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Pastor Bertram Naumann Retires

(The following information is drawn from an address delivered at a retirement dinner for the celebrant–by his eldest son, Pastor Paul Naumann–at Redemption Lutheran Church, Lynnwood, Washington on May 28. The son’s comments are in quotation marks. — Ed.)

Bertram Justus Naumann was born on June 19, 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was baptized in that city by his father, the Rev. Paul George Naumann. He received his entire education in church-sponsored schools.

” . . . Bert’s father suffered a stroke and was called to his eternal rest in May of 1941. A few months later the nation was at war. In order to support the family, they moved to New Ulm, Minnesota where his mother was employed as a housemother at a girls’ dormitory, Hillcrest Hall. Bert attended St. Paul’s Lutheran school and graduated and was confirmed in June of 1944. He attended Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, graduating in 1949. He enrolled at Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin for one year. He graduated from Concordia Lutheran Junior College in Milwaukee the following year.”

While still in Milwaukee, Bert was tutored in Hebrew and Greek by then Pastor Heinrich Vogel. After attending college and seminary at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota for a time (where he met his bride-to-be, Alice Dahle), he served an internship in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin under Pastor Karl Otto. He graduated from Wisconsin Synod Seminary in Mequon in May 1957, and became married in Emmons, Iowa on June 15th. God blessed this marital union with seven children (four of whom are currently pastors in the CLC–ed.).

” . . . The early years of Bert’s ministry were tumultuous ones in the history of the Lutheran Synodical Conference. False doctrine had entered the conservative Lutheran church; the teachings concerning the inspiration of Scripture and the origins of the universe were being corrupted and challenged in Lutheran schools, colleges, and seminaries; and many resultant loose practices regarding the doctrine of church fellowship threatened the unity that had once existed.”

After graduation from Mequon, Pastor Naumann was called to serve two congregations in Michigan’s Upper Pennisula, one in Marquette and a second in neighboring Green Garden. During his ministry the two congregations suspended fellowship from the Wisconsin Synod for doctrinal reasons. “A number of other congregations around the US had taken the same action, and Bert began attending meetings of the group then known as the Interim Conference–later in 1960 adopting its present name, the Church of the Lutheran Confession.”

Other congregations served by Pastor Naumann were Messiah of Milwaukee (1969-1973), vacancies in Cambridge and Madison, Wisconsin, a mission group in Chicago, and the congregation in Seattle, Washington (Redemption of Lynnwood, from 1973-2000).

Son Paul reports: ” . . . Over his twenty-seven years at Redemption (my father) has proclaimed the saving Gospel in something over 1600 worship services. During his tenure here he authored an adult instruction course which has found wide use in our fellowship. He has provided leadership in the outreach efforts of Redemption Lutheran Church, spreading the proclamation of the Gospel to many places beyond the environs of Alderwood Manor. Three of these now have established churches . . Ketchikan, Alaska; Vernon, British Columbia; and Tacoma, Washington. . . . The Word which has gone forth from the Lord’s mouth in this place has certainly not returned to Him void. According to His gracious promise, it has accomplished that which He pleased and prospered in the thing whereto He sent it.”

After a few more personals, a son’s address on the occasion of his father’s retirement ended with these words:

” . . . On behalf of a grateful family, a grateful congregation, and a grateful synod, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ God bless you in your retirement.”