ST. LOUIS — A former missionary for 16 years in Eastern Europe, the Rev. James Krikava was installed as the Synod’s associate regional director for Eurasia on June 23 at the LCMS International Center here.
As associate regional director, Krikava will represent the Synod president and other Synod officials with partner churches in Eurasia — one of five LCMS regions. He will help establish and promote church relationships on behalf of the LCMS, assisting the Rev. Tony Booker, regional director for Eurasia.
During Krikava’s installation, the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver III, director of LCMS Church Relations, preached on Gen. 15:1-6.
“Hear the word of the Lord. ‘Fear not. I am your shield,’” Collver said during his sermon. “The Lord is faithful to His promises. In your Baptism He gave you His name. He placed His name upon you forever, the name of Jesus.”
LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison installed Krikava, and called him a “fine pastor” and “more than a bit of a bard.”
“Welcome to the Missouri Synod,” Harrison said.
Krikava was an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod until earlier this year, when he became an ordained pastor in the LCMS through the colloquy process.
Krikava served as a missionary from 1990 to 2006. Residents of Brewster, Mass., he and his wife, Peggy, will relocate to Prague, Czech Republic, when their missionary service abroad resumes.
Krikava said he looks forward to returning to Eastern Europe, connecting with other Lutheran church bodies and encouraging them to become members of the International Lutheran Council, a worldwide association of 35 established confessional Lutheran church bodies of which the LCMS is a member.
“Sharing the Gospel in the Czech Republic is not real easy but people are willing to talk about it,” he said. “In that part of the world they have a rich heritage of Lutheranism. It’s just in the more remote past. During the Reformation there were 800 congregations in Bohemia.”
Booker said Krikava helped start an English-speaking congregation in Prague about 16 years ago.
“He has set the stage,” Booker said. “He’s highly honored, highly respected there. I have the honor of being able to work with him. It’s just fantastic.”
In addition to his LCMS Eurasia duties, Krikava also serves as a regional teaching fellow to Europe for Luther Academy, an independent Lutheran theological institute founded by the late Rev. Dr. Robert Preus. The academy promotes confessional Lutheran theology in mission fields throughout the world through publications, conferences and other educational endeavors.
Krikava graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in music education. He completed his Master of Divinity from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1983.
A native of rural Glenville, Minn., he served as an instructor of religion and music at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minn. (1980-84), where he taught religion courses and served as a preacher in the chapel program. He established an instrumental music program for the college and served as director of the concert band, jazz band, brass quintet and choir. After his tenure at Bethany, he served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Brewster, Mass. (1984-90); as a missionary (1990-2006); and again at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brewster upon returning from the mission field (2006-14).
The Krikavas have two daughters, a son and eight grandchildren.
Posted June 27, 2014