Home > Uncategorized > Wittenberg Here We Come! SELK and LCMS Establish Presence in the Birthplace of the Reformation

Wittenberg Here We Come! SELK and LCMS Establish Presence in the Birthplace of the Reformation

October 17th, 2007
Marketing Advertising Blog — VuManhThang.Com

I’m very excited to report that things are progressing marvelously on the development of a new Luther center in Wittenberg, Germany, as a result of a partnership amongst The LCMS Board for World Missions, LCMS Board for Human Care and Concordia Publishing House, with funding provided by the Lutheran Church Extension Fund and grants and gifts coming in from individuals, congregations and Synodical districts and other agencies.

The photo you see is the sign for the center at its temporary office location on the site of what once was the Wittenberg University. It states simply:


Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Wittenberg Office

The SELK pastor stationed now in Wittenberg, has his office here until the renovations are complete on the building that has been purchased and which stands prominently, very appropriately so, next to St. Mary Church, the birthplace of the Lutheran Reformation. Within these walls, Luther’s sermons on the Gospel rang out and spread throughout Europe. All visitors to Wittenberg, and it is estimated there are nearly 600,000 English speaking tourists a year making their way to Wittenberg, will see the Luther Center as they enter the St. Mary Church, for it is to the immediate left of the main door into the church. And in that center will be a CPH bookstore!

Here is the building. It was constructed by Elector August I in the early 1560s as a gymnasium (boy’s high school). You might remember that August I was the sponsor of the Book of Concord and virtually saved Lutheranism when finally he realized that Melanchthonian Lutherans whom he had trusted were actually just trying to sneak Calvinism in. Once they were exposed and removed from Wittenberg, things took a definite turn for the better and as a result we have our Book of Concord today! So, a very appropriate building, in a great location, in a very important city indeed.

Go to the Lutheran Witness for the full story and more details.

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  1. Holger Sonntag
    October 17th, 2007 at 19:19 | #1

    Well, if the center has a CPH bookstore, then we know that the story of Christianity in Germany will end well after all. Haha. Just kidding. — Being a Lutheran and a German myself, I must say that this center, with our sister church gaining a foothold there, fills me with great joy. Thanks to all who made and are making this possible, above all the Triune God himself.
    We’ve all heard and told tales about how bad the shape of Christianity is in Germany. Indeed, it’s so bad that prior to this center there was no orthodox Lutheran presence (congregation) in the town of Luther. Imagine no Papist churches in Rome and you get the picture! But, clearly, Wittenberg’s shape after the Prussians took over in the early 19th century is only a symptom, or symbol, of Lutheranism’s Babylonian captivity in rationalism and unionism in Germany ever since. Read Sasse for a first-hand account. So let’s hope genuine renewal of Lutheranism, in fact of Christendom, in Germany and Europe begins once more in this little town on the Elbe River.
    May God bless this joint effort of SELK and LCMS with his wisdom, power, and grace.

  2. Jeff
    October 18th, 2007 at 08:04 | #2

    This is good news, indeed. The evangelization of Europe will be the work of this generation and the next. When I read stories like this my heart sings. Thanks for posting this.

  3. Craig
    October 18th, 2007 at 08:48 | #3

    Thank you for the updates on this exciting endeavor.

  4. Greg
    October 18th, 2007 at 13:04 | #4

    Now if we can get Norway, Swedan and Denmark going the right direction…wow, may God grant a renewal of authentic Lutheranism both here and around the world.

  5. Peter Bauernfeind
    October 18th, 2007 at 14:57 | #5

    What is the status of St. Mary’s Church in Wittenberg? Is it an EKD congregation, or something else?

  6. Holger Sonntag
    October 20th, 2007 at 12:24 | #6

    All the historic congregations in Wittenberg are EKD: St. Mary and the Castle Church and whatever other protestant churches there might be.
    That’s why the ELCA and EKD are not too happy about the LCMS/SELK presence in town since that does make them not the only show in town any more. The presiding bishop of the EKD, Wolfgang Huber of Berlin-Brandenburg (the church of the Prussian union), has therefore already called for an “integrated” Lutheran presence in Wittenberg that doesn’t confuse the members of the local churches. Only as such an ELCA-LCMS hybrid is Lutheranism bearable in Germany to the ecclesial powers that be.
    At the same time, the United Ev. Luth. Church in Germany (VELKD), the association of some Lutheran churches within the EKD, announced that they will financially support the ELCA’s Wittenberg Center till 2017 — so much for “integrated” presence of Lutheranism in Wittenberg: integrated = LCMS integrated in the ELCA.

  7. Peter Bauernfeind
    October 22nd, 2007 at 01:26 | #7

    All the more reason for the LCMS/SELK to BE present in Wittenberg! I mean, if the only exposure the Wittenbergers and others have of Lutheranism is the ELCA/EKD, then their understanding of Lutheranism is deficient. It also sounds like Bishop Huber merely wants to maintain the status quo (i.e. there’s only one form of Lutheranism, and that’s the ELCA/EKD brand). I think the Wittenbergers are smart enough to digest the differences between SELK and EKD, just as they can between LCMS and ELCA. I also get the impression that the ecclesial powers that be grind there teeth over the mere existence of the SELK. So I am ecstatic that there is a SELK/LCMS presence in Wittenberg now, and next to St. Mary’s Church, no less!

  8. Karl Hess
    October 27th, 2007 at 13:33 | #8

    On the advertisement for this in Logia, the following quote from our Synod’s Mission Executive:
    “Fewer than 20 percent of the people in the town most associated with Martin Luther today are Christian, much less Lutheran.”
    When the synod mission exec sees Lutheranism as something different from or over and above mere Christianity, no wonder we’re jettisoning our Lutheranism (or is it our Christianity?) in the Missouri Synod!
    With Lutherans like this, who needs evangelicals?
    This quote has been grieving me all week as I prepared my sermon for the festival of the Reformation.

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