MLP History

  • 1975: The WELS Spanish periodical, El Mensajero Luterano (The Lutheran Messenger) begun. Pastor Ralph Martens is literary editor and Pastor David Haeuser is managing editor.
  • 1984: Pastor Mark Goeglein becomes the first director of mass communications for Latin America. He serves as part-time director and pastor of San Juan Lutheran Church until 1989. The office is located at San Juan Lutheran Church in El Paso, Texas.
  • 1987: Latin American Missionary Conference resolves to publish the People’s Biblein Spanish.
  • 1991: Pastor Paul Hartman becomes first full-time director of mass communications for Latin America.
  • WELS Spanish publications listed in the Lutheran Spanish resources catalog.
  • 1993: After a lapse of several years, El Mensajero Luterano is reorganized and restarted. Distribution to WELS and ELS missions reaches 950 copies to 145 addresses by 2001.
  • 1996: Multi-Language Publications program organized with Pastor Harold Essmann as the coordinator.
  • 1997: Patti Fernandez becomes the first non-United States citizen called in WELS to serve as full-time editor in a foreign language.
  • First translation seminars held for translation teams in Milwaukee and El Paso.
  • The first English as a second language seminar is held in Milwaukee.
  • The Promise is published in various languages.
  • 1998: Mass communications for Latin America is renamed publications for Latin America.
  • The World Mission collection is launched. The collection is housed at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and listed online.
  • Office building constructed on the property of Victory in Christ Lutheran Church in El Paso.
  • WELS Multi-Language Publications distributed from the El Paso office.
  • English as a second language program is developed with initial funding from Multi-Language Publications.
  • 1999Bible Stories in Pictures is published in English.
  • 2000: Pastor Ronald Baerbock becomes the the first missionary called to serve full-time as a theological editor. His assignment: to finish the Spanish People’s Bible by the end of 2002.
  • 2001: Publications for Latin America amalgamated into Multi-Language Publications of the Board for World Missions.
  • World Mission Sunday school conference held in Milwaukee.
  • 2002: The first 12 volumes of the Bible Teachings Series in English is completed.
  • 2003: Dr. John Kolander replaces Prof. John Hartwig on Multi-Language Publications committee.
  • Publication of Bible Teachings Series in foreign languages begun.
  • Publication of Bible stories in foreign languages begun.
  • 2005: Bible Stories in Pictures is published in Spanish, Albanian, Russian, Swedish, Telugu, and Hindi; editions in Chichewa, Portuguese, Indonesian, and Latvian are under development.
  • Pastor Ronald Baerbock accepts call to Mission to the Children in Mexico.
  • 2006: Gonzalo Delgadillo starts as director of Spanish publications.
  • 2007: Distance learning program begins.
  • 2009: Translation Working Group distance learning program begins in South Asia.


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