Lutherans/Copy of Baptismal Records


I am currently engaged and my fiance and I are trying to get together all the necessary documentation for our premarital courses.  He does not have a copy of his baptismal certificate and the church that he was baptized in is now closed. We are unsure on where to go now or who to contact. Would you please advise on who we should contact in order to receive a copy?


Congratulations on your engagement, and thank you for your question.

I am surprised that the congregation in which you are getting married is requiring you to produce a copy of your Baptismal Certificates.  They will not merely take the dates that you were baptized? Given the circumstances, especially, I would think that would suffice.

Since your fiancee's baptismal congregation is closed, they may have deposited their records in their synod's archives.  You may have to do a little detective work, and figure out which ELCA synod were they would have belonged (or the LCMS district, if this is Missouri Synod) and then contact that synod office.  They should be able to direct you to any corporate archives that they may have.  It is very possible that all those records would be stored there.

Sorry for this, I hope my answer can piont you in the right direction.

Martin Eldred


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Martin W. Eldred


I have been a Lutheran Christian for 56 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 28. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.


Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area of the New Testament. I particularly enjoy the Pauline literature. I have a PhD in New Testament and my dissertation was on II Corinthians.

I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary. I also have PhD in New Testament.

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