In Memory of Gerhard Krodel from the ELC Theological Seminary: On the 28 th of August, 2005, Professor and Dean Dr. Gerhard Krodel died after a long illness. He passed away at the age of 79 in his home in Gettysburg, PA (USA). “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia needs its own Theological Seminary if it wants a future.” Dr. Krodel was the first who clearly saw and expressed this need in the early 1990’s. And he worked constantly to make incarnate this insight. As the President of the Lutheran Board for Mission Support, Inc., he together with his wife Joan Krodel for almost 15 years worked in America to gather funds for the ELC’s Theological Seminary. First, the funds they gathered went toward the purchase of the former Lutheran church building in Novosaratovka (St. Catherine’s) and then for the renovation of that, the seminary’s main building; later their funds went toward student aid and finally, toward the building of the Katerina Luther house, finished not long ago. The ELC Theological Seminary’s very existence is due in large part to the tireless effort by Dr. Krodel and his wife, Joan. Professor Krodel was born on February 7, 1926 in Lichtenstein (Germany) and studied protestant theology in the universities of Regensburg, Tubengen and Erlangen and in Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 1952 he was ordained into the former American Lutheran Church and for three years worked as pastor in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Long Beach, NY. He began his more than 40-year teaching career as professor of classical languages and religion in Capital University in Columbus, OH. From 1958 to 1964 he taught New Testament at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Debuque, IA. From 1964 to 1977 as Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. From 1977 to 1994 he was professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA. Until 1991 he served concurrently as Dean of the Seminary. Professor Krodel was the author of a whole number of commentaries to New Testament books and wrote many papers and articles on Biblical studies. Besides this he was a member of the international Lutheran-Orthodox commission. The Theological Seminary mourns the loss of its friend of many years, Dr. Gerhard Krodel, who was its constant helper. We will keep him in our memories and we are very thankful to him.
Tribute to Gerhard Krodel
Tribute to Pastor George W. Evans
Pastor George W. Evans was instrumental in creating the LENS Foundation and Board in order to continue supporting the work of his friend, Gerhard Krodel. George Wesley Evans, Jr. was born January 5th, 1934 in Columbia, Pennsylvania along the banks of the Susquehanna River. He was the only son of George Wesley and Carrie Estella McCall. His father had many jobs including working at the Grinnell Foundry and as a projectionist at the movie theater in Columbia. Pastor Evans attended Columbia High School where he met his future bride, Jean L. Greenawalt. As a young man he was inspired by Pastor Bradley T. Gaver, of First English Lutheran Church in Columbia. Pastor Gaver recognized the fire and the drive within young Pastor Evans and encouraged him to attend college. Pastor Evans was accepted and attended Gettysburg College receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He also served as the first Commander of the Zeta chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity while at Gettysburg College. His future bride attended Penn State; he frequently travelled by hitchhiking between campuses. On one trip, Pastor Evans was delivered to the object of his affection by Rosie Greer, who at the time was playing football for Penn State.
Inspired by Pastor Gaver, and recognizing the call, Pastor Evans entered the Lutheran Theological Seminary to become a Pastor himself. While In seminary he joined the Navy’s Theological Student Program and was commissioned as an Ensign. Nineteen fifty-eight was an eventful year for Pastor Evans and Jean. Pastor Evans graduated from the Seminary was ordained and the couple welcomed their first child, Karen Elizabeth Evans. Pastor Evans took up his first calling to Grace Lutheran Church, Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania. One year later he was called to St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Pa. He served that congregation until called to move to Christ Lutheran Church in York, Pennsylvania. While serving as pastor in Lancaster and York he completed his training as a Navy Reserve Chaplain. He was assigned to the First Ordinance Field Maintenance Company, Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Columbia Pennsylvania and the couple welcomed their second child, Brian George Evans, born in Lancaster.
While in York, Pastor Evans was called to active duty with the Navy. After completing training at the Naval Chaplain’s School in 1966, he was assigned to the USS Ajax in Sasebo, Japan. The Evans’ family moved to Sasebo for this tour, which supported the Navy during the Vietnam War. Two year later, the Evans’ family returned to the US when Pastor Evans was assigned to be the Regimental Chaplain, First Infantry Training Center, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, NC. After two years he was deployed to the Vietnam War as the Regimental Chaplain, Eleventh Marine Regiment, First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific stationed in the Republic of Vietnam. While deployed the family moved to Mountville, Pennsylvania and grew with the arrival of their third child, Lisa Jean Evans. When Pastor Evans returned home he remained assigned to the First Marine Division stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. During this tour he served as the Dean of the Protestant Chapel and Administrative Chaplain.
In 1974, he was assigned to the Naval Reserve Personnel Center, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, DC as the Director of the Naval Reserve Chaplains Program. Remaining in Washington DC he was transferred to the staff of the Chief of Chaplains serving under Admiral John J. O’Connor. In this role he served as the Director of Plans, Programming, Budget and Accessions. He directed the Religious Program Specialist rating. This effort resulted in a significant expansion of the Navy Chaplain Corps. From this position he was promoted to the rank of Captain in the Navy and was selected to be the Chaplain of the Marine Corps.
As the Chaplain of the Marine Corps he served on the staff of the Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1979 until 1982. He directed the activities of the Navy Chaplains serving the Marines. In this role, he was involved in the rescue and support of Marine causalities involved in the Mt. Fuji Fire and their families (the largest peace time disaster for the Marine Corps), along with the families of those Marines being held hostage in Iran. Additionally, Pastor Evans was a significant contributor to the development of the Marine Corps Family Service Centers and in establishing Marine Corps policies for drug and alcohol abuse.
In 1982 he returned to service with the Navy as the Chaplain on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, CVN 69. Following his deployment at sea he returned as the Command Chaplain for the US Naval Base, Philadelphia. This was his last tour in the Military. During his 24 years of military service Pastor Evans received many awards and commendations which include: the Legion of Merit Bronze Star with Combat “V”, two Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal. Pastor Evans was awarded the Certificate of Commendation of the Secretary of State, the Certificate of Commendation of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and was named Chaplain of the year in 1972 by the Reserve Officers Association. In 1979, Pastor Evans’ alma mater Gettysburg College conferred the Doctor of Divinity upon him.
After retirement from the Navy in 1986, Pastor Evans went right to work taking up a calling at Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing, Pa. As senior Pastor he took up the reins of a large, active parish. He under took a significant addition to the church, which included adding a sanctuary and a narthex. Beyond his responsibilities with the church, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Rainbow Home in Berks County. This is a facility to care for those afflicted with HIV and AIDS in the terminal stages. The effort was an interdenominational group for the purpose of pulling together resources to care for complex patients from their community.
In 1992 he accepted the call from The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, Virginia. Again he directed a dramatic expansion of the church. The expansion was both in physical size and followers. He developed a deep relationship with many of the parishioners. He had many who he would lead from participation in the Children’s Christmas Service through the baptism of their children. As the leader of the religious lives of the members of Redeemer he performed many weddings and funerals. Most notable was the funeral for his good friend Chief Justice William Rehnquist at St. Marks Catholic Church in Washington DC. In his free time he collected his sermons and writings in a book, That We May Have Life. While at Redeemer he was honored by the Parents Friends and Allies of Lesbian and Gays for his efforts on behalf of the community.
Pastor Evans retired after 14 years of guiding the Redeemer community. Retirement was accentuated by serving as interim pastor for St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cordova ,Maryland. In a short period of time Pastor Evans established a firm bond with the St Paul’s parishioners. When St Paul’s had their call answered for a permanent Pastor, Pastor Evans became a member of the Parrish.
Pastor Evans’ career both in the military and civilian life included being a faithful husband and father. He raised three children who have married, each having families of their own, and providing him with seven grandchildren. In retirement on the Eastern Shore of Maryland he would welcome his family to his home to enjoy all the treasures the Chesapeake Bay offers. Pastor Evans and Jean frequently visited the children and grandchildren to take in a soccer game, observe Irish Dance or observe a choral performance.
The central theme of Pastor Evans’ career was service; service to the military, service to his parishes, and services to the community. Every area he touched was better for his involvement. Additionally, Pastor Evans provided invocations in the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, the Cotton Bowl and the opening of the season for the Miles River Yacht Club.
Pastor Evans was active his entire life. Unfortunately, the end came too soon and too suddenly. He is survived by his wife Jean of 58 years, three married children Lisa Jean Evans Steel, Adam Bruce Steel, Karen Elizabeth Evans Yergin, James Arthur Yergin and Joan Mary Sleik Evans, Brian George Evans and seven grandchildren, Marleigh, Gwyneth and AJ Steel, Emily and Sam Yergin, and Katie and Kenneth Evans.