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Board for Home Missions Collection

Identifier: S015
Records consist of documents produced and received by the offices of the Board for Home Missions. Correspondence and reports to and from various administrative bodies, District Mission Boards, congregations, missions and individuals make up the bulk of the collection. Due to the fact that the Board for Home Missions and the Board for World Missions (BWM) were under joint administration until 1957, the majority of BWM documents are housed in a separate collection.


  • 1919 - 2008


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


24 Box (24 Record boxes) : 24 Record boxes containing 937 file folders

Biographical / Historical

During the first years of her history, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod relied upon the work of missionaries-at-large to further and expand the message of the Gospel within her environs. These creative and dedicated men, known and respected as Reisenpredigern, worked hard to support and encourage enclaves of Lutheran immigrants and to spread the word of life to the unchurched along the way. By 1878, the method was producing fruit. In that year, the Synod resolved “that each conference commission one of its pastors to go out” and serve as a missionary-at-large. Pastor E. Meyerhoff was elected superintendent of the project in 1879. Meyerhoff was succeeded by A. Bendler in 1894. At Bendler’s suggestion, the position of superintendent was replaced by a commission of five district representatives in 1895. In 1917, The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod completed a process of restructuring and amalgamation with three other synods to become the General Synod of Wisconsin and Other States. As a result of that restructuring, all mission work was organized under the administration of the Board for Home, Foreign, and Inner Missions, commonly called the General Mission Board (GMB). The GMB continued to expedite its work to the activities of several different subsidiaries. As our Synod’s activity increased in areas outside the United States, a Board of Foreign Missions became autonomous in 1957. The board responsible for the management of missions within the United States and Canada was named the “General Board of Missions: Home” (GMBH). This board was renamed “Board for Home Missions” (BHM) in 1987. Since 1919, the following men have served as officers of the BHM:

Chairman: Secretary: Paul Brockmann (1925) Paul T. Oehlert (1928) Julius W. Bergholz (1925-1928) Karl A. Gurgel (1953) Walter T. Meier (1953) Ray L. Wiechmann (1961-1968) Henry Paustian (1966

Administrator: Associate Administrator: Norman W. Berg (1968-1988) Harold J. Hagedorn (1986-1988) Harold J. Hagedorn (1988- )

Repository Details

Part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Archives Repository