Talk:Montana District (LCMS)

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Montana District[edit]

Nice job on the page! Please let me know what other information is needed. I'm great friends with the Montana District archivist, and have access to plenty of materials.

I was a delegate at the recent Montana District Convention, and thought that Pastor Forke became District President immediately after being elected in June... --Dulcimerist 09:01, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

It's my understanding that while the new president is formally installed at the convention, there's a transition period of a few months during which the outgoing president continues in many functions; given the small district staff size and the fact that some presidents serve 15-20 years, I'm sure it helps the new guy get accustomed to things gradually. I suspect referencing district archival material in Wikipedia won't be a simple matter; you may want to start with some material about the district's history, using the linked article as a source. Keep in mind that you need to use published material as sources; internal documents, letters and memos won't qualify, but there might be newspaper clippings, district newsletters or other similar material. Info about changes in the district's size over the years would be useful, I suppose; and you might want to look into the district's response to the Seminex debate (for instance, did any Montana churches leave the Synod?). (Also, are there any old Lutheran Annuals with useful data?) But the main possibility would be articles about individual churches (I think there are only 9 so far for LCMS churches); I'd suggest starting with the oldest/largest churches in each circuit (and photos of some of the notable ones would be great, even for use with this article - though waiting for spring might be a nice idea for new exterior pics). A photo of the district headquarters or president would also be advantageous, as using the ones from the district site is more problematic for Wikipedia; perhaps a photo gallery of past presidents is possible? You're certainly in a better position to obtain permission for their use. The district logo might also appear on the article (again, permission for that is most helpful). MisfitToys 00:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the response! I've been on a "wiki-vacation" for a while. I'm great friends with the Montana District Archivist, and he sends me historic write-ups all the time, which he publishes. I'm planning to publish all of these on "history" webpages of the Montana LCMS congregational website that I maintain, and the Montana District webpage plans to use this information on their website as well. Some of these writeups of Montana District history are published in Montana Reflections, the district newsletter; which are then posted to the Montana District website in electronic format (Montana Reflections Archive.) It appears as though they regularly clear off old issues to save on server space, though. Is it against Wiki rules for me to publish all of the Montana District historical information on the congregational website I maintain, citing the district archivist as the source, then publishing that same information on the Montana District Wiki page? I see President Forke quite regularly, and could easily get a photo of him. Actually, our district archivist has great photos of every district president we've had, so a gallery of these would be quite easy to do. Thanks! --Dulcimerist 15:41, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it would be against WP policy to simply use the same text in both places; even for something you wrote yourself, putting it here would probably be regarded as original research even though you also published it elsewhere. Better to put all the district material on the congregational site first, and then choose selected material to include here, with references to the other site. Obviously, anything that's been published in a magazine can be used as a source, though external sources are much better than district publications for that purpose. I'm sure this gets into somewhat difficult territory for many Wikipedians; you're suggesting putting material here from a website that you run yourself, using internal district materials as your source. A lot of editors would look on that sequence with healthy skepticism, so whenever you can find external confirmation for something, I'd definitely use that as the source instead. MisfitToys 21:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the specific WP policy is that we can't republish word-for-word our sources, unless we have express permission from the writer of the original source to do so. In this case, I would grant myself permission to do this. Of course, other WP users might not understand that permission has been granted to do this, which might create a problem. Anyway, your suggestion of siting my original writing, gleaning key points from it for use in this WP article, sounds like the best idea. Thanks! --Dulcimerist 21:41, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Have we got some items to put into a "Sources" menu? I believe I can get my hands on an old Montana District history book, which could be used as a source and listed under "Sources." It only covers things up to the early 1970s, though. --Dulcimerist 17:20, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm waiting for the new Lutheran Annual, which I'll use as a reference for all the district articles. MisfitToys 21:49, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
That sounds great! I've added a couple of archive references to the new "References" section of the article. We should work on adding citations and sourcing to the information in this article. There are some facts (i.e. number of members in a congregation) which would be most accurate as word-of-mouth from the pastors who serve those congregations. Details such as these aren't cite-able, so I'm not sure how to work around that. --Dulcimerist 21:47, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
The Annual will have membership totals as of January 1, 2007. MisfitToys 22:44, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Establishment Dates and Membership Totals[edit]

It has been requested by the Montana District archivist that we change the "est." abbreviation to the word "organized." The archivist also noted that there are conflicts in some of the years of organization for a few Montana LCMS congregations. This is due to a few of the older congregations having their official year in which they were organized as the congregation they're known by; and also an earlier year when they were simply a circuit rider preaching station, but not a congregation. To flesh out the information on this page, I'm now able to provide dates of organization and current membership totals for every congregation in the district. If desired, I can also indicate which congregations are dual parishes, as well as the current pastor of each congregation. External links can be provided for each congregation that has a website, which would be useful for Wiki users. I'm taking a bit of a Wiki-vacation, and can implement any of these when I return. Thanks! --Dulcimerist 08:06, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Here are the dates of organization, as retrieved from the LCMS: (Please leave this data here until it makes it into the article)

Circuit 1 (Southern)

  • Christ the King Lutheran Church, Billings, Montana - organized 1966
  • Circle of Life Lutheran Church, Lame Deer, Montana - organized 1997
  • Crow Lutheran Church, Crow Agency, Montana - organized 1997
  • Hope Lutheran Church, Billings, Montana - organized 1972
  • Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Billings, Montana - organized 1959
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Worden, Montana - organized 1993
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Billings, Montana - organized 1982
  • Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hardin, Montana - organized 1942
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Belfry, Montana - organized 1916
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Laurel, Montana - organized 1913
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Bridger, Montana - organized 1912
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Park City, Montana - organized 1913
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Roundup, Montana - organized 1912
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Billings, Montana - organized 1919
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Harlowton, Montana - organized 1911

Circuit 2 (Western)

  • Faith Lutheran Church, Condon, Montana - organized 1966
  • First Lutheran Church, Missoula, Montana - organized 1900
  • Grace Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Montana - organized 1905
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Seeley Lake, Montana - organized 1966
  • Messiah Lutheran Church, Missoula, Montana - organized 1966
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Stevensville, Montana - organized 1954
  • Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Salmon, Idaho - organized 1978
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Superior, Montana - organized 1960

Circuit 3 (Eastern)

  • Concordia Lutheran Church, Forsyth, Montana - organized 1929
  • Faith Lutheran Church, Glasgow, Montana - organized 1958
  • Grace Lutheran Church, Fallon, Montana - organized 1931
  • Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Colstrip, Montana - organized 1973
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Glendive, Montana - organized 1938
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Fairview, Montana - organized 1930
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Hysham, Montana - organized 1942
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Miles City, Montana - organized 1906
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Plentywood, Montana - organized 1912
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Rock Springs, Montana - organized 1926
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Sidney, Montana - organized 1928
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Wolf Point, Montana - organized 1930

Circuit 4 (Central)

  • Christ for the Deaf Lutheran Church, Great Falls, Montana - organized 1961
  • First Lutheran Church, Fort Benton, Montana - organized 1948
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church, Denton, Montana - organized 1951
  • Peace Lutheran Church, Great Falls, Montana - organized 1956
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Fairfield, Montana - organized 1955
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Havre, Montana - organized 1919
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Lewistown, Montana - organized 1917
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Great Falls, Montana - organized 1892
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Stanford, Montana - organized 1954
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Chinook, Montana - organized 1913
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Power, Montana - organized 1913

Circuit 5 (Divide)

  • Faith Lutheran Church, Boulder, Montana - organized 1953
  • First Lutheran Church, Bozeman, Montana - organized 1929
  • First Lutheran Church, Helena, Montana - organized 1887
  • Grace Lutheran Church, Three Forks, Montana - organized 1926
  • Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Belgrade, Montana - organized 2002
  • Redeemer Lutheran Church, Anaconda, Montana - organized 1896
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Deer Lodge, Montana - organized 1915
  • Saint Mark Lutheran Church, Butte, Montana - organized 1888
  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Ennis, Montana - organized 1982
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Whitehall, Montana - organized 1958

Circuit 6 (Flathead)

  • The Church at Creston - Lutheran, Kalispell, Montana - organized 2004
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Eureka, Montana - organized 1955
  • Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Polson, Montana - organized 1981
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Columbia Falls, Montana - organized 1956
  • Saint John Lutheran Church, Libby, Montana - organized 1912
  • Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Ronan, Montana - organized 1915
  • Saint Peter Lutheran Church, Whitefish, Montana - organized 1959
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Kalispell, Montana - organized 1895
  • Zion Lutheran Church, St. Ignatius, Montana - organized 1947

These dates should all be included in the article; as some Wiki users would rather know the newest congregations, rather than only the oldest. --Dulcimerist 09:55, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I included the years for the oldest primarily to help establish notability, and to help identify which congregations best qualify for separate articles. I don't think getting into a lot of details on every congregation is useful here; this is, after all, an article about the district. (The data is readily available online at Besides, pastoral (and membership) changes happen so frequently that keeping the article updated would be more difficult. (I'm extremely loath to include membership totals for very small congregations; it strikes me as being like poking a finger in their eye, as there are a number of LCMS congregations with under 50 members.) Regarding est./org., I'll make a revision in the section intro. Regarding numerous links to external websites, keep in mind the Wikipedia policy on keeping such links to a minimum. MisfitToys 23:43, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. I understand regarding the not wanting the burden of constantly updating the membership numbers of each congregation. That would be a huge pain, and I completely agree with the sentiments regarding some of the smaller congregations. The year of organization for each congregation, on the other hand, never changes and will never need an adjustment. Including the year for each congregation would serve a useful purpose in the district articles, as it would allow Wiki users to see trends in new congregation plants of each district. For example, I can see that the early to mid '50s were big years in the Montana District, as was the year 1966. The years would be useful on all of them. As far as the number of members per congregation goes, I would actually support the idea of not even listing this figure within the lists of the various circuits. Simply having the existing list of largest congregations in each district would suffice. Any thoughts or opinions? --Dulcimerist 10:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes the largest congregations are concentrated in one area of the district, and some circuits are made up entirely of smaller churches (my circuit has no congregations over 400 members, for instance, although there over 20 churches in the district with 1000 members); this is particularly true in urban areas. It's still useful to see which is the largest, especially if it's also the oldest. And it's also useful to see if there are a number of large congregations bunched in one circuit; it indicates regional strength, and also helps show that a congregation which seems large at first glance might actually be relatively small for its local area. I suppose I wouldn't mind if all the years were listed; I just didn't want to introduce a glut of data on each church. MisfitToys 22:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I'd love to see the years in which each church was organized, so let's go for that since it would be useful. Listing the largest congregation in each circuit is cool, as I understand your point listed above. We likely don't need to list the membership totals of the "oddball" congregations, such as Montana's Idaho congregation. (Unless that congregation happened to be the largest in its circuit. --Dulcimerist 14:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Circuit 2 (Western)[edit]

Under this heading, our lone Idaho congregation lists its year of organization and membership, even though its stats don't meet the guidelines of displaying them. This breaks uniformity. Is the exception made for unique congregations such as this in each of the districts? From a uniformity standpoint, this is another reason why I'd like to see the years of organization listed for each congregation, and membership totals for no congregations listed in the sections listing the congregations arranged by circuit. (I'm a "neat-freak." LOL) --Dulcimerist 10:20, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, I included the data for churches if they were the only one from their state in that district. A slight variation, I concede, and I wouldn't mind if it were omitted in the circuit listings (though it should be kept in the earlier sections). MisfitToys 22:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Congregational Pages[edit]

Could you please provide me a link to an example of an LCMS congregation's Wiki page? That way I can copy the template so that the congregations I post will all look uniform. Over the next months, I'd love to slowly put all of the Montana District's congregations on here. Thanks! Also, is there a central discussion page that covers all of this? I seem to be a freelance contributor, and am out of the loop on LCMS entry planning on Wiki. Thanks! --Dulcimerist 14:53, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

They're all under Category:Lutheran churches; they're generally stubs, and the longer ones have varying formats, but Holy Cross Lutheran Church (Atwater, California) is probably the most substantial one for an LCMS congregation so far. Saint Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church of Milwaukee is one of the longer stubs. Given that there's not much yet present, you're pretty much free to pursue whatever format you think best, though you would probably want to look at longer articles for churches for ideas - such as those for cathedrals of various denominations. I'm not sure that every church in the district merits an article, but probably at least 20 could have a decent article started with some good sourcing; I'd probably suggest starting with these: Trinity (Kalispell), First (Helena), Trinity (Billings), First (Missoula), Trinity (Great Falls), Our Savior (Glendive), Saint Mark (Butte). (They're all among the four oldest or four largest; Trinity-Kalispell is among both.) Remember that material from external publications is more ideal for use as sources. MisfitToys 22:38, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
I've been on a bit of a Wiki-vacation, but hope to get around to this eventually. Thanks! --Dulcimerist 14:03, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Montana District LCMS Seal.jpg[edit]

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Image:Montana District LCMS Seal.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 05:05, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I've taken care of this. When I initially uploaded this, I had included the fair use rationale in the summary, rather than in a specifically-labelled section. We have 100% permission from my district to use the seal, as well as from the pastor friend of mine who created the specific image. A fair use section has been posted on the image page. --Dulcimerist 14:02, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


I am removing the extended list of congregations & missions. I certainly see the value of an article on a middle judicatory for a major american denomination, but not for the directory style list. AthanasiusQuicumque vult 18:57, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Membership Totals for Largest Congregations - April 2012 Update[edit]

At the time of posting this, I'm updating the membership totals of the largest congregations. The Williston congregation is listed twice because of this, but it will be fixed within minutes. I'm just posting this in case anyone notices while I'm updating things. I'll post again here when I'm finished. --Dulcimerist (talk) 21:52, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Completed. I will set the cutoff at around 300 members to make the list, allowing Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Columbia Falls, Montana with 298 members. This removes Our Savior Lutheran Church of Billings, Montana (271) and Peace Lutheran Church of Great Falls, Montana (263) from the list. Those two could easily make it closer to 300 members, so I'm mentioning them for future reference. I also have my reservations as to the accuracy of Peace Lutheran Church's reported baptized members on the LCMS website. --Dulcimerist (talk) 22:37, 13 April 2012 (UTC)