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Professor Emeritus Rev. William Schmelder enters rest

Rev. William Schmelder, professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, received his eternal reward in Christ Jesus June 18.

Visitation is set for 4-8 p.m. Friday, June 22, at Baue Funeral Home in St. Charles, Mo. A funeral is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette, Mo.

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, students and Board of Regents, I extend our Christian sympathies to the Schmelder family,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “I first met Professor Schmelder when he was a pastor in Fort Wayne. Later in the early 1980s I had the privilege of serving with him on the faculty of Concordia Seminary. Rock solid in his commitment to the biblical teaching of our Lutheran church, he always stimulated thought.

“May Christ’s promise of the Resurrection which he shared innumerable times now comfort those who mourn.”

Schmelder retired in 1996 after 22 years of distinguished service in various roles at Concordia Seminary. He arrived at the Seminary in 1974, serving as an assistant professor (1974-79), associate professor (1979-96), associate registrar (1974-75), registrar (1975-89), director of worship (1977-78), academic adviser (1978-89) and chaplain (1978-83). He served as assistant to the president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) from 1991-92.

Before joining the Seminary faculty, he was associate pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in St. Charles, Mo. (1960-62); pastor at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. (1962-69); pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Covina, Calif. (1969-71); and pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Casa Grande, Ariz., and Christ Lutheran Church in Coolidge, Ariz. (1972-74).

He also served as a guest professor at Seminario Concordia in Porto Alegre, Brazil (summer 1981), and at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. (summer 1982).

For more than 30 years, he assisted the ministry of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette, Mo.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College New York in Bronxville, and Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Seminary (1959, 1960).

He is the author of Oh, Come, Let Us Worship: Study Guide for Adults (Concordia Publishing House). He also wrote a postscript to an updated edition of This I Recall (Concordia Publishing House) by former LCMS President Dr. John W. Behnken, Schmelder’s father-in-law.

Schmelder was preceded in death by one child, Lynn Voelkel. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Delle; four children, Bill Jr., Keith, Craig and Kathi Kean; 12 grandchildren; and four brothers and sisters.

God richly blessed Concordia Seminary through the work of Professor Schmelder. He will be missed.

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom. 6:3-5 ESV).

About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit www.csl.edu.