The Rev. Dr. John R. Denninger was elected president of the LCMS Southeastern District during its 36th convention May 31-June 2 in Virginia Beach, Va. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Jon T. Diefenthaler, who served nine years as district president.
In keeping with its “Till All Have Heard” theme, the convention resolved to join with the LCMS Office of International Mission in a Global Mission Partnership in Peru, budgeting an annual $40,000 for the mission over the next triennium. The convention also gave thanks to God for Ablaze! efforts of the past three years in the Southeastern District that resulted in 2,713 Mission Prayer Partners, more than a million recorded faith-sharing events, 20 Mission Academy Teams, more than half of the 206 congregations involved in outreach events, and 70 new ministries.
Denninger, 57, was elected on the first ballot. He has served as pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Springfield, Va., and, before that, as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Auburn, Neb., and as pastor at Campus Lutheran at the University of Nebraska–Kearney. He will be installed as district president on Aug. 4 at the district’s “Tending the Flame” Conference.
The district, which limits its president to three terms, honored Diefenthaler at a service of thanksgiving on the opening evening. “Unashamed of the Gospel, Jon has called us to task, urged us to live beyond our comfort zones, to live for the mission field,” said proclaimer, the Rev. Mark Hricko, pastor of St. Andrew, Silver Spring, Md.
Dr. Vigi George, president of Concordia College — New York, at Bronxville, also presented Diefenthaler with Concordia’s “Servant of Christ” award, recognizing his service to the district and the larger church as a “dedicated disciple, pastor, and missionary leader.”
Among other actions, Southeastern District delegates resolved to make congregational renewal a priority during the next triennium; to encourage congregational support of the Lutheran Malaria Initiative; and called on congregations, schools and individual donors to generate an additional $500,000 per year during the next triennium for beginning new missions.
The Rev. David R. Maack, executive director of the Lutheran Mission Society, Baltimore, was elected to his first term as the district’s first vice-president.
The Rev. William A. Harmon, pastor of King of Glory Lutheran Church, Williamsburg, Va., and the Rev. William D. Beyer, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Clayton, N.C., were elected to first terms as second and third vice-presidents, respectively.
The district officers (other than Denninger), Board of Directors and circuit counselors were installed during the convention.
Also during the convention, the district presented its own Servant of Christ Awards to three laypersons: Hal Chase, a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Waynesboro, Va.; Sarah Stevenson, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Charlotte, N.C.; and Sue Marshall, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Laurel, Md. Congregations and individuals submitted nominations for this award, and a subcommittee of the district Board of Directors selected the recipients based on “outstanding service to the church, example of service to all, for understanding the mission of Christ and for putting that understanding into concrete action.”
Posted June 4, 2012.