For Immediate Release
Contact: Vicki Biggs
Director, Integrated Communications
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Walther League reunion raises $3,400 for Walther Mausoleum
Funds given in memory of longtime reunion organizer
ST. LOUIS, March 4, 2013—Alumni of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Walther League, the church’s former youth organization, have gathered in Frankenmuth, Mich., for a reunion for the last 28 years.
They come together to renew old friendships and share memories. But last November’s reunion saw them share something more.
In memory of the late Wally Bronner and in honor of his wife, Irene – both of whom were Walther Leaguers – reunion participants raised more than $3,400 for the Walther Mausoleum, the burial place of the Rev. Dr. C.F.W. Walther, the church’s first president for whom the Walther League was named. The money will be added to a special fund established in 2011 to provide for its ongoing maintenance and restoration.
“We are certainly grateful for this generous gift in tribute to Wally and Irene,” said David Fiedler, president of the LCMS Foundation. “We are proud to be in partnership with these good people in Michigan in the effort to preserve the mausoleum, to honor the memory of the Synod’s first president and to recognize Walther’s legacy as a leading figure in the spread of Lutheranism in this country.”
The Bronners, co-founders of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the world’s largest year-round Christmas store, served the league in many capacities. Wally served as president of the league’s Michigan district and as the organization’s international president, and until his death in 2008, played a key role in organizing the league’s reunions. Irene has shared her talents as a pianist serving as the accompanist for sing-a-longs at the reunions.
The Walther League existed from 1893 until 1968. Its program featured five components – worship, education, recreation, fellowship and service – designed to instill principles of Christian leadership. Many Walther Leaguers went on to hold leadership roles in their congregations, districts and the national church office.
The Walther Mausoleum, located in Concordia Cemetery in St. Louis, is the final resting place of Walther and his wife, Emilie and was erected in 1892, five years after Walther’s passing. Walther was one of America’s foremost Lutheran theologians and a central figure in the founding of the LCMS in 1847. He presided over the young Synod as president from 1847 to 1850 and again from 1864 to 1878, serving as president of Concordia Seminary from 1850 to 1887, and serving as editor of Der Lutheraner, a leading magazine of the day that reached confessional Lutherans across the country. Today, Walther is known as the “Father of the Missouri Synod.”
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The 2.3 million-member Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.