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LCA Collection 292. Lutheran Church in America. Minnesota Synod. Office of the President. Collection of President Melvin Hammarberg, 1947-1988: Overview

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Collection Description

Lutheran Church in America.  Minnesota Synod.  Office of the President.  Collection of President Melvin Hammarberg, 1947-1988.  LCA Collection 292.  4 Records Center Cartons and ½ Hollinger box.

The Collection of President Melvin Hammarberg consists of general files.  Included are materials from various boards, committees, commissions, and programs.  In addition, there is correspondence between congregations and pastors. 

Biographical Note

Melvin Hammarberg was born 25 June 1912 in Cumberland, Wisconsin.  His father, Pastor A.G. Hammarberg, was serving the Augustana congregation.  His mother was Minnie Hammarberg.  Later, the family moved to North Branch, Minnesota.  Melvin graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1934 and from Augustana Seminary in 1937.  He was first ordained to serve at Bethany Lutheran Church in Des Moines, Iowa, but in 1940, he moved to Arlington Hills, St. Paul and served until 1955, doubling the congregation’s membership.  Dr. Hammarberg was then the Executive Director of World Missions, Augustana Lutheran Church from 1955-61, pastor for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, 1961-65, and then President of the Minnesota Synod, Lutheran Church in America, from 1965-76.  

During his time in the Minnesota Synod, he served as President of the Board of Youth Activities, Augustana Church, 1945-54; delegate to Luther World Assembly, 1952; member of the Board of Trustees, Gustavus Adolphus College; 1945-54 and 1961-76.  From 1952-54 he was the President of St. Paul Council of Churches and of the Minnesota Council of Churches from 1970-72, along with various other positions of responsibility.  He received a D.D. degree from Augustana Theological Seminary in 1952 and a Litt. D. degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1972.  He visited Latin America, Africa, and the Far East, as well as many other countries for his missions.  He and his wife, Ruth née Pearson, had four children together, Melvyn Alan, Linda LeNay, Jon Karl, and Paul Russell.  After a struggle with cancer, Dr. Hammarberg died on 30 August 1976.  

Scope and Content

The collection of Melvin Hammarberg is divided into three series: General Files, Correspondence with Congregations, and Correspondence with Pastors. 

General Files consists of President Hammarberg’s files from various boards, especially the Board of American Missions and Board of Social Ministry.  Also, there are materials from numerous committees, commissions, and programs. 

Correspondence with Congregations holds correspondence between President Hammarberg and various congregations throughout Minnesota. 

Correspondence with Pastors has correspondence between President Hammarberg and various pastors.  This series is restricted, contact the archivist for possible viewing.

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