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Seminary Emeritus Professor Warneck enters rest

Service set for June 12 in Affton, Mo.

Dr. Richard H. WarneckRev. Dr. Richard H. Warneck, professor emeritus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, entered eternal rest in Jesus Tuesday, June 8. He was 85 years old.

Visitation is set for 4-8 p.m. Friday, June 11, at Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois Road, Affton, Mo., and 10-11 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at Church of the Reformation, 7910 MacKenzie Road, Affton, Mo., immediately followed by a service at 11 a.m.

Throughout his life, Warneck faithfully served The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a pastor, professor and author.

He joined the Seminary faculty for the first time in 1974 and for a second time in 1992. He retired in 2008 after 23 years of distinguished service as professor of Practical Theology.

Upon his retirement, Warneck’s colleague Dr. James W. Voelz, the Seminary’s Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology, said: “It will be almost impossible to replace someone of the stature of Dick Warneck. He brings such wide-ranging experience from the parish — the perfect background for teaching seminarians the application of theology within the life of the church-at-large.”

During Warneck’s Seminary tenure, he also served as the Seminary’s director of field education and vicarage programs (1974-77) and was chairman of the Department of Practical Theology (1995-2005).

“As a student years ago, I loved and appreciated Richard Warneck as a teacher and a source of pastoral wisdom,” said Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “Later, serving with him on the Seminary faculty, his earnestness for the welfare of the church was always evident, and his genuine, self-effacing humility gained the respect of all. Today, as we mourn with the Warneck family, we also look forward to the day of resurrection, when the Lord Jesus will say to Dick: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

Warneck received his Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Concordia Seminary (1968, 2000). He was ordained in 1961 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ellisville, Mo.

Before joining the Seminary faculty, he served as assistant pastor and senior pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Ellisville, Mo. (1961-62, 1962-74). He also served as pastor at Village Lutheran Church in Ladue, Mo. (1977-81); and as senior pastor at Grace Lutheran Chapel in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Mo. (1981-92).

His published work includes sermons in Concordia Pulpit, Concordia Pulpit Resources and Concordia Journal; the preface to the Concordia Heritage edition of Pastoral Theology by J. H. C. Fritz; numerous articles for Concordia Journal and Tower; and the essay, “The Pastor as Religious and Civic Leader: Breaking with Quietism,” in Witness & Worship in Pluralistic America (2003). His book, Pastoral Ministry: Theology and Practice, was published by Concordia Publishing House in 2018.

“Through decades of classroom instruction, Rev. Richard Warneck prepared a generation of Lutheran ministers to lead congregations with theological integrity and pastoral sensitivity,” said Dr. David Peter, dean of faculty, as part of a review of Warneck’s book, Pastoral Ministry.

Warneck served on numerous boards and committees for the church-at-large including the LCMS-ALC Fellowship Commission, the LCMS Board of Doctrinal Review, the Lutheran Association of Higher Education in St. Louis’ board of trustees and as the LCMS’ representative to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He served as circuit counselor for the Ellisville Circuit of the LCMS Missouri District.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marlene (nee Kussmann); sons, Richard and Stephen Warneck; a sister, Doris (Rev. Ronald) Dommer; and a brother, Dr. Walter (Janet) Warneck.

Memorials may be made to Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, Mo. 63105.

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 csl.edu.

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