CHI to open museum at International Center

Lutheran history — past, present, and future — will go on display in a new location next month when Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) opens its museum at the Synod’s International Center in St. Louis.

Beginning July 27, the museum will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 pmuseum.gif.m. weekdays.  It is on the second floor, across from the chapel, at the International Center, 1333 S. Kirkwood Road.  The museum will be open to the public. There is no admission charge, and it is handicapped accessible.

“This has been a big undertaking, but we hope it will serve as a blessing to the Synod,” said Rev. Marvin Huggins, CHI interim director.  “We believe it will help people become more acquainted with the LCMS mission of engaging the country and the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The facilities house exhibits that emphasize five themes:

  • Martin Luther and the Reformation, showing the origins of the Lutheran church in the mid-16th century.

  • Immigration to America, tracing the emigrants and missionaries who helped form the Synod in 1847.

  • Growth in the 19th century, as the young church body organized to reach immigrants with the Word of God.

  • Global and domestic mission efforts of the past and present.

  • Challenges of the 21st century, such as new media, developments in higher education, sociological factors, and ecclesiastical trends.
  • The exhibits will include significant artifacts and writings of C.F.W. Walther, who served 17 years as the Synod’s president during its early years.  Walther, who also was a pastor and seminary professor, strongly influenced LCMS organization and practices.  The CHI exhibit also will include a life figure and audio of Dr. Walter A. Maier, who helped begin KFUO radio and served as speaker for “The Lutheran Hour” radio program.

    As the institute opens its museum at the International Center, it is also converting the lower level of its building at 804 Seminary Place, on the campus of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, to archive storage.

    Since 1927, the institute has served as the official archive for records of the Synod and its agencies, congregations, and workers.  Dating from the early 19th century to the present, the holdings include more than 2.5 million documents tracing Lutheran history in the United States.

    The main floor gallery at the CHI building will continue to house special exhibits.

    The institute requests that groups call ahead to arrange guides for museum tours. For arrangements, call 314-505-7900.

    Posted May 27, 2009

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