Praesidium

Vice-Presidents

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


In addition to the president, the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, six vice-presidents make up The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Praesidium. They are responsible for various duties within the church body.

 

First Vice-President — The Rev. Peter K. Lange

Peter LangeAs first vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Rev. Peter K. Lange serves to assist the president in carrying out his responsibilities and oversees the colloquy program. Lange was elected to this position in 2019.

Previously, Lange served as president of the LCMS Kansas District (2015–2019). Prior to that, he served as senior pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Topeka, Kan. (1999–2015), and associate pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Concordia, Mo. (1990–1999).

Born in Houston, Texas, Lange graduated from Concordia University, River Forest, in 1984 and from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., with a Master of Divinity in 1988. Lange also earned a Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1998 from Concordia Theological Seminary.

Lange has also served the church as secretary of the Council of Presidents (2018–2019), a member of the 2016 Resolution 13-01A Task Force “To Extol and Equip the Blessed Partnership between the Royal Priesthood and the Office of the Public Ministry,” a chairman for Synod floor committees in 2016 and 2019, and a member of numerous boards and committees for the Missouri and Kansas districts from 1992–2015. Lange has also participated in short-term mission trips to England, Czech Republic, Germany and South Africa.

Lange and his wife, Marcia, live in St. Louis. They have four daughters.

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Second Vice-President — The Rev. Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr.


Representing the Great Lakes Region

The Rev. Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr. is second vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), a position to which he was elected in 2019. He represents the church’s Great Lakes Region.

Wohlrabe also serves as assistant pastor at Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church, Whitefish Bay, Wis.; as editor-in-chief for the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly; as president of the Concordia Historical Institute Board of Governors; and as an adjunct instructor at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon.

Previously, Wohlrabe served as LCMS third vice-president (2007–2010), second vice-president (2010–2016) and fourth vice-president (2016–2019).

He also was regional chaplain for Naval District Washington (2007–2009). He retired with the rank of captain in May 2009, having served as an active duty U.S. Navy chaplain for 22 years. Prior to that, he was in the Naval Reserves and served as an enlisted sailor on active duty.

His tours of duty in the Navy included the USS John F. Kennedy (1973–1976); various Naval Reserve units (1976–1987); Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Forty (1987–1990); Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. (1990–1992); Naval Facility Brawdy, Wales, U.K. (1992–1995); Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill. (1995–1998); USS Blue Ridge and Commander Seventh Fleet (1998–2001); Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine (2001–2004); and First Naval Construction Division and Naval Construction Force (2005–2007). He has received numerous military awards.

In addition, Wohlrabe served as pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Fort Lupton, Colo. (1982–1984); guest instructor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1984–1986); assistant director of Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis (1986–1987); and pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, Geneseo, Ill. (2009–2012).

A native of Mankato, Minn., Wohlrabe earned a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Ann Arbor, in 1978. He also received a Master of Divinity in 1981, a Master of Sacred Theology in 1982 and a Doctor of Theology in 1987, all from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has published numerous articles for theological journals and church and military publications, as well as several books, including Ministry in Missouri until 1962 (1992) and Soli Deo Gloria: Essays on C.F.W. Walther in Memory of August R. Suelflow (2000).

Wohlrabe and his wife, Julie, live in St. Francis, Wis. They have three grown children: one daughter and two sons.

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Third Vice-President — The Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray


Representing the West-Southwest Region

The Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray is third vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He was elected fifth vice-president in 2010, re-elected in 2013 as fourth vice-president, re-elected and ranked second vice-president in 2016, and re-elected and ranked third vice-president in 2019.

Murray represents the church’s West-Southwest Region. He also currently serves as senior pastor of Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, where he was called in 1996.

Previously, Murray served St. Paul Lutheran Church, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada (1983–1985), and Salem Lutheran Church, Gretna, La. (1985–1996). He also served on the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations — as a member from 1995 to 2001 and as vice-chairman from 1998 to 2001. In addition, he served on the board of the Lutheran Education Association of Houston (2001–2007); as an editorial associate for Logia, a journal of Lutheran theology; and was chairman of the Board of Directors of Luther Academy (2012–2015), an organization that promotes confessional Lutheran theology.

Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Murray graduated with a B.A. from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1980 and earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1983. He also holds a master’s degree from Loyola University and a Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Murray writes a devotion every weekday called “Memorial Moments,” which is based on the church fathers. He also is the author of Law, Life, and the Living God (Concordia Publishing House, 2001) and A Year with the Church Fathers (Concordia Publishing House, 2011). In addition, he has edited several books, including the upcoming The Gates of Hell (Concordia Publishing House, 2018), and has written numerous journal articles.

Murray and his wife, Maryann, live in Houston. They have two daughters and a granddaughter.

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Fourth Vice-President — The Rev. Nabil S. Nour


Representing the Great Plains Region

The Rev. Nabil S. Nour is fourth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Nour was elected fifth vice-president in 2013 and re-elected in 2016 and ranked as third vice-president. In 2019 he was re-elected and ranked as fourth vice-president.

Nour represents the church’s Great Plains Region. He also serves as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Hartford, S.D. since August 2016, after serving as their vacancy pastor for a year.

Previously, Nour served Redeemer Lutheran Church, Armour, S.D. from 1994 to 2015 when he retired. He has also served the church by holding several positions in the LCMS South Dakota District: serving as a circuit counselor (1998–2006), second vice-president (2006–2012) and first vice-president (2012–2013).

Born in Nazareth, Israel, Nour moved with his family to Haifa when he was three and lived on the very slopes of Mount Carmel where Elijah once hid from Jezebel. Nour immigrated to the United States when he was 16 and eventually became a naturalized citizen. He also underwent adult instruction in the Lutheran faith.

Nour graduated in 1978 from Huron College, Huron, S.D., with a Bachelor of Science in criminology and sociology and minors in psychology and gerontology. He worked in the construction industry before entering Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1989. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1994 with a Master of Divinity, he was called to Redeemer.

Today Nour is completing studies for a doctorate in homiletics at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and writing two books and a Bible study on the Book of Ruth. He is a trained reconciler, and he travels widely to preach and teach, including speaking on how to live a Christian life in a postmodern world and witnessing among Muslims.

Nour and his wife, Jean, live in Sioux Falls. They have three grown sons, three daughters-in-law and 12 grandchildren. Three grandchildren live with Jesus and nine live on earth with their parents.

Pastor Nour finds great joy in proclaiming the sweet Gospel, which gives freedom from the burdens and the requirement of the Law. Nour praises the Lord for the truth of Holy Scripture, which gives true and lasting freedom and the guarantee of salvation earned by the death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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Fifth Vice-President — The Rev. Christopher S. Esget


Representing the East-Southeast Region


The Rev. Christopher S. Esget is fifth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He was appointed as a vice-president in 2015 and was elected at the 2016 Synod convention. In 2019 he was re-elected and ranked as fifth vice-president. He represents the church’s East-Southeast Region.

Esget is the senior pastor of Immanuel Evangelical—Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Va., and superintendent of Immanuel Lutheran School where he has served since 2001.

Prior to being called to Immanuel, Esget served as pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church, DuQuoin, Ill., where he was ordained in 1998. He attended Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., where he earned a Master of Divinity in 1997 and a Master of Sacred Theology in 2005. He is a member of the Board of Regents for Concordia College—New York.

Esget contributed two chapters to the book, The Gates of Hell (CPH, 2018). His writings have also been published in The Lutheran Witness, Concordia Pulpit Resources, The Good Shepherd Institute, For the Life of the World, Higher Things and Gottesdienst. He is a 2015 Washington Fellow of the National Review Institute.

Born and raised near Minneapolis, Esget pursued his love of music with classical piano and trombone studies at the University of Minnesota before graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in music from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1993. Esget and his wife, Kassie, live in Alexandria. They have one son, and also serve as foster parents.

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Sixth Vice-President — The Rev. Benjamin T. Ball

Benjamin T. BallThe Rev. Benjamin T. Ball is sixth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He was elected in 2019 and represents the church’s Central Region.

Ball is the senior pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Hamel, Ill., where he was called in 2012. He previously served St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Dedham, Mass. (1999–2004), and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, Brookfield, Ill. (2004–2012).

He is currently the chairman of the Synod’s Committee on Nominations. He served as the second vice-president of the LCMS Southern Illinois District (2018–2019), and he served several terms as a circuit visitor in both the Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois districts.

Ball has been a member of the Board of Directors of Metro-East Lutheran High School of Edwardsville, Ill. (2017–2019), and he is an editor of Gottesdienst—The Journal of Lutheran Liturgy (2016–present). Ball has been a frequent presenter at conferences discussing preaching, liturgy, the fraternal bonds of pastors, and the pastoral task in the Lutheran school.

Originally from Richmond, Mich., he is a product of LCMS schools since kindergarten. He received a B.A. from Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., in 1995, and in 1999 was granted the M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

An avid outdoorsman, he resides in the church parsonage with his wife, Serena, and their four children.

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