The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


"We are a miracle"

At 100, Conrad Bergendoff reflects on his church, his work, his faith

Conrad Bergendoff is an explorer. At age 100, he has taken many steps, some into risky territory. Maybe that's why he finds inspiration in the psalmist's verse: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet."

"You need only light enough to see the next step," he says as he pats his walker and smiles wryly. "And at my age it's more important than ever to watch my feet."

But sitting in his comfortable room in an assisted living residence in Rock Is land, Ill., Bergendoff projects not fragility but energy. The former president of Augustana College and Seminary, Rock Island, is one of the most influential people in 20th-century American Lutheranism.

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