1932 - 1996 Person Name: Henry L. Lettermann, 1932-96 Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Author of "On Galilee's High Mountain" in Lutheran Service Book The youngest of four children, Henry L. Lettermann was born February 28, 1932, to Henry Christopher Lettermann and Anna (née Gerstacker) Lettermann, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His primary level education took place at First Evangelical Lutheran School in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, where his father served as principal. It was in this setting where the riches of the church’s song would be
imprinted on the young heart and mind of Henry Lettermann. After his education at First Lutheran, he attended Concordia High School, matriculating to Concordia Teachers College (now Concordia University) in River Forest, Illinois, where he received the bachelor of science degree in 1954. It was at Concordia where Lettermann’s love for literature and poetry, especially the poetry of Americans Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost, began to be formed.In 1959 Lettermann received his master of arts degree from the University of Chicago, subsequently receiving his doctor of philosophy degree from Loyola University, Chicago, in 1974. Eventually Dr. Lettermann achieved the rank of full professor at Concordia.
Lettermann’s talent for poetry and his genuine interest in education resulted in a number of fruitful unions. A number of his texts
appeared in the Concordia Music Education Series, published in the 1960s by Concordia Publishing House, while numerous hymns and carols appeared in Lutheran Education—the official journal of the Lutheran Education Association. From 1979 to 1987 Lettermann served as a member and secretary of the Hymn Text and Music Committee of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod’s Commission on Worship which prepared Lutheran Worship (1982). As a member of this committee he contributed both original texts and translations from the German. As a servant of the church at large, Lettermann wrote texts on commission from various congregations as well.
Excerpted from "The Precious Gift: The Hymns and Carols and Translations of Henry L. Lettermann" by Scott M. Hyslop, used with permission
Henry L. Lettermann