Where Have We Been?
Where Are We Going?
“CONSTITUTING CONVENTION AT WATERTOWN, SD AND SLEEPY EYE, MN
“I. Convention at Watertown, South Dakota — August 9-12, 1960
“As an outgrowth and culmination of many meetings held during preceding months of preparation and concentrated study and discussion, brethren from as far west as the state of Washington and from as far east as the state of Michigan, as well as from the deep South, namely the state of Florida, gathered in convention as the invited guests of Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown, South Dakota. Under the blessing and guidance of God, this meeting together with the recessed sessions at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, proved to be the organizing convention of the Church of the Lutheran Confession.
“It is noteworthy that although the matter of organizational form would be a major item on the agenda, nevertheless doctrinal essays took precedence and were given the right-of-way. It can truly be said that when business and external matters of a church organization push aside doctrinal study and deliberation and practically send them into limbo, then the spiritual health of such a church group is not only being threatened but is already on the downgrade. This is something that needs to be watched and guarded against more and more as a church body grows and naturally becomes more involved in the activities of its various boards and committees. The godly fervor and zeal of the first love can so easily be lost in the maze of intricate details of synodical operation. Constitution and synodical handbook approaches to a problem can so easily take precedence and squeeze out the doctrinal concerns. The proper functioning of any church group ever needs the undergirding of God’s Word as the source of all truth and spiritual strength. . . .
” . . . On Friday afternoon, August 12th, opportunity was afforded the members of the convention to record their signatures with the secretary in evidence of their subscription to the constitution adopted by this convention. Eighty-nine names were then recorded and filed in the minutes of the secretary.
“II. Recessed Convention at Sleepy Eye, Minnesota – January 24-26, 1961
“Although the weather was bitterly cold with winds blowing strongly from the northwest, there was a warm and cheerful spirit of Christian fellowship in evidence as pastors , teachers, delegates, and visitors assembled . . . . The membership committee reported that 33 congregations had applied for membership in the CLC. . . . Since this was a meeting set aside for the purpose of effecting an organization with proper order and form, much time was devoted to the election of officers, boards, and committees, as well as to the adoption of articles to the constitution and by-laws tabled by the Watertown meeting.”
— From ‘A HISTORY OF THE CLC’ (Prof. C. M. Gullerud, 1978)