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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The Way We Were: 1950s

Dr. Edwin A. Moll and students at an orphanage in Jerusalem

Dr. Edwin A. Moll, a pastor of The United Lutheran Church in America, an ELCA predecessor body, talks with children at the Syrian orphanage in Jerusalem.

Born in Australia in 1892, Moll emigrated to the U.S., where he attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained in 1914 as a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor.

During World War I, Moll returned to Australia and enlisted in the air force. He served in the Near East and rose to the rank of major. One of his duties was to act as a liaison officer between British forces and Arab allies led by T.E. Lawrence, known as "Lawrence of Arabia." When the war ended, Moll returned to the U.S. and transferred to the ULCA . He served congregations in Wisconsin, California and Illinois.

In 1940, he became secretary for the ULCA Board of Foreign Missions. He first traveled to Jerusalem in 1946 to study a proposed transfer of the Syrian orphanage in Palestine to the ULCA. That year he was loaned to the Lutheran World Federation and served in British Guinana (now Guyana), India and Liberia, with headquarters in Palestine as director of the Near East Branch of the LWF. He retired in 1957 and died in 1961 in Madison, Wis.

 


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