Rev. Dr. Edwin Albert Nerger (1916-2006)


Born Jan. 12, 1916, in Giddings, Texas, he was the son of Maria Rosina (Sohns) and Paul Edward Nerger. He began his elementary education at Immanuel Lutheran School, in Giddings, Texas, and continued his education at Lutheran Concordia College, Austin, Texas, where he graduated on May 29, 1933. He completed his work on an Associate of Arts degree at St. John's College, Winfield, Kansas, on June 6, 1935, and gained his Certification for Ministry at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, with the Centennial class of June 3, 1939. While at the Seminary, he augmented his training by participating in professional and semi-professional theatrical productions in St. Louis. He received a Doctor of Laws degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1976. Between his junior and senior years at the Seminary he served as Vicar from July 1937 to 1938 at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, Paige, Texas. Immediately upon graduation from St. Louis Seminary he became assistant Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Houston, Texas, a position he filled from July of 1939 to January of 1940. He was then called to St. John's Lutheran Church in Galveston, Texas, and served as the pastor of this church from January of 1940 to March of 1946, on which date he received a call as assistant pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne. The installation took place on April 7, 1946. On May 21, 1950, he was installed as Senior Pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. His pastoral duties included over 2,000 marriages and nearly 3,000 funerals. He retired on May 3, 1981. Since that time, he held the position of Adjunct Professor at Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne from 1981 to 1985. His profound concern for people was reflected in his wide-ranging activities. He was Chairman of the General Relief Committee of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod from 1950 to 1953. In the latter year, he organized the Board of World Relief of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and was its chairman until 1968. He was a Member of the Board of Lutheran World Relief in New York from 1953 to 1985, and its Secretary from 1956 to 1980. He traveled extensively to South America, Europe, Africa, USSR, the Near East, and India in connection with World Relief programs and development. He was a Trustee of the LCMS Lutheran Foundation from 1967 to 1970, Chairman of the Mayor's Commission on Human Relations for the City of Fort Wayne from 1963 to 1970, and Member of the Commission on World Hunger, St. Louis from 1970 to 1975. His publications include the following: "Crossing the Kidron", as co-editor, 1954; "Pastor at Work", 1959; "Portals of Prayer", as contributing editor, 1955, 1956; and "Concordia Pulpit", 1953 to 1972. He was a member of' the Concordia Historical Society, St. Louis, Mo.; The National Historical Society; and the Smithsonian Institution. He received numerous and various citations for his work. He received the coveted Boy Scout Lamb Award from youth ministry departments of Lutheran church bodies for service to Lutheran youth through Boy Scouts of America Jan. 23, 1992. He organized BSA Troop 16, supported it, and shepherded it. He assumed an active interest in civic affairs, including a membership in the Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the United Fund of Allen County for six years in the 1960's He was Chairman of the committee responsible for the organization of Concordia Lutheran High School. He was active in the planning, fundraising, construction and continued development of the current facilities. His dream of The Heritage Program, reflecting and praising God for the rich heritage of the historic St. Paul's Lutheran Church, was culminated in the dedication of Heritage Flail on Feb. 9, 1957. He helped organize Camp Lutherhaven, in Albion. His intellectual pursuits were researching theology, psychology and counseling, international welfare and relief work. His favorite hobby was gardening and horticulture. He took great joy in singing the Ungemach liturgy at the St. Paul's Children's Christmas Eve Service. 


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