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Edwin T. Dahlberg Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: 1966

Biographical History

The Reverend Edwin Theodore Dahlberg (1892-1986) was an American Baptist minister. Born in Minnesota, he attended the University of Minnesota from which he graduated with a B. D. in 1914. He continued his training at Rochester Theological Seminary from which he graduated in 1917. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1918. Later, in 1939 he received a D. D. from Keuka College.

His first parish was the First Church in Potsdam, New York where he served from 1918-1921. He then took over the ministry at the Naple Street Church in Buffalo, New York from 1921-1931. From there he moved to the First Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota where he worked from 1931-1939. From 1939-1950 he served as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Syracuse, New York. In 1950 he was invited to assume the ministry of the Delmar Baptist Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Despite his sometimes-controversial pacifism, Dahlberg was elected President of the American Baptist Churches (1946-1947) and later served as President of the National Council of Churches (1957-1960). He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and of Shurtleff College, and was invited to guest preach at locations across the country.

Throughout his career Reverend Dahlberg was known for his strong efforts for social justice and peacemaking. He was a pacifist and conscientious objector during World War I and an early leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and his efforts supporting the Civil Rights movement, opposing the Vietnam War, and promoting nuclear disarmament, led to the creation of the Edwin T. Dahlberg Peace Award by American Baptists in 1964. Awarded at the annual (now biennial) meeting of the denomination, recipients of the award have included civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964), President Jimmy Carter for his work on the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979), founder of Pastors for Peace Lucius Walker (1989), and Marian Wright Edelman, African-American lawyer and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (1997).

Reverend Dahlberg wrote a few books and many articles published in such religious magazines as The Baptist Leader, The New Century Leader, The Watch-Examiner, The Christian Evangelist, Consolation, and Topic. Many pamphlets of his sermons have been published by The American Baptist Home Mission Society. A biography of him, Edwin T. Dahlberg: Pastor, Peacemaker, Prophet (Judson Press: Valley Forge, PA), was published by his son Keith in 1998.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from: Westmoreland-White, Michael L. "Dahlberg Award Winners". Levellers. 10 Apr 2008]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edwin T. Dahlberg Papers consists of correspondence (incoming, outgoing, and family), subject files, published materials, and sermons.

Incoming correspondence consists of letters sent to Mr. Dahlberg by various organizations to which he belonged and from individuals, most of whom were members of the First Baptist Church in Syracuse. Most of the letters were written by service men and women who belonged to the First Baptist Church. These letters are dated 1944 - 1945.

Outgoing correspondence consists of the church news letters sent by Reverend Dahlberg to his parishioners of the Maple Street Church in Buffalo, and the . First Baptist Church in Syracuse. and to the service men and women of his church. There are a few letters addressed to individuals.

Family correspondence contains incoming letters written to him by his family.

Subject files consists of various kinds of material including study materials, copies of various church bulletins, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, notes, calling cards, and photographs.

Published materials consists of two (2) published pamphlets by other ministers and a pamphlet published by The American Baptist Home Mission Society.

Sermons contains copies of sermons written and delivered by Reverend Dahlberg. They are arranged alphabetically by the title of the sermon.

Arrangement of the Collection

Incoming correspondence is arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the sender or the name of the organization. Outgoing correspondence is arranged chronologically. Family correspondence is arranged alphabetically by the name of the sender. Subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Published material and sermons are arranged alphabetically by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Dahlberg, Edwin T. (Edwin Theodore), 1892-1986 -- Archives.

Corporate Bodies

First Baptist Church (Syracuse, N.Y.)


Baptists -- Clergy.
Clergy -- United States.
Pacifism -- Religious aspects -- Baptists.
Pacifists -- United States.
Sermons, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edwin T. Dahlberg Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Incoming correspondence

Outgoing correspondence

Family correspondence

Subject files

Published materials