AUSTRALIA – Rev. Dr. Lance Graham Steicke, former president of the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA), has passed on to glory at the age of 88.
Dr. Steicke was born in Murray Bridge on February 19, 1933. He studied at Concordia College in Adelaide and Concordia Seminary, leading to his ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia—a predecessor body of the current LCA—in 1955. He spent four years as a pastor in Loxton before moving to New Zealand where he served for the next twenty years, including fifteen years as president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Zealand. He further served as director of New Zealand Lutheran Radio and TV before accepting the role of director of Lutheran Radio and TV in Australia.
In 1987, Dr. Steicke was elected president of the Lutheran Church of Australia, a position he held until his retirement in 2000. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Concordia Seminary (St. Louis, Missouri) in 1990.
In addition to being a regular participant in the gatherings of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) during his tenure, Dr. Steicke and the Lutheran Church of Australia also hosted the 16th Conference of the ILC in Adelaide, Australia in September 1995.
Dr. Steicke is particularly remembered for his work on Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia as well as for his contributions to ecumenical dialogue. Following his service as president of the LCA, Dr. Steicke spent three years (2000-2003) as president of Australia’s National Council of Churches, an organization he had helped found in 1994. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for his service to ecumenism and the Lutheran Church.
Additional information on Dr. Steicke’s life and service to the church is available on the LCA’s website here.
The Lutheran Church of Australia is an Associate Member of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies.