David Nelson, whose global mission career spanned four continents, resigned from the ELCA Division for Global Mission staff effective May 15.
Nelson accepted a position with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in its World Wide Ministries Division. Based in Louisville, Ky., he will be responsible for relief and development work among Armenian people, primarily in Armenia and the Middle East. He will remain an ELCA pastor.
Prior to his work in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Nelson served in the former American Lutheran Church as a missionary in Brazil in the 1970s and as an area secretary for Central America in the 1980s.
"Nelson's leadership is borne out by his dedicated immersion for the ELCA into issues related to Israel-Palestine and with churches in Eastern and Central Europe," said Bonnie Jensen, executive director of the global mission division. "We will replace him soon."
Nelson told The Lutheran that this post "relates to two areas where I've had experience--Europe and the Middle East." He added, "This opportunity came unexpectedly." Nelson and his wife, Claudia, have lived in Slovakia where she has been serving under the ELCA as principal of a Lutheran high school. They will now live in Louisville, Ky.
Retiring missionaries served 388 years
Others leaving the employ of the ELCA are missionaries retiring this year who have served a total of 388 years. Those retiring are:
* Earl and Nijiko Bergh, Japan, 39 years
* Kenneth and Eloise Dale, Japan, 45 years
* Andrew and Masae Ellis, Japan, 45 years
* David and Eunice Simonson, Tanzania, 41 years
* Lois Swanson, Tanzania, 38 years
* John and Elizabeth Nelson, Singapore and Malaysia, 41 years
* Marliss Schroeder, Papua New Guinea, 34 years
* Everett and Ardyth Savage, Taiwan, 39 years
* Ronald and Ruth Nelson, Cameroon, 37 years
* Patricia Bentsen, Madagascar, 29 years
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