About the Author


August Lawrence Graebner was born on July 10, 1849, in Frankentrost, Michigan.  His father, John Henry Philip Graebner, had emigrated from Franconia in Germany (now northern Bavaria) in 1847 to help establish, under the direction of Johannes Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, German Lutheran colonies in eastern Michigan in order to preserve both the orthodox Lutheran heritage and the use of the German language among those who had left their fatherland and particularly the state church of Germany because of  its laxity and rampant rationalism.  That same year, the Michigan Franconians participated in the founding of the German Evangelical-Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other States, more commonly referred already in its early days as the Missouri Synod.  The elder Graebner served as pastor at Roseville and Mt. Clemens, Michigan, and in 1859 accepted a call to St. Charles, Missouri, where young August spent his formative years and grew to manhood.  He attended Concordia College, Ft. Wayne, Indiana,  from 1864 to 1869 and pursued theological study at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he graduated in 1872.  Until 1875 he taught at Lutheran High School (later Walther College) in St. Louis, and then accepted a professorship to teach Latin, English, and History at Northwestern College, Watertown, Wisconsin, a Wisconsin Synod institution.  In 1878 that synod elected him to a chair at its newly founded seminary at Wauwatosa, where he taught until 1887 and also served as the assistant pastor at St. Matthew’s in Milwaukee.  In 1887 he succeeded Professor G. Schaller as professor of Church History at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, where he also taught Dogmatics until his death in 1904.  His highly regarded work, Outlines of Doctrinal Theology,  set forth in concise but thorough thetical statements the chief articles of Christian doctrine and provided the reader with the chief sedes upon which each is based.  At a time when the Missouri Synod had precious little to offer for instruction in Dogmatics that was not in the German language, that precious handbook in English was a welcome addition to the literature of the Lutheran Church and is still esteemed over a century later.  Graebner was also the founder of the Theological Quarterly, which, in his time, testified to his strict fidelity to Holy Scripture as the only source and norm of Christian doctrine and practice and to the Lutheran Confessions as a faithful exposition of Scripture truth in those matters which they addressed.  Dr. August L. Graebner died at St. Louis, Missouri, on December 7, 1904, at the age of only fifty-five years.