Does Luther Still Matter in the 21st Century?”
Spring Ministerium – Thursday, March 30, 2017
Rev. Lamont Wells’ Spring Ministerium sermon
Rev. Lamont Wells preached on dry bones at the Spring Ministerium event held March 30 at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Several clergy participants asked about the manuscript and Rev. Wells readily agreed to make it available for others. Click here to download the PDF. While there is no guarantee that sinews will reconnect by the reading of these pages, this sermon certainly revived the dry bones of some weary preachers at Ministerium.
Born and raised in Philadelphia in the Baptist church, Wells attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. His work as a state grants administrator required him to collaborate with non-profit organizations and religious communities, and led him to meet a future mentor, the late ELCA Pastor Arthur Lewis. Though he was already ordained in the Baptist tradition, Pr. Lewis encouraged Wells to go to seminary.
“I took classes in Lutheranism in North America and Lutheran Confessions and thought, ‘This is what I believe!'” says Wells. He learned that his childhood pastor, who studied at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, had really taught him Lutheran theology in the Baptist church. Wells earned his MDiv at the Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.
Wells then served as the Lutheran campus pastor of Atlanta University Center, a consortium of six historically black colleges and universities, and later as senior pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church. A call in 2008 to Reformation Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, one of the largest African-American congregations in the ELCA, allowed him to return home.
Now as DEM, Wells is responsible for stewardship and evangelical mission in the Metro New York synod, including partnership grants, congregational renewal and redevelopment, and new starts. “I want to lift that up, … to connect racial diversity with religious spirituality, mix it together, and show the great conglomerate of the true church,” says Wells. “I think it’s a good time to be the DEM.”
Before coming to Augsburg, Pribbenow served as president of Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois. He also has served as research fellow for the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College (Indiana); dean for College Advancement and secretary of the Board of Trustees at Wabash College; vice president of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and associate dean of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.
Pribbenow holds a BA from Luther College (Iowa), and an MA and PhD in social ethics from the University of Chicago. He received the Distinguished Service Award at Luther College in 2008.
Pribbenow serves on the Executive Committee for the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, on the National Campus Compact Board of Directors, and on the Oslo Center US Foundation Board of Directors. Locally, he is chair of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership and serves on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Private College Council.
Pribbenow is the author of numerous articles on philanthropy, ethics, and not-for-profit management. He publishes a bi-monthly email newsletter titled “Notes for the Reflective Practitioner.”
Pribbenow lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Abigail Crampton Pribbenow, and their two children, Thomas and Maya.