George Elias Meetze, 97, died Nov. 23 in Columbia, S.C., following a brief illness. He is best known for his 56 years as chaplain of the South Carolina Senate, a post from which he retired in June 2006.
Meetze served as pastor of St. Barnabas Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C.; Grace Lutheran Church, Prosperity, S.C.; and Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, Columbia. He graduated from New York [N.Y.] Theological Seminary and Lutheran Southern Seminary in Columbia.
The ELCA pastor was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest honor. Meetze spoke fondly of his years of service and his unusual congregation. “Church and state, although separate, do meet in the heart of the believer,” he is quoted as saying in The Lutheran (October 2000, "Palmettos for politician’s pastors").
Sen. John Drummond,D-Greenwood, S.C., the longest-serving member of the Senate, said in that article: “During many trying times in the Senate, his prayers have gently prodded us to remember we are servants of the people and as such we hold a sacred trust."
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