 
the convention of 1847, as he was found qualified, and his ordi- 
nation was prayed for by three congregations. But the reason 
he was not ordained was that Rudisill wanted to keep him out 
of the way of his pet schemes." — Rev. Henry Fairchild. 

It is also evident that Rudisill's opposition was due to the 
fact that if Lautenschlager were ordained pastor he could not 
have the same authority over him as while licentiate or deacon, 
by virtue of the resolution of 1847. Lautenschlager, as pastor, 
would also have mor^ authority, influence and prestige than as 
deacon or licentiate. 

57 Lautenschlager's ordination was refused on a mere tech- 
nicality^ The constitution provided that candidates "must be 
called by one or more congregations," whereas Lautenschlager's 
call was made by the "Church Councils." The synod took the 
position that church councils as such had no constitutional right 
to so petition. — Minutes of 1849, p. 9. It will be observed that, 
this was a plea brought in as an afterthought to justify its course. 
If the plea had weight, it would also have prevented his ordina- 
tion as deacon, which the synod performed. "Rudisill affirmed, 
during the convention of 1847, that he altered and counterfeited 
the petition of St. George's church, after it was signed by the 
members of the church." — Rev. J. F. Lautenschlager in Expose 
of Rudisill, etc., minutes of Miller faction, 13th session, 1850. 

58 Maumee (Rev. J. E, Wesner) in Lutheran, Sept. 3, 1896. 

- 139 - 

schlager and the Millers returned hom^ in company, and 
on the evening of the second day's journey reached Abra- 
ham Miller's home in Johnson county. That night the 
Revs. A. and D. Miller re-examined Lautenschlager,'" and 
ordained him to the pastoral ofHce, under a constitutional 
provision that any two ministers .might, during the in- 
terim of the synod, in case of necessity, examine an ap- 
plicant for ordination, and if qualified, ordain him to the 
office of the ministry. 

This action on the part of these three men, when it 
became known to Rudisill, roused him to fury, and fur- 
nished a pretext for him to exercise the authority and 
power vested in him by the resolution. He accordingly 
issued an order for a special session of the synod, to be 
held in Philadelphia church, Parke county, on the 18th 
and 19th days of February, 1848, in order to try Revs. 
Abraham Miller, David Miller and John F. Lautenschlager 
upon the charge of official misconduct. 

This called session was, as might be expected, a 
stormy one'. Rudisill ruled arbitrarily and haughtily. 
He declared that the Slipher church, which had petitioned 
for Lautenschlager's ordination, and which he was then 
serving, "should not have the preacher they wanted." 
He arrogated to himself the position of prosecutor, judge 
and jury. He threatened with dire vengeance all those 
who dared to oppose him in his plans, and thus awed 
into silence any who sympathized with the accused, or 
were disposed to come to their defense. 

■i'J It appears from the minutes of the Miller faction, twelfth 
eeeeion, 1849, that the church councils of Slipher's church and 
of Mt. Pleasant church, Hamilton county, petitioned individual 
pastors of the "Old School Lutheran Church" for the ordination 
of J. F. Lautenschlager, which ordination was performed by 
Revs. A. and D. Miller. 

— 140 — 

The accused ^lead to have the trial deferred until 
the next regular convention of the synod, claiming that 
the people of that community and congregation were 
prejudiced against them through Rudisill's influence. 
This was true, for it was with difficulty that the accused 
could secure entertainment during the convention. This 
petition was overruled. They protested against Iludisill 
being the prosecutor, judge and jury, but this protest was 
unheeded. They questioned the constitutionality of the 
meeting and of the proceedings, as neither a majority of 
the ministers were present nor were a majority of the con- 
gregations represented. This question was also ignored. 
There was nothing else for the accused to do but to make 
their defense and submit to the despotic procedure.*"" 

In the case of Rev. David Miller, Iludisill first mis- 
represented his statements so as to lay him under tlie 
charge of falsehood. He then informed him privately 
that if he would adopt the tenet of Destructionism all 
charges against him would be withdrawn, but if not he 
would have to take the consequences. Und6r the stress 
of the times Miller consented to this, at least in part, but 
subsequently repudiated his confession, and reaffirmed 
his former views, and justified his course. In the case of 
Rev. Abraham Miller, Rudisill did not find so pliable a 
subject. Miller, a godly man, and who had assisted in 
Rudisill's ordination, boldly and fearlessly rebuked him 
for his course, for his heresy, for his ambition, and for 
the desolation he had wrought in the churches by his 
Destructionism, and in turn was abused, maligned and 

60 "Rudisill was made a god, and could and did do what- 
ever he pleased, regardless of the bible, concordia, constitution, 
or any rule of love or justice. Whatever he said was law and 
gospel." —Key. J. F. Lautenschlager, Expose of Rudisill. 

- 141 - 

threatened witli dire vengeance. He informed Rev. A. 
Miller that if he did not like his course in establishing 
the doctrine of Destructionism "he would pick his feathers 
too, and . let him go." He openly charged Miller with 
falsehood, and when the latter produced a certificate of 
good character, signed by a number of honorable citizens 
of Johnson county, he declared they might as well have 
signed a libel. The defense made by the Millers for 
their ordination of Lautenschlager was treated with con- 
tempt by" Rudisill and his minions who constituted the 
called convention. 

Ikit the brunt of the attack fell upon Lautenschlager. 
Five charges were preferred against him, one of which 
was for solemnizing marriage while a licentiate, and 
another for being clandestinely ordained. The other 
three we have been unable to ascertain, but there were 
no charges against his moral character. It was apparent 
that he was the man most feared by Rudisill, and the one 
who stood in the way of the success of Destructionism, 
Lautenschlager appealed to the constitution, which made 
it the duty of the pastors to expose false and erroneous 
doctrines, as a justification of his course of opposition to 
Rudisill, Markert and Good. He defended his ordination 
as constitutional, lawful and open. But all of no avail. 
The findings of this session were that all the charges 
were sustained, and the sentence was pronounced accord- 

•'1 There were several accounts of this called session and of 
the evidiMici' then adduced, pubiislu'd, both by the deft-ndaiits 
and by Kudisill, but we have been unable to secure any of them 
except Lautenschlager's Expose. The facts concerning tlie pro- 
ceedings of this called session we obtained chiefly from persons 
who resided in the neighborhood of the church and were eyewit- 
nesses of tlie proceedings. 

- J42 - 

The verdict and action of this called session were 
the confession and forgiveness of Rev. David Miller, the 
suspension of Rev. Abraham Miller, and the excommuni- 
cation of Rev. John F. Lautenschlager. At the regular 
convention of the synod in 1848 the acts of the call session 
were confirmed and the following action taken : 

"Resolved, That, whereas, David Miller at the call 
session of the synod, was arraigned on certain charges of 
official misconduct, made the proper acknowledgements 
then, and was forgiven; but has since wilfully 'denied a 
part of those acknowledgements, and has, and is acting 
in a contemptuous and unchristian manner towards this 
synod in absenting himself from its sessions, and associ- 
ating with, fellowshipping and upholding suspended and 
excommunicated individuals, that this synod solenmly 
declare him unworthy of their confidence and fellowship, 
and dismiss him from their connection." 

"Whereas, Abraham Miller was suspended at the 
call session for official misconduct, and for being guilty 
of wilful falsehood, until he should render full satis- 
faction to the synod,— which he promised to do at this 
session, — and, whereas, he has continued obstinate, and 
continued to exercise the office of the ministry, notwith- 
standing his suspension, and has failed to render to this 
synod any satisfaction or make any acknowledgements ; 
and whereas, in such state of suspension he is trying to 
raise an ecclesiastical body, and will not meet these 
charges, it is Resolved, by this synod, that his suspension 
be and hereby is changed into excommunication, and that 
he is dismissed from this body as unworthy of its confi- 
dence or fellowship." 

Lautenschlager and the Millers were not, however, 
silenced by this arbitrary procedure. They treated their 

- 143 - 

excommunication with scorn and contempt. They in- 
sisted that they had violated no law, but exercised only 
rights which belonged to them. In this the civil court 
sustained them, and also the judgment of other Lutheran 
bodies. They continued their course of exposing the 
Destructionists, fastening the responsibility and guilt of 
the disruption of the churches upon them. The tyranny 
of Rudisill became apparent to many congregations, and 
the current of sympathy turned against him. In some 
of the congregations two parties were formed, and litiga- 
tion resulted with reference to the legal ownership of the 
property. In every case brought to court, the claims of 
the adherents to the "Miller faction," as it was called, 
were confirmed. 

Meanwhile Rudisill prosecuted his plans assiduously. 
With the Millers and Lautenschlager out of the way, the 
road to success seemed clear. An attempt was therefore 
made to spring the new doctrine upon the synod at its 
convention in 1848. The advocates thereof, knowing 
that there were a few delegates present who would not 
adhere to it at all, made an effort to decoy them away by 
arranging for a service in the evening at a school house, 
but the plan failed. The delegates suspected a plot, and 
against all persuasion they remained and attended the 
regular service at the church. Rev. S. Good was put 
forward to preach the new doctrine, taking for his text 
John 3: 35-36. But he failed in his efforts, and l)roke 
down completely, so that Rudisill had to come to the 
rescue and finish the discourse. The next day John 
Downey,""' of Knox county, Daniel Meyers, of Daviess 

•■•■i Downey was one of the best informed Lutheran laymen 
in the state at that time. 


county, and Frederick Slinkard, of Greene county, filed 
their protests against the sentiments uttered, withdrew 
from the convention and returned home. Thus were the 
opponents of Destructionists eliminated from that con- 

The lines - of battle were more and more sharply 
drawn. The adherents of the pure doctrine took steps to 
reorganize the synod and eliminate from its official history 
these arbitrary and unconstitutional proceedings. On the 
10th of October, 1848, a public meeting was held in St. 
John's church, Johnson county, the one in which the 
synod was organized thirteen years before, for the purpose 
of entering a ministerial protest against the negligence of 
the synod in reference to false doctrines, arbitrary and 
unconstitutional rulings, and the neglect of catechisation. 
They elected a corresponding secretary, J. Sechrist, Es- 
quire, who subsequently issued a call for a synodical meet- 
ing to be held in Klingensmith's church, Marion county, 
Indiana, May 28, 1849. On the 15th of October, 1848, 
the St. John's congregation, Johnson county, Indiana, 
entered a similar protest. On May 26, 1849, the Klingen- 
smith's congregation took like action. This was followed 
by St. John's, Monroe county, March 2, 1849, Zion's, 
Tippecanoe county, February 14, 1849, St. George's, 
Shelby county, December 20, 1848, Schlifer's, Clinton 
county, November 11, 1848, Zion's, Morgan county. May 
28, 1849. On May 28, 1849, Revs. J. F. Lautenschlager, 
Abraham and David Miller, and delegates from seven 
congregations, met in pursuance to the above-mentioned 
call, in Klingensmith's church, and reorganized the "true 
Synod of Indiana." By resolution they declared them- 
selves to be the Synod of Indiana in its twelfth conven- 
tion assembled, repudiating the conventions held in 1847, 

— 145 — 

in St. John's church, Floyd county, Indiana, and in St. 
John's church, Jolinson county, Indiana, in 1H48. They 
proceeded to the transaction of such business as came 
before them. The ordination of Rev. J. F. Lautenschlager 
by Revs. A. and D. Miller was confirmed. In 1850 this 
synod, generally designated as the "Miller faction," held 
its second, or thirteenth, convention in St. John's church, 
Johnson county, Indiana. They met with hearty en- 
dorsement for their bold action from Rev. C. Moritz, one 
of the founders of the Synod of Indiana, and Rev. Casper 
Bringle, a member of the old synod, who attached them- 
selves to this body at this session. Both these men de- 
nounced the Rudisill party as unlutheran. In addition 
to these, a letter from the Rev. Henry Goodman, a mem- 
ber of the Tennessee Synod, was received, in which he 
rejoiced "that there were yet some who endeavored to 
stand firm in the truth." Rev. Henry Heinecke, presi- 
dent of the Ohio Synod, wrote them assuring them that 
their party was Lutheran, and that the Rudisill party was 
unlutheran. The Synod of Indianapolis took official 
action relative to the difficulty, and "Resolved, first, that 
this synod holds the destruction or annihilation of the 
wicked, and the denial of everlasting punishment, as 
taught by E. Rudisill and adherents, as a corrupting and 
ruinous heresy. Second, this synod does not hold Rudisill 
and adherents as orthodox teachers. Third, this synod 
does not hold the Synod of Indiana, the Rudisill party, 
as an orthodox synod, for taking them into protection, 
and justifying all their actions without cause or reason." 
It also declared that Revs. A. and D. Miller had a consti- 
tutional right to ordain J. F. Lautenschlager, and that 
his ordination was valid. 

At its convention in 1S.50, this Miller faction made re- 

— 146 — 

newed overtures to the Destructionist party to have the 
differences between them honestly and fairly investigated 
before an impartial jury, and called upon Christians 
everywhere to force upon them the necessity of such in- 
vestigation. It called upon Rndisill and his party to re- 
cant, deny or to justify their action. It also declared 
officially "that the Rudisill party did act unconstitution- 
ally, unchristian and unjustly with our ministers, and 
that Rudisill and adherents are guilty of heresy. First, 
because they do not deny said anti-Lutheran doctrines ; 
secondly, because they do not wish to have the difficulties 
between us impartially investigated. Therefore we call 
upon them publicly to recant, deny or justify their course ; 
and further, that we cannot, therefore, fellowship with 
them until these difficulties are adjusted." In the min- 
utes of this convention Rev. J. F. Lautenschlager, in an 
appendix, exposes the whole proceedings of the Rudisill 
party, fastens upon them the guilt of preaching heretical 
doctrines, and describes the arbitrary method of Rudisill 
in the call session of 1848. 

The Rudisill party were not disposed to let the mat- 
ter rest with their act of excommunication. They would 
also enforce it, so far as there was any authority. Dr. 
Rudisill, having failed in silencing his opponents by the 
act of excommunication, next resorted to legal measures. 
He employed an attorney and had Lautenschlager in- 
dicted for preaching without authority, and ordered the 
churches to sue for trespass, in case he used any Lutheran 
church edifice for the purpose of public worship. This 
brought the whole matter before the civil court for a 

The question was tried before the Shelby county 
court. It dealt with the validity of Lautenschlager's 

— 147 — 

ordination, and with the legality of Lautenschlager's and 
A. Miller's excommunication. On the former Rev. J. F. 
Isensee, president of the Synod of Indianapolis, was the 
chief witness. "After considerable testimony had been 
introduced both pro and con," said he to the writer, 
"Judge Wick asked me, 'Do you think that Lauten- 
schlager was lawfully ordained according to Lutheran 
usage, and the provisions of the constitution of the Synod 
of Indiana?' I replied, 'yes.' 'So do I,' said the Judge, 
and decided the ordination valid." The question of his 
and the Miller's excommunication was also tried, and the 
decision rendered that it was null and void. After this 
decision, the suit for trespass was withdrawn by the Rudi- 
sill party."' 

The question of property rights was tried in both the 
Shelby county and in the Clinton county courts and the 
title of the Miller faction was allirmed.*^* 

The thirteenth convention of the Miller faction was 
the last one held. The costs of the suits and attorneys' 
fees had to be borne by them, and they were unable to 
support their claims with the requisite funds. In one or 
two cases the church property was sold to defray the 
court expenses, and the contest was abandoned. Lauten- 
schlager says "our body died a natural death."'" 

••3 "The indictment was tried and I was yet easier cleared 
by an impartial court than by Kudisill, Good, and Markert, be- 
cause it took them to lie from 9 a. m. to 4 p. m., when the bull 
of excommunication was passed; whereas, Judge Wick would 
not hear me two hours before I was cleared."— Kev. J. F. L. in 

w We have not had opportunity to consult the court records 
on this case, but have stated what persons cognizant of the facts 
have given to us. 

^^ After their excommunication and the dissolution of the 
Miller faction synod, which the courts upheld as the lawful 

- 148 - 

Gradually a reaction set in. The Rudisill party 
would not recognize the decisions of the courts, except in 
the property cases. The Millers and Lautenschlager re- 
fused to resume their former position among the ministers 
who had so arbitrarily and unjustly excommunicated 
them. To them the lawful Synod of Indiana had no 
longer any existence. The Rudisill party, however, con- 
tinued their body under the old name and title. But the 
exposures to which they had been subjected, and the de- 
feats they had sustained, convinced them that they could 
not accomplish their designs. They felt it necessary to 
retreat out of their dilemma as best they could, yet in 
such a way as not to appear defeated. In 1851 Rev. 
Samuel Good, the most radical advocate of the Destruc- 
tion heresy, died, and his repudiation of the heresy before 
his death, was a heavier blow to the party than his 
demise. This left Rev. E. Rudisill and Rev. E. Markert 
the sole champions. Rev. J. H. Vagan was no longer in 
synodical connection. We do not know what became of 
him. A decided sentiment against Destructionism stead- 
ily grew both among the pastors and in the congregations, 
so that its advocates deemed it the part of wisdom to re- 
main silent upon the matter. In 1850, at the convention 
held in Zion's church in Morgan county, Indiana, the 
Philadelphia church, Park county, petitioned the synod 

Synod of Indiana, Rev. J. F. Lautenschlager united with the 
Joint Synod of Ohio. David Miller went to Iowa, where he 
ministered until his death. Rev. Abraham Miller continued to 
preach in St. John's church, Johnson county, until 1864. He 
was elected a justice of the peace, in which capacity he served 
very acceptably for quite a long time, and with credit. Benjamin 
Harrison, afterwards president of the United States, once argued 
a case before him. He died at a ripe old age, 82 years, 9 months 
and 21 days, highly respected by all who knew him. 

— 149 — 

to "notice the correspondence of Revs. Ileinecke, of tlie 
Ohio Synod, Goodman of the Tennessee Synod, and Morilz 
and Bringle, formerly of this synod, with the 'Miller fac- 
tion,' in which this synod was unjustly assailed, but that 
this synod pay no attention to the 'slang of the said Mil- 
ler faction' in their last minutes." When this item was 
read before the synod it was "moved that inquiry be 
made of Revs. Rudisill, Good and Markert to know what 
they do teach in regard to the doctrines they are accused 
of." Rev. E. Goodwin was called to the chair and the 
three pastors above referred to were put under examina- 
tion by the synod. From this examination "it appeared 
that all three of them believed in the resurrection, or 
bringing forth of the ungodly to judgment and punit^h- 
ment, and in the infliction of a punishment in Hell which 
is everlasting, but deny that said punishment is being 
endlessly inflicted. Finding, therefore, that these brethren 
are sound in faith as it respects the bringing forth of the 
ungodly to judgment, and their everlasting punishment, 
this synod do not feel that they have anything to do with 
their views or doctrines, or opinions, in regard to the end- 
less duration of punishment, or the final destruction of 
the wicked (as held by some of them), until they shall 
make it a point of faith or a bar of fellowship, and hence 
are bound to consider them as Lutheran in faith, and 
hence consider the letters of the 'Miller faction' as unjust 
toward this synod." — Min. 1850, p. 7. 

The minutes of 1851 are not at hand, and therefore 
we know not whether any action was taken at that con- 
vention. The agitation continued, however. The action 
of 1850 evidently did not please the loyal element. In 
1852 the St. James and Hopewell churches heartily 
prayed "both ministers and members to lay aside tlie 

- 150 - 

little Mclierings about non-essentials, and mutually unite 
in the great cause of the Redeemer." The synod took 
tlie following action relative to this item, it being in com- 
mittee of the whole: "Whereas, a difference of opinion 
has existed between some of the ministers and members 
of this synod in regard to the mode and duration of future 
punishment, and 

''Whereas, said difference of opinion has proved det- 
rimental to the progress of the best interests of the church, 
and the advancement of our beloved Zion : Be it therefore 

''Resolved, that the Synod of Indiana will henceforth 
recognize the Augsburg Confession of Faith, as extant in 
the book entitled 'Christian Concordia,' as a true declara- 
tion of scriptural doctrines upon which this synod was 
first organized, and upon which it yet continues firmly 
based; and all contrary doctrines are hereby renounced, 
and declared not to be the doctrines of this synod." This 
preamble and resolution was unanimously adopted. 

This was a clear official declaration as to the synod's 
position. But it evidently did not affect the private 
views of the ministers, nor did it restore the confidence 
of others in the synod's sincerity. Whether the heretical 
doctrines were still advocated is not clear, but in 1855 
President E. Markert, in his report to the synod, uses the 
following language: "Reports are in circulation abroad, 
to the discredit and injury of this synod, with reference 
to the doctrines of the final destiny of the wicked. An 
emphatic expression of the doctrines of the synod on this 
subject is evidently very necessary." At the same con- 
vention petitions from Newtown church, Boone county, 
and Hopewell church, Marion county, were laid before 
the synod, requesting an expression of the synod on the 

— 151 — 

doctrine in regard to the final destiny of the wicked, stat- 
ing "that these were objections against the synod." The 
synod took the following action relative to these matters : 

''Whereas, there are reports abroad, injurious and 
detrimental to the principles and doctrines of this synod, 
in reference to the final destiny of the wicked and ungodly, 
to which the president has directed our attention, and to 
which some of the petitions refer, 

''Resolved, that our true principles and position as a 
synod are expressed in the symbolical books of our 
church, and more directly declared in the XVII article of 
the Augsburg Confession ; that we do not recognize or own 
any other doctrine or principle as the doctrine or principle 
of our synod." 

With this action this heresy of Destructionism, which 
had wrought so disastrously among the churches, and in 
the synod, sank to rest. No further allusion is made to 
it, but its bitter fruits were in evidence for many years 

Evils do not come singly. They did not to this 
synod during this period. The apostasy of Rudisill to 
Destructionism was attended by another, that of Rev. E. 
S. Henkel to Universalism. He did not, however, like 
Kudisill, attempt to draw after him a following, nor put 
himself forward as a leader. When he became convinced 
in his own mind of the reasonableness of that view, he 
followed a logical and consistent course. He reasoned 
that if all would be saved, what need is there of preach- 
ing? Why should a pastor preach repentance and faitli, 
when heaven is the goal of all, even of those who obey 
not the command? He therefore relinquished the pas- 
toral ofHce, moved to Memphis, Tennessee, and engaged 


in secular business. With Henkel's withdrawal, Lau- 
tenschlager, David and Abraham Miller excommunicated, 
and Rudisill, Good and E. Markert in disrepute, there 
was little left of the ministry in the synod. Besides 
these losses, almost every congregation in the synod was 
divided as a result of the Rudisill apostasy, and a num- 
ber of them never recovered from its effect. There are 
still a number of dilapidated churches in parts of Indiana 
abandoned and falling to decay, the silent witnesses to 
the havoc wrought by this unbridled spirit. In the God's 
acre hard by sleep the ones who once worshipped in them, 
but who have left none behind to perpetuate the faith so 
dear to them. The heart of the Lutheran sinks in grief 
as it reflects upon these sad events. 

The few pastors who remained made an earnest effort 
to retrieve what was lost, and recover its reputation for 
orthodoxy. A few new men entered its ministerial ranks, 
men of piety, ability, character, and in whom the congre- 
gations had confidence. Among these were two that 
claim special mention, Rev. John P. Livengood and Rev. 
William H. Deck. The former was a christian gentleman 
of high order, of amiable qualities, fair attainments, and 
fine pulpit and pastoral qualities. He wielded an influ- 
ence for good that was widely felt, and did much to heal 
the wounds inflicted by the apostates. The latter was 

06 Henkel's apostasy, however, bore its fruit. While he 
did not openly preach Universalism, he nevertheless was instru- 
mental in circulating Universalist literature. As a result, the St. 
John's church, Floyd county, Indiana, fell into decay and ruin. 
Some of its most prominent members, men of influence in the 
community, and widely known in the synod, became converts 
to this faith. The only city congregation in the synod, the one 
in Salem, Washington county, was ruined irretrievably by this 
heresy through Henkel's instrumentality. 

North Hoyne Ave. and LeMoyne St., Chicago, ID. 

Wicker Park Lutheran Church, Chicago, III. 



-"U: il 


f/fe«'ivl#C^^?^7^ ^' ^-rf 




=J '"■^'■^•kif-x--- '■■^" '■ 

•i^- --^ 

Chapel and Division St., Elgin, III. 

— J53 — 

without question the brightest, most scholarl}' and ablest 
man the synod ever had. His classical training was re- 
ceived at the Indiana State University, while his theolog- 
ical studies were pursued in private. He was a close and 
hard student, a clear thinker, versatile and witty, and of 
winning qualities. His influence was felt as soon as he 
entered the synod. He was the only man in that body 
able and ready to cope with the heresies of Rudisill and 
Henkel. Under his influence the synod gradually recov- 
ered its reputation for orthoxy, but his career was cut 
short by death, and there was none to take his place. 

In 1853 the synod adopted a new constitution, which 
it was hoped would atone for its past mistakes and heal 
the wounds that still gaped ugly and sore. This docu- 
ment was more liberal in its provisions than the other, 
and provided for much practical work. Doctrinally it 
was a concession to the lax Lutheranism of the times, 
but after three years it was amended and made more pro- 
nounced in its adherence to the confessions. This docu- 
ment constituted the synod into an education and mis- 
sionary society. It made it the duty of every pastor to 
preach at least one discourse a year upon the subject of 
missions and education, and made it the duty of each 
congregation to contribute annually to these causes. It 
empowered the synod to establish a classical and theo- 
logical institute, if deemed advisable, and to have the 
same incorporated, if thought best. It laid great stress 
upon the thorough indoctrination of the young, and in 
the main was a good constitution. It was quite an ad- 
vance over the old instrument. 

In 1844 the synod resolved to publish a hymn-book 
for the use of its congregations. A committee was ap- 
pointed, consisting of Revs. Rudisill, Henkel, E. Markert 

— 154 — 

and S. Good, to select 400 hymns, 200 of which were to 
be taken from the church hymn-book then in general use. 
Subscriptions were solicited, and sufficient funds were se- 
cured to warrant its publication. The work of compila- 
tion was left to Rev. E. Rudisill. The book appeared in 
1846, printed by Lenord Green, at New Albany, Indiana. 
A misunderstanding arose between the synod's agent and 
the publisher, and the hymn-book matter dragged along 
from year to year, and was still unsettled when the synod 
disbanded in 1859. Only four hundred copies were 
bound, the remaining sheets were left on the primer's 
hands . 

The book was of convenient size, bound in leather, 
containing 402 hymns, preface and index. A large num- 
ber of the hymns are the old classics usually found in such 
collections, while many are of no particular merit. The 
typography of the book is very unsatisfactory. The book 
never proved very popular. 

In 1841 the synod took some action looking toward 
the publication of its own religious periodical, but found 
insufficient support to warrant such a venture. Five 
years later the project was revived, but again failed for 
the same reason. 

In the early history of the synod it expressed itself 
as emphatically opposed to temperance societies, and any 
expression of opinion relative to intemperance. In 1855 
Rev. E. Rudisill, who had withdrawn from the synod the 
preceding year, expecting to return to the south, ad- 
dressed a letter to the synod, in which he stated that he 
would gladly cast his lot again with the body of which he 
was so long a member, but until the synod placed itself 
aright in regard to the fanatical notions of the day, 
namely. Abolitionism, Maine-Lawism, and Catholic Per- 

— 155 — 

secution he could not do so. In reference to this the 
synod took the following action : 

^'Whereas, in the communictition received from 
Brother Rudisill upon the subject of Abolitionism, Maine- 
Lawism and Persecution of Catholics, is brought before 
this sj'nod ; and 

" ]Vhe7'eas, we consider these subjects foreign to the 
business of this synod, considering them as secular and 
political matters. It is therefore 

''Resolved, that we cannot as a synod prescribe what 
a man shall teach or hold in political or secular matters, 
nor to bind the conscience of man upon these matters. 

"Resolved, that we cannot let these matters come 
into our synod, nor to make them a condition of fellow- 
ship among us. 

''Resolved, that each individual in our connection 
shall have the privilege to hold any political principle 
he may choose, or attach himself to any secret society, 
provided they do not militate against the principles of 
our church or the truth of God,— unless he may endeavor 
to introduce or impose them into the church. 

"Resolved, that we disapprove of our ministers 
meddling with these matters in the church, or taking 
them into the pulpit. We wish everyone to hold and be- 
lieve on these matters whatever he may be convinced to 
be right, and enjoy that privilege uninterruptedly." 

■ At the twenty-third convention a committee on tem- 
perance was appointed, the matter having been brought 
to the synod's notice by the president. He stated in his 
report that "our standpoint on this subject is nowhere 
laid down. We know not whether we favor the temper- 
ance movement or whether we are opposed to it. It is 
the duty of ecclesiastical bodies to define their position 


in reference to all reform measures. I recommend thut 
some definite action be taken upon this subject." 

The committee appointed to consider this question 
and recommend action, reported as follows: 

''Whereas, we believe intemperance to be a great 
moral evil, hindering the progress of the church of Christ 
on earth, and believing that it is the means of destroying 
moral and social order among mankind, it behooves us 
as Christians to take a decided stand in regard to this 
matter. Be it therefore 

"Resolved, that we consider the bible to contain the 
whole duty of man in relation to God and his fellowman. 
We pledge ourselves to be governed in our walk and con- 
versation by its precepts, and hold it to be full and ex- 
plicit in all matters pertaining to our conduct as Christians. 

''Resolved, that we will not aid or support any sys- 
tem but such as is strictly in accordance with divine writ, 
and calculated to preserve peace and harmony in our be- 
loved church. 

"Resolved, that we will not recognize or fellowship 
any church member who is in the habit of becoming in- 
toxicated, or who will hold out inducements to anyone to 
be intemperate. 

"Resolved, that these resolutions express the senti- 
ments of our synod in regard to this subject." 

The adoption of the new constitution in 1853 did not 
work the change that was anticipated by its friends. It 
was evident that the pastors had lost confidence in each 
other, and the synod learned also that it had no standing 
before the church at large. The apostasies of the past 
could not be buried from memory by mere resolutions, 
nor the evil undone by protestations of fidelity to the 
Augustana. There must also be works meet for repent- 

— 157 — 

ance. Meanwhile, death and removals were making in- 
roads upon the ranks of the pastors. In I80I Rev. 
Samuel Good died, after bitterly repenting of his folly. 
The next year Rev. Enoch Goodwin and the venerable 
Rev. John L. Markert passed to their reward. In 1854 
Rev. E. C. Kiester, who had charge of a congregation in 
Terre Haute, was dismissed at his own request. The 
same year Rev. E. Rudisill asked for a dismissal, expect- 
ing to remove to the south. With these removals there 
were but few active pastors left on the field. Revs. D. P. 
Groundt and Eli Myers removed to Texas. Revs. John 
and Christian Good were in Iowa and were only nominally 
in connection with the synod. The congregations also 
had dwindled down to a mere shadow of what the synod 
once possessed. The outlook was anything but encour- 
aging. In 1855 some of the ministers advocated the dis- 
solution of the synod, but the older pastors were loth to 
consider such a step. The name was dear to them, even 
if the history was not a pleasant memory in all respects. 
They admitted that its reputation was soiled, and its 
earlier heresies and vagaries were still cast into their 
teeth. They repudiated the errors, and protested against 
the charge, but they could not remove the stain, nor undo 
the mischief that had been wrought by their errors. Too 
many ruined congregations stood as monuments to the 
ambitious follies of its leading spirits. But notwithstand- 
ing all this, they would make an effort to retrieve their 
losses and prove their sincerity. In the spring of 1858 
Rev. W. H. Deck died. While the convention of that 
year was overspread with gloom because of this loss, the 
future looked more promising, and the deliberations were 
characterized by earnestness, peace and hope. The spirit 
of this convention was irenical, and iield out the olive 

- 158 - 

branch of peace to the offended Rudisill and his followers." 
When the synod adjourned that year it was with the feel- 
ing that a brighter day was dawning. These feelings 
were chiefly the result of the efforts of Rev. John P. Liv- 
engood, who exerted his influence for better things. His 
loving, peaceful and sympathetic disposition won the 
confidence of all. Largely through his influence, and 
that of the lamented Rev. W. H. Deck, several young 
men offered themselves as candidates for the ministry, 
which did much to revive the languishing spirit of the 

But the fondest hopes were soon blasted. Rev. Mr. 
Livengood died in the summer of 1859. He was the sec- 
retary of the synod. When Rev. E. S. Henkel heard of 
his death he wept aloud. In his stress of sorrow he 
opened correspondence with the offended Rudisill and 
earnestly solicited him to renew his relations with the 
synod, and help save the Lutheran church in the state 
from total ruin. In this he had a measure of success, 
but it was inviting the synod's bitterest enemy to come 
into its midst and slay it. 

When the synod met at Newtown church, November 
2, 1859, Rev. E, S. Henkel, for some reason, was absent. 
Those present were Revs. Henry Fairchild, D. P. Groundt, 
Jacob Deck, John Good and Philip A. Peter, and students 
J. Mutz, Henry S. Slinkard and J. E. Wesner, besides a 
number of lay delegates representing the congregations. 
The students were entitled to a seat and voice in the con- 
vention. Rev. E. Rudisill was also present. 

C7 Rudisill did not remove to the south, as he had expected. 
The secretary of the synod failed to note in the minutes his re- 
quest for a dismissal, and at this he took umbrage. 

— 159 — 

Organization was effected by the election of Rev. H. 
Fail-child president, and Rev. Philip A. Peter secretary. 
When ready for the transaction of business a motion was 
made to give Rev. Mr. Rudisill a seat and voice in the 
synod. This was the occasion for a bitter contest. A pro- 
longed debate of much warmth followed. The leader of 
the opposition was Delegate Joseph Klingensmith, of the 
Salem congregation, New Augusta. Indiana. This con- 
gregation was wrecked by Rudisill, some years before, 
through his Destructionism heresy, and the fragments 
were gathered up and reunited by the long, patient and 
devoted labors of the lamented Livengood. After a bitter 
debate, the motion prevailed, and Delegate Klingensmith 
withdrew from the synod. The Salem congregation stood 
independent of synodical connection until 1871. 

Rudisill accepted the invitation, thanked the synod 
for its courtesy, and came forward to deliver his address. 
He executed his plan with great skill and adroitness. 
He first read a letter, which he had received from the 
former president of the synod, Rev. E. S. Henkel, in 
which he regretted his inability to be present, urged Mr. 
Rudisill to enter the synod again and take iiold of the 
work, and assured him of his approval of whatever he, 
Rudisill, would do. This was the opportunity for which 
the wily and vindictive Rudisill had waited for since 1<S54, 
and he was not slow in improving it to his own advantage. 
He marshalled all his powers of vituperation, raillery and 
oratory, and hurled them upon the synod. He recounted 
the trials he had endured, the sacrifices he had made for 
the cause it represented, and the slights and injuries he 
had received from it as his compensation ; how he had 
demanded satisfaction at its hands, but received none ; 
prayed for the journal to be amended so as to throw no 

— J60 — 

reflection upon him or his acts, but was refused. He 
asserted that the synod in chiiming to have done hinri no 
injury', and therefore no reparation was necessary on its 
part, simply Hed, and that he could not unite with it 
with that lie on its records. He expressed it as his de- 
liberate judgment that the best way to cover up that lie 
would be to dissolve the synod, bury its record and or- 
ganize a new body ; and he made this the condition upon 
which he would again co-operate with those brethren in a 
sj'nodical capacity. It was from his view-point a master 
stroke. He knew the weakness and defenselessness of 
the body under fire, and he pressed the fight to a success- 
ful termination. When he closed his long and impas- 
sioned address, he was the master of the situation. 

No one present was able to cope with Rudisill. 
Fairchild, the president, had neither force nor skill in 
debate, and was disposed to vacillate. He made no ven- 
ture to reply to the sweeping charges. The students 
dared not incur his displeasure in doing so. Henkel, the 
only man who could have replied to him with any degree 
of success, was absent, and his name was so used by 
Rudisill as to favor his own demands. The proposition 
carried, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Indiana 
came to its death by the act of Rev. Ephraim Rudisill. 

The proceedings of this convention were not pub- 
lished, doubtless also the demand of Rudisill. The facts 
here recounted were obtained from those present and are 
well authenticated. It is probable that if he had had the 
power, Rudisill would have destroyed every copy of the 
proceedings of the several conventions of the sjmod in 
order to bury in oblivion all records of his vacillating 
and destructive policy. Thus after an existence of 24 

— J6I — 

years, the first Lutheran Synod organized west of Ohio, 
came to an end November 4, 1859. 

It is impossible to form even an approximate esti- 
mate of the numerical strength of this synod, either in 
the number of congregations or the communicant mem- 
bers. It was rather lax in its reception of congregations, 
so that it is dillicult to determine what congregations 
were regularly and formally received, and thus became 
an integral part of the body. In many cases if a congre- 
gation sent a delegate to the meeting of the synod the 
congregation was regarded as a member of the body. So 
also, if a congregation received a minister as its minister, 
it was considered as a part of the synod. Only when a 
congregation asked to be received into connection with 
the synod was there any formal action taken. 

Besides this method of receiving congregations, ther6 
were no reports of their parochial labors made to the synod 
by the pastors. In fact this was almost an impossibility, 
in view of the peculiar pastoral arrangements that existed. 
No pastor had a distinct and specific field of labor. The 
whole sjmod was one parish, of which the ministers were 
joint pastors. This condition was practically maintained 
during the whole history of the synod. It is difficult 
therefore to form any estimate of the synod's real strength. 

Repeated efforts were made to have the pastors send 
in their parochial reports, but the requests were unheeded. 
In 1843 a partial report was made, showing 188 infants 
and 17 adults baptized. 98 persons confirmed during the 
year, and 1,084 communicants. The next year 242 infant 
and 17 adult baptisms, 107 confirmations and 1,202 com- 
municants were reported. It is probable at the time of 
its greatest strength the synod had about 2,500 communi- 

— 162 — 

Having no institution of learning, either classical or 
theological, to which the candidates for the ministry 
migiit be sent, it made provision f^r their instruction pri- 
vately. After securing such education as the public 
schools in the state afforded, and few of the candidates 
ever obtained more than a high school training, the can- 
didate was placed under the charge of some pastor, who 
would direct his studies and supplement them with pri- 
vate lectures and instruction. Each year he was required 
to be present at the synod, submit to an examination, and 
if found qualified, advanced. The synod thus became 
also a preparatory school for the candidates of theology. 
The work done by these was necessarily very defective, 
yet by perseverance, faithful application and close atten- 
tion, a number of these candidates became able and influ- 
ential pastors. Among them were several who had marked 
natural ability, and had they had the training which the 
schools of the present offer, would doubtless have risen to 
eminence in the church. Among these we might name 
John P. Livengood, D. P. Groundt, and Samuel Good. 

The following persons were at one time candidates 
under the synod's care, with the dates of their reception. 
Some of these completed the required course and entered 
upon the pastoral office; some became discouraged and 
abandoned the work, and some were removed by death, 
before their course was completed. 

E. Rudisill and David Miller and Henry Fairchild 
were received as candidates in the early history of the 
synod.''^ Paul Stine in 1841, Enoch Goodwin in 1842, 
Jesse Kepley, Philip P. Fleshman, John P. Livengood and 

fiS Several numbers of the minutes are lacking and dates in- 

— 163 — 

Martin Warner in 1843, J. F. Lautenschlager in 1844, 
John Good in 1847, Eli Myers, W. H. Deck and D. P. 
Groundt in 1851, V. A. Myers and E. Peter in 1852, 
Nathan Booher in 1854, Jacob E. Deck in 1856, Philip 
A. Peter and Jacob Wesner in 1857, and Jacob Mutz, 
Henry S. Slinkard and J. E. Wesner in 1858. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the fathers of this synod 
were brought up in a school which vigorously opposed 
the license system, it was introduced in the year 1843, if 
not earlier. The synod held to the theory of two grades 
in the ministry, deacons and pastors. But as the candi- 
dates advanced in their studies, and the calls for minis- 
ters were so numerous and urgent, the synod, in order to 
supply the needs, granted license to such applicants as it 
considered qualified to preach, but not deemed suffi- 
ciently advanced to be vested with all the rights and 
authority of a deacon or pastor. The president had 
power to issue ad-interim licenses, which were returnable 
at the next convention of the synod. It exercised careful 
oversight over the work of its licentiates, so that there 
was not that abuse of this system as prevailed in many of 
the cases that came before the Synod of the West and in 
a number of the German congregations in the state. 

The following were licentiates: Henry Fairchild in 
1843, John Good, John F. Lautenschlager and Enoch 
Goodwin October 12, 1846, John P. Livengood October 13, 
1846, Eli Myers and D. P. Groundt, 1851, C. R. Otto 
Miller, 1855, J. B. Hine January 26, 1857, Jacob E. 
Deck August 28, 1857, Philip A. Peter June 6, 1858, 
Nathan Booher June 18, 1S5S. 

This synod held that there are two grades in the min- 
istry, deacons and pastors, and ordination to the diacon- 

— 164 — 

ate was a prerequisite to ordination to the pastorate.^" A 
call from one or more congregations was necessary to a 
candidate's ordination to either the diaconate or pastorate. 

The following persons were ordained to the diaconate 
by this synod : Ephraim Rudisill, date uncertain ; Samuel 
Good, David Miller and Elias Markert, October 13, 1841 ; 
Jesse Kepley, October 2, 1844 ; Henry Fairchild, 1845 ; 
John F. Lautenschlager and Enoch Goodwin, 1847 ; Caspar 
Brengle, 1837-41 (?); John P. Livengood and John Good, 
October 10, 1849; William H. Deck, 1851 (?); Jacob 
E. Deck, October 4, 1857; Jacob Wesner and Nathan 
Booher, October 23, 1858. There evidently were several 
others, names and dates not at hand, owing to the incom- 
pleteness of the fil^ of the minutes. 

The following were ordained to the office of pastor: 
Abraham Miller, Conrad F. Picker and Ephraim R. Con- 
rad, August 17, 1835; Ephraim Rudisill, 1839(?); Elias 
Markert, 1842; Samuel Good, October 11, 1843; Henry 
Fairchild, May 2, 1847; Enoch Goodwin, October 10, 
1849; John F. Lautenschlager, 1848;™ Wm. H. Deck, 

69 The rule that candidates for the ministry must first be 
ordained to the diaconate, and then to the pastorate, was derived 
from the Tennessee Synod. But it was not confined to these 
two bodies. The Ministerium of Pennsylvania also held to this 
view in theory and in practice. In 1805 the Lancaster Confer- 
ence, through Dr. Muhlenberg, proposed thereafter to have 
three grades, catechists, deacons and pastors. This proposition 
was referred to the Ministerium, but overlooked. In 1812 it was 
again brought forward and allowed to rest. In 1816, at Fred- 
erick, Maryland, the synod resolved to introduce the order of 
deacons. In 1828 this act was repealed. The main object of 
this step seems to have been to admit to ordination those who 
had not enjoyed sufficient educational advantages. 

70 This was by Revs. A. and D. Miller, and never recognized 
as valid by the synod, although so held by the civil courts, and 
other Lutheran synods. 


September 29, 1852 ; C. R. O. Miller, October 28, 1855 ; 
Christian Good, June, 1857 ; Davoult P. Groundt, October 
4, 1857; Jacob E. Deck and Philip A. Peter, October 23, 
1858. Revs. C. F. Picker and E. R. Conrad did not at- 
tend the sessions of the synod after the first, and possiblj' 
the fourth convention, and finally are dropped from the 
clerical roll. What became of them we do not know. 

The following pastors and deacons were at some time 
connected with the synod : 

Rev. John L. Markert, 1835— 1852. t 

Rev. Christian Moritz, 1835-1850. 

Rev. Eusebius S. Henkel, 1835-1859. 

Rev. Ephraim R. Conrad, 1835-. 

Rev. Conrad F. Picker, 1835—. 

Rev. Abraham Miller, 1835—1849. 

Rev. John H. Yajaii, 1841 (?)— . 

Rev. Ephraim Kudisill, 1839 (?)— 1&54. 

Rev. Elias Markert, 1841—1859. 

Rev. Samuel Good, 1841-1851.1 

Rev. David Miller, 1841—1849. 

Rev. Caspar Brengle, 1841 (?)— 1850. 

Rev. Henry Fairchild, 1843—1859. 

Rev. Jesse Kepley, 1844—1845.1 

Rev. J. F. Lautenschlager, 1847—1849. 

Rev. Enoch Goodwin, 1847-1852.1 

Rev. John P. Livengood, 1849-1859. t 

Rev. John Good, 1849— 1S59. 

Rev. Eli Myers, 1851—1859. 

Rev. W. H. Deck, 1851—1858.1 

Rev. E. Keester, 1852—1853. 

Rev. C. R. Otto Miller, 1855—1859. 

Rev. Jacob E. Deck, 1857—1859. 

Rev. Nathan Booher, 1857—1859. 

Rev. Christian Good, 1857—1859. 

Rev. Philip A. Peter, 1857—18.59. 

Rev. Jacob Wesner, 1858—1859. 

The following congregations were at some time in 
connection with the synod during its history. The dates 

— J66 — 

are the years in which mention is first made of them in 
the minutes : 

1. Apple Creek church, Cape Girardeau county, Missouri, 

2. Church at Whitner's Mill, Madison county, Missouri, 

3. White Water church. Cape Girardeau count}', Missouri, 

4. Ehode's school house, Madison county, Missouri, 1837. 

5. Myers' Settlement, Madison county, Missouri, 1837. 

6. St. John's church, Johnson county, Indiana, 1835. 

7. St. John's church, Monroe county, Indiana, 1835. 

8. Union church, Daviess county, Indiana, 1835. 

9. Phanuel church. Fountain county, Indiana, 1835. 

10. Philadelphia church, Parke county, Indiana, 1835. 

11. Salem church, Morgan county, Indiana, 1835. 

12. Zion's church, Morgan county, Indiana, 1837. 

13. St. John's church, Floyd county, Indiana, 1835. 

14. Union church, Boone county, Indiana, 1835. 

15. Beaver's church (?), Fall Creek, Madison county (?), 
ladiana, 1835. 

16. St. James' church, Montgomery county, Indiana, 1837. 

17. Union church, Montgomery county, Indiana, 1841. 

18. Zion's church, Washington county, Indiana, 1837. 

19. St. John's church. Union county, Indiana, 1837. 

20. Newberne church, Bartholomew county, Indiana, 1841. 

21. Klingensmith's church, Marion county, Indiana, 1841. 

22. Salem church, Washington county, Indiana, 1841. 

23. West Union church, Knox county, Indiana, 1843. 

24. St. George's church, Shelby county, Indiana, 1843. 

25. Mt. Solomon church, Harrison county, Indiana, 1843, 

26. Philadelphia church, Harrison county, Indiana, 1844. 

27. St. Paul's church, Harrison county, Indiana, 1844. 

28. Philadelphia church, Floyd county, Indiana, 1846. 

29. Zion's church, Shelby county, Indiana, 1849. 

30. St. Peter's church, Carroll county, Indiana, 1843. 

31. Slipher's church, Clinton county, Indiana, 1843. 

32. St. Paul's church, Tippecanoe county, Indiana, 1843. 

33. Zion's church, Tippecanoe county, Indiana, 1843. 

— 167 — 

34. Hopewell church, .Marion county, Indiana, 1846. 

35. Mt. Pleasant church, Hamilton county, Indiana, 184S. 

36. A German church in Terre Haute, Indiana, 1852. 

37. Mt. Eden church, Monroe county, Indiana, 1858. 

38. INIt. Vernon church, Parke county, Indiana, 18'>0. 

39. Tennessee churcli, Clinton county, Indiana, 1S52. 

40. St. Peter's church, Greene county, Indiana, 1852. 

41. Newtown church, Boone county, Indiana, 1852. 

42. St. Luke's church, Monroe county, Indiana, 1852. 

43. St. Stephen's church, Clinton county, Indiana, 1852. 

44. St. ]\Iary's church, Knox county, Indiana, 1854. 

45. Fairhaven church, Clinton county, Indiana, 1854. 

Besides these congregations there were a number of 
preaching points, and several congregations in Iowa, 
served by the Revs. J. and C. Good and Christian Moritz. 
Rev. C. Brengle served congregations in Pike county, 111., 
and Revs. Groundt and Myers in Texas. The congrega- 
tion at Jeffersontown, Kentucky, also belonged to this 
synod for a while. 

It can hardly be said that the Synod of Indiana ac- 
complished the work to which it appeared to be called. 
There was a vast and fruitful field before it, to be occu- 
pied and cultivated. For half a score of years it pros- 
pered, and the prospects for future success were bright. 
It had men among its members who, in learning and 
ability, were equal to any minister laboring in the state, 
men who, for zeal, devotion and labor, were unsurpassed 
in those regions in their day. There were congregations 
in its connection that were strong and influential, whose 
membership was loyal and devout. These responded 
nobly to the calls made upon them by the church. As 
congregations, they took a deep interest in the work of 
the synod. Laymen who were endowed with zeal, intelli- 
gence and influence, represented these in the synodical 
conventions. A number of young men responded to the 


call of the church to devote themselves to the ministry, 
and the sacrifice these made, and the obstacles they over- 
came, are almost incalculable at this day. The efforts 
made by individual pastors to prepare these young men for 
their work is highl}^ commendable. In addition to all this, 
Lutherans were flocking to the state by hundreds, material 
ready to be gathered in and amalgamated with the organ- 
ized congregations. But the synod, it appears, was un- 
able to make any substantial progress in the work before 
it. After a quarter of a century of effort, struggles, sac- 
rifices and disappointments, it had made but little farther 
progress. In doctrine its official position was clear, and 
in advance of most of the Lutheran Synods then existing. 
From this doctrinal position it never departed as a body, 
except for a very brief time. This is not true, however, 
of some of its individual members, as is clear from the 
foregoing sketch. 

The following may be regarded as the chief causes 
why this body failed in establishing itself perman^ently, 
and which ultimately led to its dissolution : 

1. Its narrow and restricted policy relative to educa- 
tion and missionary work. This policy was the result of 
a wrong conception of the nature and duty of the church 
in these departments of church work. This is evident 
from the remarks appended to the article in the constitu- 
tion bearing on this subject. They believed that any ef- 
forts to aid in this kind of work would tend to beget a 
spirit of dependence in those assisted. Their conception 
of the nature of a theological education obtained at a 
seminary was a very erroneous one. The same is also 
true of their conception of an incorporated institution, re- 
garding it as a step toward the union of church and state. 

This position and policy of the synod had an injurious 

— J69 — 

effect upon its communicant membership. It tended to 
prejudice them against the great commission to disciple 
the nations. They inferred that it is wrong, if not posi- 
tively sinful, to engage in missionary etTorts. They felt 
no obligation to render any assistance to the weak and 
scattered people of the same faith. This synod denounced 
such organizations as Tract, Temperance, Missionary and 
Bible Societies as "fantastical and falsely so-called benev- 
olent societies." Under such a policy it is clear that no 
systematic, aggressive work could be accomplished. 

This narrow policy also tended to keep pastors who 
located within the bounds of the synod from identifying 
themselves with it. Many conservative Lutheran pastors 
located in the territory of this sj'nod, but they cast their 
lot with other bodies. It also led to many misunder- 
standings, and gave rise to wrong impressions. The 
members of this synod were characterized as "laboring 
under the most unfounded prejudices," and this being 
published abroad, and the almost universal opposition to 
Henkelism, of which this synod was an ardent champion, 
did much to array other synods and ministers against 
them, and also resulted in alienating some of its own 
congregations. The Sj'nod of Indiana was regarded as 
very bigotted and intolerant. 

2. Soyne of the leading men of this synod were con- 
trolled more by unholy ambition than by ardent devotion 
to the principals of which the synod was the representative. 
Instead of the spirit of unity, and concerted effort for the 
advancement of the church, wliich they professed to love 
80 dearly, a spirit of intense rivalry and rankling jealousy 
prevailed. The interests of the church were permitted to 
suffer, so that personal advancement might be secured. 

Rev. Ephraim Rudisill and the Kev. Eusebius S. 

— 170 — 

Henkel, both men of marked ability, and fitted for lead- 
ership, were lifelong rivals. Notwithstanding their abili- 
ties, their great labors for the church, and their power and 
influence in the pulpit, their personal ambition and their 
aspirations to be chief among their brethren, militated 
greatlj^ against their work, paralyzing all efforts to ad- 
vance the interests of the church. Rudisill was ambi- 
tious, impetuous, eloquent and persistent in his purposes. 
Through all the opposition against him, and for the time 
defeated in his schemes, he never lost sight of his aims, 
and labored on patiently in the hope of gaining his pur- 
pose in the end. At times he bore down all opposition 
by his impetuosity and vehemence. With tears and 
threats he would awe his inferiors into submission. If a 
scheme of his was too strongly opposed he would startle 
the synod by either resigning his official position or ask a 
dismissal from the body. His audacity in this alarmed 
his opponents, and they feared to press matters farther. 
By these coups iV etat he gained his purposes in the end. 
These methods, and the traits of character they betrayed, 
disgusted self-respecting men, who quietly withdrew from 
any part in the transactions of the synod. 

Henkel, perhaps, was equally ambitious, powerful in 
argument, but vacillating. He was visionary, warm 
and sympathetic, imprudent and indiscreet in his meas- 
ures, but sincere. He aspired to influence and leader- 
ship. In his efforts he often departed from the landmarks, 
faith and practice of the church, but no more than did 
his rival and opponent. These men were the very oppo- 
sites in temperament and character. They alternately 
influenced the doctrinal and practical status of the synod. 
Between these two leaders the other members of the 
synod were divided. Rudisill compelled his followers to 

do his bidding from fear, Henkel won them hj' his warm 
and sympathetic nature. 

3. The lack of definite pastorates was another cause 
of failure. There were, strictly speaking, no definite 
pastorates in the synod. All the congregations of the 
synod constituted one vast parish, of which the ministers 
were co-pastors. Congregations annually petitioned the 
sj'nod for preaching, and arrangements were made by 
which they were statedly supplied.'' Thus at almost 
every successive service (which were conducted no oftener 
than once every three or four weeks) a different pastor 
officiated. There could be no systematic, aggressive, 
solid work done under such a regime. There was preach- 
ing, but no pastoral oversight. The latent strength of 
the congregation could not be developed. Catechization 
was neglected, and the people grew indifferent and grad- 
ually neglected the church. 

4. The preaching of heretical and unlutheran doc- 
trine did more to destroy the synod than any other "cause. 
Rev. Ephraim Rudisill determined to make Destruction- 
ism a tenet of the synod, and to originate a new sect. 
He aspired to be to the Lutheran body what Alexander 
Campbell was to the Baptist denomination, the founder 
of a Lutheran sect, a species of Lutheranism with De- 
structionism as its distinguishing mark. But while unable 
to rally the whole synod to this standard, as he predicted 
he could and would do, by force or fear, he nevertheless 
succeeded in gaining a large following among the congre- 

71 The Ministerium of Pennsylvania during the first almost 
fifty years, 1748—1793, hail a similar custom. The congrega- 
tions continually sent their applications for pastors and supplies 
to the synod. Action upon these matters was usually taken in 
open synod. 

— 172 — 

gations. While we have no exact data, yet it appears 
that about a third of the synod's strength was at one 
time on his side. The opposition from the Millers and 
Lautenschlager, which Rudisill's course provoked, saved 
the Lutheran element in Indiana, represented by this 
synod, from being swung off into a new and heretical 
sect. While this led to the dissolution of the body, it 
saved the churches from total wreck. The Synod of In- 
diana never recovered from the effects of this heretical 
movement, and the responsibility must be laid to the 
charge of Revs. Ephraim Rudisill, Elias Markert and 
Samuel Good. 

It may seem strange to the reader that this heretical 
movement was not rooted out before it gained such a 
foothold in the synod. Were there not some who knew 
its heretical character? Yes. But Destructionism was 
not the only heresy fostered by members of this synod. 
Rev. E. S. Henkel, who was perhaps the only one with 
the ability to combat successfully the arguments of the 
Destructionists, was at this period deeply in the mazes of 
Universalism. He had the good judgment not to preach 
it publicly, for he knew it to be inconsistent with Luther- 
anism, but he admitted that he held to Universalism 
privately. His views were rather Restorationism. On 
one occasion when asked if these views- could be proved 
false he replied: "From the Bible they can, from reason 
they cannot." It is also claimed by some that the va- 
garies of Swedenborg found advocates and champions 
among the members of this synod. Such being the con- 
dition of things, it was hard to find one who had the 
courage to make complaint against another. 

During the period when the Destructionism heresy 
was to the front there was a large influx of Lutherans 

- J73 - 

into the state, mostly Germans. A number of Lutheran 
pastors, some from Gossner's Institute, and some from 
Leipzig, were sent to labor among them. Among these 
were the Isensees, J. and J. F., directed to Indiana by 
Rev. W. A. Passavant, J. Kunz, J. J. Meissner, Oscar C. 
A. Hunger, Ph. D., and others. These at first were affil- 
iated with the Synod of the West, but felt ill at ease in 
that radical body. They quietly withdrew and organized 
the Synod of Indianapolis, which grew quite rapidly. If 
the Synod of Indiana, which was a German-English body, 
had at that time been true to its doctrinal basis, and its 
great work had not been overshadowed by personal am- 
bition, it is quite probable that it could and would have 
attracted to itself these pastors and their congregations. 
But it could not attract them while in the mazes of her- 
esy and rankling with jealousies and discord. It could 
not command respect, and those men preferred to organ- 
ize a distinct body than cast their lot with the Synod of 
Indiana. The ambitious leaders in the synod did not 
much desire these German pastors, lest their ambitious 
schemes might fail. The Synod of Indiana failed to see 
its opportunity for great growth and good, and when that 
passed by no other came. 

5. The abandonment of Lutheran nistonis. In the 
early history of this synod the Lutheran custom of thor- 
oughly catechising the youth prior to their confirmation 
was strictly adhered to, at least so far as the pastors had 
the time. But this custom l)ecame unpopular under the 
infiuence of the fanatical measures in vogue among other 
denominations, and fell into disuse. The youth grew up 
with no clear idea of the doctrines, policy or history of 
the church. They could not give a reason for the faith 
that was in them. Instead of this rational educational 

— 174 — 

method new measures and revivalistic efforts were resorted 
to. It was less laborious to the pastor and more popular 
with the people. There could be no grounding in the 
faith under this method, and the result was, a number of 
the congregations of this synod fell before the tidal wave 
of error. It seems strange thnt this synod, which had so 
vehemently and unremittingly opposed the "Generalists" 
"in their unlutheran practices and efforts to subvert the 
Lutheran faith" should become an advocate of some of 
those same practices even while crying out against the 
General Synod, and refusing fellowship with it. 

The unstable policy of this synod arose chiefly from 
its isolated position. With representatives of the General 
Synod it would have nothing to do. While it held to the 
same doctrinal position as the Tennessee Synod, yet it 
had no connection with that body, not even exchanging 
delegates. In its later history it contemplated union with 
the Ohio Synod, but the consummation was never reached. 
In this isolated position, and priding itself upon its inde- 
pendence, it arrogated to itself a purer Lutheranism than 
that held by any other Lutheran body. The pastors were 
thrown largely upon their own resources, and their indi- 
vidual" interpretations of the symbolical books were not 
always consistent nor in harmony with the utterances 
of the leading theologians of the church. It may be lik- 
ened to a ship at sea without rudder or compass, and 
every member of the crew taking his turn to steer the 
vessel into a safe harbor. It may also be remarked that 
the times in which it existed, and the religious vagaries 
that then so largely abounded in this region, all conspired 
to turn the synod out of its true historical and doctrinal 


©I|p llnton i'yitoii of t\]t lEuanijpliral 
ICutl|prati (EI|urrJ| 

Chapter VI. 

(Tlir Imon ^yttnli of ti^t lEuauijpUral 
ICutl|pran (III|urrI|. 

FIE next day after the dissolution of the Evangel- 
ical Lutheran Sj'nod of Indiana, being the 5th 
da}' of November, 1859, the several ministers 
who had constituted the clergy of that body, and 
the lay delegates representing the congregations 
met in Newtown church, Boone county, Indiana, and af- 
ter reading a portion of God's Word, engaged in prayer 
for God's blessing upon their assembling, and aid in ac- 
complishing the good work for which they were convened. 
After these devotional services, upon motion of Rev. E. 
Rudisill, the Rev. John Good, of Iowa, was called to act 
as chairman and the Rev. E. Rudisill was elected tem- 
porary secretary. After this the chairman read the fol- 
lowing call for a meeting of Lutheran ministers and con- 
gregations in convention for the organization of a synod, 
which was ordered spread upon the minutes: 

TllK ("ALL. 

" Whereas, there is not at this time in the state of 
Indiana a regular organization embracing all the minis- 
ters and congregations of the Evangelic Lutheran faith in 
the state, and 

-2 The title was from 1859 to 1863 the Union Synod of the 
Evangelic Lutheran Church, thenceforward the Union Synod of 
the Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

— 178 — 

" ^Yhereas, such an organization is on many accounts 
desirable, and if rightly managed and conducted in har- 
mony with the principles of the Augsburg Confession of 
Faith and Luther's Small Catechism, cannot fail to be of 
lasting benefit to the Church of Christ, and will lay a 
good foundation for its future prosperity, I, as a minis- 
ter of the Evangelic Lutheran Church, desiring its pros- 
perity, do hereby make a call for all ministers of said 
church, who are not at this time in any ecclesiastic con- 
nection, and who are anxious for the well-being of our 
beloved Zion, with all Lutheran congregations that may 
wish for such an organization, to meet on the 5th day of 
November, 1859, in Newtown church, Boone county, In- 
diana, for the purpose of exchanging views and uniting 
together in such organization as may be deemed necessary 
for the present wants of the church in the state and ad- 
joining states ; and to agree upon such additional arrange- 
ments as shall be required to secure a convention of the 
ministry and congregations, at as early a day as possible, 
to form a constitution and such regulations as shall be 
considered just and equal for the government of the min- 
istry and congregations in such organization. And that 
such convention shall, in the foundation of such constitu- 
tion, adopt the Bible containing the Old and New Testa- 
ments as the only rule of faith and church discipline ; the 
Apostle's Creed as the rule and bond of christian fellow- 
ship ; the Augsburg Confession of Faith and Luther's 
Small Catechism as the declaration and expression of the 
views of such organization on all the Biblical doctrines 
upon which they treat." — John GoodJ'^ 

'3 "This call purportB to have been issued by Rev. John 
Good, but it was written by Eev. E. Kudisill, who prevailed 
upon Good to sign the same and read it as his own. This infor- 
mation I have from the lips of Kev. John Good." 

- 179 - 

After this call was read and some explanatory re- 
marks pertaining to it were made by the chairman, the 
whole question was freely discussed, and those pastors 
and delegates present who approved the organization of a 
new synod were requested to hand their names to the 
secretary. The following pastors, students and delegates 
were present, and favored the proposed organization : 
Revs. John Good, Ephraim Rudisill, Jacob E. Deck, 
Philip A. Peter, Henry Fairchild, C. R. 0. Miller and 
Nathan Booher; Students H. S. Slinkard and J. E. Wes- 
ner. The following congregations were represented by 
their respective lay delegates: Newtown church, Whites- 
town, Indiana, W. J. Laughner; St. Peter's church, New- 
berry, Indiana, H. S. Slinkard; Union church, Daviess 
county, Indiana, H. S. Slinkard ; Mt. Zion church, Mor- 
gan county, Indiana, H. S. Slinkard; Fairhaven churcli, 
Clinton county, Indiana, Moses Jacoby; St. James' churrh, 
Clinton county, Indiana, Charles Koontz ; Mt. Solomon 
church, Harrison county, J. S. Hammond ; Union church, 
Boone county, Indiana, Philip Lucas; Phanuel church. 
Fountain county, Indiana, John Fine ; Philadelphia 
church, Parke county, Indiana, Alex. Bowers; St. James' 
church, Montgomery county, Indiana, Reuben Foust ; St. 
Georg*! church, Shelby county, Indiana, Daniel Snepp. 
There were also three other delegates present, namely, Jacob 
Mutz, A. Treon and Edward Kern, Init what congregations 
they represented the proceedings do not indicate. These 
pastors and representatives, by resolution, formed them- 
selves into a synodical capacity, elected the temporary 
officers as the permanent officers for the ensuing year, and 
adopted the name and title of "The Union Synod of the 
Evangelic Lutheran churcii." 

In this capacity it adopted the following declaration 
of principles : 

''Resolved, that this synod adopts the Bible as their 
only rule of faith, union and church discipline; the Apos- 
tle's Creed as a summary of doctrines necessary to be be- 
lieved and acted upon as a principle of union ; and the 
unaltered Augsburg Confession of Faith, with Luther's 
Smaller Catechism as the expression and declaration of the 
views of this synod, of christian doctrine. And that this 
synod hereby binds itself to these principles, and lays 
them down as the principles by which, and in harmony 
with which, the convention shall form a constitution for 
the government of this synod. 

''Resolved, that upon all matters relating to the tem- 
poral concerns of this synod, or the manner in which bus- 
iness shall be transacted in the synod, a majority of votes 
shall govern. Every minister, deacon, student and dele- 
gate shall be entitled to a single vote ; and that this rule 
shall continue until the contemplated convention shall 
form a constitution, pointing out the various duties of 
officers and the manner of conducting the business of the 

It was also resolved to call a convention to form a 
constitution in the near future, and ordained that each 
congregation in connection with this synod elect and send 
a delegate to that convention ; also that all Lutheran or 
union congregations which approve this basis, and desire 
to unite with this synod, send a delegate to the conven- 
tion. Other Lutheran ministers were invited to attend. 
The time and place selected for this convention was Feb- 
ruary 2, 1860, in St. George's church, Shelby county, In- 

- 181 - 

Pursuant to the resolution, the synod met at the 
above mentioned time and place. There were twelve 
pastors, two students and eleven delegates representing 
fifteen congregations, present to take part in the delibera- 
tions. President Good being absent. Rev. H. Fairchild 
was called to the chair. The sj'nod resolved to go into a 
convention for the purpose of formulating a constitution, 
electing Rev. E. S. Henkel chairman, and Rev. E. Rudi- 
sill secretary. Rev. C. Schadow, president of the South- 
ern District Synod of the Joint Synod of Ohio, and Rev. 
Borchers, of the same synod, were present and given a 
seat and voice in the convention. 

The document used as the basis for the proposed 
constitution was the constitution adopted by the Synod 
of Indiana in 1853. To the consideration of this instru- 
ment the convention confined itself. The second article 
provoked a lively and warm debate. A motion was made 
to acknowledge the symbolical books of the Lutheran 
church as a correct interpretation of the Augsl)urg Con- 
fession. But this motion was lost. The doctrinal part 
of Article II is as follows: "This synod adopts the in- 
spired writings of the Bible, contained in the Old and 
New Testaments, as their only rule of faith, union and 
church discipline ; the Apostle's Creed as the summary 
of christian doctrines necessary to be believed and acted 
upon, as a christian union; and the unaltered Augsburg 
Confession of Faith with Luther's Smaller Catechism, as 
they are generally set forth and defined in the symbol- 
ical books of the Lutheran church, as an expression 
and declaration of doctrine of this synod." It was con- 
tended by those who opposed the above-mentioned res- 
olution that in this article the symbolical books were 
acknowledged, but it must be conceded that the doctrinal 

— J82 — 

basis is rather indefinitely stated.'* The effort to make 
the doctrinal basis clear and unmistakable was due to the 
influence of the Joint Synod pastors who were present, 
but Rudisill's influence outweighed theirs. He was the 
controlling spirit of the convention. 

Two days and a half were devoted in convention to 
the formation of the constitution, and when the instru- 
ment was completed the convention adjourned, and the 
synod resumed its sittings. The constitution was for- 
mally adopted by it, and permanent organization effected 
by the election of Rev. E. S. Henkel president. Rev. E. 
Rudisill secretary and Noah W. Grimes treasurer. This 
newly formed ecclesiastical body was now ready for the 
work which it felt called upon to do. 

Although the older pastors of this synod were brought 
up under very erroneous ideas of missionary work they 
now seemed to have divested themselves of these and en- 
tered most zealously upon the work that lay before them. 
Measured by the customs, methods and conditions of that 
generation, they proved themselves true and efficient mis- 
sionaries. They traveled miles and miles through the 
forests, and over almost impassable roads, crossing swol- 
len streams in order to reach the appointed place where 
they might preach the everlasting Gospel. They were al- 
most constantly in the saddle, as other transportation fa- 
cilities were very limited. At the first convention it was 
resolved to organize both a Missionary and Education So- 
ciety, and a committee was appointed to draft a constitu- 
tion and by-laws for these societies. At its second conven- 

"4 The secretary states that "it was finally agreed, as set 
forth in the second article that the symbolical books were ac- 
knowledged as generally setting forth the true meaning of the 
confession." — Minutes, p. 3. 

- 183 - 

tion it resolved, "that the Union Synod in- its synodical 
capacity be a Missionary Society." The funds for th(* pros- 
ecution of its work were to be the personal free-wHl offer- 
ings of the members of the churches, who were earnestly 
requested to give cheerfully from three to five cents per 
month to this cause. The pastors were urged to lay this 
matter upon the conscience of the people. The following 
year this action was reaffirmed, and the synod acknowl- 
edged the great duty of carrying the Gospel to the scat- 
tered Lutherans in the state. It took steps to carry out 
this work in the most eflficient manner. In 1862 appeals 
were made to the churches to make special subscriptions 
for the mission cause, in addition to their contributions 
for local work, and made the delegates the agents to at- 
tend to the above subscriptions. The president of the 
synod was authorized to employ a minister able to offici- 
ate in both English and German, to visit every congrega- 
tion and also new fields, and hold services for a week in 
each, and also to catechise the youth during his visits. 
The interest in missions grew steadily. In 1864 a Mis- 
sionary Society was organized, which was authorized to 
collect funds and to take such steps as may be calcu- 
lated to secure a system of missionary labors wherever 
they were needed. The plan adopted by this society to 
raise the funds needed was by membership fees. It also 
provided for the organization of auxiliary societies in the 
congregations. The society held its meetings during the 
convention of the synod. In the same year a constitution 
was adopted and the title given as the Parent Missicniary 
Society of the Union Synod. In 1866, Rev. John Stine 
was appointed as missionary, to be supported in part by 
the society. He was instructed to visit the destitute con- 
gregations of the synod, and minister to Iheir ."Spiritual 

- 184 - 

wants. In 1.S70, Rev. E. S. Henkel devoted one-half of 
his time to missionarj^ labors, and was supported in part 
from the funds of this society. In 1871 assistance was 
voted to the Gosport charge in support of a pastor for 
that field. While the results of this society's efforts were 
not very great at any time, yet it did much to stimulate 
an interest in the cause of home missions, and to over- 
come the opposition thereto engendered under the early 
and anti-mission spirit of the Synod of Indiana. 

From its inception, this synod felt the need of an ed- 
ucated ministry, and the advantages of an intelligent 
laity. The pastors of the synod were almost all men who 
never had the advantages of a thorough training, either 
literary or theological. This answered quite well in the 
pioneer days. But the times were changing. Schools 
sprang up, and the people became more and more in- 
formed. Intelligence, and men with classical training 
were entering the professions. With these the ministry 
must keep abreast. The preacher of the Gospel must be 
so equipped that he can meet the sceptic on his own 
grounds. The position of the Lutheran church was as- 
sailed by representatives of other denominations, and the 
need of men qualified to cope successfully with these was 
deeply felt. Young men were offering their services to 
the church, but the time had come when they must have 
a course of training and instruction under competent 
teachers. To meet these wants the synod in 1861 ap- 
pointed a committee of three ministers and three laymen 
"to collect information and present some plan for the estab- 
lishing of an institution of learning, in which students of 
the synod and the sons of the church may obtain a liberal 
education." The next year this committee reported that 
owing to certain circumstances they had not been able to 

Mulberry, Ind. 


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- J85 - 

have a meeting of the committee, and had "arrived at no 
definite conclusion in relation to the location of, or the 
best means for raising funds for, its building. They have, 
however, from all they have learned, become the more 
deeply impressed with the importance of the undertaking, 
and are fully persuaded that, if the synod shall pursue 
the proper course, and use the proper means, that such 
an institution can be reared up and sustained among us ; 
and, from the information gained the committee is fully 
impressed with the conviction that, under the present dis- 
turbed condition of the country, its success will depend 
very much upon not urging its claims too much at the 
present time, but await patiently for the proper time to 
arrive, and perfect a plan for its upbuilding." During 
the following year this committee made a strenuous effort 
•to secure sufficient funds to begin the institution. The 
effort failed. In 1864 the committee reported that it had 
not been able to secure the maximum amount necessary. 
At the convention of 1864 this committee was discharged, 
and the whole matter was transferred to the Parent Edu- 
cation Societj' of the synod. This society was organized 
at the same time that the Missionary Society was organ- 
ized, for the purpose of creating an interest in educational 
work, ''to collect funds and procure means for educational 
purposes ; to make arrangements by and with the consent 
of the .synod to educate students of theology ; to adopt 
and execute any plan for the erection of an institution of 
learning for the purpose of educating students that meets 
the sanction of the synod. The funds of this society were 
raised by collections, membership fees, and subscriptions. 
The president of the Parent Education Society was in- 
structed to "visit all the congregations of the .'^ynod, to 
deliver lectures upon the education cause, and urg<' its 

— J86 — 

claims upon the churches." This met with a hearty re- 
sponse on the part of the congregations, most of which 
petitioned the synod, at the next convention, to make 
every effort in its power to establish the institution. The 
president reported that he had visited as many congrega- 
tions as he could, and secured $21 5.82. In 1865, the synod 
adopted a constitution for the embryo college, adopted 
a definite plan for the erection of suitable buildings, and 
selected Whitestown, Boone county, Indiana, as the loca- 
tion. The report of the committee in 1866 bespeaks a 
decline in the interest in the institution. In 1868 an ef- 
fort to secure a meeting of the board of trustees failed, 
and one of the trustees resigned. At this time the union 
of all Lutherans in the state became the uppermost ques- 
tion before the synod, and the committee recommended 
that the college question be deferred until aftel" an effort. 
had been made to unite all Lutherans in the state into 
one synod. In 1869 a proposition was made to the synod 
to transfer to it Alimo Academy, located at Alimo, Indi- 
ana. But the synod declined the offer on the grounds 
that the location was inconvenient and the buildings un- 
suitable. With this action the effort of the Union Synod 
to establish an institution of learning came to an end. 
Other matters took precedence and the educational ques- 
tion sank to rest in the final dissolution of the sj^nod. 

It is reasonably certain that the chief object that 
Rudisill had in mind when he demanded the dissolution 
of the Synod of Indiana, and the formation of a new syn- 
odical body as the conditions upon which he would again 
co-operate with his associates in the ministry, and en- 
deavor to save that part of the Lutheran church in Indiana 
from total destruction or absorption by other ecclesiasti- 
cal bodies, was the union of all Lutherans in the state in 

— 187 - 

one ecclesiastical body, of which lie would be its head 
and guiding spirit. His failure in founding a new ecclesi- 
astical body with the tenet of Destructionism as its shib- 
boleth, did not allay his ambition, nor weaken his self- 
confidence. He was the same ambitious, aspiring man 
as before ; he simply changed his plans. He would unite 
those Lutherans who would subscribe to the doctrinal 
basis of this synod into the Evangelic''' Lutheran church. 
He was for this reason very jealous of the synod's reputa- 
tion for orthodoxy. The watchword for a number of years 
was "Union." It was the "Union Synod," "Union Col- 
lege," and the congregations organized during this period 
were almost all, if not all, named Union Lutheran 
churches. Even some of the older ones were renamed 
with the qualifying terms "Union" and "Evangelic." 
Any strictures upon the synod's orthodoxy, or criticism 
of the practices that prevailed, aroused his wrath to the 
highest pitch. 

Occasions for this arose repeatedly. The constitu- 
tion gave the synod full liberty and right to enter into 
correspondence with the Joint Synod of Ohio, or with any 
other synods of "Old Lutherans" in the United States, 
and of electing delegates to such synods for the pun^ose 
of entering into ecclesiastical connection with them as 
shall best promote the interests of the Union Sj-nod. 
Among its first acts was an effort to effect a union with 
some synod of Old Lutherans. At its February conven- 
tion, 1860, it decided to send two delegates to the next 
convention of the Joint Synod of Ohio, with full power to 
unite the Union Synod with that body as a district synod, 

'•'■> After the formation of the Union Synod he always used 
this term instead of Evangelical. When hia influence began to 
wane the term was dropped and Evangelical substituted. 

— 188 — 

or to make any arrangements with that body as would 
secure a proper fraternal relation with it. Rev. E. Rudi- 
sill and Mr. Noah W. Grimes were the delegates. It also 
appointed delegates to the Southern District Synod of the 
Joint Synod and instructed them to present to that body 
the love of the Union Synod, and assurance of its prayers 
for their continued prosperity in the work of Christ. The 
Union Synod held its second convention about four weeks 
before the Joint Synod convened, and reiterated its former 
action in the following resolution : 

''Resolved, that we appoint Rev. E. Rudisill as our 
representative to the Joint Synod of Ohio (which is to 
commence its session on the 25th of October, 1860, in 
Gallon, Ohio), with full power to enter into correspond- 
ence with said synod, and present our request to unite 
with them as a District Synod, or make such arrange- 
ments for ecclesiastical relations as he may think proper 
and deem best for the interests of this synod." ■ 

Rev. Rudisill submitted the following report of his 
visit and its results as delegate : 

"I met with the .Joint Synod at Gallon, Ohio, on the 
25th of October last, and was very kindly received, and a 
seat and voice in their deliberations was promptly voted 
me. After an opportunity had been afforded me, when 
in a brief and succinct manner I had unfolded to the 
synod the objects of my mission, the synod appointed a 
committee of conference to meet with me, to more fully 
hear from me and to become acquainted with our doc- 
trinal views and practical operations, and to make me 
acquainted with their standpoints, and internal and ex- 
ternal relations. I had several meetings with the com- 
mittee, in which I stated very frankly our views and 
church practices, being persuaded that they were squarely 

— 189 — 

based upon the truth, and had therefore no cause for con- 
cealment. The committee, I believe, just as frankly and 
brotherly advised me in relation to all the points of doc- 
trine and church regulations, concerning which I desired 
information. And after we were mutually satisfied, the 
committee made the following report to their synod : 

" 'Your committee would respectfully report that a 
conference was held with the Rev. E. Rudisill, representa- 
tive of the Union Synod, in which the desire of his synod 
was clearly explained ; and in return your committee ac- 
quainted the representative with the standpoints of our 
synod, both in respect to its internal and external rela- 
tions. To obtain this knowledge and thus to enter into 
friendly relations with our synod, which in the future may 
perhaps lead to a synodical union between the Union 
Synod and that of Ohio and adjacent states, was the ob- 
ject of the visit of the Rev. Rudisill. Your committee 
rejoices in the confidence which the Union Synod places 
in us, and is of the opinion that mutual friendly relations 
should be instituted, and believes that the still existing 
differences in relation to the symbols, but especially in 
relation to church practice, would disappear. To accom- 
plish this your committee moves that a delegate be 
chosen by our synod to be present at the next meeting of 
the Union Synod.' " The report was adopted by the 
Joint Synod, and Rev. Prof. Worley was appointed the 
delegate of that synod to attend the next session of the 
Union Synod. 

"From the very friendly report made by the coinniit- 
tee," continues Rev. Rudi.'^ill. "its adoption by the Joint 
Synod, and their appointment of Prof. Worley as delegate 
to attend the sittings of our synod, you see that that large 
and honorable body of Lutheran brethren manifest ;i 

— 190 - 

desire to be on friendly terms, and take our small band of 
brethren by the hand. It is a source of sincere gratitude 
to God that I can inform you that there is very little of 
doctrinal differences between them and us. On all the 
fundamental doctrines of the church, I know of none ; on 
some of the minor, or doctrines of secondary considera- 
tion, there are some differences, but none such as should 
prevent mutual friendly relations and co-operation. On 
church practice there is considerable difference, growing 
out of the difference of circumstances with which our con- 
gregations and the synod are surrounded." 

The action of Rev. Rudisill was endorsed by the Un- 
ion Synod, and Prof. D. Worley appeared at its conven- 
tion in 1861 as the delegate from the Joint Synod of Ohio. 
Expressions of friendly relations were exchanged, and as- 
surances of mutual good- will given. Delegates to the 
next convention of the Joint Synod were appointed. The 
Joint Synod opened the doors of its institutions to stu- 
dents from the Union Synod, and its leading periodical, 
the Lutheran Standard, found a home in many families 
of this body. The prospects for the union were favorable, 
but in 1862 the Union Synod, owing to the distracted 
condition of the country, deemed it inadvisable to send a 
delegate to the Joint Synod, but it gave assurance of the 
most friendly feelings toward it. With this action all 
official relations between the two bodies came to an end. 

Its efforts to cultivate friendly relations with the 
Southern District Synod were also abortive. The dele- 
gates appointed in February, 1860, were unable to attend 
the convention of that synod, for which the Union Synod 
expressed its regrets, and further declared that only the 
most friendly feelings for that body were entertained, and 
cherished the hope that in the near future it would be 

- J9I - 

able to reciprocate the kindness of that body as shown in 
the presence of Revs. C. Schadow and Borchers at the con- 
vention in February of that year. To give tangible evi- 
dence of this feeling it appointed Rev. E. S. Henkel as 
its delegate to the next convention of that synod. But in 
the meantime circumstances arose which made fraterniza- 
tion between the two bodies impossible. At its Rich- 
mond convention, in 1860, the Southern District Synod 
took it upon itself to pass judgment upon the Union 
Synod's orthodoxy. It declared the Union Synod unluth- 
eran in doctrine and in practice, especially as denying the 
importance of Baptism. The unlutheran practices con- 
sisted in holding protracted meetings, partaking some- 
what of a revivalistic nature, and confirming applicants 
for membership without catechization. For the.«;e prac- 
tices the Union Synod had assigned its reasohs, but they 
were regarded as insufficient by the Southern District 
Synod. President Henkel, learning of this action, 
deemed it unwise to attend the next convention, 1S61, of 
the Southern District Synod, but addressed them oMicially 
denying the charges. This official letter, dated April 24, 
1861, was misdirected, and was returned to the writer, 
who re-mailed it, and it did not reach the president of the 
Southern District Synod until May 10, 1862. In the 
meantime, the Union Synod convened in Phanuel church, 
Fountain county, Indiana, October 16, 1861, when the 
action of the Southern District Synod in 1860, was laid 
before it, and to which it replied as follows: "We deny 
most positively, the truth of the accusations made in said 
report; and that until they shall correct as publicly as the 
misrepresentation has been made, we shall consider them 
opposed to us, and cannot fraternize with them." At its 
convention in St. John's church. Dearborn county, Indi- 

— J92 — 

ana, in June, 1862, the Southern District Synod replied 
at length to the official letter of President Henkel, reaffirm- 
ing their former charges. The feeling between the two 
synods grew quite warm, owing to the charges and pro- 
tests. In its convention, September, 1.S62, the Union 
Synod adopted the following report as its reply to those 
charges of the Southern District Synod made against it. 
This report was adopted unanimously, after a careful dis- 
cussion of every single item : 

On the Standpoints in the Usages and Practices of our Synod. 

1. The Church of Jesus Christ is built upon the foundation 
of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner- 
stone, Ephesians, chap. 2d, verses 19 to 22 inclusive. Therefore, 
there can be no reception into this Church, Lutheran or churchly, 
that has not a "thus saith the Lord." 

2. Baptism is the only means of reception in the Church of 
Jesus Christ. Matt. chap. 28, verses 19-20; and Gal. chap. 3, 
verses 26 to 29 inclusive. 

3. The adult is only a proper subject of baptism when he 
believes in Christ. Mark, chap. 16, verse 16; Acts, chap. 9, 
verse 37. 

4. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of 
God. (According to the German translation: "Faith cometh by 
preaching, and preaching by the Word of God.") Romans, chap. 
10, verse 17. 

5. So far as catechising is the preaching of the Word of 
God, it is a means by which faith is developed. 

6. Whenever we are satisfied that a person has faith in 
Christ, we are bound to receive such individual into the Church 
by baptism, (see Acts, chap, 9, verse 37,) and such assurance 
we can only have by the confession of such person. 

7. Every person that is baptized in infancy and walks by 
faith is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Gal. chap. 3, 
verses 26 to 29 inclusive. 

8. We therefore hold that the Church has the right, and 
that it is her duty, as well as it is proper and right, for her to 

— 193 — 

acknowledge such individual as a member of the Church by con- 

9. We do not admit that confirmation is a means by which 
a person becomes a member of the Church, but that it is an ac- 
knowledgement of membership by the congregation ; for confir- 
mation is an acknowledgement of Church membtTship in the 
church universal, and also of membership in the particular con- 
gregation where it is administered. 

10. We therefore hold that there is no other process in the 
reception of members, Scriptural, Lutheran, or Churchly. 

11. We hold that in the administration of the Sacraments 
of the Church, they are only properly administered when the 
words of Christ are used as He used them in the institution, and 
we further hold that no practice can be Lutheran or Churchly 
that does not conform to this standpoint. See Matt. chap. 28, 
verse 19, and I. Cor. chap. 11, verses 23 to 25 inclusive. 

12. We hold that the symbols of our Church are to be ex- 
plained and understood as explained and defined by the Word 
of God, and not the Word of God by the symbols. See Formula 
of Concord, Epitome, articles on the compendious Rule and 
Standard, according to which all doctrines are to be judged, etc., 
paragraph 1. Also in the Full Declaration of the same, in Tart 
IL, in the Preface; article treating on the compendious Form, 
Basis, Standard and Rule of Doctrine, paragraph 1. 

13. We hold, therefore, that any Church to be Lutheran or 
Churchly should adhere to the above standpoints. 

14. We hold the above principles to be essential ; but on 
all matters that are not essential to salvation, we hold that no 
man's conscience should be fettered or his privileges restrained. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

K. S. Henkel, Chairman. 

This controversy, however, did not cease. The 
Southern District Synod in 1^68 again expressed itself on 
the questions in dispute. But the Union Synod, believ- 
ing that any further controversy and dispute ahnut the 
matter would do no good, or he productive of any bene- 
ficial results, declared that it still entertained its christian 
regard and love for that body, and earnestly asked of 

— 194 — 

them to extend to it that charity that beareth long, en- 
dureth all things and never ceaseth. Thus ended this 
unfortunate controvers3\ 

The failure to consummate a union with the Joint 
Synod of Ohio, and fraternal relations with the Southern 
District Sj'nod of the Joint Synod, did not dampen its 
ardor nor abate its zeal. Its leader still believed that this 
synod could attract other bodies unto itself, and thus be- 
come the instrument for uniting into one body the sepa- 
rated portions of the Lutheran church in these regions. 
It came into existence for this very end, and along this 
line it would exert its influence and direct its energies. 
The next effort was made in 1864. That year it expressed 
its conviction that a "speedy effort should be made to form 
a union with some truly Lutheran synod in the west." 
This time it decided that the English District of the Joint 
Synod was the proper body with whom to confer. Rev. 
E. S. Henkel was appointed as its representative and sent 
to the English District Synod "for the purpose of bringing 
about a union with that body." These were his instruc- 
tions. He therefore opened correspondence with the 
president of the English District Synod with reference to 
the contemplated union. The latter body called a special 
convention for the purpose of considering the question.''' 
Pastor Henkel attended this convention and was accorded 
a seat and vote. We have not been able to ascertain the 
exact propositions which were made by the Rev. Mr. 
Henkel, but it would appear from the action of the Eng- 
lish District Synod, that there were two, namely that the 
Union Synod as a body unite with the English District 
Synod, or if that should be found to be impracticable, that 

76 Held in CarroUton, Ohio, April 4, 1865. 

- 195 - 

the pastors and congregations unite with it. In the former 
case it would mean either the formation of a new body, or 
making the Union Synod a district of the English District 
Synod ; in the latter it would mean the al)sorption of the 
pastors and congregations of the Union Synod, and the 
dissolution of that body. The following is the action of 
the English District Synod, relative to this proposition 
for union: "The consideration of the subject of union on 
the part of members of the synod represented by Pastor 
E. S. Henkel with our district, was resumed, and Pastor 
Henkel was requested to give a free and full statement of 
the matter to synod." The action of synod on this propo- 
sition was as follows : 

"1. That, after a careful examination of oflicial docu- 
ments, and consultation with the delegate from the Union 
Synod, we would state that we are not fully clear as to, 
and therefore, not satisfied with the doctrinal standpoints 
and usages of said synod: and even if otherwise, that a 
union of said synod or any other, as such, with ours, is 
incompatible with our rights and relations as a district 

"2. That we shall always be glad to receive any regu- 
larly ordained ministers of the Evangelical Lutheran 
church, who are willing to subscribe to the requirements 
laid down in the second article of the constitution of our 
synod, 'That all members entitled to hold a seat in the 
synod shall adhere to the doctrines of the Word of God, 
as set forth in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession and 
Luther's Smaller Catechism, and in the sense and spirit 
of the other Symbolical Books,' and present an honorable 
dismissal from their former synod. 

"3. That we shall also be pleased to receive any 
Evangelical Lutheran congregation, desirous of coming into 

- 196 - 

our connection or discipline for their government and regu- 
lation as is in accordance with the constitution of our 
synod; provided, that it has obtained an honorable dis- 
missal, from the synod with which it is connected, or has, 
at least, applied for it and has been refused upon insuffi- 
cient grounds." 

This action shows that the English District Synod 
could not receive the Union Synod as a body, for the 
following reasons : 1. That it was not satisfied with the 
doctrinal position, nor with the usages of that body. 
2. That it was incompatible with its rights and relations 
as a district synod of the Joint Synod, to receive it or any 
other synodical body. 

That the pastors of the Union Synod could be received, 
provided, that they subscribe to the doctrinal basis of the 
English District Synod, and present an honorable dismissal 
from their former synod. 

That the congregations could be received, provided, 
they conform their constitution and discipline to the con- 
stitution of synod, and be regularly dismissed from their 
former synod, or had at least applied for a dismissal and 
were refused upon insufficient grounds. 

This action of the English District Synod was perfectly 
fair, consistent and honorable. It could not do otherwise. 
It had no authority to unite with the Union Synod as a 
synod, and was frank enough to inform that body. 

When this m.atter came before the Union Synod at its 
next convention, it aroused the fiery Rudisill to a high 
pitch. That the Lutheranism of the Union Synod should 
again be challenged, and that by a body which it had re- 
garded as composed of genuine Old Lutherans, was rasping 
to his vanity and self-confidence. He induced synod to 
take the following action : 

— 197 — 

"We, your committee, would beg leave to report. 
We have had the action of the English District Synod of 
the Joint Synod of Ohio with regard to the connection or 
union with it, proposed by the Union Synod of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church, at its last session, under careful 
consideration, and that we agree with the said Englisli 
Synod ; that a union with it is impossible, as long as they 
make, as they do in their second item or article, the doc- 
trine of the Word of God explainable 'by the Augsburg 
Confession of Faith and Luther's Smaller Catechism in 
the sense and spirit of the other symbolical books' — as 
such a course makes these confessions the interpreters of, 
and, hence, superior to the scriptures, and reduces the 
Lutheran church to the pitiable condition of a sect. 

"The covert invitation to our ministers and congre- 
gations to obtain honorable dismissions from our synod, 
with the promise of finding a home in the English District 
Synod, is surely very much out of place, and very unbe- 
coming a religious body making any pretensions to the 
spirit of Christ, — and while we hope these items were the re- 
result of hasty and inconsiderate action, this synod cannot 
so degrade herself, or deny the claims of a common 
Christianity, as to return such an invitation to the minis- 
ters and congregations of said English District Synod." 
With this ceased all efforts to unite with synods of "Old 
Lutherans," such as the Joint Synod and its several dis- 
trict synods were regarded. 

It is evident from the action of the Union Synod that 
the position of the English District Synod was eitlier not 
understood by the Union Synod, or designedly miscon- 
strued and misrepresented for efYect. To assume the 
former is to reflect upon the intelligence of its members, 
and to assume the latter is to impeach their honesty. To 

— 198 — 

have its Lutheranism challenged, and its practices criti- 
cised by these "Old Lutherans" was more than they an- 
ticipated, and naturally was very irritating to their feel- 
ings of self-respect. They had posed as sound Lutherans, 
and now for the third or fourth time to be charged with 
unlutheran doctrines and practices, was galling, especially 
to Rudisill, who here saw an opportunity to exhibit his 
combativeness, and to place the synod in the position of 
a persecuted bod3\ This he did by misconstruing and 
misrepresenting the action of the English District Synod. 
He found that the union of Lutherans in those regions, 
and under existing conditions, was not the easy task that 
he had assumed it to be. 

These charges made by the several synods against 
the standpoints and usages of the Union Synod, had their 
effect. It drove the pastors to a closer study of the con- 
fessions of the church, and to inquire after Lutheran 
usage. The younger pastors no longer took the dicta of 
Rudisill and Henkel as final, but provided themselves 
with such Lutheran literature as was available, and in- 
vestigated for themselves. The scepter was gradually 
slipping out of Rudisill's hands, and he realized it. But 
before yielding to the inevitable, he would make another 
effort. This was his attempt to lead the synod into the 
General Synod. 

But as mentioned above, a conservative spirit was 
developing. There prevailed great laxity in the admis- 
sion of members into the congregations. Catechization 
had practically ceased, while candidates were received 
without any definite knowledge of the faith of the church. 
Neither did there exist any uniformity in the mode of ad- 
mitting members. President Henkel called the synod's 
attention to this chaotic condition, but it was unheeded 

— 199 — 

at the time. But gradually a conservative spirit revived 
and prepared the way for more uniform and churchly 
practices, until at length the synod insisted upon more 
frequent and thorough catechization. It called upon the 
heads of families to catechize their children in those pure 
and saving truths of the Gospel. The pastors were urged 
to conduct catechetical services every Saturday afternoon 
prior to their Sunday ministration, and to catechize three 
days before communions. Where there was no pastoral 
oversight, the president of the S3'nod, or someone author- 
ized by him, would hold "protracted meetings" for at 
least a week. During this period the young were cate- 
chized on the afternoons, and at night doctrinal sermons 
were to be preached. Revival istic efforts were to be dis- 
carded. There should be plain, earnest, practical preach- 
ing at these services. Public invitations to unite with 
the church were given from time to time, and those who 
applied for membership were examined as to their mo- 
tives, and as to their knowledge of the way of salvation. 
If found worthy they were received by the rite of confir- 
mation, or by baptism. The synod laid great stress upon 
the preaching of the Word as a means of awakening the 
sinner. During the synodical conventions, there was in 
.variably preaching during the noon intermission, and at 
"early candle lighting." The meetings of the synod were 
made a feast of good things and "times of refreshing" to 
the people in whose midst the conventions were held. 
These services did much to establish the people in the 
faith, and were a means of sustaining the church during 
those times. People hungering and thirsting for the 
truth, came for miles to attend the sj-nodical conventions. 
So large was the attendance at times that overflow meet- 
ings were held in a grove, or some suitable place near the 

— 200 — 

In its early history the synod made provision for the 
establishing of Sunday schools in the congregations, and 
urged their formation wherever practical. It recommended 
the study of the bible and a diligent use of the catechism 
in these schools. 

The Campbellite sect had somewhat recovered from 
the effect of the Rudisill-Mathes discussion of baptism, 
and were again directing their polemics against the Luth- 
erans in a number of places. While the Philadelphia 
church was being built in 1866 they annoyed the Luther- 
ans very much by their arguments, and their opposition 
to the building of a Lutheran church in that community. 
The people bore with it patiently for awhile, and then re- 
ported to Rudisill. He promised that if they would secure 
a place he would come into their midst and preach upon 
the subject. A grove was secured and a stand erected, 
and the announcement made. At the appointed time a 
large crowd assembled, all anxious to hear the arguments. 
The Campbellites and Baptists were well represented. 
Rudisill was in fine condition. For two hours he held 
his audience spell-bound. He took up their arguments 
one by one and demolished them. He quoted scripture, 
giving reference for each passage, and completely vindi- 
cated the Lutheran position. The outcome was that the 
Lutherans were let alone in their work, and their oppon- 
ents deemed it the part of wisdom to hold their peace. 

While the doctrinal position of this synod was not as 
clearly expressed as might be desired, and considerable 
laxity prevailed in its practices, it was very guarded in its 
teachings concerning the Lord's Supper. In 1861 Pres- 
ident Henkel called attention to the unlutheran teachings 
concerning the sacrament in the Liturgy'' used by the 

77 We have been unable to learn what Liturgy was in gen- 
eral use. 

- 201 - 

ministers, and recommended that the pastors in the ad- 
ministration of the Lord's .Supper use the exact hmguage 
of Christ. This recommendation the synod adopted, as 
the position it held on this question. He also called 
attention to other matters in the Liturgy which were not 
strictly Lutheran, and advised that in all these things the 
pastors conform strictly to the Lutheran position. There 
was at least a desire on the part of these pastors, to be in 
harmony with the church's teachings. Their errors were 
more of the head than of the heart." 

The long cherished hope of this synod for which it 
had labored, promised at least to be realized, but not in 
the manner nor to the degree, that it had originally ex- 
pected. God wrought out the results in His own way. 
The union of a portion of the Lutherans in the state, 
became at last an assured fact. After its unsuccess- 
ful efforts with the Ohio bodies, it directed its energies to 
the union of the Lutherans in Indiana. Besides the con- 
gregations and pastors in the state adhering to the Ohio 
bodies, there were two General Sj'nod bodies, the Olive 
Branch Synod, and the Northern Indiana Synod. In 1.S6-") 
the president of the Union Synod was instructed to open 
correspondence with the different Lutheran Synods in the 
state "with regard to the common interests of the church 
in the state, as also with respect to the difYerent benevolent 
institutions of the day, and if upon consultation a meeting 
of the members of the different synods should by them be 
tliought beneficial to the advancement of the church, that 

78 It is due to these brethren to say, that owing to their iso- 
lation, thoy did not come into contact with the ropresentativi' 
men and authors of the Lutheran church, and therefore failed 
to apprehend as clearly as otherwise might have been the case, 
the distinctive doctrines of the church. 

— 202 — 

they make such appointment sometime during the coming 
year." At the next session of the synod, in the report of 
the president, he states that "he did not open such cor- 
respondence, for the reason that he did not know who 
their officials were, and had no means of learning, as 
neither of those sjniods favored him with a copy of their 
minutes ; and from the fact that he was informed of the 
action of the Pennsylvania Synod with reference to a 
convention, he was satisfied that this would answer every- 
thing contemplated in the other." He also officially in- 
formed the synod of the rupture in the General Synod, and 
that a portion of its former members contemplated calling 
a convention of all Lutherans in the United States and 
Canada, for the purpose of organizing a general body 
upon the true Lutheran basis, and upon the old landmarks 
of the church, which, if carried into effect, he believed 
would be a great blessing to the church. He recommended 
that the Union Synod make such arrangements and pro- 
visions as will enable it to be represented in said proposed 
convention, with full instructions and authority to enter 
at once into the compact. This recommendation was 
favorably received by the synod, and it appointed one 
clerical and one lay delegate to attend the proposed con- 
vention. They were Rev. E. Rudisill and Isaac Skomp, 
with Rev. E. S. Henkel and N. W. Grimes as alternates. 
The delegates were not instructed as to their powers and 
duties. Neither of the delegates, however, were able to 
attend the convention. 

In 1867 President J. E. Wesner called the attention 
of the synod to the convention held in Reading, Pa., in 
December, 1866, and laid before it the proceedings of 
that convention, recommending appropriate action. The 
St. Peter's church, Newberry, Indiana, also petitioned 

- 203 — 

the S3'nod to co-operate with other Evangelical Lutheran 
synods (English) to unite the Lutheran ministers and 
congregations into one bodj'. In answer to this petition 
the synod declared itself ever "ready to co-operate with 
any other orthodox Lutheran Synod in the state, with the 
view to unite the brethren in one common faith, which 
heretofore have been separated. The proceedings of the 
Reading convention were placed in the hands of a com- 
mittee, who subsequently reported as follows, upon the 
points in which the synod was interested. 

The committee consisted of Revs. E. Rudisill, R. D. 
Emerson and Henry Fairchild : 

"In connection with the proceedings of said General 
Council, we find their proposed constitution, which pre- 
sents, generally, a correct and proper exhibition of the 
relation to each other of the different parts of an ecclesi- 
astical body and of their duties toward each other. 

"Upon a careful examination of both the proceedings 
of said convention, the 'fundamental principles,' and the 
passed constitution, the committee would suggest to the 
synod a candid and careful examination of both, as the 
synod, for several years, has been seeking a connection with 
some other body, so that if this one ))e founded upon the 
unaltered Word of God, the only distinctive position of the 
true Lutheran church, that in that case, the synod take 
the necessary steps to become connected with the same." 
This report was considered at length, and a committee, 
consisting of Revs. E. Rudisill, J. E. Wesner and Henry 
Fairchild, was appointed "to report upon the principles 
and theses adopted by the General Council, and the rela- 
tion of the Union Synod to the same." Tiiis committee 
discharged its duty and the synod adopted the following 
as an expression of its views and opinions concerning the 
General Council : 

— 204 — 

''Resolved, that this synod has watched with much 
anxiety the various steps taken in, and causes leading to, 
the formation of the General Council, and its present 
status before the Lutheran community in the United 
States, and whilst it rejoices in the stunning blow which 
fanaticism has by its formation received in the Lutheran 
church, the synod is nevertheless not quite certain that 
its promoters and friends have not, in their anxiety to be 
relieved of fanaticism and error, bordered on the other 
extreme of placing man's labors and opinions upon an 
equal footing with the unaltered Word of God, whose 
adoption as the only rule of faith and church discipline 
is, in the judgment of this synod, the only distinctive 
doctrine and position of the true Lutheran church, and 
therefore, until this synod is satisfied by the further de- 
velopments of said General Council's acts, that they 
subordinate all confessions, writings or orders of men to 
the Word of God, — until then, this synod judges it best 
to remain by her own published declarations and stand- 
points, and hope and pray, that those brethren influenced 
by the Word of God, may under the influence of the Holy 
Ghost, yet reach that clear and holy ground upon which 
all Lutherans may with joyous hearts stand, the unaltered 
Word of God, standing in its own unapproachable posi- 
tion ; and the confessions and writings of all the defenders 
of the church occupy their proper place, and thus occupy 
their proper relation to the Word of God." This report 
was adopted as the expression of the synod. 

Meanwhile the movement to unite all Lutherans in 
the state continued to grow in strength. Union with the 
General Council, and the formation of a new synod, were 
the absorbing topics at its conventions. In 1868 Presi- 
dent Henkel officially informed the synod that "some of 

- 205 - 

the Lutheran ministers in Indiana contemplate calling a 
convention of the members and churches for the purpose 
of organizing a synod for Indiana." He urged the sj'nod 
to consider carefully this movement and to make pro- 
visions for its representation in that convention. A letter 
was also received from Rev. Miles J. Stirewalt, of the 
English District Synod of Ohio, recommending the calling 
of a convention of all the Lutheran ministers and congre- 
gations in Indiana, and assuring it of his willingness to 
give his aid in so great an enterprise. He named St. 
Mark's church, Whitestown, Boone county, Indiana, as 
the place for the convention. Rev. D. Smith, of the 
North Indiana Synod, was present at this convention of 
the synod, doubtless to urge the matter of union. At this 
convention the question of uniting with the General 
Council was not discussed, the other question having 
taken precedence. A committee was appointed, who 
subsequently presented a report which the synod adopted. 
The report is as follows : 

"l. The union of all christians is desirable and 
sought after by all lovers of the Lord Jesus, and more es- 
pecially should all those bearing the same denominational 
name seek to be perfectly joined together in the same 
mind and in the same judgment. — 1 Cor. 1: 10. That 
their talent, grace and wealth may be united in building 
up the church, by the enlargement of her borders, the de- 
velopment of her doctrines, and the education of her sons 
and daughters, and bringing up of the rising generation in 
the knowledge of God, and to prepare them for usefulness 
in their day and generation. 

"2. Such a union is especially desirable in the state 
of Indiana, for, unfortunately for the Church of the Refor- 
mation in this state, she is divided into some four or five 

- 206 - 

different organizations which very seldom labor for such 
christian unity, but are too often found opposing, dis- 
tracting, breaking down, and disorganizing each other, 
and thus effectually preventing the prosperity of our Zion 
within this state. Brethren, these things ought not so 
to be. 

"3. It is believed that the difference in opinion on 
faith and doctrine is more in words than in fact, from the 
defining of the same word differently ; and that, if brought 
face to face, a free and full interchange of views upon 
faith and practice, the most of the difference in views 
would disappear, and that the Lutheran church in Indi- 
ana would be found to agree upon all the essential doc- 
trines of the Bible in her confessions, and that such divi- 
sions would be no longer tolerated, but that we would be 
drawn together in the bonds of christian unity. 

"4. Another reason which exercises great influence 
upon the committee in recommending that an earnest 
effort be made for bringing about such a union, that owing 
to such a division, Lutherans have been, and are still un- 
able to unite their means, by which the necessary educa- 
tional facilities may be afforded to our sons and daughters 
to be educated under the care and influence of our be- 
loved church, and thus be preserved to the church ; 
whereas, by the wants of such facilities many of our 
bright youth and promising maidens are educated under 
other influences, and lost to the church. 

"5. In view of these and many other reasons which 
the committee might present, and which readily present 
themselves to every Christian heart, the committee agrees 
with the reports in the great necessity and utility of mak- 
ing an effort, a prayerful, united effort, in bringing about, 
within this state, a union of all the Evangelical Lutheran 

— 207 — 

elements into one synod, based upon the Word of God, 
contained in the Old and New Testaments, as the only 
infallible rule of faith and practice, as exhibited and 
clearly set forth in the Unaltered Augsburg Confession of 

"6. To take the initiative in so great and glorious a 
work the committee would suggest that the synod ap- 
point a committee to present this report to the Western 
Conference of the English District Synod of the Joint Synod 
of Ohio, to meet shortly at Colburn, Indiana; to the 
presidents of the Olive Branch and Northern Indiana 
Synods, and to other Lutheran organizations or individual 
ministers not connected with any organization in the 
state, and earnestly beseech them to consider these things, 
and, if approved of, that they appoint a committee to 
confer with our committee ; and they shall agree upon some 
time and place to hold a convention of the ministers of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church in Indiana, that a free and 
Christian interchange of opinions may be had ; and, after 
a free and full consultation, if the prospects be favorable, 
said convention may proceed to call a convention of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church, both ministerial and con- 
gregational, to meet at such time and place as the con- 
vention may select." '' 

Revs. E. S. Henkel and J. E. Wesner were appointed 
the committee provided for in this report. The next year 
the meeting of the synod was postponed two months, and 
the place changed from Mt. Solomon's church, Harrison 
county, Indiana, to St. George's church, Shelby county, 
Indiana, in order to give the committee more time, and 
to afford opportunity for their conference with representa- 

"'-1 This committee consisted of Rev. J. E. Wesner, Rev. N. 
Booher, Samuel Hampton, Daniel Slinkard. 


lives from the other synods. When the synod convened 
there were present from other synods, Rev. D. Smith, of 
the Northern Indiana Synod, Rev. H. W. Roth and Rev. S. 
Wagenhals, of the Pittsburg Synod, Rev. J. L. Stirewalt, 
of the Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of Ohio, and 
Rev. A. Thompson, of the Olive Branch Synod. After 
the synod was duly opened and organized, and the nec- 
essary committees appointed, the synod went into a com- 
mittee of the whole upon the state of the Evangelical 
Lutheran church in Indiana, and the best means for her 
advancement. On Thursday, November 18, the synod 
"went into a conference**" with the brethren of other sj^nods 
present, upon the demands, wants and necessities of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church in Indiana, in order to pro- 
mote the best interests in the advancement of the Re- 
deemer's Kingdom, and the salvation of souls." C, W. 
Sappenfield, Esq., was chairman of this free conference. 
After a free and lengthy discussion of the leading ques- 
tions concerning the synod and the church in the state, 
which discussion was marked by charity and moderation 
throughout, the following resolutions were adopted.^' 
They were offered by Rev. D. Smith, and were subse- 
quently adopted by the synod. Rev. J. L. Stirewalt had 
offered a substitute, which, however, was lost: 

'^Resolved, that the best interests of the Lutheran 
church in Indiana imperatively demand the union of all 
the Lutheran ministers and congregations. 

^'Resolved, that such union in order to be lasting and 
effective for good should be based upon the Word of God, 
contained in the Old and New Testaments, as the only 
infallible rule of Christian faith and discipline. 

80 Minutes Union Synod, p. 6. 

81 Four votes cast in the negative. 

— 209 — 

Resolved, that such union should adopt the unaltered 
Augsburg Confession of Faith as a correct exhibition of 
the principal doctrines of salvation, and Luther's Small 
Catechism as a correct declaration of Bible truths, and 
very necessary for giving instruction in the doctrines of 
the Christian religion. 

''Resolved, that the reformers in the formation of 
said confession intended to present the pure teachings of 
God's Word ; therefore, it is subordinate to God's Word 
and is only justly interpreted, when explained by the in- 
fallible teachings of Christ and his apostles." 

When the synod resumed its sittings, these resolu- 
tions were adopted, and the following action taken: 

''Resolved, that the Union Synod adopt the resolution 
and articles presented to the synod by the free conference 
as a whole, and offer said articles as the principles and 
landmarks upon which they are ready to unite with the 
Lutheran synods and conferences in the state of Indiana ; 
and the guides by which they are willing to be governed 
in their intercourse with them, and work with them in 
the upbuilding of the great cause of Lutheranism in the 

This convention of the Union Synod was the most 
important in its whole history, for it was at this time 
that the real crisis was reached, and the future policy of 
the synod inaugurated. Both the General Synod and the 
General Council were courting it, and the synod itself was 
desirous to enter some one of the general bodies of the 
church. The sentiment that had been developing both 
among the pastors and congregations during the preced- 
ing two years was decidedly in favor of the General Coun- 
cil, whose literature was diligently circulated by the Rev. 

- 210 - 

J. L. Stirewalt, the western missionary of the Council.*^ 
The onlj^ pastor that was favorable to the General Synod 
was the Rev. E. Rudisill, notwithstanding his bitterness 
against it in former years. He inducted General Synod 
pastors into several of the vacant parishes prior to this 
convention, and professed great interest in the movement 
toward the contemplated union. In his last report to the 
synod he suggested a new basis for such union, namely, 
"the unaltered Word of God contained in the Old and 
New Testament as the only infallible rule of christian 
faith, church discipline and Christian Union," and "the 
unaltered Augsburg Confessiop of Faith as containing a 
catalogue of Bible facts, and a Bible exhibition of the 
principal doctrines of the Christian Religion."'* Although 
honored with a re-election to the presidency, the brethren 
were becoming weary of his domineering spirit, and were 
resolved to follow their own judgment and sense of duty, 
and leave him to do as he might choose. 

The crisis came on Saturday afternoon, November 20. 
The delegates from the Pittsburg Synod had returned 
home, leaving Rev. D. Smith and Rev. J. L. Stirewalt 
as the representatives of the two general bodies. During 
the noon intermission Rev. D. Smith circulated among the 

82 "So much may be said that the General Council and her 
institutions and periodicals stand in greater favor with these 
brethren than those of any other general body. Though they 
may not see their way clear to cast their lot with us at this time, 
they are nevertheless inclined to cooperate with us in the circu- 
lation of our literature." Letter of Rev. J. L. S., August 16, 1869. 

83 Minutes of 1868: 4, In the discussion of the basis of 
union R. insisted on the adoption of this basis. One of the 
brethren opposing him said the statement is not tenable, as the 
Flood, one of the "Bible facts," was not mentioned in the Augs- 
burg Confession. 

— 2n — 

delegates and those pastors whom he thought he could 
influence, and endeavored to pursuade them to vote for 
a resolution which would he offered, namely, that the 
sj'nod should unite with one or the other general body."* 
This passed without trouble. He next introduced a reso- 
lution that it should decide at once with which body it 
would unite. This was the occasion for a prolonged debate. 
He made an earnest appeal for union with the General 
Synod and made a deep impression. 

But Rev. Mr. Smith had not estimated correctly, the 
power of the western missionary in debate. He replied 
to the arguments of the former, that the Union Synod 
should unite with some general body, but that the question 
to which, should be referred to the congregations, that the 
constitutions of the two bodies. General Synod and General 
Council, should be placed before the congregations, and 
should be fairly examined by them ; that the next dele- 
gates should be instructed by them how to vote ; that the 
present delegates were not prepared to vote, and had no 
right to decide so important a matter. This was a fair 
and reasonable view, and the motion was lost. The matter 
was then referred to the congregations who were requested 
to hold an election on the 25th day of the following 
December, to decide with which general body they desire 
to unite. This threw the contest back to the congregations. 

84 "I learned that while at dinner, he, Hev. D. Smith, was 
busy at work with the delegates preparing them to vote against 
the substitute. He told them that we were symbolists of the 
worst type, on the way to Home, and were stealing all the con- 
gregations we could take along; that Wagcnhais had plundered 
Fort Wayne, and was guilty of shameful outrages of various 
kinds; that my trade was to supplant every man I could, wh« 
was not a symbolist, etc., etc." Letter of Kev. J. L. Stirewalt 
to Rev. H. W. Roth, November 22, 18(59. 

— 212 — 

During this debate and others that were carried on at 
this convention, Rev. E. S. Herfkel acted very erratically. 
He professed to be a General Council man, but his actions 
and arguments indicated the opposite. He subsequently 
explained his course in a letter to the western missionary. 
His purpose was to get Rudisill out of the way."'^ 

When the synod reconvened Saturday evening. Rev. 
E. Rudisill resigned the presidency and asked for a dis- 
missal from the synod. This was a repetition of his former 
tactics, and too well understood to be of any weight with 
the synod. The resignation was accepted. Rev. E. S. 
Henkel was elected president, and instructed to grant the 
desired letter of dismissal. Thus the most bitter and in- 
fluential opponent of the General Council in the Union 
Synod, was eliminated by his own course of action.**^ But 
he continued his opposition. No language was strong 
enough to express his hatred for the Council.**' 

In 1870 the synod met in Newberry, Ind. The chief 
question before it was the union of the Lutheran element 
in the state with itself. The vote of the congregations on 
the 25th of December was almost unanimous in favor of 
the General Council. This prepared the way for the synod 
to adopt the Fundamental Principles of Faith and Church 
Polity, and the Constitution of the General Council. It 
appointed a delegate to attend the next convention of the 
Council with full power to unite the synod with it. This 
step was however deferred and the delegate did not attend 
the General Council, because of a new problem that was 

«^ Letter of J. L. S. December 28, 1869. 
«6 He never thereafter identified himself with any synod. 
87 Rev. J. L. S. had proposed the republication and circu- 
lation of Rudisill's expose of the G. S. in order to silence him. 

- 213 - 

now laid before it, and of which the Union Synod pastors 
had been kept uninformed. 

While these movements toward the General Council 
were in progress, another was inaugurated by the execu- 
tive committee of Home Missions of the General Council, 
which will be traced in the next chapter. This was now 
for the first time officially brought before the Union Synod 
by the Rev. J. L. Stirewalt, who was present, as the dele- 
gate from the English District Synod of Ohio, and also 
as the General Council's representative. The other move- 
ment was so well in hand by this time, that they were 
confident of leading the Union Synod into the adoption 
of their plan for the union of all Lutherans in Indiana in 
sympathy with the General Council into one synod. The 
reason for this counter movement lay in the fact that there 
was a strong prejudice existing among the General Council 
element, against the Union Synod, and deservedly so, but 
iis evil spirit in the person of Dr. Rudisill had now with- 
drawn, and there was therefore some hope that what 
remained of the exorcised body might be led by the good 
spirit of the Lord to a closer union with the Council in all 
'things that pertain to the bonds of true unity.'" 

The Rev. J. L. Stirewalt met the Union Synod, August 
10, 1870, and "was received with becoming courtesy. 
He found the synod willing to pursue whatever course that 
would promote to the greatest degree the interests of the 
church. They were ready to meet in a fraternal spirit 
those who belong to the Council and live in the state, 
with a view of unity with them in one synod.'"' But it 

58 Letter of Hev. J. L. S. to ex. com. of 11. M. of Cieneral 

59 Letter of Kev. .1. L. S. to Lutheran and Missiotiary 
August 24, 1870. 

— 2J4 — 

required much argument and diplomacy on his part to 
bring them to this position. He asked the synod to re- 
consider the election of a delegate, and his authority to 
unite the synod with the General Council, upon the follow- 
ing grounds: That the English District Synod had passed 
a resolution authorizing the Indiana Conference to extend 
an invitation to all pastors in the state in sympathy with 
the Council, to meet them in conference for the purpose 
of uniting in one synod the General Council pastors in the 
state; that this synod sent him to urge them not to apply 
until such a union could be effected ; that then there 
would be a synod of ten or twelve pastors instead of only 
four, making application. He urged that it was the desire 
of the Council to have only one sj^nod in the state, and 
knowing that the Union Synod did not embrace in it all 
the true Lutheran element in the state, it would be insisted 
upon that a more general organization must be effected so 
as to unite all in sympathy with the Council. Still farther 
he urged, that if the members of the Union Synod could 
not agree, and were willing to unite in fair terms witli 
those men in the Council, living in the state, that they 
could not agree with them afterwards, and so would be- 
come an element of discord. And as they the General 
Council Synod had now as the larger body extended to them 
an invitation to meet the brethren in the state with a view 
of organizing a synod that would embrace thetn all, their 
rejection of this overture would be a barrier in the way of 
admission into the Council. Nor would this be the only 
trouble that might meet them ; it was doubtful whether 
as the Union Synod then existed, it had sufficient mem- 
l)ership to entitle it to representation, and lastly if they 
were willing to meet with the Council element and unite 
with it they should postpone the election of a delegate 

— 215 - 

until the meeting of the convention, so if a union could 
be brought about, that all could have a voice in the choice 
of the delegate to represent the synod at the meeting of 
the General Council."" 

Besides the presence and efforts of Rev. J. L. Stire- 
walt, other influence was brought to bear upon the synod. 
Rev. Dr. G. F. Krotel, president of the General Council, 
wrote them expressing the hope that the General Council 
element in Indiana might become united ; also one from 
Rev. H. W. Roth, secretary of the General Council, of the 
same nature. Another letter from Rev, M. J. Stirewalt, 
secretary of the Indiana Conference, was received, in 
which the president of the Union Synod was invited to 
attend the next convention of that body, to be held at 
East Germantown, Indiana, May 10, 1870, which invita- 
tion was accepted. All these had their weight with the 
members of the synod, and did much in preparing them 
for their subsequent action. All opposition to the project 
was now removed. The opposition of Rudisill reached 
its limit when he, with Rev. D. Smith, succeeded in pre- 
vailing upon the St. George congregation, Shelby county, 
to reverse its decision, and go into the General Synod. 
Thenceforward his influence waned, and in a few years 
death ended his career."' 

The synod appointed representatives to meet the rep- 
resentatives of the Indiana conference, to consider the 
matter of organizing a new synod. This free conference 
was held in St. Mark's church, Whitestown, Indiana, 
J.une 20, 1871. After a frank and full review of the situ- 
ation, and of the interests of the church in the state, it 

w Report of Kov. .1. L. S. to ex. com. of II. M. of the 
General Council. 

'■•1 He dii'd Feb. 24, 1874, aged (V^ years and 7 dayp. 

- 216 — 

decided to issue a call for a convention to organize a new- 
synod for Indiana. 

At its thirteenth and last convention, the Union 
Synod decided that in the event a new synod is formed, 
in pursuance to the call issued by the Indiana Conference, 
it now be disbanded, and its pastors and congregations 
regarded as members of the synod. 

The congregations of this synod were all virtually 
one large parish, of which the ministers were joint pastors. 
Gradually a desire grew to have separate parishes formed, 
each with its own pastor. There was much opposition to 
this movement, but it finally succeeded, and in 1870 the 
synod was divided into twelve parishes, namely, the New- 
berry charge, consisting of four congregations and two 
mission points ; the Nashville charge, consisting of one 
congregation and two mission points; the Edinburg 
charge, two congregations and one mission point; the 
Whitestown charge, consisting of five congregations ; the 
Mulberry charge, consisting of one congregation and 
three mission points ; the Alimo charge, consisting of 
three congregations ; the Gosport charge, consisting of 
two congregations and three mission points ; the Corydon 
charge, consisting of one congregation and two mission 
points; the St. Paul's charge, consisting of one congrega- 
tion and two mission points; the Woodberry, 111., charge, 
consisting of two congregations and one mission point; 
the Marshall, 111., charge, consisting of one congregation 
and mission points around Marshall ; and a mission 
charge embracing Crawfordsville and Armantrout's school- 
house. According to this there were some twenty-two 
congregations connected with the synod at the time of its 

Lindsey St. and Sherman Ave., South Bend, Ind. 

Ltndsey St. and Sherman Ave., South Bend, Ind. 

Mishawaka, Ind. 


The following pastors were at some time in connec- 
tion with this synod : 

Rev. John Good, 1859—1871. 

Rev. Ephraira Rudisill, 1859—1869. 

Rev. Jacob Elias Deck, 1859. t February 16, 1864, aged 30 

years, 9 months, 24 days. 
Rev. Philip A, Peter, 1859—1866. 
Rev. Henry Fairchild, 1859—1870. 
Rev. C. R. O. Miller, 1859-1860. 
Rev. Nathan Booher, 1859-1871. 
Rev. Eusebius S. Henkel, 1860—1871. 
Rev. Davoult Philo Groundt, 1860. t June 11, 1863, aged 

31 years, 7 months, 11 days. 
Rev. Elias Markert, 1860-1868. 
Rev. Jacob Wesner, 1860-1871. 
Rev. J. Efrid Wesner; 1862-1871. 
Rev. Eli Myers, 1864—1871. 
Rev. R. D. Emerson, 1867—1869. 
The following were ordained to the ministry : 
Rev. Jacob Wesner, October 21, 1861. 
Rev. Nathan Booher, October 21, 1861. 
Rev. J. Efrid Wesner, October 25, 1863. 
The following were licentiates: 
Rev. J. Efrid Wesner, June 7, 1862. 
Rev. John Stine, August 31, 1863. License recalled for 

cause, February 1, 1867. 
Rev. M. M. Groves, 1868. Expired October 28, 186S. 
Rev. R. E. McDaniel, 1870. Expired August 10, 1870. 

Rev. M. M. Groves came from the seminary at Phila- 
delphia. He applied for ordination, but having no call, 
the synod declined to ordain him. He thereupon took 
his departure from the synod. He served the St. James 
church, Vandalia, 111., for a very short time, and upon 
request of the congregation vacated the field, leaving his 
hooks and other effects behind. He was never heard 
from, and what became of him none of the people at 
Vandalia ever knew. 

- 218 - 

Rev. John Stine was quite active in the ministry for 
a short time, serving chiefly as a missionary of the synod. 
His license was recalled for cause, and he disappears 
from synodical notice. 

Rev. E. Markert abandoned the active work, and his 
name was dropped from the roll. 

Henry S. Slinkard and J. Efrid Wesner were students 
of theology under the care of the synod. The latter was 
finally ordained to the pastoral office. The former, on ac- 
count of ill health and physical weakness, abandoned the 
purpose and entered into business. He acquired consid- 
erable property, and was always a devoted friend of the 
church. He did not live many years. After the death of 
his wife, Mrs. M. E. Slinkard, his property passed to the 
Theological Seminary at Chicago. Though dead, he yet 
preaches through others whom he in this way assists to 
prepare for the oftice which he was providentially de- 
terred from entering. 

Two deaths occurred in the ministerial ranks : Rev. 
Davoult Philo Groundt, June 11, 1863, and Rev. .Jacob 
Elias Deck, February 16, 1864. 

Two young men were received as students of theology : 
R. E. McDaniel and John P. Deck. The former received 
aid to pursue his studies at the seminary in Philadelphia, 
and the latter was placed under the care of Rev. Nathan 

The following congregations were in connection with 
the synod during a portion or all of its history : 

Newtown, afterwards St. Mark's, Boone county, Indiana. 

Union church, Boone county, Indiana. 

St. Luke's church, Boone county, Indiana. 

St. .John's church, Boone county, Indiana. 

Mt. Zion church, Daviess county, Indiana. 

Union church, Daviess county, Indiana. 

— 219 — 

Fairhaven church, Clinton county, Indiana. 

St. James' church, Kossvilie, CHnton county, Indiana. 

Phanuel church. Fountain county, Indiana. 

Emmanuel church. Fountain county, Indiana. 

Fulton (?) church, Fulton county, Indiana. 

St. Peter's church, Greene county, Indiana. 

Mt. Solomon's church, Harrison county, Indiana. 

Mt. Zion church, Knox county, Indiana. 

St. John's church, Monroe county, Indiana. 

St. Paul's church, Monroe county, Indiana. 

Waupakon church, Miami county, Indiana. 

St. James' church, Montgomery county, Indiana. 

Mt. Zion church, Morgan county, Indiana. 

West Salem church, Morgan county, Indiana. 

Philadelphia church, Parke county, Indiana. 

St. John's church. Hush county, Indiana. 

St. George's church, Shelby county, Indiana. 

Smithland church, Shelby county, Indiana. 

Union church, Jasper county, Illinois. 

Liberty church, Clarke county, Illinois. 

St. Luke's church, Richland county, Illinois. 

Besides these organized congregation.s there were 
quite a hirge number of preaching iioints where consider- 
able Lutheran material was found. 

The numerical strength of the Union Synod is not 
ascertainable. There were no parochial reports sent in 
by the pastors. The strength of the several congregations 
cannot be determined. At a conservative estimate the 
synod numbered at the time of its dissolution probably 
1200 or 1500 communicant members. The congregations 
were all in the country and generally in localities which 
were settled chiefly by Lutherans. From the lack of pas- 
tors to minister to the spiritual needs of the churches, 
and the haphazard method of supplying them with the 
means of grace, many of the congregations gradually fell 
into decay. 


(HI)? 3fnbiatia - QHtragn B^noh of tlje 1£oati0?liral 
|ju%rait (EI|urrIy 


®I|e HInbtana - (Elitraiio B^iiah of tl)e lEuaniiipUral 

HE occasion and immediate cause for the or^ran- 
ization of the Indiana Synod of the Evangelical 
Lutheran church, now the Chicago Synod of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church, was the formation 
of the General Council. The more remote causes 
are to be found in the movements which led to and grew 
out of the rupture of the North Carolina Synod in 1S20. 
As early as 1823 the conservative type of Lutheranism, 
represented by the Tennessee Synod, was planted in In- 
diana by the missionaries of that body. Other factors 
also contributed their part in bringing about this result. 
These were chiefly the eflPorts of the General Synod pastors 
to plant in the state the lax type of Lutheranism then 
represented by that body. The representatives of these 
two tj'pes of Lutheranism frequently came into sharp 
conflict, and each party made strenuous efforts to push 
its work to the front. Each type took organic form in a 
synodical organization in 1835, the conservative in the 
Synod of Indiana and the lax in the Synod of the West. 
The conservative body received a severe blow in the 
Destructionism movement under the leadership of Hev. 
Ephraim Rudisill, and in the apostasy of Hev. Eusebius 
S. Henkel to Universalism. Hut it in a measure recovered 

- 224 — 

from these effects, partly through Rudisill's change of 
front, and Henkel's repentance and confession of error,, 
but chiefly through the influence of two godly and earnest 
men who entered the synod at this period of its history,, 
the Rev. John P. Livengood and the scholarly Rev. Will- 
iam H. Deck. The radical body also received a crushing 
blow in the doctrinal reaction which arose in the Synod 
of the West under the leadership of the Rev. Conrad F. 
D. Wynnekin, who led the conservative wing of that 
synod into the Missouri Synod, from the effects of which 
the Synod of the West never recovered. But the General 
Synod type soon after took organic form in the state in 
the organization of the Olive Branch Synod. 

As stated in Chapter V the Synod of Indiana dis- 
solved November 4, 1859. The causes for this are nar- 
rated in that chapter. This dissolution was followed by 
the organization of the Union Synod, which was to all 
practical purposes but a continuation of the Synod of 
Indiana under a new name. It was composed of the 
same pastors and congregations, and had substantially 
the same constitution. The change was made in order 
to conciliate the offended Rudisill. 

The chief objects that Rudisill had in demanding the 
organization of the Union Synod were to unite all the 
Lutheran elements in Indiana with this body, and to re- 
trieve his reputation as a leader, a controversialist and as 
a preacher. Of his ultimate success in this he had no 
doubt, until his defeat in 1869. But his plans miscarried. 
Disappointed in uniting all the Lutheran element in the 
state with this body, the synod through his leadership, 
next endeavored to draw into it the conservative Lutheran 
element in the state, and these efforts were partially suc- 
cessful, and may be regarded as the first steps that event- 

— 225 — 

ually culminated in the formation of the Indiana Synod. 
Finally the synod consented to the union of all Lutherans 
in Indiana in sympathy with the General Council in a 
new synod, and when the time came, dissolved that that 
object might be effected. 

Besides the movements in the Union Synod, there 
were two others more or less independent of each other, 
which coalescing with those in the synod, resulted in the 
organization of the Indiana Synod. 

The first of these originated among the ministers of 
the English Evangelical Lutheran District of the Joint 
Synod of Ohio, resident in Indiana. In 1866 this synod 
organized all its pastors living west of the Springfield, 
Ohio, meridian, into the Western Conference.'" This 
Western Conference soon agitated the formation of a new 
synod, based upon the principles of the General Council. 
This was to be an Indiana Synod. As early as 1.S6H the 
propriety of organizing such a synod was discussed by the 
conference, and it contemplated calling a convention for 
that purpose. This conference proposed the absorption 
of the Union Synod in this new body, and expressed its 
judgment that the call for such a convention should orig- 
inate with the Union Synod." The Union Synod took 
action upon the matter at its convention of 1868,"* hut it 
did not meet the expectation of the Western Conference. 
The intention of the Western Conference was to unite in 
a new synod all Lutherans in Indiana in sympathy with 
the General Council, The Union Synod either did not 
understand this, or else evaded the real question and 
framed its report so as to embrace all Lutherans in the 

92Min. 1866: 22. 

93 Letter of Rev. M. J. Stirewalt to the Union Synod. 

'-»4 Minutes U. Synod, 1868: 11. 

— 226 - 

state, irrespective of synodical affiliation. It well knew 
that such a union was impracticable and impossible at 
that time. But Rev. E. Rudisill, who professed to be in 
favor of the General Council, and dominated the synod, 
frustrated the design of the Western Conference by insist- 
ing upon a plan and terms which he knew it would not 
accept.**^ The conference then proceeded upon its own 
authority, and a call was issued through the Lutheran 
and Missionary for a convention to be held in connection 
with the conference at its spring meeting in St. Paul's 
church, Fulton county, Indiana, May 20, 1869. The 
convention was organized by the election of Rev. G. 
Schmogrow chairman, and Emmanuel Reed secretary. 
There were eight pastors and three lay delegates present.'"' 
Those present were all of one mind as to the necessity of 
a new synod. Letters from a number of pastors who 
could not be present were received, all urging the organ- 
ization of a new ecclesiastical body, but there was a di- 
versity of opinion as to the time when the organization 
should be effected. Some thought the time not yet at 
hand, and the movement premature, and because prema- 
ture, might only prevent the future organization of a more 
efficient body. The final decision reached was that the 
time had come for the organization, and that delay would 
prove injurious. The convention appointed a committee to 
lay before the English District Synod the reasons and mo- 

os Rudisill's vanity and jealousy would not consent to a 
proposition of union which originated outside of his own brain. 
His actions from henceforward proved that he was not in sym- 
pathy with the General Council, but wished to lead the Union 
Synod into the General Synod. 

90 The pastors were Rev. M. J. Stirewalt, Rev. J. L. Stire- 
walt, Rev. Isaac Hursh, Rev. A. V. House, Rev. T. W. Corbet, 
Rev. G. Schmogrow, Rev. H. Fairchild and Rev. Frederichson. 

- 227 - 

tives influencing members in Indiana to form a new synod, 
and take counsel from the synod as might best promote the 
work. The convention adjourned to meet at Lima,' Ohio, 
immediately after the sessions of the English District 
.Synod at that place the following August, for the purpose 
of consummating as soon as possible the proposed organ- 

But before the time arrived for the Lima convention 
a storm was gathering that threatened to destroy the 
bright prospects of the proposed new synod. To under- 
stand the situation we must go back to the Reading con- 
vention, December 12-14, 1<S66. The Joint Synod as well 
as its English District were represented in that convention 
and participated in its deliberations, but when the Gen- 
eral Council was organized, November 20, 1HG7, the Joint 
Synod not only declined to go into immediate union with 
that body, but it also opposed the union of its English 
District with it. At its special session in 1SG7, the Joint 
Synod appointed delegates to the General Council,'* which 
should convene in Fort Wayne the following November, 
which indicates that it intended ta consummate its union 
with that body. In August, 1867, the P^nglish District 
Synod convened, and while its president expressed regret 
that the Joint Synod, through a majority at its special 
session, declined to enter into immediate union with the 
General Council, yet it proceeded to the adoption of both 
the fundamental principles of faith and church polity, 
and the constitution of the General Council, and appointed 
delegates to represent it at the Fort Waj'ne convention. 

^" Letter of Rev. J. L. S. in Lutheran and Missionary May 
22, 1869. 

98 Min. of J. Synod, German, of June 13-19, 1867: 12. Also 
Min. Eng. Diet. Synod, 18t>7: 12. 

— 228 - 

When this question came up before the English District 
Synod there arose a difiference of opinion as to the pro- 
priety of taking action. The matter was referred to a com- 
mittee who presented a majority and a minority report. 
These reports approved the fundamental principles and the 
constitution of the General Council, but the minority re- 
port took the grounds that the synod was not prepared to 
adopt the documents in question, for two reasons, namely, 
respect for the judgment of the Joint Synod as set forth 
at its last convention on this subject, as also their desire 
for her peace and unity; and, that by appointing dele- 
gates to the General Council, the synod would have dou- 
ble representation at the next meeting of that body, a 
thing to which it was not entitled."'^ The majority report 
was taken up and the fundamental principles were 
adopted without a dissenting voice. The constitution of 
the General Council was adopted by a vote of 32 to 18. 
The supporters of the report took part in the election of 
the delegates to the General Council, without a protest.'"" 
It thus appears that the minority acquiesced in this action 
and participated in the consummation of the English 
District Synod's union with the General Council. The 
synod had no thought then, nor the following year of sev- 
ering its connection with the Joint Synod by this action. 
To this action the Joint Synod took exception, not 
on the ground of double representation, but that union with 
the General Council was separation from the Joint Synod. 
But notwithstanding this position of the Joint Synod, to 
which the English District demurred and solemnly pro- 
tested its regard, love and devotion to the Joint Synod, 

«» Minutes of E. D. S., 1867: 12. 
100 Minutes of E. D. S., 1869: 7. 

— 229 — 

it recognized the English District Synod as :i part of itself, 
admitted its representatives without any question, until 
after the Lima convention of 1869. The English District 
claimed that it exercised its rights, granted by its own 
and by the Joint Synod's constitution,"" when it united 
with the General Council.'"" Other questions became in- 
volved in the dispute and the controversy became quite 
bitter. The Joint Synod was determined that the English 
District Synod should not remain in the General Council, 
while the English District Synod was equally determined 
to maintain its union with that body, and let its relation 
to the Joint Synod be determined later. It protested its 
good will, love and support for that body, and against 
the latter's misrepresentations of its action. It desired 
peace and harmony, and did not apprehend a rupture 
until after its convention of 1868. 

The Joint Synod, as before stated, recognized the 
English District Synod as an integral part of itself, after 
its union with the General Council, received its members 
and granted them all rights and privileges. It evidently 
hoped to secure a reversal of its action. To secure this 
end it was claimed by the English District Synod that 
members of other districts were dismissed to it,"" and that 
some of its own members were urged to inaugurate revo- 
lutionary proceedings."' To protect itself against such 

101 At the Reading convention the Joint Synod was counted, 
not as one synod, but as five synods. This conceded the right of 
each district synod to determine its own relation to the General 
Council, irrespective of its relation to the Joint Synod. 

102 Minutes of E. D. S., 18()S: 10. 

103 There were four pastors, thus dismlBBed, present to be 
received at the Lima convention. 

104 There was a determined opposition to the movement for' 
a new synod in Indiana on the part of the leaders of the Joint 

- 230 - 

contingencj'', President Worlej^ in his report to the synod 
in 1869, recommended the adoption of a resolution requir- 
ing all applicants for membership to give assurance that 
they are in full accord and sympathy with the synod's 
position. This resolution was offered, and immediately 
adopted, by a small majority, before organization for the 
ensuing year was effected.'"^ This provoked a bitter and 
prolonged debate. The president of the Joint Synod was 
present and asked to be heard, but was refused. There- 
upon a vigorous protest was entered, signed by twelve 
pastors and five lay delegates."*^ These withdrew from 
the synod, and retiring to the court-house, organized a 
rival synod under the same name and title, which body 
the Joint Synod recognized as the legitimate English 
Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of the Joint Synod. 
This disruption and defection wrought such havoc in the 
ranks of the Western Conference, some of whom were in 
this movement,"" that the proposed convention, after the 
adjournment of the synod, was either forgotten or ren- 
dered impracticable. For a time the project of a new 
synod was deferred. 

But the purpose was not relinquished by its friends. 
The English District Synod, after the defection and before 
the final adjournment, reorganized the Western Conference 
under the title the Indiana Conference. It held its first 
session in Trinity church, Webster, Kosciusko county. 

Synod. They persuaded several Indiana pastors to hold aloof, 
and oppose the movement. Their plea was, "Wait until the 
I^nglish District Synod has passed the crisis." Letter of Kev. J. 
L. S. to Dr. Passavant, May 31, 1869. 

105 Minutes of Withdrawing Party, p. 4. 

106 Minutes of E. I). Synod, 1869: 24. 

107 Revs. G. Weber, G. Schmogrow, A. Birch and W. J. 

- 23J - 

Indiana, October 26, 1869. At its second convention, held 
in East Germantown, Indiana, May 13, 1870, the Rev. 
E. S. Henkel, of the Union Synod, was present and re- 
ceived as an advisory member. "In accepting the invi- 
tation he stated that he had a special object in visiting 
this conference, namely to try to effect a union between 
the conference and the Union Synod." In its action on 
this proposition the Indiana Conference decided "to make 
an earnest effort to effect a union between the General 
Council element in the state, which union shall be in ef- 
fect a synod based upon the principles of faith and churcii 
polity of the General Council," and in order to consum- 
mate the work, elected a delegate to the next convention 
of the Union Synod. It instructed this delegate that if 
he found the Union Synod unqualifiedly accepting the 
General Council's position, and a willingness to give the 
conference a share in regulating the local arrangements 
of said synod, steps should be taken by the conference 
that its members unite with the Union Synod as soon as 
practicable. The delegate, however, did not attend the 
convention of the Union Synod, because in the meantime 
other questions arose which deferred the contemplated 

This action of the conference was referred to the 
English District Synod at its convention at Goshen, In- 
diana, August 4-9, 1S7(). It was approved and the con- 
ference authorized "cordially to invite the ministers of 
that state in sympathy with the General Council to meet 
with it for the purpose of conferring with reference to a 
union in the formation of a new synod in Indiana." 

It will be observed that the English District Synod 
in its action contemplated the formation of an entirely 
new synod, while the Indiana Conference contemplated a 

- 232 - 

union with the Union Synod, provided it unreservedly ac- 
cepted the General Council's position. The District Synod 
distrusted the sincerity of the Union Synod, and was 
therefore unwilling that its pastors should unite with it 
until all possibility of unlutheran views and practices was 
precluded. On the other hand the Union Synod disliked 
the idea of its own dissolution as a means of effecting the 
desired results. Some of its pastors, however, were tired 
of the tyranny and vacillations of Rudisill, and were 
ready to unite with the new body and leave the Union 
Synod to its fate. Under these conditions and because 
of personal and synodical interests, it required great cau- 
tion, patience, tact, and diplomacy to direct the move- 
ments so as to secure the desired object. 

The second movement which now played an import- 
ant part in the scheme originated with the executive com- 
mittee of home missions of the General Council. When 
it became evident that a rupture would occur in the En- 
glish District Synod, the General Council determined to 
occupy Indiana and secure the advantages presented in 
that state. The foresight of Dr. Passavant'""* enabled him 
to perceive that the field, if occupied, would in time be- 
come of great advantage to the Council. 

His plan was to preclude as far as possible the ab- 

108 The Rev. Dr. Passavant was the leading spirit in the 
executive committee of home missions, and it was he who planned 
the work. Every matter that might arise to hinder the work in 
Indiana was carefully gone over. The Tennessee type of Luth- 
eranism, the secret society question, the General Synod's influ- 
ence in the state, the vacancies, the new fields that were open, 
and the man best fitted for the field missionary, all were carefully 
weighed. The correspondence between the executive committee 
and Kev. J. L. Stirewalt reveals these facts, and shows that the 
work was carefully planned and skillfully executed. 

- 233 - 

sorption of the Union Synod by the General Synod, to 
which Dr. Rudisill, notwithstanding his former bitterness 
toward that body, and his hard sayings against it in his 
"Expose," was now not only ready, but determined to 
lead it. As seen in the preceding chapter, the General 
Synod was courting the Union Synod, and making over- 
tures to it to come that way. This was the only formida- 
ble obstacle that stood in the way of the success of the 
Council. The Joint Synod element in the state was not 
acceptable to the Union Synod, so that the executive 
committee had little or nothing to fear from that quarter. 
The Indiana members of the English District Synod who 
remained true to the Joint Synod were so small a minority, 
and so undecided, that it required all the tact and influ- 
ence of the Joint Synod to hold them in line. The real 
question, therefore, resolved itself to this, can the General 
Council secure for itself the pastors and congregations of 
the Union Synod? The proposition was a delicate one, 
and the most skillful diplomacy was necessary to solve it 
to its own advantage. 

Another matter was also to be kept in mind. The 
English District Synod, after the rupture at Lima, could 
not spare its Indiana men until its relation to the Joint 
Synod was determined. That body was ready as early as 
1868 to authorize its pastors and congregations in Indiana 
to form a new synod, but after the Lima convention it 
dared not weaken itself by dismissing them for that pur- 
pose until the crisis had been passed. The first intention 
was to organize a new synod in Indiana, and leave the 
Union Synod to its fate, but the other question forced it 
to hold the matter in abeyance for a year or more. This 
explains the delay on the part of the Indiana Conference, 
and the failure of its delegate to the Union Synod to 


attend its convention in 1870. Meanwhile the sentiment 
in the Union Synod favorable to the Council was develop- 
ing, and the executive committee was quick to take ad- 

In order to carry out its plans most effectually the 
executive committee called the Rev. Julius L. Stirewalt 
as the special agent of the General Council for Indiana.'"' 
Among other duties he was instructed "to do all in his 
power to promote the organization of a new synod in In- 
diana in harmony with the General Council, and to organ- 
ize new congregations, and supply vacancies." The ex- 
ecutive committee planned the work, and he worked the 

The selection of Rev. J. L. Stirewalt for this delicate 
position was a wise, fortunate and happy choice. He 
was brought up under the Tennessee type of Lutheranism, 
and would therefore commend himself to the conservative 
men of the Union Synod. He was a member of the En- 
glish District Synod, and had the confidence of all the 
General Council brethren in that body. He had never 
been a member of any secret society, so that the Joint 
Synod men could not cast that charge in the way. In 
disposition he was most affable, and courteous in deport- 
ment. As a preacher he was persuasive, and as a debater 
there were few who cared to combat him. He won and 
held the friendship and confidence of many wherever he 
went, and he was oblivious to the criticisms and attacks 
of his opponents. 

No sooner did he receive his commission than he set 
about the work. His methods were honorable and above 
board. He met the objections of the Joint Synod and of 
the General Synod to the Council's position frankly, and 

109 The call is dated March 15, 1869. 

— 235 - 

replied to them without evasion. He placed the (»nicial 
documents of the several bodies before the people and 
the pastors, and encouraged them to examine them for 
themselves. He was a sound Lutheran, and irenical in 
spirit. His first work was to visit the vacant parishes in 
Indiana, and supply them with preaching. He was in- 
strumental in having General Council pastors placed in 
several vacant parishes. Rev. M. J. Stirewalt was called 
to the East Germantown charge. He had served 8alem,"" 
Augusta, St. Marks, Whitestown, and St. James, Mont- 
gomery county, for some years while they were in connec- 
tion with the Union Synod and prepared them for the new 
synod.'" These he continued to supply until a General 
Council pastor could be placed in charge, which was soon 
effected by the calling of Rev. J. Wesner. The Mulberry 
parish was also secured to the General Council. The 
divided sentiment was overcome and the congregations 
prepared for the new step. All doubtful points were 
visited, and the General Council's literature diligently 
circulated. The efforts of Rudisill and his followers, 
Revs. D. Smith and A. Thompson, were successfully 
checkmated in almost every case. On May 21, 1871, he 
met a number of the Union Synod pastors at St. James' 
church, Montgomery county, and had a conference with 
them relative to the free conference soon to be held at 
Whitestown, Indiana. The sentiment expressed by them 
was that none of them cared to hold on to the old organiza- 
tion."" The leaven was working and everything promised 
well for the future. Rev. J. L. Stirewalt was faithful to 

no Salem was independent. 

111 Min. Union Synod, 'G6: 9; '(57: .3. 

112 Those pastors were E. S. Henkel, Jacob Wesner, J. E. 
Wesner, N. Booher, H. Fairchild. 

— 236 - 

his trust. Enfeebled by disease and frequently unable to 
preach, he continued his work into which he was called, 
until the task was completed, and then he entered into 
his rest in Christ and in peace. "^ 

On the territory of the contemplated synod there was 
also a man to whom much credit is due for the final suc- 
cess of the movement. This was the Rev. M. J. Stirewalt. 
He could not affiliate with the Union Synod, because of 
its doctrinal position and lax practices, although for sev- 
eral years he served congregations in connection with that 
synod. He was brought up under the Tennessee Synod, 
and this gave him an advantage with the congregations 
that had suffered from the Destructionism heresy. He 
was a member of the English District Sj'nod, and heartily 
in sympathy with the General Council. He was to a 
large degree the mediator between the Union Synod mem- 
bers and the English District Synod. He cooperated 
heartily with Rev. J. L. Stirewalt, aiding him in the vis- 
itation of the churches, and supplementing his work with 
an extensive correspondence. He enlisted the sympathy 
and cooperation of several pastors of the Union Synod, in 
the proposed new synod and aided in turning the senti- 
ment of the congregations Councilward. 

Within eighteen months after the Rev. J. L. Stire- 
walt entered upon this delicate task, supported by the 
executive committee and by the conservative Lutherans 
upon the ground, the field was ready for a forward move- 
ment. The Indiana Conference met August 9, 1870, in 
Goshen, Indiana, and issued a call for a convention of 
all the General Council element in Indiana, to meet in 
Whitestown, Indiana, June 20, 1871. In response to this 

113 He died June 16, 1872, aged 40 yrs., 2 mos. and 4 days. 

— 237 — 

call the following pastors were found to be present : Rev. 
Samuel Wagenhals, of Fort Wayne, and a member of the 
Pittsburg Synod; Revs. E. S. Henkel, Jacob Wesner, J. 
Efrid Wesner, Nathan Booher, of the Union Synod ; Revs. 
Isaac Hursh, J. Weber, Henry Fairchild, David M. Wise- 
man and Miles J. Stirewalt, of the English Evangelical 
Lutheran District Sjnod ; Rev. C. F. Sandstrom, of La 
Faj^ette ; Reuben E. McDaniel, a student of theology, and 
Delegate Joseph Etter. Organization was effected by 
electing Rev. J. Weber, president, and Rev. M. J. Stire- 
walt, secretary. The convention entered upon the work 
before it. Various resolutions were offered in order to 
bring out the sense of the conference, in reference to a 
union in the formation of a new synod. After a full and 
free discussion of the various plans presented upon whicli 
a union in a new synod should be effected, the following 
preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted : 

''Whereas, in the judgment of this conference, the 
time has come that an effort should be made to consoli- 
date all Lutherans in the state of Indiana who confess 
the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, be it therefore 

''Resolved, that we, the members of this convention, 
pledge ourselves to use every proper means in our power 
to bring about such consolidation at as early a day as 

"Resolved, that as a preliminary step to such organ- 
ization, we adopt the fundamental principles of faith and 
church polity as set forth in the constitution of the Gen- 
eral Council of the Evangelical Lutheran church in North 

"Resolved, that a committee of four ministers be ap- 
pointed to prepare a constitution, and to correspond with 
all Evangelical Lutheran ministers in Indiana known to 

— 238 - 

be in sympathy with the General Council, inviting them 
to unite with us in a convention for the purpose of unit- 
ing the Lutheran element in the state in sympthy with 
the General Council into one synod. 

''Resolved, that said committee be empowered to de- 
termine the time and place of holding such convention, 
and to issue a call for the same, if possible, within the 
current year." 

The committee was elected by ballot, and consisted 
of Revs. Samuel Wagenhals, J. Weber, Jacob Wesner, and 
J. Efrid Wesner, who in due time called a convention to 
meet in Zion's Evangelical Lutheran church. East Ger- 
mantown, Indiana, October 19, 1871. (Manuscript Min- 
utes of the Free Conference.) 

The convention met at the appointed time and place. 
Three clerical representatives from the Union Synod, 
Revs. J. Wesner, J. E. Wesner and Nathan Booher, and 
a like number from the English District Synod, Revs. 
Isaac Hursh, J. Weber, and M. J. Stirewalt, and four lay 
delegates were present. The object of the convention 
was stated to be the organization of "a synod in which 
may be united, if possible, all Lutherans in the state of 
Indiana who confess the Unaltered Augsburg Confession 
and desire cooperation with the General Council." Or- 
ganization was effected by the election of Rev. J. E. Wes- 
ner president, and Rev. J. Wesner secretary. After three 
days' deliberation a constitution was adopted, and by 
resolution the convention organized the Indiana Synod of 
the Evangelical Lutheran church. The officers elected 
were Rev. J. E. Wesner, president, Rev. J. Wesner, sec- 
retary, and Rev. M. J. Stirewalt, treasurer. The date 
was Monday, the 23d day of October, A. D., 1871. 

— 239 — 

The person to whom the credit for this successful and 
happy consummation is chielly due is the General Coun- 
cil's home missionary in Indiana, the Rev. J. L. Stire- 
walt. It was through his personal visits to the Union 
Synod at St. George's church, Shelby county, Indiana, 
in 1869, and at Newberry, Indiana, in 1870, that that 
body was induced to accept the proposition to form a new 
synod instead of attempting to absorb the General Coun- 
cil element in the state. It was due to his clear and 
forcible argument, and his candid explanation of the 
General Council's fundamental principles at the conven- 
tion of 1869, that led the Union Synod to adopt those 
principles. At this convention he succeeded in staying 
the efforts made by the representatives of the General 
Synod to lead the Union Synod into that body. It was 
he, when the wily Rudisill and his followers planned to 
reverse a former action, that met their arguments man- 
fully, and saved the synod to the General Council. It 
was this defeat that induced Rudisill to withdraw from 
the synod and let it take its course. When the Union 
Synod finally left the question to its congregations with 
which of the two general bodies it should unite Rev. J. 
L. Stirewalt was diligent in visiting them and explained 
to them the position and principles of the two bodies. 
In this he took no advantage that was unfair. His pur- 
pose was to develop among the churches a deeper Luth- 
eran consciousness and a more churchly practice. So 
forcilile were his arguments, so frank his manner, and so 
deferential his attitude toward his opponents, that he sel- 
dom failed to win the confidence, love and esteem of all 
who heard him. It was with great joy therefore that he 
saw the successful consummation of this work, and he 
felt amply repaid for his labors. To him, perhaps more 

— 240 — 

than to any other man, does the Indiana (Chicago) Synod 
owe its existence. The executive committee planned 
wisely, but without his skillful execution the plans would 
have failed. "We see very clearly," writes Dr. Passavant 
June 10, 1869, "that God has directed us in the choice of 
our missionary, to the praise of His Holy Name. It 
seems really providential that we entered the Indiana 
field first." 

The doctrinal basis of the Indiana Synod was dis- 
tinctively and unequivocally Lutheran. In view of the 
movements that led to its formation, no other position 
could be expected. "It confesses that the canonical 
books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of 
God, given by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and are the 
clear, only and sufficient rule of faith; that the three 
general creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athan- 
asian, exhibit the faith of the church universal, in accord- 
ance with this rule ; that the Unaltered Augsburg Con- 
fession is, in all its parts, in harmony with the rule of 
faith, and is a correct exhibition of doctrine ; and that 
the apology, the two catechisms of Luther, the Smalcald 
articles, and the formula of Concord, are a faithful devel- 
opment and defense of the doctrines of the Word of God, 
and of the Augsburg Confession." It provided that all 
questions concerning the faith and practice of the church, 
and the administration of the sacraments, shall be decided 
in accordance with this rule, and with these confessions. 

The synod at its first convention devoted itself to the 
home mission cause. Its territory was rich in Lutheran 
material and in opportunities for establishing new congre- 
gations. This legacy left to it by the Union Synod, while 
not altogether desirable, was nevertheless entitled to solic- 
itude and care. There were some twenty or more con- 

— 241 — 

gregations still in existence, some of them strong and 
united, some weak and rent in factions, which required 
shepherding. It was demonstrated in a few cases that 
with the adverse influence of Rudisill removed, the dis- 
sentient elements could be united and harmonized, and 
churchly practices introduced. 

The letters of Rev. J. L. Stirewalt show that the 
Lutheran material was sufhcient in many places to form 
respectable congregations. In most cases it was only 
waiting to be gathered and shepherded. While he was 
charged in his call to organize new congregations the 
other duties of promoting the organization of a new synod 
so taxed his feeble strength, and required so much of his 
time, that this important work had to be deferred indefi- 
nitely, and because of this delay, much of it was lost to 
the Lutheran church. 

It therefore fell to the lot of the newly organized 
synod to enter the field and look after the material which 
was waiting to be gathered and organized. In order to 
secure the best results with their limitetl means, the 
synod resolved upon the following: "1. That each of 
our congregations be recommended to organize societies 
in their connection for the purpose of raising funds for 
missionary and educational purposes, and that they be 
requested to turn over such funds to the synodical treas- 
ury, to be applied to such mission and educational wants 
as maybe presented to the synod. 2. That the president 
shall assign to each minister of this synod a mission field. 
3. That each minister shall visit, as often as necessary, 
such mission field, and report its c-ondition to the presi- 
dent. 4. That the president shall use his efforts to secure 
pastors for such mission fields, and 5. That such mis- 
sion fields be requested by the minister visiting them to 

- 242 - 

pay his traveling expenses." In his annual report the 
next year the president called the synod's attention to 
the missionary work, urging that it should make itself a 
missionary synod, that occupying missionary grounds as 
it did, the only hope of the Lutheran church in this state 
for a glorious future lay in a faithful and zealous prosecu- 
tion of her missionary work. The educational cause was 
urged in the same connection, "for we can no more sus- 
tain missions without men," says the president, "than 
we can sustain them without money." In order to pros- 
ecute this work intelligently and systematically that per- 
manent results might follow, and in order to enter more 
aggressively upon the work, the synod created the office 
of superintendent of missions, whose duties were to sup- 
ply vacant congregations, and to look after the mission 
interests of the synod. The synod pledged him a salary 
of $500 per year and his traveling expenses. He was 
authorized to receive offerings from the congregations and 
missions visited by him, which were to be credited to the 
synod. Rev. M. J. Stirewalt was elected as the first in- 
cumbent of this office. Pastor Stirewalt also was the 
home missionary for Indiana under the appointment of 
the executive committee of the General Council. He en- 
tered zealously upon the duties of his office. At the time 
of his election there were eight vacancies in the sj^nod, 
and followed by two more shortly after. Most of these 
he supplied at intervals during the year, or made ar- 
rangements with other pastors to have them supplied. He 
sought with a good degree of success to encourage and 
preserve existing vacant congregations and wherever 
practicable, he assisted them in obtaining pastors. Four 
of the vacant pastorates were thus provided for. He also 
sought, as opportunity offered, to encourage the widely 


scattered members of our household of faith to steadfast- 
ness, and to attempt new enterprises in the interests of 
our beloved Zion. During the first year of his oHice lie 
made 40 visits to congregations, preached 117 times, cate- 
chised 27 times, baptized 23, confirmed 2S, and held five 
communions. He collected from points visited $541.65, 
and his traveling expenses were $139.45. At its conven- 
tion in 1873 the Synod adopted the "Plan of Action for 
Missionary Work" recommended by the General Council. 
Pastor Stirewalt was elected missionary president, as pro- 
vided for by said plan, and also as superintendent of 

During the year following this convention, the mis- 
sionary president of the synod labored quite zealously, 
and the work prospered. He authorized several pastors 
to make missionary tours, in order to supply vacancies 
and missions, as the field was so extensive that the mis- 
sionary president could not attend to all the calls in per- 
son. Several vacancies were supplied with pastors 
through his efforts. Many of the vacant congregations 
were in a dying condition, some of them entirely disor- 
ganized, while others, feeling themselves neglected, had 
lost much of their zeal and church love. Into most of 
these, by the blessings of God, the labors of the general 
missionary and others infused new life, fresh love and 
earnest zeal. During the year he preached 10(j times, 
catechised frequently, baptized 16, confirmed 2, held 5 
communions, organized one congregation, and assisted at 
the dedication of one church. During the year he col- 
lected $34.S.70, and his traveling expenses were $191.05. 
Then followed, an interim of nearly two years that the 
synod did not have a traveling missionary, but left the 
work chiefly to the missionary president, who could de- 

— 244 — 

vote only a part of his time to it. Yet under these con- 
ditions the work to a degree prospered. The sj'nod's 
interest in the mission cause did not diminish, but it was 
unable to secure a suitable person who would accept the 
call to the place. After October 1875, the synod did not 
elect a general missionary, but left the missionary president 
to discharge the duties of that office. In March 1876, Rev. 
J. E. Wesner devoted the whole of his time to this work, 
until the next meeting of the synod. He visited the va- 
cancies, supplied the missions, and thus kept alive the 
interest in the work. From November 7, 1876, Rev. R. 
E. McDaniel labored in the capacity of general mission- 
ary until May 7, 1877. During the six months of his 
office he held 66 services, visited 81 families, baptized 8, 
held two communions, received into membership 28, 
officiated at three funerals, and traveled 1,918 miles. 
Collected $119.28, expenses, $62.87. He reported the 
outlook favorable. In 1877 he was elected missionary 
president, and gave personal attention to the field. He 
reported great desolation in the bounds of the synod, 
with no available remedy at command. The children of 
the church cried for bread, and went elsewhere to find it. 
From 1879, onward, the missionary president was usually 
so situated that his own parish required all his time, and 
he could not give any time to personal inspection and 
oversight. He exercised a kind of superintendence over 
the missions, and presented recommendations to the 
mission committee for their action. 

The synod, during this period, did excellent mission- 
ary work. Several mission charges were formed, which 
subsequently became respectable and prosperous parishes. 
In some places where funds were appropriated no fruits 
were produced. The St. Paul's church, Olney, 111., was 

— 245 - 

for a while a mission of the synod, hut left irregularly 
and united with the Central Illinois Synod. Mt. .Solo- 
mon's church, Corydon, Indiana, received assistance for 
several years and flourished. The First English P^van- 
gelical Lutheran church of Decatur, Illinois, was organ- 
ized October 24, 1882, and the next year was received by 
the synod and placed on its list of missions. It grew 
steadily in strength and influence, and was subsequently 
transferred to the Board of English Home Missions of the 
General Council. 

In 1884 Rev. Jesse Dunn began work at Syracuse 
and Nappanee, Indiana, in connection with his charge 
at Benton. The outlook was auspicious, and aid was ex- 
tended for several years, and in due time the field became 
a self-supporting parish. In 1888 two new missions were 
assumed and in part supported by the synod — St. Paul's, 
Frankfort, and Zion's, Portland, Indiana. The former 
had existed for some years and was a part of the Mul- 
berry parish. Its interests demanded the entire time of a 
pastor, and it was therefore detached from that parish and 
became a mission of the synod. It called the Rev. D. L. 
Reese, and grew steadily in strength and influence, and 
in the course of several years became self-sustaining. 

Zion's, Portland, Indiana, was organized by Rev. M. 
J. Stirewalt in 1888. It was received into synodioal con- 
nection the next year, and aid furnished it. It made 
progress in the face of many obstacles, and with the mis- 
sions at Frankfort and Decatur, Illinois, was transferred 
to the Board of English Home Missions of the (Jeneral 
Council, December 1, 1892. This action was taken upon 
the recommendation of the General Council, in order that 
all missions of the several synods might l)e under the 
management of the Board. But tin- other synods of the 

- 246 - 

Council declined to transfer their missions, and the In- 
diana Synod, after paying over to the board all its mission 
funds, for several years resumed sjmodical missionary ac- 
tivity. Its field was rich in material and vast in oppor- 
tunities. Its growth as a synod depended upon the mis- 
sion work. The General Council's Board did not feel 
prepared to prosecute the work in the synod's territory, 
as its importance demanded, and the synod therefore felt 
itself called to prosecute its own mission work to the full- 
est extent of its ability. It expressed itself ready, how- 
ever, to turn all its mission interests over to the Board, 
whenever the other synods would do the same. 

In 1893 Rev. J. F. Booher, on his own responsibility, 
canvassed Elwood, Indiana, and organized a congrega- 
tion. It asked assistance from the synod, but it was un- 
able to grant as much as was desired, owing to its relations 
to the Board of English Home Missions. Rev. Mr. 
Booher, however, continued his labors with success. A 
lot was purchased and a church erected. Money for this 
purpose was contributed by friends of the cause. In 1894 
the mission applied for membership in the synod, pro- 
vided an appropriation of $200 was made for its support. 
This proposition the synod could not accept, but it assured 
the mission that all would be done for it that lay within 
its power. This action displeased the mission, and it 
sought membership and assistance from the Olive Branch 
Synod, which received it into synodical connection, and 
granted the desired aid. 

In 1893 the General Council's Board of Home Mis- 
sions organized a congregation in Anderson, Indiana, and 
called Rev. W. J. Finck, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, as 
the missionary. The congregation was received into the 
synod in September of the same year. About tlie same 

— 247 — 

time work was also begun by tlie board in Englewood, 
Chicago, which resulted in tlie organization of St. John's 
English Evangelical Lutheran church. It became a part 
of the synod in 1895. 

The synod took commendable interest in the edu- 
cational work that is inseparably connected with the 
church's progress. It felt the need of a thoroughly 
equipped ministry, and the advantages of an intelligent 
laity. In order to secure the former it rendered substantial 
aid to young men who offered themselves as candidates 
for the holy oflice, that they might prepare themselves in 
approved institutions. The practices that obtained under 
the Synod of Indiana, and the Union Sj'nod, while the 
best the conditions then prevailing made possible, were 
however very unsatisfactory, and the time had now come 
when such training was inadequate to the demands. The 
Synod therefore wisely required, whenever possible, that 
its candidates secure a collegiate and seminary training. 
Until 1891 it had but few candidates who could take such 
a course, but after that year, it has had beneficiaries on 
its roll continuously. In its earlier years it aided young 
men, who, when their course was completed remained in 
the east. This had a discouraging effect, as these men 
were sorely needed in its own, but less inviting fields. 
In order to retain its candidates, it permitted a number 
to pursue their studies privately and ordained them to the 
office of the ministry as soon as it was satisfied with their 
acquirements and (jualifications. 

The needs of a collegiate and theological institution 
were long felt l)y the churches in this territory, and long 
before the civil war, steps were taken by the congregations 
and the Synod of Indiana, looking towards such an under- 
taking. But the time had not yet come, nor were the 

- 248 - 

churches able to establish such an institution. But the 
hope never was abandoned. When the project of estab- 
lishing a theological seminary in Chicago by the General 
Council was made public, the churches in Indiana hailed 
it with joy. The synod took a deep interest in the move- 
ment, as it promised a solution of the perplexing question 
that confronted it, namely the planting of missions, and 
manning them. It also promised ministers who were 
trained for the work, workmen that need not be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the Word of truth. As early as 1869 the 
General Council contemplated the opening of such a 
seminary in Chicago, and took action relative to it each 
succeeding meeting. 

In 1872 the General Council gave tangible form to 
the institution by electing a board of directors, consisting 
of twenty-four members. Of these the Revs. Samuel 
Wagenhals and John H. Hunton, and Messers. H. J. 
Rudisill, Geo. H. Dieckmann and Andrew Drischel were 
of the Indiana Synod. Rev. E. Jacobs was elected English 
professor in the institution, and a constitution for its 
government was adopted. Everything promised favorably 
for the early opening of the seminary. But unforeseen 
obstacles arose which compelled the council to defer the 
opening of the institution. In 1876 the delegation of the 
Indiana Synod to the General Council reported on this 
matter as follows : "Nobody in connection with the General 
Council has a deeper interest in the ultimate success of 
such an institution than our synod. Occupying as we do, 
the most westerly position of the English synods of the 
council, charged with the cultivation of a field that would 
tax a body of three times our number, dependent entirely 
upon removals from other synods to supply vacancies in 
our established parishes, and utterly at a loss for men to 

N. Main and Williams St., Decatur, 111. 

LaSalle Ave. and Elm St., Chicago, III. 

— 249 — 

develop our extensive mission fields, what can our future 
be but one of failure if we have no definite and constant 
source from which to draw our supplies for the ministry? 
Some of us have long doubted the wisdom of a theo- 
logical seminary at Chicago, unless the men and means 
could be had to establish, at the very outstart. a school of 
high order. Experience and a minuter knowledge of the 
needs of our church in the west, have induced us to recede 
from this opinion. Great is the harvest to which the cities 
of our territory invite us, but not so abundant as the fruit 
which faithful labor might gather in our towns, villages 
and country districts, where little bands of Lutherans iiave 
cast their lot. Another generation, and they nmst be lost 
to our church if not cared for. From this fact we cannot 
turn away. For the work of gathering these, our scattered 
brethren, into congregations there is needed, not so much 
the man of great abilities or of polished education, as the 
pious, humble, practical man, who, with average talent, 
has been trained to expound the word of God in accord- 
ance with sound theology. For the training of such a 
ministry, a seminary fully equipped and endowed, is not 
requisite. Rather your delegates are persuaded that the 
General Council has now at its disposal all that is needed 
for the beginning of such a school, and though its origin 
be but as a grain of mustard seed, such is the soil in which 
its roots shall fasten, that it will in time develop into one 
of the greatest of its kind. Your delegates would, there- 
fore, respectfully suggest that the synod duly consider this 
grave question upon the immediate and right solution of 
which depends in great measure the cultivation of our vast 
mission field.""* In regard to this suggestion the synod 

114 In the light of subsequent history, this was ahnost pro- 
phetic foresight. 

- 250 - 

resolved, "That in its opinion, the wants of our church in 
the west demand the early establishing of a theological 
seminary in Chicago, Illinois, as contemplated by the 
General Council, and that this synod earnestly recommend 
to the General Council the immediate opening of said 
seminary for the preparation of young men for the mission 
work." The next year the proposed seminary was again 
earnestly discussed and the synod "desired again to bring 
before the General Council the matter of the Chicago 
Theological Seminary, hoping that something will be done 
as soon as possible." In 1880 the president in his report 
to the synod recommended the. reagitation of the estab- 
lishment of a theological seminary in the west, and the 
synods action thereon was as follows: "Admitting the 
necessity of a theological seminary in the west,_. yet in 
consequence of our inability to contribute anything worth 
while towards that project, and the unwillingness of the 
General Council to favor the opening of such an institution 
at this time in Chicago, we deem it inadvisable to press 
the matter." In the spring of 1891 it was announced 
that the Chicago seminary would be opened on October 
1st of that year. In bringing the matter to the attention 
of the synod, president C. Koerner says: "We should as 
a sj^nod, not only hail the coming event with gladness, 
and earnestly hope that this new school of the prophets, 
Avill, in the providence of God, be instrumental in supply- 
ing the waste places of the west with suitable men ; but 
also pray and labor in its behalf, so that not a few of the 
godly young men in our churches may find their way 
within its walls." This language the synod endorsed as 
the expression of its sentiment, and when the institution 
was opened, Mr. Joseph Allen Leas of Benton, Indiana, 
was one of the students present, since which time the 

- 251 -- 

synod has had continuously a representative in that insti- 
tution. In 1S94 Mr. Merrill E. Boulton of Goshen, Indi- 
ana, entered the institution. The same year Mr. Leas was 
ordained, and the synod hegan to reap the fruits of the 
seminary's work. 

Besides the need of a theological seminary for the 
training of candidates, the synod was also deeply conscious 
of the need of a literary institution in which the youth of 
the church might receive a good education under positive 
Christian influence. The tendency of the secular schools 
has been to lead away from the church and from the faith 
of the fathers. Many of her brightest sons, some of whom 
in their youth had the ministry in view, were not only 
lost to the church, but alienated from the faith through 
the materialistic influence of the secular schools. Some 
entered institutions of other denominations and were in- 
duced to cast their lot with them, instead of entering the 
service of the Lutheran church. The synod always felt 
that the only way in which to avoid this materialistic 
spirit and unchurchly tendency lay in the establishment 
of an institution, liberal in its offers, broad in its curri- 
culum, and positively Christian in its spirit and atmos- 
phere, in which the youth of the church and all others 
who desire to avail themselves of the opportunities might 
receive instruction and training. The need was sorely 
felt, but the necessary means for its realization were not 
at hand. As in the question of the theological seminary, 
the synod had to wait until Providence indicated the 
time, prepared the agent, and opened the way. 

In order to be ready to avail itself of any opportunity 
that might open to the synod, it appointed a committee 
in ISO?, which was continued for several years. This 
committee was charged to receive and investigate thor- 

- 252 - 

oughl}' any proposition for the establishment of such an 
institution. Two propositions were submitted to it. The 
one was from Mrs. E. L. Dieckmann, of Vandalia, Illi- 
nois, who tendered her residence property in that city for 
such a purpose. The offer was declined for various rea- 
sons, the chief one being the location, not being central. 
The other was a proposition from the Lima Educational 
Association, to transfer to the Chicago Synod and the 
Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of Ohio, jointly, 
Lima college. This proposition was carefully considered, 
but owing to the heavy liabilities of the institution, which 
the synods would have to assume, it also was declined. 
No further propositions were received, and the committee 
was finally discharged. 

But the educational interests were not lost sight of. 
In 1900 Rev. P. C. Wike became the pastor of the Col- 
burn parish. He at once agitated the matter of Christian 
education among his people, and met with a hearty re- 
sponse. Under his leadership and direction they resolved 
to open and maintain a parish school. A building was 
secured and a teacher employed, and the work was begun 
in an humble way. The thoroughness of the instruction, 
and the positive Christian character of the institution, 
commended it to all, even those who were not members of 
the church, and won for it patrons, friends and supporters. 
The school prospered in its humble sphere, and promised 
greater usefulness if its sphere could be enlarged and the 
support increased. In 1903 the management tendered 
the school to the synod. A board of trustees was elected, 
with instructions to accept the institution, operate and 
maintain it, but without any pecuniary responsibility to 
the synod. This board is self-perpetuating, and has be- 
come incorporated. Its charter privileges are liberal, 

- 253 - 

making ample provisions for the future enlargement of its 
scope of instruction. Under the management of this 
board the school has grown to the grade of an academj'. 
In 1905 it was removed to Mulberry, Indiana, where it 
now owns twenty acres of ground. A landscape architect 
has surveyed the grounds, designated the location of 
buildings, driveways, walks, shade trees, and athletic 
grounds. In 1906 a four-story building, including base- 
ment, was erected at a cost of $20,000, and dedicated on 
Sunday, February 10, 1907. "The aim of the board of 
directors in establishing this institution is to make it a 
distinctively Christian school. The moral and spiritual 
training of its students is given equal attention with the 
intellectual training, hence the Bible holds a central place 
in the course of study. Christian conduct is' urged in the 
life of its students, and persistent neglect of Bible study, 
and unchristian conduct will not be tolerated." The doc- 
trinal basis of the Academy is distinctively Lutheran, and 
true to the church it represents, yet it is by no means 
narrow nor exclusive to students of other denominations. 

The catalogue for the scholastic year 190(5-7 shows a 
faculty of five instructors and forty-four pupils. From 
present indications a bright future is before this institu- 
tion, and that it will in due time grow into a full-Hedged 

The synod always maintained the most cordial rela- 
tions with the other synods of the General Council. 
When it was organized the territory designed for it was 
the state of Indiana. In 1.S67 the Synod of Illinois and 
adjacent states was organized, and became a part of the 
General Coun(ul. But before the Indiana Synod was or- 
ganized that l)ody withdrew from the Council, thus having 
Illinois as open territory for General Council Knglish 

— 254 — 

Lutheranism. St. James' congregation, Vandalia, 111., 
was a member of the Illinois Synod, but being a mission 
of the General Council, it was held by the Council when 
that synod went into Missouri, and became a part of the 
synod in 1873. St. Mark's congregation, Nokomis, Illi- 
nois, was received in 1872. The Gila pastorate in 1871, 
and the Claremont pastorate, consisting of St. James' 
and St. Paul's congregations, were received in 1874. By 
this turn of affairs the whole state of Illinois became 
practically a part of the synod's terrritory. Its eastern 
boundary was fixed as the Ohio-Indiana state line, but its 
western boundary was left undefined. 

At the time of its organization there were two En- 
glish General Council congregations in Chicago in connec- 
tion with an eastern synod, and subsequently others were 
organized. And as the object in organizing the synod 
was to unite all the General Council element in these 
regions in one new synod, this synod contended that 
these congregations and their pastors should of right be- 
come affiliated with it. Efforts were made privately to 
induce these congregations to come into the synod, and 
with some degree of success."^ It bore the anomalous 
condition patiently until 1892, when President Jesse Dunn 
called the synod's attention to the matter. The commit- 
tee on the president's report took a positive stand in the 
following action : " Whereas, the constitution of the Gen- 
eral Council gives to the district synods the right to de- 
fine their respective boundaries, requesting them to be as 
nearly geographical as possible, and 

''Whereas, it has always been regarded by common 
consent, and it was the tacit understanding at the time 

115 Rev. C. Koerner came in 1885, Rev. F. C. C. Kaehler, 


of the organization of the Indiana Synod, that its territory 
shall at least include the states of Indiana and Illinois, 

" Whereas, the English Evangelical Lutheran churches 
and their pastors, connected with the General Council, in 
these states are not all in organic union with the Indiana 
Synod, therefore 

''Resolved, 1. That it is the sense and conviction of 
this synod that all General Council English congregations 
and their pastors in these states, connected with eastern 
synods, are in the bounds of the Indiana Synod, and 
ought to be in connection with it. 

"2. That it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the 
constitution of the General Council, and of our conception 
of fraternal cooperation, for pastors and congregations 
thereof, located in these states, to hold their niemhership 
in eastern synods. 

"3. That such a state of affairs, and synodical rela- 
tion is at variance with the best interests and welfare of 
our Lutheran Zion in these states, having a discouraging 
effect upon our already weak body. 

"4. That we earnestly request those congregations 
and pastors within the bounds of this synod, connected 
with the General Council, to unite with this synod at 
their earliest opportunity. 

"5. That if this unnatural relation and injurious at- 
titude is continued we shall enter our solemn protest be- 
fore their synods and the General Council, and demand 
that our rights and claims as a synod be no longer ig- 
nored." '"' 

This action secured the desired results, and in tiie 
course of a few years every congregation and pastor re- 

no Minutes 1892: 10. 

— 256 - 

ferred to united with the synod. Not until twenty-five 
years after the inauguration of the movement which re- 
sulted in the organization of the synod, was its real object 
fully attained. 

The experience of the synod with some of the General 
Synod bodies was not always as pleasant as might be 
desired. Its rights and claims over congregations, which 
in a fit of ill-humor or under the influence of designing 
men, irregularly severed their relation with it, were en- 
tirely ignored in not a few cases, when those congrega- 
tions applied for reception into those synods. The first 
congregation to withdraw from the synod was St. George's, 
Shelby county, Indiana, in 1873. It pursued a disorderly 
course toward the synod. It was entreated to reconsider 
its action and resume its former relation, and admonished 
that if it had any grievance to lay it before the synod. 
But these admonitions were disregarded and it attached 
itself to the Olive Branch Synod. In 1876 the St. Paul's 
congregation, Olney, Illinois, through the influence of a 
certain man who united with it, decided to withdraw from 
the synod and unite with the Central Illinois Synod. It 
notified the president of the synod of its action, and asked 
for dismission. The president had no authority to dis- 
miss a congregation, and requested it to wait until the 
next convention, when the matter would come up regu- 
larly before that body. But the congregation would not 
wait, and sent a commission to the Central Illinois Synod 
to ask connection with that body. It was received with- 
out regard to the claims of the Indiana Synod. In 1877 
the St. Paul's congregation, Shelby county, Indiana, was 
regularly dismissed. The Trinity congregation, Lancas- 
ter, Wabash county, Illinois, withdrew in 1878 through 
the influence of a pastor not in sympathy with the Indiana 

- 257 - 

Synod. In 1883 the Trinity Lutheran church, Goshen, 
Indiana, called a Joint .Synod pastor, and severed its 
connection irregularly. It did not even ask for a dis- 
missal. It 1886 St, Mark's church, Nokomis, Illinois, 
called a General Synod pastor and severed its connection 
with the synod. In October, 1889, the First English 
Lutheran church of Goshen decided to withdraw, but 
through prompt action on the part of the president, was 
induced to reconsider its action and remain. Several 
other congregations made ineffectual efforts to withdraw, 
but the movements were arrested before the object was 
attained. In every case of these withdrawals the congre- 
gations had called pastors not in sympathy with the synod. 

The twenty-fifth anniversary of the synod's organi- 
zation was appropriately celebrated on Thursday evening, 
September 24, 1S96, in the Evangelical Lutheran church 
of the Holy Trinity, Chicago, Illinois. The celebration 
was opened with the use of the Vesper service, after 
which appropriate addresses were delivered on the follow- 
ing subjects: "The Pioneer Work and Pre-existing Con- 
ditions," by Rev. M. L. Wagner; "The Organization of 
the Indiana (Chicago) Synod," by Rev. J. Wesner; "The 
Missionary Operations of the Synod," by Rev. M. J. 
Stirewalt, D. D. ; and "The Future Outlook of the Synod," 
by Rev. S. Wagenhals, D. D. The addresses were listened 
to with rapt interest by a large congregation. 

For a number of years there was considerable dissat- 
isfaction with the name of the synod. Its operations had 
extended bejond the bounds of Indiana, so that the old 
name, the Indiana Synod, no longer properly designated 
its sphere of operations. It therefore, at its twenty-tifth 
convention, resolved to change its name to the Chicago 
Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church. 


The reasons for the change of name from the Indiana 
Synod to the Chicago Synod were various and need not 
be enumerated here. They were regarded on the part of 
all concerned as of sufficient weight to warrant the 
change, and the result has proven the wisdom of the step. 
With the change of name also came the adoption of a 
new constitution. This instrument provides for all the 
things which twenty-five years of synodical experience 
deemed necessary. The opening of the Chicago Seminary 
in 1891 inspired the synod with a larger hope, and prom- 
ised a solution of the perplexing problems which hereto- 
fore had confronted it. It therefore took a broad outlook 
for the future, and planned its work accordingly, and 
since which time it has worked the plan with gratifying 
success. It prayed the Lord of the harvest to send labor- 
ers into the field, and it wrought as it praj'ed, and He 
made it the agent for answering the prayer. 

In the same year that the name of the synod was 
changed it reorganized its mission work. During twenty- 
five years of experience it acquired information by which 
it proposed to profit. It enlarged the mission committee 
to consist of five clerical and four lay members, and pro- 
vided that it should meet not less than three times each 
year and thoroughly canvass the mission situation and 
interests. It was charged to prosecute the work with 
vigor. To do this its powers were enlarged to a degree 
commensurate with its duties. It reported annually to 
the synod, submitted its plans for the future, its judgment 
as to the best methods of procedure, and its recommen- 
dations as to the appropriations for the respective missions. 
In these the synod generally concurred and approved the 
committee's plans. It therefore entered heartily, enthu- 
siastically and aggressively upon its work. It appealed to 

- 259 - 

the constituency of the Bynod for support, placed before 
them reports of the gratifying fruits of its labors, which 
aroused their interest and won their confidence. Its pol- 
icy was that each mission should have the entire tinie of 
the missionary; that if a student was placed in charge of 
a mission it was with the view of it becoming his future 
field of pastoral activity. Students were thus encouraged 
to create for themselves fields of labor, instead of waiting 
for a vacancy to occur in an old and well established par- 
ish. This was the policy, and faithfully adhered to, so 
far as the existing conditions would permit. The semi- 
nary authorities also co-operated with the mission com- 
mittee, through the students' help fund of that institution. 
By this means points within supporting distance from 
Chicago were cared for during eight months of the year, 
and by the mission committee during the other four months. 
The fruits of this plan and effort were very gratifying. 
In 1896 one mission, St. Peter's, Chicago, was organized, 
St. Mark's was organized, and two old and almost 
dead congregations were resuscitated, namely, Union, 
Boone county, Indiana, and St. John's, of Ovid, Indiana. 
This was largely due to the aggressive missionary policy 
of the synod. In 1897, Hope P^vangelical Lutheran con- 
gregation of Chrisman, Indiana, was received into the 
synod, but was subsequently transferred to another synod, 
in order to receive more regular service. The same year 
Wicker Park, and St. Mark's, Chicago, were received, 
largely due to the infiuence of the seminary authorities 
and the mission committee, while the Hicksville parish, 
consisting of two congregations, which had become alien- 
ated from the District Synod of Ohio, some years before, 
was, through the influence of Kev. Luther Hogshead, a 
seminary man, induced to unite with the synod. 

— 260 — 

The year 1897 witnessed the organization of St. 
Matthew's, Chicago, and the erection and dedication of 
its house of worship. Work was also begun in Alexan- 
dria, Indiana, under the direction of the committee. St. 
James', Chicago, was also organized in this year by sem- 
inary students. In 1899 Rev. A. J. Reichart, pastor of 
the Mulberry parish, began work in Lafayette, Indiana, 
which was approved and subsequently supported by the 
committee. Rev. A. C. Anda, pastor at Goshen, Indiana, 
began operations at South Bend, Indiana, which developed 
rapidly, while Zion's, Walnut Ridge, Allen county, Indi- 
ana, was resuscitated by the pastor of the Hicksville par- 
ish, and received into the synod. 

The closing year of the century witnessed the organ- 
ization of Zion's, Lafayette, Indiana, January 6th; Holy 
Trinity, South Bend, Indiana, January 9th ; St. Luke's, 
Chicago, June 1st ; and the Church of Our Blessed Savior, 
Alexandria, Indiana, June 3d. In 1901 St. John's, 
Nappanee, and the First English Evangelical Lutheran 
church of Mishawaka, Indiana, were founded. The year 
1903 was ushered in by the organization of Holy Trinity, 
Elgin, Illinois. St. Paul's, Detroit, Michigan, organized 
some time before, was received into synodical connection, 
and the Church of the Atonement, Chicago, was or- 
ganized (June.) The next year the Church of the 
Epiphany and St. Paul's, Richland county, Illinois, were 
received. The year 1905 witnessed the founding of 
four new congregations, the Church of the Redeemer, 
Aurora, Illinois, and one of the same name in Austin, a 
suburb of Chicago, one at Wheeler, Illinois, and Christ 
Church, Detroit, Michigan. Work was also begun at 
Ely's school house, near Lafayette, Indiana, which has a 
promising outlook. In 1907 there were admitted to synod 

- 261 - 

two congregations, the Church of the Reformation, Buck- 
ley, Ilhnois, and the Church of the Ascension, Chicago 
Heights, Illinois, and in lOOS Grace Evangelical Lutheran 
church of Woodstock, Illinois, was admitted. 

In addition to the efforts which culminated in the 
above tangible results, work was begun at a number of 
points which were full of promise, but which, after a fair 
trial, were relinquished because no fruits were apparent. 
\\'hen the fruits appeared in due season, the work wa.'< 
pushed vigorously. The results from 1.S96 to 15)06, a 
period of ten years, were twenty-two congregations organ- 
ized, three resuscitated, and five established congregations 
received into synodical connection. The present (1906) 
statistical summary of the mission committee's report is 
as follows: Number of souls in connection with the mis- 
sions 1S73, communicants, 729, pupils in Sunday schools, 
1,458, These missions have a property value of $.").^,600, 
had an income during the year of $11,089.90, and con- 
tributed to benevolent objects, $42."). 56. The amount 
appropriated by the synod for their support for the synod- 
ical year of 1906-1907 is $2,400. 

The synod also reorganized its sy.stem of beneticiary 
education. Its plan is to conserve its funds contributed 
for this purpose, and to aid, not support, the candidates 
applying for assistance. The financial assistance rendered 
them is considered a loan, without interest, not a gift, 
which is to be repaid either in cash, or by service ren- 
dered in the capacity of a missionary. Since 1S96 eight 
young men have been assisted in preparing for the min- 

Recruits for the ranks of the ministry during the first 
quarter of a century were few, only ten candidates being 
ordained during that period. The reason for this was 

- 262 - 

chiefly the lack of an institution of learning. There were 
gifted young men in the synod who desired to enter the 
ministry, but the proper educational facilities were lack- 
ing. Some entered institutions of other denominations, 
and were lost to the Lutheran church. Some became 
discouraged and abandoned the purpose. Some entered 
institutions in the east, and when their course was com- 
pleted, remained in the service of the church in that sec- 
tion. The majority of the candidates that were ordained 
during this period of twenty-five years, pursued their 
studies privately under the supervision and direction of 
some pastor. While they felt the lack of classical and 
theological training, they however became zealous, faith- 
ful and efficient pastors. The following are those or- 
dained during the first twenty-five years : 

Rev. Wm. Rein, June 19, 1874, at a special convention. 

Rev. John G. M. Hursh, September 27, 1874. 

Rev. John M. G. Sappenfield, September 27, 1874. 

Rev. Jesse Dunn, June 8, 1884. 

Rev. Martin L. Wagner, June 8, 1884. 

Rev. David L. Reese, June 16, 1889. 

Rev. J. A. Boord, June 1, 1890. 

Rev. Mosheim S. Waters, June 1, 1890. 

Rev. A. L. Boleik, September 27, 1891. 

Rev. J. A. Leas, September 28, 1894. 

After the Chicago Seminary was opened the candi- 
dates were more numerous. After 1897 there were ordi- 
nations either ad-interim, or at the synodical conventions, 
each year. They are as follows : 

Rev. Austin D. Crile, April 29, 1897, ad-interim. 

Rev. Luther Hogshead, April 29, 1897, ad-interim. 

Rev. William Hall, April 29, 1897, ad-interim. 

Rev. George P. Kabele, B. D., April 28, 1898, ad-interim. 

Rev. Loran 0. Pearch, April 28, 1898, ad-interim. 

Rev. Zenan M. Corbe, May 29, 1899. 

Rev. Harry B. Reed, May 29, 1899. 

- 263 

Rev. Alonzo H. Arbaugh, July 23, l.s9<J, ad-interiiu. 

Rev, Paul W. H, Frederick January 7, 1900, ad-interini. 

Rev. George F. Dittmar, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. William Eckert, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. M. E. Haberland, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. Henry K. Lantz, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. William II. Shepfer, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. Joel R. E. Hunt, June 2, 1901. 

Rev. John V. Sappenlield, June 8, 1!>02. 

Rev. Solomon D. Myers, June 8, 1902. 

Rev. William J. Seiberling, June 8, 1902. 

Rev. Paul W. Roth, June 14, 1903. 

Rev. Paul J. Gerberding,.June 14, 1903. 

Rev. L. P. Pence, June 14, 1903. 

Rev. Elmer D. S. Boyer, January 19, 1904, ad-interim. 

Rev. John Knauer, June 5, 1904. 

Rev. Lloyd W. Steckel, June 5, 1904. 

Rev. L. J. Baker, June 2.5, 1905. 

Rev. Andrew M. Sappenlield, June 17, 190G. 

Rev. C. A. Dennig, June 2, 1907. 

Rev. Henry M. Thompson, June 2, 1907. 

Rev, F. E. Stough, June 2, 1907. 

Rev. Martin L. Stirewalt, June 2, 1907. 

Rev. H. J. Behrens, June 21, 1908. 

During the first twentj'-five years of its history tin- 
synod ordained ten candidates to the ministry, an avera^t' 
of one candidate every two and one-half years. From 
1897 to 1907, a period of ten years, it ordained thirty-one 
candidates, an average of one candidate every four 

The following ministers were members of this synod 
during the time indicated : 

Rev. Isaac Hureh, 1871—1874; 1880-March 1, 1897. 177 
years, 11 months, 22 days. 

Rev. J. Weber, 1871-1872. 

Rev. M. J. Stirewalt, D. D., 1871-Februnry 22, lOaS. t H7 
years, 9 months, 14 days. 

Rev. J. E. Wesner, 1871-1879. 


Rev. Jacob Wesner, 1871—1881 ; 1895—1902. 

Rev. Nathan Booher, 1871— April 23, 1880. t 56 years, 2 

months, 24 days. 
Rev. Eusebius S. Henkel, 1871— December 17, 1874. t 63 

years, 4 months, 21 days. 
Rev. Eli Myers, 1871— February 29, 1876. t 57 years. 
Rev. JohnH. Hunton, 1872—1874. 
Rev. Samuel Wagenhals, D. D., 1872- 
Rev. Henry Fairchild, 1873-June 4, 1891. t 72 years, 4 

months, 6 days. 
Rev. J. M. Long, 1873—1876. 
Rev. Andrew V. House, 1873— 
Rev. G. Schmogrow, 1873—1875. 
Rev. J. J. Kuntz, 1873—1881. 
Rev. James M. Harkey, 1874— October 11, 1875. t 56 years, 

9 months, 8 days. 
Rev. William Rein, 1874—1876; 1886—1889. 
Rev. .John M. G. Sappenfield, 1874-January 24, 1904. t 

65 years, 5 months, 2 days. 
Rev. John G. M. Hursh, 1874—1887. 
Rev. N. Aldrich, 1875—1879. 
Rev. D. M. Henkel, 1876—1882. 
Rev. George Harter, 1876—1887. 
Rev. W. C. L. Lauer, 1876—1881. 
Rev. Reuben E. McDaniel, 1877—1890. 
Rev. Amon E. Gift, 1879— May 16, 1900. t 50 years, 11 

months, 7 days. 
Rev. L. M. C. Weicksel, 1879-1887. 
Rev. John Good, 1882— June 25, 1902. t 79 years. 
Rev. James C. Barb, 1883—1895. 
Rev. M. L. Wagner, 1884—1904. 
R&v. Jesse Dunn, 1884—1897; 1904—1905; 1909— 
Rev. A. W. Walter, 1884-1885; 1893—1896. 
Rev. Charles Koerner, 1885—1902. 
Rev. Franz C. C. Kaehler, 1886— September 5, 1894. t 48 

years, 7 months, 26 days. 
Rev. John D. Roth, 1886—1889. 
Rev. John F. Booher, 1889—1895. 
Rev. David L. Reese, 1889— 
Rev. J. A. Boord, 1890-1891. 


Rev. Mosheim S. Waters, 1890— 1.S93. 

Rev. A. L. Boleik, 1891—1893; 1903—1906. 

Rev. J. N. Stirewalt, 1892—1893. 

Rev. William J. Finck, 1893— 190(i. 

Rev. C. K. Druniheller, 1892-1893. 

Rev. W. R. Swickard, 1893—1897. 

Rev. W. A. Sadtler, Ph. D., 1S93— 1901. 

Rev. Joseph Allen Leas, 1894—189(5. 

Rev. G. D. Gross, 1895—1899. 

Rev. R. L. Bame, 1895-1896. 

Rev. H. L. McMurray, 1896-1898. 

Rev. R. F. Weidner, D. D., LL. I)., 1896— 

Rev. George H. Gerberding, D. D., 1896— 

Rev. Albert T. Clay, Ph. I)., 1896—1901. 

Rev. Frank C. Oberly, 1896—1899. 

Rev. Isaiah Whitman, 1896— 

Rev. William Evans, 1897—1901. 

Rev. Austin D. Crile, 1897. 

Rev. Wm. Hall, 1897—1898; 1908— 

Rev. Luther Hogshead, 1897—1906. 

Rev. S. P. Fryberger, 1897— 1»KX). 

Rev. Loran O. Pearch, 1898—1901. 

Rev. George P. Kabele, B. D., 1898-1904. 

Rev. Herman A. W. Yung, 1898—1900. 

Rev. A. C. Anda, 1898. 

Rev. Clement L. V. Dozer, 1898—1904. 

Rev. Albert J. Keichart, 1899—1901. 

Rev. Harry B. Keed, 1899. 

Rev.Zenan M. Corbe, 1899. 

Rev. Polycarp C. Wike, 1900—1908. 

Rev. Alonzo H. Arbaugh, 1900. 

Rev. Paul W. H. Frederick, 1900-1903. 

Rev. Hiram Peters, 1). D., 1901. 

Rev. George F. Dittmar, 1901 — 1908. 

Rev. William Eckert, 1901 — 1905. 

Rev. M. E. llaberland. 1901. 

Rev. Joel H. K. Hunt, 1901. 

Rev. Henry K. Lantz, 1901—1903. 

Rev. William H. Shepfer, 1901—1902. 

Hev. William L. Hunton, Ph. D., 1902-1900. 

- 266 - 

Rev. Solomon D. Myers, 1902. 

Rev. William J. Seiberling, 1902. 

Rev. John V. Sappenfield, 1902. 

Rev. M. E. Boulton, 1903—1906. 

Rev. J. C. Dietz, 1903—1906. 

Rev. J. A. Miller, 1903—1908. 

Rev. Paul W. Roth, 1903. 

Rev. Paul J. Gerberding, 1903. 

Rev. L. P. Pence, 1003—1906. 

Rev. Herbert M. Martens, 1904—1906. 

Rev. Theodore Weiskotten, 1904. 

Rev. Elmer D. S. Boyer, 1904. 

Rev. Lloyd W. Steckel, 1904—1909. 

Rev. John Knauer, 1904. 

Rev. William Brenner, 1905—1906. 

Rev. H. J. Matthias, 1905. 

Rev. WilUam C. Miller, 1905—1908. 

Rev. L. J. Baker, .1905— 1906. 

Rev. Charles R. Dunlap, 1906—1907. 

Rev. Edward P. Conrad, 1906. 

Rev. Roger C. Kaufman, 1906. 

Rev. Andrew M. Sappenfield, 1906—1908. 

Rev. Curtis G. Stacy, 1906—1907. 

Rev. John H. Wannemacher, 1906—1908. 

Rev. V. J. Becker, 1907—1908. 

Rev. N. Mattheis, 1907—1908. 

Rev. Chas. L. Warstler, 1907. 

Rev. C. A. Dennig, 1907. 

Rev. H. N. Thompson, 1907. 

Rev. F. E. Stough, 1907. 

Rev. M. L. Stirewalt, 1907. 

Rev. Wm. Hall, 1908. 

Rev. Luther J. Smith, 1908. 

Rev. F. C. Longaker, 1908. 

Rev. E. H. Copenhaver, 1908. 

Rev. H. J. Behrens, 1908. 

There have been in connection with the synod to this 
date, October, 1908, 108 ministers. Of these eleven died, 
namely, Nathan Booher, E. S. Henkel, Eli Myers, J. M. 


Harkey, Henry Fairchild, Frank C. C. Kaehler, Isaac 
Hursh, A. E. Gift, John Good, M. J, Stirewalt and J. M. 
G. Sappenfield. 

The following congregations aro, or have been, con- 
nected with the synod : 

St. Mark's, Whitestown, Boone county, Indiana. 

St. James', Montgomery county, Indiana. 

Phanuel, Fountain county, Indiana. 

Emmanuel, Fountain county, Indiana. 

Philadelphia, Parke county, Indiana. 

Fairhaven, Clinton county, Indiana. 

t St. Paul's, Shelby county, Indiana. 

t St. George's, Shelby county, Indiana. 

* St. John's, Rush county, Indiana. 
Union, Boone county, Indiana. 

* St. Luke's, Boone county, Indiana. 

* St. John's, Monroe county, Indiana. 

* St. Paul's, Monroe county, Indiana. 

St. Peter's, Newberry, Greene county, Indiana. 

* Zion's, Daviess county, Indiana. 

* Union, Daviess county, Indiana. 
Mt. Zion, Knox county, Indiana. 

Mt. Solomon, Harrison county, Indiana. 

t Trinity, Goshen, Elkhart county, Indiana. 

St. Paul's, Benton, Elkhart county, Indiana. 

Zion's, E. Germantown, Wayne county, Indiana. 

Salem, New .\ugu6ta, Marion county, Indiana. 

Holy Trinity, Ft. Wayne, Allen county, Indiana. 

t St. Mark's, Nokomis, Montgomery county, Illinois. 

Zion's, Colburn, Tippecanoe county, Indiana. 

Mt. Zion's (St. John's), Ovid, Madison county, Indiana. 

St. Jacob's, Millville, Henry county, Indiana. 

Union, Gila, Jasper county, Illinois. 

St. Paul's, Tiosa, Fulton county, Indiana. 

St. John's, Bruce Lake, Fulton county, Indiana. 

St. James', Vandalia, Fayette county, Illinoin. 

St. James', Claremont, Kichland county, Illinois. 

* St. Paul's, Olney, Kichland county, Illinois. 

* Mt. Zion's, Martinsville, Clarke county, Illinois. 

— 268 — 

* St. Peter's, Osgood, Ripley county, Indiana. 

* St. Stephens', Ashland township, Morgan county, Indiana. 
t Trinity, Lancaster, Wabash county, Illinois. 

* Mt. Zion's, Morgan county, Indiana. 

First English, Goshen, Elkhart county, Indiana. 

St. John's, Middletown, Henry county, Indiana. 

First English, Decatur, Macon county, Illinois. 

t St. John's, Spring Valley, McPherson county, Kansas. 

* St. Mark's, near Muncie, Delaware county, Indiana. 
St. Paul's, Syracuse, Kosciusko county, Indiana. 

St. Paul's, Frankfort, Clinton county, Indiana. 

t Zion's, Portland, Jay county, Indiana. 

Emmanuel, near Nappanee, Kosciusko county, Indiana. 

Bethel, Petit, Tippecanoe county, Indiana. 

St. John's, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 

St. John's, Anderson, Madison county, Indiana. 

* St. Paul's, Eden, Hancock county, Indiana. 

* St. John's, Hagerstown, Henry county, Indiana. 

* North Union, Montgomery county, Indiana. 
St. Peter's, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
Wicker Park, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
St. Mark's, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
St. Matthew's, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
St. James', Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
St. Luke's, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
Epiphany, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
Atonement, Chicago, Cook county, Illinois. 
Redeemer, Chicago (Austin), Cook county, Illinois. 
Holy Trinity, Elgin, Kane county, Illinois. 
Redeemer, Aurora, Kane county, Illinois. 

Holy Trinity South Bend, St. Joseph county, Indiana. 
First English, Mishawaka, St. Joseph county, Indiana. 
t Hope, Crisman, Porter county, Indiana. 
Holy Trinity, La Fayette, Tippecanoe county, Indiana. 
St. John's, Nappanee, Kosciusko county, Indiana. 
Our Saviour, Alexandria, Madison county, Indiana. 
Zion's, Walnut Ridge, Allen county, Indiana. 

Note.— Those marked * have, so far as the writer has been able to learn, 
become extinct. Those marked t left the synod. 

- 269 - 

St. John's, Hicksville, Defiance county, Ohio. 

Lost Creek, near Hicksville, Defiance county, Ohio. 

St. Paul's, Detroit, Michigan. 

Christ's, Detroit, Michigan. 

St. Paul's, West Liberty, Richland county, Illinois. 

Reformation, Buckley, Illinois. 

Ascension, Chicago Heights, Illinois. 

Grace, Woodstock, Illinois. 

The financial showing of the synod is commenda- 
ble. The reports upon which our figures are based 
are very incomplete. The amounts actually contril)uted 
for the several objects enumerated are in excess of the 
figures here given; especially is this true of the general 
expense credits, and of the contributions of the Sunday 
schools. The expenditures were as follows: For local 
congregational expenses, from 1871 to 1896, inclusive, 
$235,999.19; from 1897 to 1906, inclusive, $310,116.66, 
a total of $546,1 15.8.5. Contributions by the Sunday 
schools from 1871 to 1896, inclusive, $6,353.98; from 
1897 to 1906, inclusive, $27,812.99, total, $34,116.S7. 
Contributed for home missions 1871 to 1S96, $2,414.32; 
from 1897 to 1906, $14,454.96, total, $16,.S69.28. For 
foreign missions 1871 to 1896, $870.98; from 1897 to 
1906, $2,503.70, total, $3,374.68. For all other objects, 
including educational institutions, orphan work, church 
extension, local benevolence, and current expenses, from 
1871 to 1896, $11,846.27; from 1897 to 1906, $37,167.23. 
total, $43,013.50, making a grand total of $257.4S4.74 
from 1871 to 1896, and $336,872.93 from 1896 to 1906, 
and a grand total for the thirty-live years of the synod's 
history, $643,490.18. 

The numerical growth of the synod is indicated by 
the following statistics: In 1871 it had 8 pastors, 23 con- 
gregations and about 800 communicant members, and I 

— 270 — 

Sunday schools. In 1896 it had 23 pastors, 37 congrega- 
tions with 3,576 communicant members, 31 Sunday 
schools, with 343 teachers and 2,871 pupils. In 1872 the 
infant baptisms were 65, and accessions 36. In 1896 the 
infant baptisms were 159, and accessions 349. In 1906 
the infant baptisms were 320 and accessions 689, and the 
number of pastors 39, congregations 57, with 5,783 com- 
municant members, 48 Sunday schools, with 608 teach- 
ers, and 5,169 pupils. The total number of infant bap- 
tisms reported is 5,687; of accessions 10,607. 

— 27J — 

i'ummary of tl)C JJarnrliial iScpnrta. 




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Chicago, Illinois 

I 3 S 

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Chicago, Illinois 

Chicago, Illinois 



Claremont, Illinois 

East Germantown, Indiana 


East Germantown Parish 


Chicago, Illinois 

LaFayette, Indiana 

Corydon, Indiana 

On page 217, lines 10 ami 11 from bottom should read : 
Rev. M. M. Groves, 1868. License expired October 28, 1868. 
Rev. R. E. McDaniel, 1870. License expired August 10, 1870. 

mmmmm^^if, ^d.<n 


Corydon, Indiana 

/ 'W3» 





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