Kirchliches Informatorium Volume 15, pages 1 - 5

Ecclesiastic Informatorium

Continued in the Unchanged Profession of the Lutheran Church of the Prussian Congregation, which immigrated between 1839 and 1843

"Fear not, little flock"

Published by order of the Evangelical-Lutheran Synod of Buffalo. Under the editorship of
Pastor H. v. Rohr

Volume 15               Detroit, April 15, 1867               Issue 1

The Informatorium
appears monthly at the price of $1.00
per year in advance.


This "Informatorium" began in the year 1851 when our synod consisted of only 4 pastors. Since 1843 our synod had been persecuted by the Saxon pastors and in 1847 we suffered more persecution with the Saxon pastors' establishment of the Missouri Synod, which constructed counter altars and sent opposition or gang preachers. We needed a public forum to testify against these actions. In 1846 the Missouri Synod began publishing The Lutheran [Lutheraner] and the Synodal Letters in order to justify its actions. In these publications they called us their closest living brothers. At the 1849 session of his Synod, Professor Walther had wanted to provide justifications for the Synod's actions. Indeed, he had made a promise. Instead he published his 9 theses on the church and later he published the book The Consensus of the Missouri Synod on Church and Office. In this book it was supposedly proven that the one, Christian church was only an invisible entity comprised of all sects and all opposing congregations and gangs. As such each group would have all the authority and power of the true church, including the right

to ask for ministers; in turn the Missouri Synod had the right to send ministers to any group.

With these two publications began the public doctrinal dispute concerning church and office. It was a continuation of the doctrinal dispute between our orthodox church fathers, the Wittemberg theologicans, and Spencer's pietistical teaching on one, merely invisible and true church composed of a spiritual priesthood of all Christians with the holy office of minister added into the mix. It continued a battle carried on by Valentin Löscher against the pietists and C. Neumeister against the efforts to unionize the church in his time. Now it is the teaching which fortifies and justifies the United Church.

Until 1866 our synod was united in spirit in its 23 year battle, and although 5000 souls became opposition congregation members of Missouri 7 to 8 years ago, our synod grew to include 27 ministers with about 30 congregations due to the maturation of the current generation, continued migration from the old homeland and the acceptance of new members.

In this year came the tragic fall of Pastor Grabau as truly and accurately described in our 9th Synodal Letter. He would not allow himself to be judged for the persecution of his deacon by means of trustee authority. He left the synod due to illness

and distrust. With the 3 pastors who followed him he set up an opposition congregation and then an opposing synod. He robbed the members of our synod of its church property. He took with him the synod's hefty bank accounts and the college, claiming that it was his personal property thus committing a breach of his oath in public.

Soon after a second schism took place. Lacking faith and the support of pure teaching, the younger pastors sought human assistance and joined the Missouri Synod. This occurred even though they acknowledged at the Synod of 1866 that our teachings were pure except for erroneous teaching on trustees and on the power of God, which had led to much sorrow and many exercises in self defense under Pastor Grabau. They had only wanted Grabau to abide by the pure teaching of the Synod, to consider his authoritative views concerning conduct in ministerial office and to allow himself to be judged for past injustices. If this had happened, they would have been content to stay with him. It now comes to light that they allowed themselves to be led astray by offers of help and reassurance from the opposition preachers of Missouri. They quickly succumbed to Missouri teaching. Missouri spokesmen persuaded our younger churchmen to hold discussion with them. They went behind our backs to arrange an inpromptu colloquium before our synod could hold a session. They did this to lure our congregations into joining Missouri and leaving their pastors. They did it so they could build opposition congregations, chase off the pastors, rob them and their congregations of their churchs and in the end establish

an opposition synod with an opposition senior minister. Their plan to build a the Fifth Synod District of Missouri was acceptable to Pastor Walther.

Now they want to restore their honor by saying they had thought for years that Missouri teaching was correct.

Only a few old and a few younger pastors stand by the synod along with some righteous Christians. These people truly sought discussion, but not for the sake of their own interests or to keep their stomachs full or to hide their own decline.

All this will be irrefutably proven in the 10th Synodal Letter, scheduled for publication in the next few weeks, even as the true heart will encounter some incredible facts.

As it was 22 years ago, our synod now consists of a few loyal pastors and Christian congregations, who will not seek human assistance at the cost of truth and righteousness. They would rather hold to pure teaching and sanctified existence up to the end for the sake of their souls and those of their children. They will hold to the established truth for their children and for future generations.

On the morning of December 5th after the colloquium was concluded, Pastor Hochstetter declared that as editor of the Informatorium he would not publish any article which did not agree with the resolutions passed by the Buffalo contingent. Thus it would reflect the unified teachings of Missouri and become a partisan newspaper of the Missouri Synod. Our small synod decided to continue publishing the Informatorium ourselves, holding to the tenets of the unchanged profession of faith of the

Lutheran congregations which emigrated from Prussia between 1839 and 1843 along with the undersigned [Heinrich von Rohr] as editor. For now it will be the task of this newspaper to point out the erroneous teaching of Pastor Walther as elucidated by the colloquium, to discuss the differences in teaching and demonstrate the Synod's desire for reasonable, honest and Christian dialog, which does not violate truth but which does not produce indifference or fear. It will not abandon the hope of coming to an understanding with Missouri concerning the truth in our symbolic books.

On the other hand, the Informatorium will oppose rogue synods and congregations which bear the name our synod. It will point out their injustices until they return to the pure teaching of our synod by desisting with all hostility and wrong doing. They don sheep's clothing and impugn pure teaching, to the extent that they still recognize it. They tolerate and even condone hostility and gangster-type activities.

Additionally the newspaper will perform the following tasks:

  1. An ongoing elucidation of the Buffalo Colloquium.
  2. A history of our emigration and the church's evolution with reference to ecclesiastic and historical records and letters. The list of families shall follow this history.
  3. The correspondence in defense of our pure Lutheran teaching with brief, edifying articles and lessons from the scriptures of pure, old teaching.
  1. Brief outlines of sermons and dispositions
  2. Announcements regarding our synodal sessions.

May the merciful God send his blessing and the Holy Spirit to serve all righteous Christians. May there be enlightenment, fortification in the truth amd justice. May love preside where there is hatred. May truth and justice prevail. H. v. R.[Heinrich von Rohr]

Elucidation on the Buffalo Colloquium

There were several ongoing investigations and opinions discussed at our tenth synod in Roseville on March 13th through 14th of this year concerning the colloquium, which yielded several points of agreement between the Missouri and Buffalo Synods. In a few weeks the results will be published in our 10th Synodal Letter and submitted to the Christian church. It is hoped that Missouri will do the same so that, with God's help, there may be further light and understanding concerning the disputed teachings on church, ministerial office, vocation and the ban.

Our synodal letter will cover the events of the Buffalo Colloquium and the manner in which it was conducted, highlighting of the most important points and discussing what has occurred as a result of it. It will contain the decisions of our synod on each point of teaching examined and the reactions of the participants.

The colloquium itself dealt with 6 primary issues:

  1. Concerning the church - censure of the opinions held by the participants of the colloquium from the Buffalo Synod and Missouri doctrine with Missouri's response.

  1. Censure of the teachings of our church by the colloquium participants from Missouri
  2. Concerning ministerial office - 1. With regard to Missouri' teaching on transference. 2. On the power and efficacy of God's word, namely the words of transmutation on the holy eucharist. 3. On a few passages from the Pastor Grabau's Pastoral Letter and the letter to Dr. Sihler in the 2nd Synodal Letter.
  3. Concerning the ban.
  4. Concerning intermediate matters.
  5. Concerning ordination.

As an addendum, the slanderous public accusations of Pastor Döhler against his synod and ministry.


No. 1 - Concerning the Church

For now we will only present the charges by the colloquium participants from the Buffalo Synod and their responses. This came after an article had been written by Pastor von Rohr based on an outline from senior minister Pastor Maschhop. Pastors Hochstetter and Wolläger recognized it as the true teaching of our synod and it was verified by the assembled synod in Roseville that it properly represented the doctrine taught in our synod.

Any reader will be able to see how, from the following three congregational declarations, there was a sense of agreement with the symbolic books of our church. This was before the 11 participants in the colloquium generated all their doctrinal disputes and mounted a protest in an attempt to establish variations to the main precepts of the church, ideas which found no concurrence among the church [fathers? teachers? Text cut off]

Matters of teaching by the Missouri Synod concerning the Church with which the Buffalo Synod finds fault

  1. In Theses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Book on Church and Office and in Theses 1 and 2 of Volume 22, no. 24 of the Lutheran there never seems to be any teaching on the visible church as the one, holy Christian church of the apostles.
  2. According to Thesis 9 of the Stimme [The Voice] and Thesis 1 of Volume 22, no. 24 of the Lutheran it is only necessary to be in communion with the invisible church or its invisible membership to achieve sanctity.
  3. Subsequent to this Thesis they teach about an essential invisible church. Compare this with Thesis 6 in the Stimme concerning the notion of the church as a universal catholic church and then the non-essential sense of the visible, true, Evangelical-Lutheran church. According to Thesis IX this Evangelical-Lutheran church is not the one, holy Christian church.

From all this we necessarily derive the concept of three distinct churches.

  1. The one, holy Christian church of the apostles as a visible entity never becomes an article of faith.
  2. There is a merging of the universal, visible, nonspecific Catholic church and all its various individual and visible churches with the Lutheran with its individual churches through baptism.
  3. The Evangelical-Lutheran Church as the true visible church of God on earth is only one aspect of the meaning of church according to Thesis 3 of Volume 22, no. 24 of the Lutheran.
  4. Thesis 6 of the Stimme falsely declares on page 72:

"The Apology teaches this (nonspecific) catholic church since it was understood among its scholars that the universal catholic church was none other than the one, holy Christian church of the apostles."

A final declaration concerning Point 1:
"We are of one mind, that only the truly faithful and the saints belong to the church of which the apostles speak. This is the church in the specific sense of God's word. However within the life of this church there are always hypocrites and non-Christians. Thus the so-call invisible and visible churches are not two separate entities but one."

A final and general declaration on Point 2:
"With regard to the second point of deliberation it is indicated in Thesis 9 of the book on Church and Office that it is also true that beyond the visible church there is no salvation unless when one acknowledges under the concept of visible church none of the individual churchs but rather the assembly of all those chosen to serve. At the same time it declares that one may differentiate between the visible and the invisible church but there is no difference between them, for God's word tells us that the visible church is none other than the invisible church. One may call the church visible or invisible however it is still one and the same church taken from various aspects."

The general declaration regarding Point 3 with reference to the 6th Thesis:
"One should not consider sects or erroneous-faith communities as sects and erroneous-faith communities belonging to the church of the chosen or the catholic church, or even consider them specific churches but rather merely grant them consideration in so far as they are

children of God possessing His grace. The Roman, reform, methodist and other communities are not particular churches to the extent that they all have the word of God. They all belong to the universal (catholic) church but only to the extent that they possess those qualities which make up a church."

Concerning Point 4:
In conjunction with Thesis 6, part 1 of Church and Office, which imparts teaching on one, catholic and visible church in a non-specific sense or in the sense of a church of all the chosen, Missouri makes the following declaration: "No other distinctions should be made concerning this church than what other righteous faith teachers call the entirety of Christianity as contrasted with the heathens, the Turks and the Jews."
                  (To be continued)



of the origin, emigration, settlement and ecclesiastic development of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church or Congregation, which emigrated from Prussia between the years 1839 and 1843, now known as the Buffalo Synod.
(A long time ago the editor received this commission from 2 synods.)


Revelations 2: 4, 5 - "Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."
"Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. "




Chapter I

The origin and persecution of this congregation in Erfurt, Magdeburg, the Uckermark and Pomerania.

Chapter II
Preparation and Execution of the Emigration Plan, 1839

Go to pages 6 - 10

Go to Index

Microfilm provided by The Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

Imaging & translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks