Testimony of F. Lochner, a Loehe man, missionary from Germany in 1842 about the conference in St. Louis that year concerning the new synod.
"We spent an entire week at this work [drafting a constitution], at the close of which we immediately made common copies and them to the other men who had left the Ohio synod and to other friends, inviting them to a conference at Ft. Wayne, beginning July 2, where the plan, we said, would be carefully discussed.Loehe's men were from the German State Church and used to a "church" above congregations, whereas Walther [in the USA only 7 years at this time] had already been forced to resign his post in the German Church and came to America as an already proven rebel against hierarchy.
"At this time several meetings were held with the St. Louis congregation, in which their pastors presented the plan for consideration. I, being wholly inexperienced, occasionally opened my eyes wide in astonishment when I saw that the congregation did not at once acquiesce, but questioned this and that item; ideed, several members disputed sharply with the pastors. These men, however, entered into their doubts and considerations as if the congregation were made up on none but scholarly theologinas.
"I did not understand it then nor long afterwards; but how often did not that which I had seen and heard in this St. Louis congregational meeting in critical moments present itself to my mind for instruction and warning!"
Walther's message is...strong laymen make strong churches, and overly strong pastors discourage laymen in their priestly duties.