Magazine article The Christian Century

Missouri Synod Elects `Moderate' President

Magazine article The Christian Century

Missouri Synod Elects `Moderate' President

Article excerpt

By a margin of just 18 votes, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod delegates have elected a new president--one who many in the conservative denomination of 2.6 million members label a "moderate." Gerald B. Kieschnick, 58, currently president of the church's large Texas District, succeeds fellow minister Robert Kuhn, who has served as LCMS president since March.

Kuhn became president when A. L. Barry died unexpectedly in office after serving nine years. Kuhn did not run for the office. At the triennial convention in St. Louis that ended July 20, Kieschnick said in a speech to 1,188 delegates that he would work with the four losing candidates, promote church outreach and encourage a series of discussions on difficult topics.

Under Barry, conversations with other denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ground to a near halt. Kieschnick said he "absolutely looks forward to conversations with the ELCA and other Christian churches." In bringing his customary greetings to the LCMS convention, ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson voiced his dismay over the diminished contact during the past nine years. After the LCMS convention, Anderson noted that a resolution passed by delegates declared that the LCMS "cannot consider them [the ELCA] to be an orthodox Lutheran body. …

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