Rev. Martin L. Lieske, president of the Synod’s Minnesota South District from 1966 to 1978, died July 26 in Fond du Lac, Wis. Lieske, 94, had suffered a stroke five months earlier.
A funeral service was held Aug. 1 at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minn.
Lieske, a 1935 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, served as pastor of LCMS congregations in Sioux Valley, Round Lake, and Worthington, Minn.
He supported a 10-year altar-and-pulpit fellowship relationship between the Synod and the American Lutheran Church, despite some objections about whether there was enough doctrinal agreement between the two church bodies.
During the Synod’s doctrinal crisis in the early 1970s that resulted in the establishment of the Seminex “seminary in exile,” Lieske attempted to mediate to those on both sides of the issue.
He reportedly said that the Synod could not afford “the luxury of wasting our time and efforts on internal conflicts or anything else that turns us away from our mission of sharing Christ with our world,” according to a July 31 story in the Mineapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.
Although he retired in 1978, Lieske remained active in church work.
“Dr. Lieske exhibited great energy and determination, especially in serving his Lord and his church,” said Dr. Lane Seitz, president of the Minnesota South District. Lieske also was “a strong advocate of ministry to and for older adults” after his retirement, according to Seitz.
Lieske is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lucille; sons Joel, David, and Mark, and daughter Mary Heath; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Posted Aug. 2, 2005