Pennsylvania has the most churches participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring, and organizers say it's due in large measure to a Lutheran's efforts.
LeRoy Reichenbach, who died in March at 83, learned about Souper Bowl while worshiping at St. Philip Lutheran Church, Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Super Bowl Sunday 1992.
"He was just amazed and thought what a wonderful thing it is," says his wife, Betty Reichenbach.
Back in Neffs, Pa., he worked tirelessly to promote Souper Bowl — contacting congregations and using his contacts with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod's Lutheran Men in Mission. Two years later, Pennsylvania was the No. 2 state, with 232 churches. It became No. 1 in 1997 and still is.
"Clearly he got the momentum going in Pennsylvania, where there were more Lutheran churches involved early on," says Brad Smith, Souper Bowl's founder.
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