abdelAbdel Ross Wentz (1883-1976) was a significant leader within American Lutheranism mid-twentieth century as both an interpreter-teacher and as a leader in Lutheran participation in formation of both the Lutheran World Federation and the World Council of Churches.

From his base as Professor of Church History (1916-1956) and President (1940-1951) of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA, Wentz provided for fifty years the widely used textbook in the field of American Lutheran history. He took leadership from the early Lutheran World Convention in 1923 through the formation of the Lutheran World Federation in 1947 (when he became the first Vice-President) and the World Council of Churches in 1948 (where he was the American Lutheran representative in the formation and business committees). He exercised leadership both through his role as teacher, writer, and popular speaker, and through his participation in meetings and creation of documents that led to the worldwide and ecumenical organizations mentioned above.