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Lutheran Hour Speakers:

Walter Arthur Maier
Lutheran Hour speaker, 1930-1950

Dr. Walter A. Maier became the first speaker of "The Lutheran Hour" in 1930. He had been teaching Old Testament Interpretation at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis for eight years when he took a leave of absence to be full-time Lutheran Hour speaker. Maier was dedicated to his work, having decided to become a pastor after hearing a mission sermon at the age of twelve. He attended undergraduate school at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, washing dishes and selling typewriters to pay expenses.

When Maier passed away suddenly, just after midnight on January 11, 1950, tributes poured in from around the globe. Reverend Billy Graham sent a telegram: "We join with friends who mourn the passing of Dr. Walter A. Maier, whose Lutheran Hour was a constant benediction and source of strength."

Dr. William Arndt, a close associate of Dr. Maier, wrote: "It was his continual aim to preach the great truths of the Scriptures: Law and Gospel, sin and grace, Christ and His redemption. Throughout the English-speaking world he was considered one of the chief spokesmen of conservative Christianity. His memory will be cherished by millions of people."

During the twenty years that Maier served as speaker for "The Lutheran Hour," the United States - and the world - went through remarkable upheaval. The Great Depression caused the temporary suspension of "The Lutheran Hour" broadcast, World War II and the devastation of the atomic bomb rocked the world. Maier's words speak to the particular events of the world in which he lived, but he admonished his listeners with the Law of God, and comforted them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in a tone that still rings true at the beginning of the 21st century.