Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Franklin Clark Fry, Holy Trinity and the Riley boys.

I had always heard Dad mention that he was baptized by the notable Lutheran Pastor, Franklin Clark Fry.  I must not have paid too much attention as I didn't realize what an important man he was.  He baptized or confirmed several of the Riley boys at Holy Trinity in Akron.  Clearly, Franklin Clark Fry was to become well known on the world's stage and was called "Mr Protestant."

In 1929 he received a call from Trinity Lutheran Church, Akron, Ohio, where he served as a pastor for 15 years until 1944. While there, membership increased from 1200 to 2700 members, in spite of the Great Depression. In 1930 he was elected Secretary of the ULCA Committee on Evangelism, a position he held for eight years. In addition he was elected to the ULCA Board of American Missions. In 1942 he was elected to the Executive Board of the ULCA. Then at the age of 44 he was elected President of the ULCA at its 1944 Biennial Convention. By wide majority he was consistently re-elected President of the ULCA at its 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, and 1960 conventions. During that time he served in various national and international capacities, including President of Lutheran World Relief, a founder of the World Council of Churches, and a member of the Joint Commission on Lutheran Unity. Fry then served as the first president of the newly formed Lutheran Church in America from 1962 until his death in 1968. 

Here is the link to read the article that appeared in Time (1958)


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