This past Monday, March 15, Prof. Phetsanghane took his Theological German students on a unique field trip. In the Theological German class, the students translate and discuss parts of Martin Luther’s sermons. Each semester, they also have one larger translation project: putting into English something previously untranslated. This year, the students had translated a series of articles on the Prep auditorium and a theological essay from Prof. August Pieper. This field trip connected some history to those two projects.
First, Prof. Phetsanghane and the students stayed in Watertown, WI. They saw the original site of the Seminary and Northwestern: the rented house where Prof. Moldehnke first taught at the “Theological Seminary of the Wisconsin Synod” (1863).
Then, they visited the gravesites for:
- Prof. August Ernst (d. 1924) - long time professor and president at Northwestern.
- Prof. John H. Ott (d. 1945) - long time professor and librarian at Northwestern.
- Pastor August Bendler (d. 1929) - the driving force behind the auditorium on the Prep campus and the Sprinter statue.
After a quick stop to see the exterior of the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry and Grace Lutheran Church (Milwaukee, WI), it was off to see more gravesites. They saw:
- Prof. Adolf Hoenecke (d. 1908) - 1st professor of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS) in Milwaukee.
- Prof. John Schaller (d. 1920) - 3rd president of Dr. Martin Lutheran College (New Ulm, MN) and 2nd president of WLS.
- Pastor Carl Gausewitz (d. 1927) - pastor of Grace (Milwaukee).
- Pastor Johannes Bading (d. 1913) - pastor of St. Mark’s (Watertown, WI) and 2nd president of the WELS.
- Pastor Johannes Muehlhaeuser (d. 1867) - 1st pastor of Grace (Milwaukee) and 1st president of the WELS.
- Prof. August Pieper (d. 1946) - long time professor and president of WLS.
Then at Salem Landmark Church (Milwaukee, WI), Dr. Joel Pless from Wisconsin Lutheran College gave us a tour and history of the WELS. A visit to the Seminary’s rare books room capped off the trip. Professors Nate Ericson and Tom Kock gave us an overview of the books in the collection. They also showed us the Torah scroll in the library. Professor Kock (b. 1966) also joined us for lunch before we headed back to Luther Prep.
We thank the Lord for raising up such servants for his Church! May he continue to raise up future servants “so the next generations would know [the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord], even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” (Ps 78:6)