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. Dr. Herb C. Mueller Jr.

As first vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), the Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. serves to assist the president in carrying out his responsibilities and oversees the colloquy program. Mueller was first elected to this position in 2010 and was re-elected in 2013 and 2016.

Previously, Mueller served as president of the LCMS Southern Illinois District (1994-2010). Prior to that, he held district offices from 1988 to 1994, including serving as secretary, second vice-president and first vice-president. Between 1979 and 1994, he served as a pastor at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Chicago; Zion Lutheran Church, Bethalto, Ill.; and Immanuel Lutheran Church, Waterloo, Ill.

A native of Grand Forks, N.D., Mueller graduated from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1973; the former Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1975; and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1979. Mueller received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne in 2012.

Mueller served on the LCMS Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support from 1998 to 2007, the Synod Colloquy Committee from 1999 to 2000 and the Council of Presidents Program Committee from 2003 to 2009. Between 1997 and 2010, Mueller participated in six mission trips to southern Africa.

Mueller and his wife, Faith, live in Waterloo, Ill., and are members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Columbia, Ill. They have two grown sons, one grown daughter and four grandchildren.

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

Representing the West-Southwest Region

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

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

Representing the Great Plains Region

The Rev. Nabil S. Nour is third vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Nour was elected fifth vice-president in 2013, and he was re-elected in 2016 and ranked as third 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, where he served 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 (2006-12), and first vice-president (2012-13).

Born in Nazareth, Israel, Nour moved with his family to Haifa when he was 3 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 the seminary 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, two daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren.

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

Representing the Great Lakes Region

The Rev. Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr. is fourth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), a position to which he was elected in 2016. 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) and second vice-president (2010–2016). 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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Fifth Vice-President — The Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus

Representing the Central Region

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Preus is fifth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He was elected fourth vice-president in 2010, he was re-elected and ranked as third vice-president in 2013. He was re-elected in 2016 and ranked as fifth vice-president. He represents the church’s Central Region.

Preus, who previously served as the Synod’s first vice-president (2001–2004), also has served congregations in Hobart, Ind.; Truman, Minn.; Oak Park, Ill.; and Colorado Springs, Colo., (1975–1995) and in St. Louis (2005–2015). From 1995 to 2001, he served as director of Concordia Historical Institute, St. Louis, and from 2005 to 2012, as director of the Luther Academy, also in St. Louis, an organization devoted to promoting confessional Lutheran theology.

In other service to the church, Preus sat on the LCMS Board for Parish Services, the Synod’s Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Lutheran Church Extension Fund. He was a leader in discussions resulting in the declaration of church fellowship between the LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya in 2004 and was a liaison between Concordia Historical Institute and the Federal Republic of Germany from 1995 to 1996, where he worked for the return of the Luther manuscript Wider Hanswurst to the Federal Republic of Germany.

In addition, Preus is the author of numerous articles for theological journals as well as a book titled Why I Am a Lutheran, which has been translated into six other languages.

Born in Mayville, N.D., Preus graduated from the former Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind., in 1971 and from Concordia Theological Seminary in 1975, when it was located in Springfield, Ill. In 1989 he received a Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. In 2015 he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from this same institution.

Preus and his wife, Linda, live in St. Louis. They have three sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.

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

Representing the East-Southeast Region

The Rev. Christopher S. Esget is sixth vice-president and a member of the Praesidium of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He was appointed to the position in 2015, and was elected at the 2016 LCMS convention. 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, Du Quoin, 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’s writings have 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.

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