The newly forming Evangelical Lutheran Church of Spain celebrated this fall 10 years of mission and ministry that is being carried out jointly by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina (IELA) and the LCMS, and the installation of its first pastor — the country’s first Lutheran pastor in nearly 400 years.
Installed at the Oct. 10 celebration in Toledo, Spain, was Rev. Juan Carlos Garcia Cazorla, who will serve a congregation in Seville. He is the first Lutheran pastor since Casiodoro de Reina, who translated the Bible into Spanish for the first time and then had to flee to Germany to escape the Spanish Inquisition.
Guests at the installation included the presidents of the Portuguese Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church–Synod of France, and LCMS and IELA representatives.
Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Spain also came together Oct. 9-10 to vote on national church issues and to spend time in worship and discussion.
The event also included three confirmations; children’s events; a seminar led by Dr. Douglas L. Rutt, director of International Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis; and the showing of “10 Years of Mission: The History of Lutheranism in Spain,” a new documentary produced by LCMS and IELA missionaries.
Among surprises at the installation was the testimony and confirmation of Cazorla’s mother-in-law, who for seven years heard Lutheran teachings but had resisted joining the church.
The LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Argentina began work in Spain 10 years ago by sending Argentinean Missionary Rev. Marcos Bernt to respond to queries there. Today, two missionaries — Rev. Walter Ralli and Rev. Gustavo Lavia — serve at least seven mission stations throughout the country.
Posted Nov. 9, 2010