Author Topic: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012  (Read 2387 times)

Kurt Weinelt

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Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« on: January 13, 2012, 10:38:41 AM »
Pr. Merkens was an influential force in the San Antonio community, whether you are LCMS or not.  He made a huge impact in San Antonio, and he established vibrant ministries designed to last and thrive after he retired. Even though a significant LCMS presence in San Antonio was not established until 100 years after other Lutheran congregations were established in the first wave of Texas German immigrants here (1839s-1850s), his name became synonymous with the name "Lutheran" locally. Even though I am just recently (2009) in an LCMS-affiliated congregation, I had heard about him at about the age of 10 as an LCA "PK" in North Carolina (my dad took us to hear him preach).

San Antonio Express-News article is at http://www.mysanantonio.com/obituaries/article/Concordia-Lutheran-Church-founder-Merkens-dies-2499537.php
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Jeremy Loesch

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 11:10:51 AM »
Thanks for informing us of this news Kurt.  I have a few books that Pastor Merkens wrote.  Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

John_Hannah

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 12:45:20 PM »
I believe that Guido Merkens was the first "Church Growth" expert in the LCMS.  He began "Church Growth" long before it was fashionable and controversial. Today's practitioners who may never have heard of him are actually following his lead in the LCMS. The tradition goes back 60 years in the LCMS.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

J.L. Precup

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 02:45:51 PM »
Guido's father was pastor of La Iglesia Luterana del Buen Pastor (Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd) in Mexico City for a time.  It was a joint ALC-LCMS congregation.  Guido phoned me when his father died so that people who remembered him might know.  He and his family were remembered in prayer the following Lord's Day.

Unfortunately, the LCMS no longer partners with that congregation.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Dave Benke

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 02:46:31 PM »
I know many who were mentored by Guido, a Synodical Vice-President who was unafraid of parish growth.  His son played a little in the NFL.  I was impressed to hear one time that he had enough juice in San Antonio to get an exit off the freeway for Concordia.  That was of course at the old parish campus; they've long since moved out a ways.   

The LC-MS today in national missions is really focusing on the urban and inner-ring suburban areas as zones for renewal, vitalization, and outreach.  The model of moving out as the people migrate toward the suburbs was for good or evil begun in this country by none other than St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Manhattan.  They began right down there near Trinity, Wall Street.  As the Germans moved northward, so did the church, eventually winding up on 204th Street right at the top edge of the borough.  Here's the deal.  Had they stayed down on Wall Street - just think about it!

Dave Benke

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 03:19:04 PM »
I know many who were mentored by Guido, a Synodical Vice-President who was unafraid of parish growth.  His son played a little in the NFL.  I was impressed to hear one time that he had enough juice in San Antonio to get an exit off the freeway for Concordia.  That was of course at the old parish campus; they've long since moved out a ways.   

The LC-MS today in national missions is really focusing on the urban and inner-ring suburban areas as zones for renewal, vitalization, and outreach.  The model of moving out as the people migrate toward the suburbs was for good or evil begun in this country by none other than St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Manhattan.  They began right down there near Trinity, Wall Street.  As the Germans moved northward, so did the church, eventually winding up on 204th Street right at the top edge of the borough.  Here's the deal.  Had they stayed down on Wall Street - just think about it!
Dave Benke

You should see Concordia's campus on north Loop 1604; huge, modern, giant cross. It's down a couple of exits from Hagee's Cornerstone Church, but much classier looking IMHO.  Lutheran High School is now on a roomier separate campus, near the Hill Country neighborhood where ordinary working folks like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker live.
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Pilgrim

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 03:50:59 PM »
Kurt,

The Dominion?!?

Pr. Tim Christ, STS
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

BrotherBoris

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 04:33:34 PM »
May his soul rest in peace and may his memory be eternal.

Dave_Poedel

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 04:42:33 PM »
My only experience with Dr. Merkens was in the mid 80's.  I was a newly minted "Mustang" in  the Air Force.  A mustang is an enlisted person who was later commissioned as an officer.  So, this experienced 2LT was in San Antonio for the Annual Meeting of the Association of Military Surgeons of the US.  My uncle from Houston drove up to spend the weekend with me, he a Naval Officer.  Come Sunday morning,. we decided to find a church, we looked in the Yellow Pages and found Concordia.  We went, and were surprised it was a huge complex.

Being a Deacon at the time, I was curious about how different parishes handled Sunday morning.  The service was basically TLH, but then this man comes out to the pulpit wearing a shirt/tie and a tan Geneva Robe with Doctor bars in brown....what the?  He preaches this very shallow sermon with lots of little stories in it, and at the end of the sermon he disappeared, never to be seen again.  The service went on in TLH, the Eucharist was celebrated by a Pastor in alb/stole.  On the way out we were given a GNB New Testament and a couple of books by Dr. Merkens....more emotional stores.

I filed the experience away until I met another Pastor from SA and I asked him about my experience those years ago.  He filled me in that the sermon was broadcast on local TV and his reason for the Geneva Gown and tie is that there in the south, a preacher in an alb and stole would get bypassed on the clicker, by wearing standard Methodist wares he caught a few more on Sunday morning.

When I went through my Fuller Seminary/Church Growth phase, I looked back to his methods and appreciated them....now, not so much.

May he rest in the arms of his Loving Savior!

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 05:37:29 PM »
Here's the deal.  Had they stayed down on Wall Street - just think about it!

Okay, I've thought about it...and?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but itís not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 07:23:54 PM »
Kurt,

The Dominion?!?

Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Southwest from there, across IH 10 and near the area behind Oak Hills Church. On babcock, outside 1604. Nouveau nouveau rich, I guess.
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Pilgrim

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 09:28:48 PM »
My oldest son lives in Stonewall Ranch, across I-10 from The Dominion, that's why I was curious. George Strait lives back in the Dominion. Someone said, 3 gates back!
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

Dave Likeness

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Re: Pastor Guido Merkens 1927-2012
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 03:50:45 PM »
This is a belated tribute to Pastor Guido Merkens.
While on vicarage I attended his Living Lutheran
Leadership seminar in Moorhead, Minnesota. I was
so pumped up that Sunday afternoon listening to him.
That evening I bowled my highest game ever in our
Parish Bowling League.  Thanks to the inspiration of
Guido my team won the League Championship trophy.

Pastor Merkens was an energetic parish pastor  who
truly loved the Lord.  He was an outstanding servant
of the church.