Read History Document (pdf)
One of the early projects of the newly-formed Archival Board of the LCMS Central Illinois District (CID) in 2008 was to ascertain what had been done about the history of the District. After some inquiry, the President Bueltmann told the undersigned that the last history had been written by the Rev. Herbert Pragman, ending in 1982. President Bueltmann was asked who a suitable candidate might be to update the District's history. He recommended the Rev. Mark Miller, pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Pekin, and the District's 2nd Vice President, as its author. On August 27, 2009, the undersigned was informed by President Bueltmann that Pastor Miller had accepted our invitation.
Pastor Miller, a Ft. Wayne Seminary graduate, began his work almost immediately, choosing the Synodical President J. A. O. Preus and CID Presidents Arthur Kuehnert and Robert Kuhn during the Synodical crisis of the 1970's and 1980's as a starting point. With his election as District President in 2012 he felt no longer able to give time to the project and asked the Archival Board to be relieved of this duty. It graciously, and with regret, accepted his withdrawal from the project. Mr. Ralph Mickley, a Synodically-rostered teacher emeritus, with 44 years in the teaching ministry, residing in Pekin, was selected as Pastor Miller's replacement. We should note that every effort was made to include Pastor Miller's efforts into this project.
Mr. Mickley, in the undersigned's judgment, has made excellent use of existing resources to formulate what is essentially his product. He has used original materials from the CID archives, items from District and Synodical convention minutes as well as interviews involving current and past CID administrators. While it is his product, the Archival Board assumes primary responsibility for its accuracy.
As with the writing of any history, sacred or secular, there is always the question of what has been gained by doing so. While the Holy Scriptures accurately relate God's history of our salvation, culminating in the words of the cross, "It is finished," it also tells in sometimes gruesome detail of God's pleading with sinful mankind to learn from the past lest great tragedy or misfortune come upon us.
We hope that, in the narrative which follows, and in President Miller's concluding remarks, all will rejoice in God's overall care of His flock wherever it is found in Central Illinois, fervently pleading with Him to abide with us as we learn from this history to the end that His kingdom here and elsewhere may grow and prosper until the Great Day when our Lord shall return and translate all believers into the New Heaven and Earth!
The Archives Board
Ralph Woehrmann, CID Archivist