District Archives Launches Booklet on the History of our District Presidents2 min read

Kathleen Graham, Assistant to the District Archivist, worked for several months on a special project at the request of President Davis: the History of the Michigan District, LCMS Presidents.

Graham has been working with the District Archives for 21 years. She has a Library Science degree from Eastern Michigan University and worked at the old EMU library—although never specifically with archives, which she ended up learning as she went along. Her sister, Dr. Barbara Laughlin Adler, became the District Archivist in 2003, when the archives were still located at Concordia University Ann Arbor. When Adler’s student worker graduated, she asked her sister if she would be interested in becoming her part-time assistant. Graham interviewed with Chad Woltemath, the District’s Business Manager, and got the job.

Graham says it’s been nice working with her sister. They have gone together to conferences on archives and have also hosted informational booths about the District archives at various events.

How the Booklet Came to Be

Not too long after President David A. Davis took office, he asked Graham if the archive had information about the previous presidents. She looked, and there wasn’t really much—not even a file for some of the previous presidents. So she started doing some research, looking at obituaries and funeral service bulletins (which usually have biographies included). She also found some things online. She says, “I had been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have a booklet with the list of the presidents and some information about the history of each one. So President Davis gave me the incentive to start working on a booklet, and I ended up adding some years of the history to show how the District had changed and what had changed.”

Graham is very proud of the resulting booklet, and the District is very thankful for her dedication to this labor of love. You can access the booklet in the District Website at

The archive also has a dedicated page on the District Website:

Use of the archive for historical research about Michigan District history is welcomed. Access is possible by contacting the district archivist, Barbara Laughlin Adler. She can assist congregations in archival preservation, researching for a major anniversary, or in finding information on Michigan District history. There are also resources available to congregations, such as guides on how to start a congregational archive and how to find records in archives.

Photos by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS

Subscribe to Blog Button

About the Author

Elisa is a staff writer, copy editor, and photographer for the Michigan District, LCMS.

More by This Author

Nancy Teets - January 19, 2024

I read every word of this booklet and thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the information provided. Thank you for taking the time to put it together and making it available to all.

Linda Gerke - January 19, 2024

Well done. Interesting reading. As a wife, would enjoy seeing a companion article on their wives if possible.