New leader for Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

St. Louis, USA - The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod installed its new president, the Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, in a service last Saturday at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

Harrison was elected to the position last July, defeating the Rev. Gerald Kieschnick, who had held the job for nine years when he lost re-election.

The Kirkwood-based denomination has about 2.5 million members and is theologically conservative. The largest Lutheran group in the country is the liberal-leaning Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which has about 4.5 million members.

"Bring back the doubting, those who are not sure whether to follow the Bible or to follow the postmodern views of our day," said Presiding Bishop Walter Obare of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, who preached at the installation service. He was quoted by the synod's magazine, The Lutheran Witness.

Harrison had served as head of the church's World Relief and Human Care, and was previously a pastor in Westgate, Iowa, and Fort Wayne, Ind. He and his wife, Kathy, have two sons.