Full Text for Concordia Comes to Springfield: 100 Years -- 1874-1974 (Text)

THE SPRINGFIELDER April 1974 Volume 38, Number 2 Concordia Comes To Springfield: T I-1E LO1111 TEACHES us to remember His gracious guidance and His faithfulness in His covenant with mcn. Much history was recortled by inspiration for our learning, both in the Old Testament itntl in the New. It is a natural consequence that the people rvho confess His Nalnc should continue to identify the g~~idance of God in the liistorv of thc church. I\!ith the Psalnls we praise Goor;itio~i hct.t.rlr.en the trvo seminaries, but thc students comtortec'l thenlsclves that: ill l~cnve~i the "pr:tctical" would be reunited with thc "tlleo- yetical." 'Tl.1~ rvisdoiii of the stel) was to appear, .tohen ill 1922 the 50th anniversary l>ool< could report that 1510 pastors had gone forth From Spl:i~~gfield uiliilc 265 1 pastors had come from St. T40uis. The nlajol-it? of ministerial stuclcnts still came from Germany. 'The \:car 1874 was significant for the seminary. 'The con- vcntion 01' the General Synod was held in Ft. Wayne in Octobcr of that !:ear. 'T'l~c pros and cons were tiiscussed with tviirlnth when it was debated tvhcthcr ii new building should bc erected in St. Louis or whcthet the two seminaries should Be separated. After several tl;lys the resolutio~i was in favor of accepting the Springfield offer. 'Thc I're-seminary Dept. hacl already been transferred in jan~.~ary. 'Thc previous liistory of the institution and its can~pus revcals that the Enos family 113d grax~ted the land for Illinois State Univer- sity, rvhich rvo~ilcl revert to the fanlily if it should fail to be used For ed~rcatioli for more than a )Iear. Abraham Lincoln had spolten at the tledication of the first school on the SpringfieId sitc. The Nor- wegians, Swedcs, and Danes attempted to establish a joint S2utlleraii college: rvhicb was to be moved from Hillshoro to Springfield. IVhen thc unlted support of the General S!~nod and the Pennsylvania S~~i?od failed, Dr. Passavant then offered the college to the Missouri Synod. Pastor 13uenger, who founcled the orphanage and thc old folks home ill St. Louis; tried to persuade St. IJouis leaders to estabIisll "The. Ev. 1,utheran Fcinale College and Normal School Associatioi~" on the Springfield prolm-ty. this failed for lack of stuilents and faculty, the plan evolved to move the Pre-seminary from St. Louis, since payments had been made. Unless the property was used for educational purposes it would revert to the Enos 'farnib, ss the original gift of the deed required. The J.,ord moves in n~ysterious nlavs His wonders to perform. Prof. August Craeiner, not wanting to lcave St. lJouis for S~ringfielcl, begged to be alloived to resign because his strength was walling (agc 62), but Synod resolvcd unanimously that he could not bc sparecl ancl that it would hear no contrary proposal. Prof. Craenler iudeetl knew thc institutiol~ well hot11 at its Ft. Wayne and St. Louis locations and was able to guide it through this crucial period into Spri~~gficld. Synod ranted another professorship and advanced In- qtrilctor Kroening ot the Prc-seminary Dept. to the rank of "Collab- orator," extending, his appointnlent by one year. The seminary was movetl to Six-itlgheltl in iiug~st, 1875, and the following spring I'rof. \\'yneken was added. 8 7 1 he student organization, "I. the supervisor re- garilcd it :ls "good politics" to let tlle Lutheriuls enter. rl contn)rrers!. tlcvelopcct imrncdiatcly OJI the doctrine of jnstification ~vhich the str~dcnts taught. The homc belonged to the Presbyterians, nncl sonlc of thc I-esitlcnts did not think it sufficient to be snvccl bv faith alone. But the IIIS i'orga~>i7.ers" were soon founding various new so- cieties. l\ singing circle ("L,icderkranz") was fornicd, n ~nalc choir callec-'I Coiistantia, but wl~icll was not constant. A gymnastic club ("Ttlrnvercin") was founded "on sound Christian itlenls." I'inglish clilb called itself "Dr. Rqartin Luther Society," \vhose tutor was Prof. \V!nekcn. A Germania society, sooii called Concordia, cultivated the English language arnong those not read! for "Dr. h4a~:tin Luther." TI] is ~veltcr of organizntio~ls was soon to create Inany conflicts wit11 resultant escuses and rccrinlinations for failure to attend. l'rof. C1:acnlc.r 1-1:id to step in, ant1 thc fornler ~xilitar\. oEcer was equal to the task of regulating such legalistic conlpetitioil. Pastor Alfred Grjrnm, pen name "Alfred Ira," wrote the history of I