of the first German Lutheran settlement


Altenburg, Perry County, Missouri

with special emphasis on its ecclesiastic movements


in celebation of the 25th anniversary of Altenburg's founding


G.A. Schieferdecker,

Pastor of the Immanuel Congregation.



Printed and published by the

Wartburg Seminary,

Clayton County, Iowa



Webpage 1: title page and preface

Webpage 2: pages 5-9

  • Reasons for Saxon emigration in 1838
  • Martin Stephan's role in influening others to emigrate
  • Details of financial and transport arrangements
  • The first arrivals in Missouri
  • Purchase of land 110 miles from St. Louis, later designated Perry County

Webpage 3: pages 10-14

  • Details concerning Stephan's appointment as bishop
  • The unmasking of Martin Stephan and his dismissal from office

Webpage 4: pages 15-19

  • Difficult times for the Perry County congregation
  • Division into 5 small congregations: Wittenberg, Seelitz, Dresden, Altenburg and Frohna
  • The arrival of Pastor C.F. Gruber and 141 Lutherans from Reust,the Dukedom of Altenburg
  • An examination of Stephan's influence on the clergy and the congregations
  • Pastor Moritz Bürger resigns his post
  • The debate: Is the true church of Christ present within Stephan's emigrant congregation

Webpage 5: pages 20-24

  • Reaffirmation of the pastoral function within the congregations
  • Establishment of a seminary, which later became Concordia College, 1839
  • Attempts to reintroduce the practice of private confession, 1841
  • 1849: The cholera epidemic and the death of Pastor Löber
  • The appointment of G.A. Schieferdecker to take Löber's place, 1850

Webpage 6: pages 25-29

  • Schieferdecker's reassignment to New Orleans and the rescinding of the post
  • Pastor Schieferdecker's return to Altenburg
  • A short time of peace and prosperity
  • Spring 1856: The church schism in Altenburg resulting from the dispute concerning so-called Chiliasm
  • Pastor Gruber and Pastor Schieferdecker's rejection of the resolutions passed by the Western District Synod
  • Pastor Röbbelen's article in The Lutheran challenging the validity of St. John's Revelation

Webpage 7: pages 30-34

  • Pastor Schieferdecker delivers a sermon refuting the article
  • The Altenburg congregation divides into factions
  • Representatives of the Missouri Synod arrive from St. Louis to investigate
  • The agreement reached between Pastor Schieferdecker and the 2 representatives from the synod
  • Schieferdecker's promiseAnother short-lived peace
  • A committee formed to consider a solution
  • Pastor Schieferdecker leaves a committee meeting in protest of people's quarrelous behavior

Webpage 8: pages 35-39

  • Pastor Schieferdecker reprimanded for leaving the meeting
  • Schieferdecker makes a statement concerning his interpretation of the 17th Article of the Augsburg Confession and Revelation 20
  • An angry congregation member's outburst

Webpage 9: pages 40-44

  • Letters of complaint to the Synod's President

Webpage 10: pages 45-49

  • counter-charges made by other members of the congregation against those registering the complaints
  • President Wyneken's letter to Pastor Schieferdecker accusing him of chiliasm and heresy

Webpage 11: pages 50-54

  • Pastor Schieferdecker's letter denying the charges

Webpage 12: pages 55-59

  • President Wyneken comes to Altenburg
  • Colloquium with Prof. Walther in St. Louis
  • Report to the Altenburg congregation concerning points of agreement and disagreement
  • A tenuous peace is reestablished within the congregation

Webpage 13: pages 60-64

  • A portion of the Altenburg congregation writes a letter of protest to the Synod concerning the Western District resolution of the previous year

Webpage 14: pages 65-69

  • The appointment of delegates to attend the synodal session in Fort Wayne, October 1857
  • Pastor Schieferdecker accused of inciting rebellion
  • A letter by Pastor Gruber supporting chiliasm is read before the Synod

Webpage 15: pages 70-74

  • Prof. Walther refutes Pastor Gruber's argument
  • Debate on the interpretation of prophetic scripture

Webpage 16: pages 75-79

  • Debate on the interpretation of the sequence of events leading to the milleninium
  • Pastor Schieferdecker accused of heresy
  • Pastor Schieferdecker submits his resignation as president of the Western District
  • Schieferdecker's interpretation of St. John's Revelation, chapters 19 and 20

Webpage 17: pages 80-84

  • Schieferdecker's final statement before the Synod, October 22, 1857
  • The Missouri Synod ejects Pastor Schieferdecker from its membership

Webpage 18: pages 85-89

    A committee follows Schieferdecker back to Altenburg to report the synod's finding to the congregation
  • Pastor Schieferdecker refuses to resign as pastor to the Altenburg congregation
  • The committee fires him from his ministerial post
  • Congregation members, who supported Schieferdecker, also expelled from the congregation
  • Incorporation of the Immanuel Congregation, November 2, 1857

Webpage 19: pages 90-93

  • Court cases over church property disputes
  • The dedication of the new church