WELS Archives

In 2016, WELS hired it’s first official synod archivist and began moving the synod archives from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., to a purpose-built archival space, designed to preserve and organize historical WELS documents, books, and artifacts at the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry, Waukesha, Wis.

In conjunction with the archives, a visitor’s center was built to help show the history and mission of WELS. The visitor center includes a visual timeline of WELS’ history as well as informational kiosks on areas of ministry. Materials from the archives also are on display. Guests will be shown a video highlighting WELS’ ministry and receive a tour of the Center for Mission and Ministry.

The visitor center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Closed on holidays)

Schedule tour

To schedule your visit to the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry, e-mail [email protected] or call 414-256-3200.

An online catalog of the WELS Archives materials is available online. Items from the archives are being added to the online catalog regularly. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact the archivist.

Preserve your congregation’s history

The synod archive is here to support your congregation by preserving and maintaining not only the synod history, but also the history of our WELS congregations. This is possible with the help of your donated materials including:

  • Church histories
  • Anniversary bulletins
  • Installation bulletins
  • Dedication service bulletins
  • Other materials related to your congregation’s history

Congregations can send copies of these items to be preserved and added to the collection.  These materials will be useful to future researchers as they provide a great insight into the congregations that make up our synod.

The landscape of our synod is always changing, and your congregation may be experiencing milestones and changes. To help future generations understand our church’s history, please donate your records of historical value which include:

Meeting minutes and reports from all committees, councils, and organizations within your church

  • Photographs, scrapbooks, and other visuals of your congregation’s history
  •  Book of Sacred Acts
  • Church Histories
  •  Bulletins: from installations, dedications, anniversary services, and other special events
  • Church constitutions, bylaws, and other charter documents
  • Newsletters and other church wide communications


Looking for resources to help you with your ministry? Find downloadable files and resources on the WELS Resource Center.


View the WELS Center for Mission and Ministry leadership directory for specific area of ministry contact information.