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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Missouri president dies

President A.L. Barry, 69, head of the 2.6 million-member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, died March 23 in an Orlando, Fla., hospital.

Earlier that week, Barry, who had served as president since 1992, told LCMS staff he planned to run for a fourth term at the church's convention this July in St. Louis. Until the July election, the denomination will be headed by the synod's first vice president, Robert Kuhn.

Barry was known for publically stating his views on everything from the justification agreement between other Lutheran church bodies and the Roman Catholic Church to human cloning and the popular Left Behind books.

Barry had leukemia, but was hospitalized for pneumonia. In the hospital he contracted an antibiotic-resistant staph infection that "overwhelmed his kidneys," said David Strand, LCMS director of public affairs.

ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson extended his sympathies to Barry's family and to the LCMS, saying, "Despite his many administrative responsibilities, he never lost his pastoral heart." Anderson attended the March 30 funeral at Concordia Seminary's chapel in St. Louis.


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