Archive for the ‘German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri Ohio and Other States’ Tag

Feast of August Crull (February 17)   1 comment

august-crull

Above:  August Crull

Image in the Public Domain

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AUGUST CRULL (JANUARY 27, 1845-FEBRUARY 17, 1923)

German-American Lutheran Minister, Poet, Professor, Hymnodist, and Hymn Translator

The name of August Crull came to my attention due to my interest in liturgy and hymnody.  I have added five of his hymn translations to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  Now I add him to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  I have relied heavily on archive.org and on hymnal companion volumes, which I have supplemented with an obituary from the February 19, 1923, edition of The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, accessible via newspapers.com.  Certain details in the hymnal companion volumes contradict the obituary, but I have found that, when following leads, that the hymnal companion volumes are more reliable than the obituary.

Crull’s life started in Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, where his mother gave birth to him on January 27, 1845.  Our saint’s father, attorney Hofrat Crull, died when August was quite young.  August’s mother remarried eventually, joining her life with that of Albert Friedrich Hoppe, a doctor of laws.  Our saint’s stepfather went on to edit the St. Louis edition of Luther’s Works (1880-1897).  The family emigrated in the 1850s.

Our saint’s life in the United States was one of great accomplishments.  He attended Concordia College at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1862.  Next Crull studied at Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, from which he graduated in 1865.  The newly ordained Reverend Crull served as assistant pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1865 to 1866.

Trinity Church, Milwaukee

Above:  Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Congregation Founded in 1847

Building Erected in 1878

Image Source = Library of Congress

Call Number = HABS WIS,40-MILWA,24-

Bad health forced our saint to resign after a year.  He studied theology and medicine in Dresden, Germany, before returning to St. Louis, where he edited a newspaper until 1868.  From 1868 to 1870 Crull was the principal of the Lutheran High School in St. Louis.  Then, from 1871 to 1873, he served as pastor of Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Crull’s occupation for most of his life, however, was as a professor of German language and literature at Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1873 to 1915.

Crull’s obituary from 1923 described his teaching career eloquently.

Crull Obituary 02C

Crull Obituary 03A

Source = The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 19, 1923, Page 2

Accessed via newspapers.com

Crull, a poet and author of two volumes of German poetry, published a German-language grammar (1880) and Das Walte Gott (1893), a book of devotions derived from sermons by Missouri Synod founder Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther (1811-1887).  Our saint also edited three hymnals.

The first of these influential hymnals was the Hymn Book for the Use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations (1879).  This was the first English-language hymnal of the old Norwegian Synod (1853-1917).  The hymnal, which offered 130 hymns and 10 doxologies, was in use inside the old Norwegian Synod and beyond, including congregations of the Missouri Synod, officially the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (GELSMOOS).  Among the hymnal’s admirers was Walther.

The second hymnal Crull edited was Hymns of the Evangelical Lutheran Church:  For the Use of English Lutheran Missions (1886).  The Missouri Synod published this collection of 33 hymns with melodies.

Crull’s magnum opus of hymnody was the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1889), which the English Evangelical Lutheran Conference of Missouri (1872-1888)/General English Evangelical Lutheran Conference of Missouri and Other States (1888-1891)/English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and Other States (1891-1911) authorized.  The volume of 400 hymns, texts only, went into a second edition with added liturgical materials in 1892.  The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn Book (1889) was  great advance, but denominational President Frederick Gottlob Kuegele (1846-1916) wrote in Der Lutheraner:

If we desire to build a true English Lutheran church for our descendants, then we must also be concerned, before it is too late, for a true English hymnal.

Crull’s magnum opus laid the foundations for the Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book (1912), the first official English-language hymnal of the Missouri Synod, then still GELSMOOS (now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod).  (The English Synod of Missouri had merged into the Missouri Synod in 1911 and become the English District thereof.)  The 1912 hymnal had 567 hymns, 27 chants, and much liturgical material.

Crull, whose work in the realm of hymnody helped the Missouri Synod make the transition from German to English, married twice.  His first wife (from 1867 to 1884) was Sophie Biewend (1849-1884), with whom he had four children.  One one of these offspring survived the parents.  He was Dr. Eric A. Crull (1876-1936), who devoted his career to the battle against tuberculosis.  Our saint’s second wife (from 1896) was Katharine John, who died in 1944.

Crull retired from Concordia College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1915, and moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There he remained until he died on February 17, 1915.  He was 78 years old.  Our saint had joined the Choir Invisible, but his legacy has never died.  I have found his hymn translations in current Lutheran hymnals.  These texts are superior to many contemporary lyrics of worship songs in literary quality and theological density.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 31, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT WOLFGANG OF REGENSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP

ALL HALLOWS’ EVE

REFORMATION DAY

VIGIL FOR THE EVE OF ALL SAINTS’ DAY

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially August Crull)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe (January 2)   2 comments

Loehe

Above:  Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN KONRAD WILHELM LOEHE (FEBRUARY 21, 1808-JANUARY 2, 1872)

Bavarian Lutheran Minister and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions

The name of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe comes from the calendars of Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006).  The former lists him as a “renewer of the church,” and the latter simply as a pastor.  Both descriptions are accurate yet inadequate.  The fact that I honor Loehe indicates that I respect him, not that I agree with him all of the time.  I cannot, in fact, think of anyone with whom I never disagree.

Our saint, who was frequently at odds with his ecclesiastical superiors, proved that life in exile need not prevent one from leaving an impressive legacy.  The native of Furth, near Nuremberg, Middle Franconia, lost his father, a shopkeeper, at the age of eight years.  Loehe studied at Nuremberg before matriculating at the University of Erlangen in 1826.   At first Loehe leaned toward Reformed theology, but encounters with the Lutheran Confessions changed his mind.  Our saint, who graduated in 1830, became an ordained minister the following year.  From 1831 to 1837 he served at a series of churches.  He alienated many people, especially his superiors.  Loehe, a minister of the Bavarian state Lutheran church, argued against state control of the church.  He also opposed rationalist influences in the Lutheran Church on one side and Pietistic minimalization of sacraments on the other side.  Holy Communion, Loehe said, was the proper center of parish life.  Our saint, a confessional Lutheran, circulated a proposed confessional basis for the church.  His superiors were not impressed.  From 1837 to his death in 1872 Loehe served a small church in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, an out-of-the-way village.  This was ecclesiastical exile.

He speaks the Word the bread and wine to bless:

“This is my flesh and blood!”

He bids us eat and drink with thankfulness

This gift of holy food.

All human thought must falter–

Our God stoops low to heal,

Now present on the altar,

For us both host and meal!

–Loehe, translated by Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr.; text copyrighted in 2002 by GIA Publications, Inc.; quoted in the Lutheran Service Book (2006), hymn #639

Loehe was a Neo-Lutheran, a member of a movement similar to the Oxford Movement within Anglicanism.  His exaltation of the Holy Communion prompted many detractors to accuse him of Crypto-Catholicism.  Another theological issue in the minds of some critics of Loehe was his stress on the catholic nature of the Lutheran Church as its Confessions defined it.  For Loehe, to whose theology the cross of Christ was central, the Lutheran Confessions conformed without deviation to the New Testament.   He wrote at least two hymns which exist in English translation.  I quoted one stanza of one of those hymns above.  The second hymn, “O Son of God, in Co-Eternal Might,” has graced my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Loehe operated an ambitious foreign missions program from Neuendettelsau, where he founded a school for missionaries.  In 1841 he became concerned about the needs of Lutheran churches in the United States.  He encouraged many German emigrants to settle in the Saginaw valley of Michigan in 1845. Our saint also prepared and published maps to encourage German emigrants to settle in extant German immigrant communities in North America.  In 1845 Loehe commenced a mission among Native Americans.  The founding of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, took place during the following year.  Loehe sent missionaries not only to North America but to Australia, New Guinea, the Ukraine, and Brazil.

Loehe’s effect on North American Lutheranism was great.  He initially supported the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930), one of the more conservative Lutheran synods.  Pastors Loehe had sent and who had affiliated with the Joint Synod of Ohio became disenchanted, however.  They complained about the following issues:

  1. The lack of an acceptable confessional standard,
  2. The ascendancy of the English language at the seminary, and
  3. The progress of the process of Americanization.

These pastors and Loehe helped to found the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, in 1847.  The Missouri Synod also acquired the seminary at Fort Wayne and the mission program among Native Americans.

Relations between the Loehe forces and the Missourians broke down, however.  One reason was disagreement regarding the theology of ordained ministry.  The Missourian position held that the congregation held all powers and rights of ordained ministry via its participation in the priesthood of believers.  The congregation, therefore, transferred these powers and rights to the minister when it called him to serve it.  Loehe rejected this transference theology.  It was, he argued, an example of “American mob-rule.”  No, our saint said, ministerial authority was independent of the congregation a pastor served.  Such authority came directly from God via ordination, he argued.

Another issue was contention between Loehe and the Missourians concerned interpretation of the Lutheran Confessions.  The Missourian position held that the Lutheran Confessions were in complete harmony with the scriptures.  There was, therefore, no ambiguity on any issue.  Loehe disagreed.  As I established a few paragraphs ago, our saint thought that the Lutheran Confessions conformed without deviation to the New Testament.  He stated, however, that the only proper context in which to interpret the Confessions was historical.  Loehe concluded, therefore, that both the Lutheran Confessions and the scriptures left room for a variety of opinions about certain controversial questions.  For example, is the Pope the Antichrist?  And how much interest may a banker charge morally?  Loehe’s tone was both confessional and irenic.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States, or the Iowa Synod for short, separated from the Missouri Synod in 1854.  Its first confessional statement was one paragraph long:

The synod subscribes to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church because it recognizes all the symbolical decisions on controverted questions before or during the time of the Reformation as corresponding to the divine Word.  But because within the Lutheran Church there are different tendencies, the synod espouses that one which strives for greater completeness by means of the confessions and on the basis of the Word of God.  In the founding of congregations the synod is not content with mere acceptance of its principles of doctrine and life, but requires probation and therefore re-established the catechumenate of the ancient church.  The goal to be sought in its congregations is the apostolic life; to attain this, official and fraternal discipline is to be practiced.

–Quoted in E. Clifford Nelson, editor, The Lutherans in North America–Revised Edition (1980), page 182

The Missouri Synod, the Joint Synod of Ohio, and the Buffalo Synod agreed that the preceding statement was too vague and that subsequent elaborations were inadequate.  The Buffalo Synod, the Joint Synod of Ohio, and the Iowa Synod resolved their differences in time, however, for they merged to form The American Lutheran Church (1930-1960), a predecessor of The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987), a predecessor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Loehe also established a motherhouse for deaconesses at Neuendettelsau.  These women lived communally, practiced celibacy, provided social services (mostly in Bavaria), and made paraments for church buildings.  Our saint sent six deaconesses to North America.

Loehe, who married in 1837, spent most of his life as a widower.  His wife died at age 24, leaving him to raise four children.  That must have been difficult for him.

Our saint died at Neuendettelsau on January 2, 1872, after suffering a stroke.  He was 64 years old.  He had used his time on the planet well.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

PROPER 17:  THE FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN, GERMAN MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, we praise your for your servant Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe,

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:25-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Frederick William Herzberger (August 26)   Leave a comment

Flag of Missouri

Above:  Flag of Missouri

Image in the Public Domain

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FREDERICK WILLIAM HERZBERGER (OCTOBER 23, 1859-AUGUST 26, 1930)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Hymn Translator

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Christ is arisen

From death’s painful prison.

Now we rejoice with gladness;

Christ will end all sadness.

Kyrieleis.

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All the world had ended

Had Jesus not ascended

From grave and death triumphantly.

For this, Lord Christ, we honor Thee.

Kyrieleis.

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Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Now we rejoice with gladness;

Christ will end all sadness.

Kyrieleis.

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Frederick William Herzberger (1859-1930) translated that text.  He, the son of a Lutheran minister, entered the world at Baltimore, Maryland.  At two years of age our saint became an orphan.  This background influenced his adult life.

Herzberger devoted his adult life to evangelism and to humanitarian efforts.  The 1882 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, became a minister of the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (1847-present), the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States from 1919 to 1948 and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod since 1948.  He founded six congregations in Arkansas then served at Carson, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Hammond, Indiana.  Next our saint became the first Missouri Synod city missionary to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1898.  He founded the Society for Homeless Children in 1903 and played a vital role in founding the Lutheran Convalescent Home of St. Louis.  He was also active in the Associated Lutheran Charities (founded in 1901), a social ministry with an emphasis on child welfare.  Herzberger aided other institutions devoted to helping sick and vulnerable children and senior citizens in other states also.  He died at St. Louis on August 26, 1930.

Our saint was also a capable poet, a translator of hymns, and a devotional writer.  Representative volumes included Pilgrim Songs (1888) and The Family Altar (1920).

As our Lord and Savior said in Matthew 25, those who aid the least of his brethren do the same for him.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIE ADOLPHINE DIERKS, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN, MISSIONARY, AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANCIS SERRANO, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MISSIONARY

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O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom

the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94-1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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