Presentation Series

Presentation Series

The WELS Historical Institute and Friends of the Landmark Church host a series of free presentations held every year at the historic Salem Landmark Museum at 6814 N. 107th Street in Granville (Milwaukee), Wisconsin where the Wisconsin Synod was founded in 1850.  The presentations and events focus on a historical theme related to the history of our synod.  All of the presentations are available on DVD, which can be purchased using the downloadable PDF order form below. Previous series included the following:

Topic: From Federation to Merger: The Birth of the Wisconsin Synod as We Know It Today

Date:  February 22, 2017 - 7 p.m. CST

Presenter:  Professor John Brenner from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary
Description: In 1892 the Wisconsin Synod, Minnesota Synod, and Michigan Synod formed a federation to carry out ministerial education, mission work, and other activities more efficiently.  The federation was a logical development.  The three synods were in geographical proximity; their early pastors came from the same mission houses and mission societies in Europe; and each had a similar theological development, moving from a weak Lutheranism to a strong confessional Lutheran position.  In 1917 these three synods together with the Nebraska Synod merged to form the Wisconsin Synod with the basic synodical structure that we know today. 


We will look at the eventful twenty-five years from the establishment of the federation to the final merger with an eye to understanding our synodical roots and learning lessons from a sometimes-tumultuous history.


For more information visit or email   

WELS Historical Institute Bus Tour


The WELS Historical Institute is sponsoring a day-long bus tour of five historic Lutheran churches

on Friday, August 5, 2016, from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM. Tour participants will park and meet at Salem

Lutheran Church, 107th St. and Fond du Lac Avenue, at 9:00 AM. Grace Lutheran Church,

Broadway and Juneau, the mother church of the WELS in Milwaukee, will be toured first, followed

by St. John’s, 8th St. and Vliet, the home church of WELS presidents John Bading and John Brenner,

In St. John’s former building on 4th St. and Highland Avenue, the Synodical Conference was

founded in July 1872. The next tour will be Trinity on 9th St. and Highland Avenue, the mother

church in Milwaukee for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Its building is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic architecture.

The bus tour will return to the Salem for lunch in the school gymnasium, followed by two

afternoon tours:  Trinity, Freistadt, the oldest Lutheran congregation in the state of Wisconsin (1839) formerly Buffalo Synod, and now Missouri Synod, and finally, Salem Lutheran Landmark Church, the site of the founding convention of the Wisconsin Synod in 1850. Tour participants will be welcome to stay and look at the exhibits at Salem for as long as they wish, with the day ending around 4:30 PM. The cost for the bus tour (lunch included) is $50.00 per person. The tour is limited to the first 55 who registered. Advanced reservations and payment is required by August 1, 2016. To register and for more information, contact Dr. Joel Pless at  or (414) – 443-8930.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for the tour registration form.


2010 - Great Sermons of the Past
Pastor Johann Heinrich Sieker sermon preached in 1861. Presented by Rev. Mark Jeske.
Pastor C.F.W. Walther sermon preached in 1856. Presented by Dr. Joel Pless.
Pastor S.C. Ylvisaker sermon preached in 1950 and President Carl Lawrenz sermon preached in 1960. Presented by Dr. Mark Braun.

2011 - Great Leaders of Our Past
Pastor Friedrich Wyneken: Sermons preached in 1841 and 1855. Presented by Rev. John Brug.
Pastor Johannes Bading sermons preached in 1865 and 1875. Presented by Rev. Mark Wagner.
A snapshot of Pastor John W.O. Brenner. Presented by Dr. Mark Braun.

CLICK HERE for a preview of the Great Leaders of Our Past series on DVD

2012 - Great Missions of Our Synod: Past and Present
Mission Work on the Apache Reservation.  Presented by Rev. and Mrs. David Plocher.
Mission Work in Malawi. Presented by Rev. Raymond G. Cox.
Mission Work in East Asia. Presented by Rev. Joshua Yu.

CLICK HERE for a preview of the Great Missions of Our Synod series on DVD

2013 - Through the Years: A Look at the History of our Seminary
Beginning Years of the Seminary: Watertown 1863-1870. Presented by Professor James Danell.
The St Louis Years of the Seminary 1871-1877.  Presented by Dr. Joel Pless.
The Flowering of the Wauwatosa Theology: Milwaukee and Wauwatosa 1878 - 1928.  Presented by Rev. Peter Prange.
The Seminary in Mequon 1929-2013.  Presented by Professor Dan Balge.
150th Anniversary of the Landmark Salem Church.

CLICK HERE for a previow of the Landmark Church's 150th Anniversary DVD.
The war to end all Germans: Wisconsin Synod Lutherans and the First World War. Presented by Stephen Gurgel.
The Watertown Institution: A look at the establishment of the training system. Presented by Prof. James Korthals.
The History of The Northwestern Lutheran. Presented by Rev. John Braun.

Hymns Old and New. Presented by Michael Schultz and Carl Nolte
West Granville Cemetery Tour. Presented by James Moeller
The War to End all Germans. Presented By Steve Gurgel
Genealogy Study: How One Family Traced their Genealogy to Martin Luther. Presented By George Vanselow
The Life of Martin Luther. Presented by David Wiedendeller



Year:      Category:

Subscription Options  

Click on one of the following files to view the available options:

Sort by: Date Title
2016 Bus Tour Registration Form

DVD Order Form

Upcoming Fall Presentation Schedule

Select Month:      Select View:

July 2018
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat