Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Theology (ThD)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

August Suelflow


The scope of this dissertation is to describe, analyze, and evaluate the home mission work5of the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference, which was a mission toAfro-Americans.6 The purpose is to expose the various factors which impacted this mission work and either helped or hampered its success. As a result of the study, it is the hope of the author that the church will learn from its past and manage to put fewer obstacles in the path of the Gospel it proclaims.

In making this study of the black mission work of the Synodical Conference, it became apparent to the author that the two theological disputes which disrupted the Synodical Conference, the Predestinarian Controversy of the 1880s and the fellowship dispute which began in 1938, had little impact on its black mission work.? There appear to be two reasons for this. The first was timing. The Predestinarian Controversy occurred just as the mission to the Afro-Americans was beginning, and the mission was still tiny. While it was true that the first missionary, Rev. John F. Boescher, sided with the opponents of C. F. W. Walther and left the Missouri Synod, Boescher had by that time already taken a callout of the black mission. In the case of the Fellowship Controversy, by the time the majority of the heat was generated by this controversy, the process of amalgamating the black congregations into the existing synods, begun in 1946, was already well underway.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.