The Third Synodal Letter - Pages 78 - 82


The rumor states that Crämer did this partly in Monroe but mostly in Detroit, where many meetings were held with the 14 plaintiffs and with those excommunicated and certain other congregation members and that a court of arbitration was hearing cases. On June 14th Mr. Crämer returned to Detroit unnoticed because Stricker and his party had written that he should return, that Winkler wanted to sell them to Pastor Grabau - this is how it was worded to us by a congregation member. Even though Pastor Winkler had refused to form a committee, Crämer came anyway to Pastor Winkler's house with Stricker, F. Lörsch and Walz on Saturday evening. He demanded that Pastor Winkler should provide evidence that the Missouri Synod was false. Pastor Winkler responded that he would have no dealings with him. Crämer further pressed him to discuss the first portion of the letter regarding his stay in Detroit. Crämer was told to come back Monday evening. He appeared with four companions and falsely maintained that Pastor Winkler had promised to prove the false teachings of the Missourians, that indeed Pastor Winkler denied him the proof on Saturday evening but said that he would consult the Buffalo Synod's 2nd Synodal Letter, where the proof could be found.

Here we see how deceptive and inappropriate Crämer's conduct is. He initiates a great quarrel among his neighbors and fellow brothers in office in order to force the issue. Pastor Winkler will have nothing more to do with him and we consider this proper action since Crämer does not have ordained vocation to interfere in this matter. He shows himself to be an uncouth sectarian. He holds another meeting of his party and from this meeting, at his suggestion and with his approval, a letter of withdrawal is sent to Pastor Winkler on June 19th. The letter contains 16 signatures. Pastor Winkler and the church administrators refuse to accept the letter twice; instead they burn it in recognition that they have no communion with the gang leader, Crämer. The 16 signers have the withdrawal made into posters, which are hung up at street corners and affixed to the church (see Supplement 5a). On June 29th they publish their withdrawal along with their signatures in a German newspaper.

We are completely justified in condemning this shameful behavior and we declare that it is heathenistic and vindictive. With the commencement of their own church services they have established themselves as a gang.

Even though we have come here with ordained vocation by commission of the Pastoral Conference of our Synodal Band and have declared ourselves ready to investigate and render a verdict on all points of dispute in accordance with God's word in a Christian and unbiased fashion, they have twice stated that they will not accept or recognize us. This attitude is also evident in the negotiations we have had with them. We have ignored this because we must fulfill our duty to Pastor Winkler and this congregation and our verdict applies to them as well because they belong to this congregation and have accused the pastor.


We can only consider them unrepentant gangsters, on whom church discipline must be applied.

Decided in Detroit, July 29, 1850
                            J.. Andr. A. Grabau
                            G. A. Kindermann
                            H. C. G. von Rohr

After being read before the assembled congregation, this verdict was recognized as Christian and proper, and it was accepted by Pastor Winkler.
                            J.. Andr. A. Grabau
                            G. A. Kindermann
                            H. C. G. von Rohr

_____

Supplement 5a

On the 20th and the evening of the 21st, the following declaration was delivered to the assembled church administrators. Since the minister, Mr. Fr. Winkler, ripped it up and then burned it without reading its contents aloud, the undersigned feel that it is necessary to openly publish the declaration. Since the larger portion of these papers have not yet been delivered, 100 copies have been printed up, for the importance of this issue is pertinent to the spiritual health of many souls, which are still being held captive.

Declaration

For more than a year now our previous pastor, Mr. Fr. Winkler, has frequently been guilty of a dreadful misuse of the power of the ban in that he has not exercised it in accordance with divine command, as described in Matthew 18, 17, but rather has used it recklessly and in accordance with 1 Peter 5, 3 has shown himself to be a tyrant. Furthermore he would not accept our petition, which we felt compelled to render to him out of a sense of conscientiousness; instead he perverted it to make it seem like a grievance being carried out against him. Finally, after going along with his proposal to bring the matter before an honorable, competent and righteous faith church court so that things would be decided in accordance with God's word and then doing our part to form a committee to bring the matter before such a church court, he thwarted each and every attempt. It was more than a month and a half before the matter was made public and he did not want the matter to come to light because his actions are evil. We could no longer recognize him as our minister, indeed we could not recognize him as a properly appointed Lutheran clergyman. In accordance with our understanding of God's word ( see Matthew 7, 15 and John 10, 5) we were compelled to flee from the ferocious wolf. — Therefore we publically and solemnly divest ourselves from him and his papist


tyranny, which we had suffered under him for so long. No longer able to ignore our spiritual wellbeing, we fortify our souls by signing our names to this declaration and we warn all congregation members still standing by Mr. Winkler to consider that the longer they remain with him, the longer they participate in all his dreadful sins.

Detroit, June 19, 1850.
F. D. Stricker, Fr. Lörsch, Fr. Walz, J. Ludw. Herbst, Heinr. Castens, Fr. Frey, Pet. Schuster, G. M. Schäfer, Fr. Wendt, Hr. Töpel, Joh. Rosa, Chr. Böckmann, Leonh. Beck, Michael Schumann, William Amrheim, G. Hausemann.

_____

Supplement 5b

In Opposition to Former Pastor F. L. E. Krause, Currently a Gang Preacher in Detroit, Michigan

"However you should know that terrible times will come to pass in the final days. There will be men, who are selfish, greedy, eager for praise, obstinate, and unforgiving slanderers and salacious, wild and worthless betrayers and criminals, who distort matters more for pleasure than for God. They have the appearance of holy beings but their activities betray them. Such men should be shunned!" 2 Timothy 3, 1- 5.

Among these blasphemers, betrayers and criminals Krause has found his place. For years this hypocrite took the guise of a holy being until he finally unmasked himself. He would still play the hypocrite before people and give the appearance of righteousness even as he commits his sins.

               A hypocrite spins his web of lies
               As though there were no God in heaven;
               He deceives himself unto the gates of hell
               Believing there is no sin in him.

               Who Krause was and what he is
               May every Christian perceive,
               and let him see how Satan ruins
               each Christian soul he deceives.

We have known this man since 1836, during the time when he suffered along with us for the sake of the Lutheran faith in Prussia. He was ordained a Lutheran minister by Dr. Scheibel to serve several persecuted Lutheran congregations in Silesia. For this he was arrested by the United Agenda government, which did not recognize his ordination. He was taken to Erfurt and this is where we first met him. In 1838 he emigrated alone to America after an unsuccessful attempt to join the emigrating Stephanists. [See Translator's Note] He went from Hamburg to New York and then on to Buffalo, where he had a small Lutheran following. After we had made our decision to emigrate, he sent some glowing reports back to us in Germany,

_____

Translator's Note: According to the 1838 Emigration Roster and Chronicle of the First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church", page 3, Krause left for America in the company of Johann Gottlieb Faude, the Silesian congregation's representative, with power of attorney for the congregation. No sources have been found to indicate that Krause, Faude and Bierosche met with the Stephan congregations from Saxony. Return to text


but then the reports soon transformed into complaints and doubts. In them we had already recognized his unstable and faithless heart, yet we gave him credit at the time, figuring that he was experiencing a certain amount of hardship. As our congregations arrived in New York and then Buffalo in 1839, in dispair he was rushing back to Silesia. There he was apprehended by the United Police and put back in prison, just as other Lutheran ministers were being arrested at that time. He succumbed to self-doubt while in prison, because he believed he had been abandoned and scorned by his fellow Lutheran Christians, who had not come to visit him. Thus be began to despise those few of his brothers in office, who were still free. Out of hatred he betrayed their hideouts to the United Police officials. As a reward for his betrayal he was released from prison but soon after his deeds became known. He sought atonement and sent a public apology to the Upper Church College in Breslau. He was taken back up as a member of the church but denied reappointment as a minister in Prussia. He was given the friendly advice to seek a position with the brothers in America. He went to Hamburg, where Pastor Fritzsche was staying at the time until his departure with his congregation for Australia. He communicated with Fritzsche and through him a letter was sent to us describing his repentant state and recommending that we accept him and give him an appointment. In conjunction with this Krause sent the church in Buffalo, etc. a written letter of apology for his offenses. He was pardoned and his disloyalty, which had started with his hasty departure from Buffalo, was forgiven. The congregation in Buffalo appointed him to church service in 1841.

After he had been in Buffalo for a few weeks, during which time he married a widow from Berlin, the congregations in Freistadt and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, gave him an appointment. In 1843 Pastor Kindermann was his closest neighbor in Kirchhayn. He conducted his office there until 1846 and to all outward appearances, and thus we are forced to believe, he conducted his office unobtrusively. In that last year, however, he had a falling out with his brother in office and neighbor and a portion of both their congregations split away. Krause was warned by the Senior Minister to exercise charity, caution and patience however it was no secret that his aristocratic and defiant nature would scarcely permit him to acknowledge his part in the offense. Through God's mercy, as this occurred he reconciled himself with his offended brother in office. Then there was the matter with the split congregation members, who unfortunately had not behaved properly. In less than two days this group broke the reconciliation agreement and these quarrelsome breakers of the peace established themselves into a gang, delivering themselves over to the Missouri Synod where they immediately found justification for their sins.

After many useless attempts to deliver a loving warning, as set forth in stages of Christian ordering in accordance with Matthew 18, the unrepentant and quarrelsome gangsters were placed under the ban by the church ministry in 1847. Krause did not want to pronounce this ban because he was full of human terror. He wrote that this gang was so fanatical


that it would bitterly persecute and accuse him in the court. He would make the pronouncement only if all the members of the synod along with all the individual congregation members were in agreement (after a majority vote) that the gang should be placed under the ban. In this way he believed he had covered his back! And this is where he misused and perverted Corinthians 5, 4 for the first time. We warned him to desist in this perversity and to do what his vocation demanded in accordance with Matthew 18. It was a long wait before he did his duty. He behavior exhibited much despondency and human fear and we were worried for him. It seemed as though a renewed trust in God had entered his heart and his conduct in office and thus we were honorbound to say nothing of the matter to our church members.

In 1847 and 1848 Krause complained about the rough persecution he suffered at the hands of the gangsters. At night they threw stones. He also complained of great poverty and that he was physically too weak to conduct his office under such circumstances. He wanted a smaller congregation and a place where he could conduct his office in peace. When the congregation in Martinsville (about 450 souls) near Buffalo needed a pastor, he was appointed in 1848. This congregation was in the midst of constructing a church (at a cost of $1800). It also wanted to build a parsonage as soon as the church was completed. Under these conditions Krause was willing to accept his residence in one of the better blockhouses in the district and for the first half of the year he conducted his office to the satisfaction of the congregation. When, contrary to the wishes of the congregation the church construction was delayed, conducting the office wasn't as easy as he had expected. He became unfriendly and stubborn, saying evil things about the district; he became sullen and discontented, even insolent and tyrannical towards the healthy and the sick, the elderly and the children. He became a moody hypochondriac and assumed an illness so he wouldn't have to preach. Church service was rarely held and when people came for confession they were told to go home when he said he was sick. He could go for walks but he could not preach or hear the children's confessions. A secret resentment and mistrust developed within the congregation and from month to month the vexation grew since he could, for example, go for walks with his daughter when church services were supposed to be held or sit with his wife where and when confessions were supposed to be held in order to warm himself, etc. He was reminded and reprimanded many times by his confessor that he could have been making himself sick or sicker whenever he held church services because of his sinful imaginings. He promised to get better but the promise was empty. As a man thinking of no one other than himself, he found no peace in Martinsville. He complained of unspeakable misery and great poverty to the point that even his children could no longer approach him. In the end he complained of an eye ailment, which could not heal while he was living in the blockhouse and it was this, which promted him to move back to Buffalo. According to the testimony of three doctors, this was more imagination and hypochondria than real illness.


Go on to pages 83 - 87


Copy of text provided by the A. R. Wentz Library, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA

Imaging and Translation by Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks