When participants at the Churchwide Assembly
gathered in August, it is fair to say they were guests in "Frank
"Zeidler is a great statesman in our church," says Greater Milwaukee Synod Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers. "He lends a political voice to the faithful, and a voice of faith to [politics]."
The ELCA layperson served three terms as Milwaukee mayor. From 1948 to 1960, Zeidler stood at the helm during a huge civic building boom: 3,200 public housing units, a four-year public university (University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee), the first educational TV station, fire stations, branch libraries, the freeway system, slum clearance, bridges — all of it without a whiff of scandal or corruption.
At age 91, Zeidler has a nimble mind. He discusses the fine points of Martin Luther's two-kingdoms doctrine, then veers to describe the roots of Milwaukee's Interfaith Conference — "originally formed," he explains, "to improve race relations, particularly in housing and jobs."
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