Thursday, July 10, 2008

1955 Edmund Reim Resignation

Edmund Reim was not only a professor (1940-1957) at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Thiensville, WI, he was also its president (1953-1957).

He is one that signed a protest of the WELS delaying the action of 'avoiding' the LC-MS at their 1955 Convention. Because of this delaying, he resigned as secretary of the Standing Committee in Matters of Church Union and also as a professor and president of the seminary. The convention reiterated their confidence in him in all three of these positions but he resigned as the secretary of the Standing Committee in Matters of Church Union in 1955, and would later resign as both professor and president of the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

Here is his 1955 letter to the convention, and the convention's response:

Saginaw, Michigan, August 17, 1955.

The Ev. Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States

Dear Brethren:

The decision of the Synod to continue its fellowship with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pending a vote to follow the convention of that body in 1956 (even while recognizing that there is full reason for a separation now) compels me to declare that I can continue in fellowship with my Synod only under clear and public protest. I hope and pray that the eventual decision concerning our relations with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will be such as to remove the occasion for this protest.

I realize that under these conditions I can no longer serve as Secretary of our Synod's Standing Committee in Matters of Church Union. I therefore hereby resign this office with all its functions.

I also realize that this declarations raises the question concerning the value of my further services at the Seminary, since I cannot change my stand and teaching in order to conform to the synodical policy that has been laid down for the coming year. Because this is a question which is not for me to answer, I herewith put my resignation as president of our Seminary and as professor at the same, at the disposal of the Synod and its Board, to act on as it sees fit.

Assuring you that this action is taken in the fear of God, and only after much thought and prayer, even prior to our convention, I remain

Respectfully yours,


By unanimous vote the Convention reiterated the confidence of the Synod in Professor E. Reim as Secretary of the Standing Committee in Church Union and asked him to continue to serve in that position. In the same vote the Convention asked the Board of Control of the Theological Seminary not to accept the resignation of Professor E. Reim as professor and as president of the Theological Seminary.

(WELS 1955 Proceedings, p. 87-88)