Wilhelm (William) Leopold Scheding was born January 10, 1883, in Berlin, Germany. After arriving in the United States in 1906, he received his ministerial degree from Midland College and Western Seminary, Atchison, Kansas, and was ordained by the German Nebraska Synod of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States in 1907. Scheding served pastorates in Scheding, Nebraska (1907-08), a settlement named in his honor; Medford, Wisconsin (1908-16); and Glasco, Kansas (1916-22).
In 1921, Scheding was named Western Relief Director of the National Lutheran Council (NLC), an inter-Lutheran cooperative body formed in 1918 to administer domestic programs, publicize Lutheran activities and beliefs, and provide overseas emergency relief to areas devastated by World War I. He served in this capacity for one year, at which time he was assigned by the Council to its European Commission, a group of NLC representatives who traveled to Europe to study and report on the conditions of Lutherans and their churches. Headquartered in Moscow, Scheding traveled through Russia from 1922-23 in an effort to bring relief to Lutherans in that country. After completion of his work in Russia in 1924, Scheding investigated possible colonization areas in the Yucatan and Mexico in order to secure a refuge for German Russians. In 1945, the NLC's Service Commission called Scheding to be Field Secretary for visitation to German Prisoner of War Camps in the first six Service Commands of the U.S. Army. The German Red Cross decorated him for his work for German prisoners of war.Description:
This collection contains W.L. Scheding’s final report (1924) to the NLC concerning his work as an NLC European Commissioner in Russia and a manuscript and typescript of a volume written by Scheding regarding the Church in Russia (c. 1923). These documents contain descriptions of the conditions of Russia, the church, and its people during the early 1920s and outline the efforts made by the American Relief Administration and NLC on their behalf. The manuscript and typescript of the Church in Russia includes handwritten chapters and some reports and accompanying correspondence. The collection is also available on microfilm.