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The Lutherans of New York Their Story and Their Problems   By:

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[Transcriber's note: A very few German names appeared in the original with umlauts. These have been transcribed as an "e". A few spelling errors in the original are indicated with a "[sic]". The original uses italics to indicate most of the German and Latin in the text, and all of the authors' names in the bibliography. Italics are transcribed with the underscore character at the beginning and end. Footnotes in the original are transcribed here in a paragraph immediately below the paragraph to which the footnote is connected. The appendix contains a table that is 102 characters wide.]

The Lutherans of New York

Their Story and Their Problems

BY GEORGE U. WENNER, D.D., L.H.D. Pastor of Christ Church

New York THE PETERSFIELD PRESS 819 East Nineteenth Street 1918

Copyright, 1918 By GEORGE U. WENNER

TO THE LUTHERANS OF NEW YORK IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY May you bring forth fruit and may your fruit remain

Contents Apology Introduction Their Story In the Seventeenth Century 1648 1700 In the Eighteenth Century 1701 1750 In the Eighteenth Century 1751 1800 In the Nineteenth Century 1801 1838 In the Nineteenth Century 1839 1865 In the Nineteenth Century 1866 1900 In the Twentieth Century 1900 1918 Their Problems The Problem of Synods The Problem of Language The Problem of Membership The Problem of Religious Education The Problem of Lapsed Lutherans The Problem of Statistics Epilogue Appendix The Churches; Deaconesses; Former Pastors; Sons of the Churches; Institutions and Societies; Other Associations; Periodicals; Book stores; Bibliography; Index.

Illustrations Frontispiece [Transcriber's note: a portrait of the author] When New York Was Young A Corner of Broad Street New Amsterdam in 1640 In the Eighteenth Century Trinity Church Henry Melchior Muehlenberg The Old Swamp Church Frederick Muehlenberg John Christopher Kunze Kunze's Gravestone Carl F. E. Stohlmann, D.D. Pastor Wilhelm Heinrich Berkemeier The Wartburg G. F. Krotel, D.D., LL.D. Augustus Charles Wedekind, D.D. Pastor J. H. Sieker Charles E. Weltner, D.D.


Lutherans are not foreigners in New York. Most of us it is true are new comers. But with a single exception, that of the Dutch Reformed Church, Lutherans were the first to plant the standard of the cross on Manhattan Island.

The story of our church runs parallel with that of the city. Our problems are bound up with those of New York. Our neighbors ought to be better acquainted with us. We ought to be better acquainted with them. We have common tasks, and it would be well if we knew more of each other's ways and aims.

New York is a cosmopolitan city. It is the gateway through which the nations are sending their children into the new world.

Lutherans are a cosmopolitan church. Our pastors minister to their flocks in fifteen languages. No church has a greater obligation to "seek the peace of the city" than the Lutherans of New York. No church has a deeper interest in the problems that come to us with the growth and ever changing conditions of the metropolis.

In their earlier history our churches had a checkered career. In recent years they have made remarkable progress. In Greater New York we enroll this year 160 churches. The Metropolitan District numbers 260 congregations holding the Lutheran confession. But the extraordinary conditions of a rapidly expanding metropolis, with its nomadic population, together with our special drawback of congregations divided among various races and languages as well as conflicting schools of theological definition, make our tasks heavy and confront us with problems of grave difficulty.

On the background of a historical sketch a study of some of these problems is attempted by the author. After spending what seemed but a span of years in the pastorate on the East Side, he awoke one day to find that half a century had been charged to his account. While it is a distinction, there is no special merit in being the senior pastor of New York... Continue reading book >>

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