The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Memorial held for ELCA hostage

At a Jan. 14 memorial service for Ronald
At a Jan. 14 memorial service for Ronald Schulz at St. John Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.D., his mother Gladys receives a flag from a Marine color guard.
ELCA member Ronald Schulz, a security consultant in Iraq, was taken hostage last year. His family now believes a video released by the Islamic Army in Iraq shows that Schulz was murdered. On Jan. 14, they held a memorial service at St. John Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.D.

“It’s been a very difficult six weeks since the video was released,” said Doug Opp, a pastor of St. John.

The Internet video showed Schulz’s identity card and a blindfolded man being shot in the head. “Based on the video, the family believes Ronald is no longer alive,” Opp said. “It’s a great loss for our congregation. Ronald grew up here.”

At the memorial service, Opp said it was time “to make headlines once more ... to announce to everyone that the Christ of Christmas came to die for Ron on the cross of Calvary ... that the light of this world is Jesus Christ ... a light that the darkness of this world cannot overcome.”

Although the former Marine lived in Eagle River, Alaska, he was still a part owner of the family farm and remained a member of St. John, with his mother, Gladys, and sister, Julie.


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