The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
October 29-November 7, 2017

martin_lutherrobert moore preachingSonntag, October 29, 2017
Depart The U.S. from your city.

Montag, October 30, 2017Erfurt_Augustinerkloster
Arrive Leipzig. This event begins in Leipzig and ends in Erfurt. A bus will be available to whisk us to the Leipzig Marriott at 3:00 from the airport. If you arrive after that, grab a taxi. We’ll do a brief walking tour of town before dinner. Dinners are covered by the tour. Lunches will typically be on your own. This schedule is a plan that is subject to change.

Dienstag (Tuesday), October 31, 2017 – The 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s Posting of the 95 Theses
In the morning we will have Reformation Day Worship at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. J.S. Bach (1685-1750) served as music director of the city of Leipzig. He is buried at St. Thomas. We’ll eat a substantial lunch since the evening concern will be during the dinner hour. On this day, the tour will cover lunch, rather than dinner. We may also visit the Old City Hall and St. Nicolas Church, where the prayers were said leading up to the fall of the communist regime. At 6:00 p.m. we will attend a Reformation Concert featuring music of Michael Praetorius, Johann Walther and Dietrich Buxtehude.


Mittwoch (Wednesday), November 1

In Eisleben we will see Luther’s birth house and another house where Luther died. Luther never lived in Eisleben. His parents were passing through when he was born, and he was there negotiating a conflict when he died. We will visit The Church of St. Peter and Paul, where Luther was baptized, and possibly the Church of St. Andreas, where Luther preached his last sermon.

Donnerstag (Thursday), November 2, 2017
Situated on the Elbe River, Dresden is the second-largest city in the Free State of Saxony. In Dresden we will see the Royal Residence/Castle of the Electors and the King of Saxony, one of the oldest buildings in Germany, and Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche). Dresden was bombed extensively in World War II, but has rebuilt marvelously. 

Freitag, November 3, 2017
Wittenberg, formally Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is where Luther lived, taught and posted the 95 Theses. There we can choose from several options: The Luther House (and Museum) is the Augustinian house where Luther lived, first as a monk in 1511, and later as a family man, until he died in 1546, for a total of 35 years. The Melanchthon House (and Museum) is where Luther’s friend and fellow Reformer Phillipp Melanchton lived. Martin Luther and Johannes Bugenhagen both preached at the City Church or Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien zu WittenbergAll Saints Church (commonly referred to as the Schlosskirche, or Castle Church), is where the 95 Theses were posted.

Samstag (Saturday), November 4, 2017
On Saturday we will move to a new hotel in Erfurt, the capital of the State of Thuringia, where Luther lived as an Augustinian friar from 1505 to 1511. On our way to Erfurt, we will visit the Wartburg, the famous castle built in the Middle Ages, where Luther was hidden for 300 days, and where he translated the Bible into German. We will also have an opportunity to visit the Luther House (and Museum) where the teenaged Luther lived with the Cotta family from 1498 to 1501. We can’t miss the Bach House, a museum to the Lutheran musician and composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in Eisenach. Check out this short, 40-second video on Eisenach: 

Sonntag, November 5, 2017
We will worship at St. Augustine’s Monastery (Augustinerkloster), guests of Pastor Irene Mildenburger. After lunch we will head out to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, which was one of the largest Nazi work camps in Germany.

Montag, November 6, 2017
Monday is our last full day. We will have some time to explore Erfurt, and do some shopping at the Krämerbrücke (Merchants’ Bridge). After lunch, we will visit St. Mary’s Cathedral, a romanesque basilica where Martin Luther was ordained on April 3, 1507. Then we will get a more formal tour of at St. Augustine’s Monastery (Augustinerkloster). After a last afternoon rest, we will conclude the day with a festive final dinner.


Dienstag, November 7, 2017
The tour ends in Erfurt the following morning when you arise. You are free to extend your stay or travel home. We can assist you setting up arrangements. Let us know where you are going. If enough of us are heading to Leipzig, we can arrange a bust with enough advanced notice.

The temperatures in early November range from 35 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain and snow are always possible. Dress accordingly.

Group size: About 24 people.

Cost: $2,400 per person, double occupancy. And additional $500 for single occupancy. Costs include hotel, ground transportation once we are in Leipzig until we end in Erfurt, all meals except lunches any dinner if you eat separately from the group. Plan on some expenses for gratuities. Cost does not include airfare. The event begins in Leipzig and ends in Erfurt.

Registration: Online registration can be found here:

A $500 refundable deposit is due upon registration. A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 will be due April 10, 2017. Final payment is due September 15, 2017. This trip is open to all.

Mailing List: To be put on the mailing list, send an email to indicating your interest in “Reformation Trip 2017.”

For more information:
TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod
12941 I-45 North Freeway, Suite 210
Houston, TX 77060
Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf of springtime. 

—Martin Luther

Luther and the Reformation: A Chronology

1184 – Waldensians declared heretics.
1384 – Wycliffe died.
1415 – July 6, Jan Hus burned at the stake for his 45 propositions. From the pulpit he condemned indulgences, simony and papal immorality.
1450’s – moveable type invented.
1453 – Constantinople falls to Ottomans
1498 – Savonarola interrogated, tortured and hanged.
1. Childhood – 14 years (1483-1497)
2. Formal education – 8 years (1497-1505)
3. First career: Professor – 17 years (1505-1522)
4. Second career: Reformer – 24 years (1523-1546)
1. CHILDHOOD – 14 years 

1483 – Luther born on November 10, 1482 in Eisleben, to Hans and Margarethe Luder (or Ludher, later Luther). The next day he baptized on the Feast of St. Martin of Tours. He grew up in Mansfeld where he attended the Latin school.


1497 – At age 14 Luther was sent to the cathedral school in Magdeburg.
1498 – Sent to Eisenach (just below the Wartburg) to be closer to family.
1501 – University of Erfurt at age 18. He would spend 10/11 next years here, four at the university and six at the monastery.
1502 – Passed baccalaureate exam. Started masters, requiring intense study of Aristotle.
1505 – Masters. Biretta and ring authorizing him to teach as a university professor and hold disputations. Also now able to enroll in jurisprudence, medicine or theology. Enrolled in law.
1505 – July Luther abruptly quit law and entered the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. Studied for the ministry. Not all monks do.
1507 – Ordained.
1508 – and 1509 Luther lectured on Aristotle
1510 – Trip to Rome.
1511 – Luther moved into the Augustinian house in Wittenberg where he lived the rest of his life, first as a monk, then as a husband and father.
1512 – Received doctorate and succeeded Staupitz as chair of the department of theology at Wittenberg. Sworn in by Karlstadt. Taught first course: Psalms verse by verse until 1515.
1515 – Taught Romans.
1516 – Taught Galatians.
1517 – Taught Hebrews.
1517 – The 95 Theses.
1518 – The Heidelberg Disputation (April 26) and the 28 Theses.
1518 – Luther ordered to Rome. Frederick sent him to Augsburg instead where Cardinal Cajetan was to take his recantation. Cajetan demanded Luther be turned over or driven out of Saxony. Frederick refused. Can’t have his superstar executed, who is attracting record numbers of students to his new university.
1519 – Luther debated Eck in Leipzig.
1519 – Charles elected emperor, age 19?

1520 – June. Papal Bull Exurge Domine declaring Luther a heretic
1520 – Luther published Freedom of a Christian.

1521 – January. Papal Bull excommunicating Luther.
1521 – April, Diet of Worms.
1521 – Suleiman the Magnificent captured Belgrade.
1521 – Emperor put ban on Luther but still needed support of German princes against Turkish threat. Luther now an excommunicated, imperial outlaw.
1521 – May 1521 to March 1522, Luther in the Wartburg. 300 days.
1521 – 13 brothers quit the monastery and married in November.
1522 – January Karlstadt (35) married Anna von Molchau (17?).
1522 – March 6 Luther left the Wartburg after ten months.
1522 – Sermons on Christian Freedom.
1522 – Lay people begin receiving the cup in Wittenberg. Karlstadt beings using the Words of Institution in German.
From this point on Luther is swept along with the flow of events. Support for Reform was given or denied by city councils and princes. If a local priest began preaching salvation by grace alone, offering the cup, condemning indulgences, Rome would pressure through the bishop and the priest would appeal to the city council.
1523 – Easter 12 nuns smuggled out of Marienthron Cistercian Cloister
1523 – Luther published That Christ was Born a Jew, a positive appraisal of the Jewish community.
1524 – Luther stoped wearing his monastic garb
1525 – Peasants’ War (Revolution of 1525). Luther wrote Admonition to Peace, fearing anarchy and the destruction of Germany.
1525 – Radical preacher Thomas Müntzer forced to confess and executed.
1525 – Frederick received bread and wine in his final communion, then passed away.
1525 – June 13, Luther married Katharina von Bora (1499-1552), one of 12 nuns he had helped escape from the Nimbschen Cistercian convent in April 1523. Katie had lived there since she was nine years old.
1526 – Hans Luther was born.
1526 – Turkish rule established in Hungary.
1527 – Elizabeth Luther was born but died within a year.
1528 – Saxon Visitation.
1529 – Cochlaeus published the 7-headed Luther.
1529 – Magdalena Luther was born.
1529 – Ein Feste Burg written? Lord Keep Us Steadfast In Your Word?
1529 – Turks laid siege to Vienna (300 mi from Munich). Charles begged for support of both Lutheran and Catholic princes.
1530 – Diet of Augsburg in June, where Lutherans defended their faith. Not safe for Luther to attend. Charles renewed Luther’s outlaw status and gave churches six months to dismantle religious innovations/ reforms. Burning of German New Testaments, hymnboks, etc.
1530 – Schmalkald League formed for protection.
1531 – Martin Luther Jr. was born.
1531 – Luther lectured on Galatians again. Ein Feste Burg published.
1533 – Paul Luther was born.
1534 – Margarethe Luther was born.
1534 – Wittenberg Bible published. 200,000 copies of Luther’s New Testament have already been sold.
1535 – Luther began teaching courses on Genesis.
1535 – Papal Nuncio Vegerio visited Luther in Wittenberg. How do you do ordinations without bishops? Luther promised to attend a council if it was held.
1537 – Theologians and rulers met in Schmalkald. Luther had a urinary infection. Frederick refused to attend the council. Luther resumed writing, preaching, lecturing and serving as dean of the theology faculty at Wittenberg.
1539 – Luther preached in Leipzig commemorating his debate with Eck 20 years earlier. His text was John 12, Jesus’ assurance to be with all who keep his word. Luther used this to say the true church was that which kept Jesus’ word, not the dictates of Rome.
1539 – Luther published The Councils and the Church, showing contradictions between the decrees of popes and councils.
1540 – Landgrave Philip of Hesse married without divorcing his wife (mother of 10).
1541 – Turks threatened again.
1542 – Magdalena Luther dies at age 13, in a heartbroken Luther’s arms.
1543 – On The Jews And Their Lies published. Advocated burning Jewish synagogues, schools, houses and books. Catholic John Eck had said the same thing.
1544 – Luther exaggerated the threats enemies on all sides. Turks, Jews, enthusiasts, sacramentarians, Rome, Emperor Charles V who he believed was going to force the Lutherans back under Rome once the Council of Trent has completed its reforms.
1545 – Against the Roman Papacy Instituted by the Devil. 
1546 – February 18 Luther died while mediating a dispute in Eisleben.
1546-7 – Schmalkald War. Katherine and children (and Melanchthon) flee Wittenberg twice, the second time to Braunschweig.
1548 – Charles defeated protestants and captured Wittenberg.
1549 – RC Johann Cochlaeus published Commentary on the Acts and Writings of Martin Luther of Saxony
1552 – In December Katharine died. Buried at Torgau. 4/6 children survived.
1555 – Lutherans given legal status in the empire by Charles V (b. 1500).
1557 – Charles retired.
1559 – Charles died.
1633 – Galileo convicted of heresy. Sentenced to life in prison, commuted to house arrest for the rest of his life.
1655 – Slaughter of Italian Waldensians.
1738 – John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience, his heart “strangely warmed” at hearing Luther’s Preface to Romans.
Late 1800’s – Nietzsche
John Bugenhagen – Pastor and professor in Wittenberg. Assumed responsibility for new Protestant religious constitutions in N Germany and Denmark. Presides at Luther’s wedding.
Karlstadt – Professor Andrew Bodenstein. Nicknamed after his city. Administered the oath to Luther (1511?) in which he swore not to teach anything condemned by the church.
John Lang – Augustinian brother and friend.
Gabriel Zwilling – Fellow Augustinian.
Charles V – (1500-1558) Son of Philip the Handsome and Joana the Mad. 1519 Charles became the holy Roman Emperor and the Archduke of Austria.
Luther and Katie’s Six Children
1. Hans (1526-75) lawyer in Weimar.
2. Elizabeth (1527-8) died in infancy.
3. Magdalena (1529-42) Conceived within a year. Lived to 13. Died in Luther’s arms.
4. Martin (1531-65) studied theology. Died in his 30’s.
5. Paul (1533-93) Professor & physician
6. Margarethe (1534-70) 18 years old when Katie died.






2014 Trip

In Search of Luther: June 6-16, 2014

Freitag, 6. Juni
Depart Houston IAH

Samstag, 7. Juni

Arrive Frankfurt and transfer by bus to Erfurt. Visit the Augustinerkloster in rfurt, where Luther lived as an Augustinian monk from 1505 to 1511.

Sonntag, 8. Juni

Go to Eisenach. Visit Wartburg Castle, Bach Museum, Cotta House, and St. George Church.

Montag, 9. Juni
Visit Erfurt, Augustinian Monastery, Merchants Bridge, Cathedral.

Left: The Wartburg Castle, where Luther was whisked to safety, and where he translated the New Testament into German.

Dienstag, 10. Juni

Visit the Holocaust memorial at Buchenwald.
Visit Naumburg historic Romanesque Cathedral.

Mittwoch, 11. Juni
Visit Wittenberg Luther Museum and Melanchthon Museum, City Church and Castle Church. Lunch at ELCA Wittenberg Center

Wittenberg was the location of the new university where Luther taught. He posted the 95 Theses on the door of the chapel. Someone translated them from Latin into German, then printed and distributed them.

Donnerstag, 12. Juni
Drive to Eisleben. Visit the house where Luther was born and the other house where he died. Visit St. Peter’s Church where Luther was baptized. St. Peter’s Church is now a baptismal center.

Freitag, 13. Juni
Tour the city of Leipzig where J.S. Bach served as music director of the city. Visit St. Thomas Church where Bach is buried and St. Nicholas Church where the prayers were said leading up to the fall of the communist regime

Attend the opening night of the Leipzig Bach Festival in St. Thomas Church.

17.00 Uhr Thomaskirche / Eröffnungskonzert
J. S. Bach: Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 733 ·
Magnificat D-Dur, BWV 243 · Sanctus D-Dur, BWV 232III ·
C. P. E. Bach: Magnificat D-Dur, Wq 215 · Heilig, Wq 217
Julia Sophie Wagner (Sopran), Susanne Krumbiegel (Mezzosopran),
Benno Schachtner (Altus), Martin Petzold (Tenor),
Andreas Scheibner (Bass), Thomanerchor Leipzig,
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra,
Leitung: Thomaskantor Georg Christoph Biller

Mayor’s Reception following in the New City Hall. Overnight in Leipzig.

Samstag, 14. Juni
Excursion to Dresden. Royal Residence, Church of Our Lady (Frauenkirche), with views of the Elbe River.

Bach Festival Concert. Overnight in Leipzig.

20.00 Uhr Nikolaikirche / Oratorium und Kantate
C. P. E. Bach: Die Israeliten in der Wüste, Wq 238 ·
J. S. Bach: Du Hirte Israel, höre, BWV 104
Solisten, Chorus Musicus Köln, Das Neue Orchester,
Leitung: Christoph Spering

Sonntag, 15. Juni
Worship at St. Thomas Church. Afternoon visit to the Stasi Museum. Dinner together.

Montag, 16. Juni
Group departs for home.

For more information contact 281-873-5665.

Cost: $1995 per person, double occupancy. There is a single room occupant supplemental cost of $590. This trip is limited to 20 people. Costs include hotel, all meals except lunch and perhaps a dinner or two if we divide up. Plan on some expenses for gratuities.

Registration: $1,000 refundable deposit due in 2013. Second $1,000 deposit is due January 15. The second deposit is non-refundable. Final payment is due May 15, 2014.