Decatur-area pastor feels well-prepared for new role as president of the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Major challenges await in the world, but the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) is in a strong position to move forward, newly elected district President the Rev. Daniel J. Brege said this morning.
“We are foundationally confessional and mission-minded,” Brege said while speaking with News-Sentinel.com.
Brege, who has served for 36 years as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, 4510 W. Adams County Road 750N near Decatur, was elected from among five nominees during voting Thursday afternoon at the district’s convention at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in downtown Fort Wayne. The convention continued today and included the election of district vice presidents.
The Indiana District, which is headquartered in Fort Wayne, includes 220 churches throughout Indiana and 20 churches in northern Kentucky.
Brege, who plans to commute to the district office from his current home, will assume his president’s duties on Sept. 9. He succeeds the Rev. Daniel May, who is retiring after 15 years as president.
“I would like to thank President May for his 15 years of service,” Brege said. “It is a very, I believe, hectic position.”
Born in Grand Haven, Mich., Brege said he attended high school in St. Joseph, Mich. He briefly worked as a public-school math teacher in Berrien Springs, Mich., before studying for the ministry.
Brege’s father and grandfather both served as LCMS pastors, and a brother and two brothers-in-law also are retired LCMS pastors. His grandfather’s ministry included riding on horseback to serve Native Americans living in Canada.
Though Brege didn’t seek the nomination for district president, he said he allowed his name to go forward when several pastors asked if they could nominate him.
He has served as a district vice president for six years and as first vice president for the past three years, he said.
“The men know what I stand for and where I am coming from,” he said.
“The church stands on the word of God that centers in Christ Jesus,” Brege said. “We stand on what are called the Lutheran Confessions.”
The Lutheran Confessions summarize Scriptural truth that was collected over the time of the Reformation, it said on the website of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne.
Brege said his previous ministry work will serve him well in his new role as district president.
A married father of seven children, he knows what pastoral ministry is all about, he said. He has had a lot of experience with handling various situations with the guidance of Scripture, he said. He also believes the district needs to encourage pastors in their faith and by providing mental support.
The district and church face major challenges in the world, Brege said.
“I think the whole United States has become more and more ignorant of what Christianity is all about,” he said. “I used to be years ago even non-Christians had an idea.”
He also said there appears to be an attack on Christian values in the “public square.”
“The church is going to have to learn to deal with that,” he said, adding that he hopes it doesn’t result in persecutions.
Brege blames Satan for working to draw people away from Jesus Christ, and he said the attacks likely will continue until the end of time.
He is excited about the faith of people in the Indiana District and their interest in missions work, both here and abroad.
For example, the district has a missionary working in the Gary area in northwest Indiana and also has started a school there, he said.
In West Lafayette, the district moved its church onto the Purdue University campus to better reach and serve students, he said. It had been located a half mile away.
Brege also hopes the district can reach out to start more LCMS congregations in northern Kentucky.