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Marshall, former LCA president, dies

Robert J. Marshall, an ELCA pastor, biblical scholar and president of the former Lutheran Church in America, died Dec. 22 in Allentown, Pa. He was 90.

In 1962, Marshall became president of the LCA Illinois Synod, serving until he was elected LCA president six years later. During his decade as LCA president, the groundwork was set for the merger with the American Lutheran Church and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches to form the ELCA in 1987.


Robert J. Marshall
Robert J. Marshall
Marshall “became one of those giants among Lutheran leaders who served in the 20th century,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson. “The years do pass quickly. Leaders are called by the church and serve during their particular time, but their contributions should not be forgotten. We now remember such a leader—a leader who showed grace, dignity, dedication, courage and vision as a faithful witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Born in Burlington, Iowa, Marshall graduated from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, and Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, Maywood, Ill. He earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago and during his professional life received 15 honorary doctorates.

Ordained in 1944 in the former United Lutheran Church in America, he served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Alhambra, Calif.


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