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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Founding member of ELCA dies

Lloyd Svendsbye, 83, a member of the Commission for a New Lutheran Church that formed the ELCA, died March 2. As president of Luther Theological Seminary and Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., he also led in the merger that formed Luther Seminary.

“Dr. Svendsbye was deeply committed to greater Lutheran unity,” said Lowell Almen, former ELCA secretary. “As [he said] … ‘Lutheran unity is not simply an argument about advantages to be won or positions to be protected in negotiations. It is an article of faith, rooted in Scripture, and proclaimed in the creeds and confessions of our church. ... If we use our reason wisely, we can create a structure that eliminates unnecessary duplication and competition [between and among churches] to let our witness to the gospel be seen more clearly in the world.’ ”

Svendsbye’s career included chair of the religion department at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.; editor-in-chief of Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis; academic dean of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.; and president of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D.

He also served as the last vice president of the American Lutheran Church, an ELCA predecessor. (See also page 45).


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