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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Police kill Pennsylvania pastor in standoff

Robert Furler, 44, a former ELCA pastor who had experienced increasing problems with mental illness, was shot and killed by state police July 4, after a daylong standoff.

Furler was shot when he exited his house aiming a shotgun at the officers. His wife, Susan, and their three teenage children were not home.

Furler wrote about his troubled youth in a March 1990 article, "From prodigal to pastor," for The Lutheran. In that story he spoke of finding the church and a call to ministry after using and selling drugs at an early age.

After he failed to apply for reinstatement following disability leave, Furler was removed from the clergy roster in 1997, said Catherine Ziel, executive associate to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod bishop.

Ordained in 1984, Furler served his first and only ELCA call at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Bethlehem, Pa., until 1993. He later served as interim pastor of a United Church of Christ congregation before starting an independent Christian church four years ago.


Comments

Revival

Revival

Posted at 1:31 am (U.S. Eastern) 7/5/2008

What became of his church, that he pastored?

DON

DON

Posted at 12:40 pm (U.S. Eastern) 11/18/2008

My opinion of the incident with Robert Furler  is...HE  WAS  MURDERED.   I  know  Robert Furler very well.  He  lives in the people he tried to guide and the ones he guided to better living.



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