Centennial Moments

Researched & Written by David Goeke


"THE KLAN" AND TEXAS LUTHERANS

Doesn't sound quite right, does it? But, that was the claim put forth by an individual to Rev. C.M. Beyer, president of the Texas District of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, on or about August 1, 1948. In a published letter, a military officer made the following statements:

"Lutherans are flocking into the folds of the Knights of the Klan...... The Lutherans of Texas are taking kindly to the principles of the Ku Klux Klan, and in many places even the ministers of that faith are knocking at the door for admission and are given a royal welcome."

Hard to believe...but, that was the allegation. In a forthright, two page response, President Beyer defended the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's stance on civil justice and it's opposition to organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan. "We do not believe in any discrimination between citizens of their nationality", wrote Beyer. In his final statement, President Beyer wrote: "Because of the principals briefly outlined above, we Lutherans of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and other states cannot, for conscience sake affiliate themselves the Ku Klux Klan. It is therefore in no wise likely that Missouri Synod Lutherans "are flocking into the folds of the Knights of the Klan", least of all that "the minsters of the faith are knocking at the door (of the Klan) for admission". In point of fact, the Texas District, already at it's inception, was especially concerned regarding the spreading of the Gospel to the black community. Did we do a good job? No!! Do we need to do more, even today? Yes!! Jesus didn’t die and rise for an ethnic group. He died and rose for everyone...and that's pretty all inclusive.