Press Toward the Mark recounts the story of one denomination's growth and development into a mature church body in the northeastern United States. The volume covers the period from 1830 to 1930, during which the Lutheran Ministerium of New York and Adjacent States experienced repeated divisions, with the formation of eight different synods, before all were eventually reunited in 1929 to form the United Lutheran Synod of New York. The book introduces two topics in telling the story: the rise of denominationalism and the development of the Lutheran confessional movement in the United States. A case study of one denomination's development, the volume also contains an extensive bibliography, and numerous illustrations, maps, charts, graphs, and tables detailing the patterns of growth, division, and merger, down to the individual congregations which made up the United Synod.
Robert F. Scholz is Senior Pastor of St. David's Lutheran Church, Long Island, New York; Adjunct Professor of History at Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island; and Historian of the Metropolitan New York Synod (ELCA).