The Rev. Dr. Roger C. Paavola of Bartlett, Tenn., was elected to his third three-year term as president of the LCMS Mid-South District at the district’s 20th regular convention, June 28–30 in Memphis. Paavola was elected on the first ballot.
Also elected were:
- Rev. Charles J. Neugebauer, pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church and School, Memphis, first vice-president;
- Rev. James C. Walter, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Little Rock, Ark., second vice-president;
- Rev. Gilbert H. Pingel of Chattanooga, Tenn. (retired), third vice-president; and
- Rev. Paul E. Haas, pastor of Bella Vista Lutheran Church, Bella Vista, Ark., fourth vice-president.
The elected officers were installed during the convention.
Among adopted resolutions, delegates voted to affirm the district’s church-planting efforts, citing the LCMS goal of establishing 2,000 new ministries by 2020 and the shortfall toward meeting that goal. The resolution emphasizes partnerships with and encouragement of congregations, pastors and circuits that initiate and support church-planting efforts that uphold Scripture and Lutheran doctrine.
Delegates also adopted resolutions asking the Synod in convention to:
- restructure the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program to require students to complete four years of instruction prior to ordination rather than the current two-year requirement.
The resolution notes that although the current SMP program does require a total of four years of instruction, the provision of allowing ordination after two years has resulted in a less-thorough education status at ordination, and removal from the roster for some SMP workers who did not complete the final two years of study.
The overture to the 2019 LCMS convention would make the four-year requirement effective for students enrolling in the SMP program after the 2020 academic year and would create an “SMP vicar” designation after one year of education is completed.
- reaffirm the scriptural doctrine of the six-day Creation, as written in Genesis, echoing the Synod’s 1932 statement and related Commission on Theology and Church Relations documents issued in 1970 and 2009.
The memorial also asks the LCMS to include in its evangelism, outreach and educational materials an emphasis on the importance of the narrative and doctrine of Creation, to provide an appropriate witnessing explanation to those who hold nonbiblical worldviews.
The theme of the convention was “The Lord is My Rock, My Fortress, My Salvation,” from Psalm 18:2.
Posted July 9, 2018