Since its founding in 1953, The Clara and Spencer Werner Foundation has awarded more than $30 million for Lutheran causes.
Spencer Werner, a native of Milwaukee, began his career with the Charles A. Krause Milling Company. It was there he met Clara, who became his wife in 1921. In 1934, the Werners and several other investors purchased a mill in Paris, Illinois. Eventually, the Werners became the sole owners of the Illinois Cereal Mill.
The Werners were committed, generous Christians and major founders of Grace Lutheran Church in Paris, Illinois. Clara was the principal evangelist and Spencer was known as one who always went out of his way to befriend and help others, especially children.
Though both are now sainted, the foundation continues to carry on a tradition initiated by the Werners: “To further the efforts of Lutheran organizations to be in ministry, to reach out to those in need and to pass on the faith to the next generation, all for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In 2005, seeing the need for increased effectiveness, alignment and transparency in the operations of Lutheran ministries, The Clara and Spencer Werner Foundation decided to add to its grant-making efforts by founding a community foundation—Lutheran Legacy Foundation. As a community foundation, Lutheran Legacy Foundation can take a more flexible and innovative approach in relationships with Lutheran organizations.
Learn about The Clara and Spencer Werner Foundation’s Organizational Endowment Matching Gift Program.