From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Samuel J. Roth, ELCA Pastor, Former ELIM President, Dies

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date Fri, 22 Feb 2002 08:59:06 -0600


February 22, 2002


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Samuel J. Roth, former president of
Evangelical Lutherans in Mission (ELIM) and retired pastor of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), died Feb. 20 following
complications resulting from heart bypass surgery.
     Roth, 74, was serving as interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran
Church, Town and Country, Mo., at the time of his death.  He resided
in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.
     Roth was best known for his leadership in the early years of
ELIM, an organization of moderates within the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).  He became ELIM's president in 1973.
Many of ELIM's members later formed the Association of Evangelical
Lutheran Churches (AELC), which merged with the American Lutheran
Church and the Lutheran Church in America to form the ELCA in 1987.
     During Roth's tenure as president, ELIM provided significant
financial support for Christ Seminary-Seminex.  The seminary was
formed when students, faculty and staff from the LCMS Concordia
Seminary, St. Louis, left to form Christ Seminary-Seminex in 1974. In
1987, Seminex merged into the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
(LSTC), one of eight ELCA seminaries.
     Roth was born in 1928 in Elkhart, Ind.  He earned bachelor's,
master of divinity and master of sacred theology degrees from
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  In 1995, he was awarded a doctor of
ministry degree by LSTC.
     Roth was ordained as an LCMS pastor in 1952, and became a
pastor of the AELC in 1976.
     From 1952 to 1955, he was assistant pastor, Messiah Lutheran
Church, St. Louis. In 1955, he became pastor at Zion Lutheran Church,
Ferguson, and served 38 years before he retired from the active
ministry in 1993.
     He is survived by his wife, Mary, and sons, the Rev. S. John
and David Roth, and daughters, Laura ZuHone and Lydell.  He was
preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Angela Roth.
     Funeral services are to be held at 11 a.m., Feb. 23 at Zion
Lutheran Church, Ferguson.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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