When the nominations for president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod were tallied and released in April, a collective gasp went up from Lutherans who pay attention to things like presidential nominations.
It wasn’t just that nine-year incumbent Gerald Kieschnick, 67, received only 755 votes, but that Matthew Harrison, 48, received nearly double that amount: 1,332.
Harrison, executive director of the church’s World Relief and Human Care office, has the support of a group called the Brothers of John the Steadfast whose mission is, in part, to “defend and promote the orthodox Christian faith which is taught in the Lutheran Confessions.”
The group’s Web site (steadfast-lutherans.org) is one of the voices in the conservative wing of the synod that’s unhappy with Kieschnick. According to the group’s analysis, Kieschnick’s vote totals were the lowest number ever received by a sitting president.