Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Order of Concordia Presidents

J. George Weller Before becoming the director of the "Lutheran Seminary" in Seward in 1894, Weller was pastor of a congregation in Marysville, Nebraska. He relinquished the presidency in 1914 after two decades in that position but continued to serve as a professor at Concordia for ten more years.

F.W.C. Jesse President Jesse has just resigned the presidency of a Lutheran College in Clifton, Texas, when he received the call to suceed Weller in 1914. After almost ten years as Concordia's president, he accepted a call into parish ministry in Atchison, Kansas, in 1923.

C.F. Brommer President Brommer initially declined the call to be president of Concordia. He was sent the call a second time, whereupon he accepted. Before coming to Seward in 1924, he was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Hampton, Nebraska, and the Southern Nebraska District president. Following his retirement for the presidency in 1941, he continued to teach at Concordia until 1944. He spent his remaining years in San Diego, California.

A.O. Fuerbringer President Fuerbringer, having a broad background in Synod ministries, was serving as pastor to a small mission congregation in western Kansas before becoming president of the college in 1941. He left Concordia, Seward, in 1953 to become the president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He held that position until his retirement.

Paul A. Zimmermann President Zimmermann, though having had pastoral training, had been serving as a science professor on the Seward campus when he was called to the presidency in 1954. He left Concordia in 1961 to become president of the newly organized Concordia College at Ann Arbor, Michigan. He later became president of Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois.

W. Theophil Janzow Janzow had been a parish pastor and president of the Southern Illinios District. He then came to Seward to teach sociology before accepting the call to be Concordia's president in 1963. He presided over the school's largest enrollments before resigning in 1977. He then became president at Concordia Seminary Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Michael J. Stelmachowicz After years of teaching and administration in Lutheran elementary and secondary schools in St. Louis, Stelmachowicz became Concordia's director of secondary education in 1961 and later dean of students. He left Seward in 1968 to become superintendent of Lutheran high schools in Detroit, Michigan. Next, he became president of St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas. He was called back to Seward in 1978 to become president. He left Seward in 1984 to become the executive secretary of the Synod's Board for Higher Education Services until his retirement.

Ralph L. Reinke President Reinke, Concordia's only non-pastor president, taught in Lutheran elementary schools and at Concordia College in River Forest, Illinois. Eventually he became president of Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis. After leaving that position, he was called to the presidency in Seward in 1986. He served until his retirement in 1990.

Orville C. Walz After teaching in Lutheran elementary schools, Walz served for a number of years as registrar and assistant academic dean at Concordia, Seward. After entering the pastoral ministry, he became president of Concordia College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was called to become president of Seward in 1990.


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