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Arvid G.W. Gullerud, 1920-2015


Arvid Gerhard Walter Gullerud was born on January 19, 1920, to Rev. Olaf and Sarah (Tyssen) Gullerud. The family lived about a mile from the small village of Glendorado, Minnesota. In 1934 he was confirmed by his father at nearby Norseland Lutheran Church. Shortly after this. his father passed away, and the family moved to Brookings, South Dakota. Arvid attended Dr. Martin Luther High School in New Ulm, Minnesota. During his days in New Ulm, he worked part-time on a farm. He enjoyed driving horses so much that he thought about becoming a farmer, but the Lord had other plans for him. He decided to study theology at Northwestern College, Watertown, Wisconsin. After graduation he spent an additional three years at the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Thiensville, Wisconsin, where he earned a divinity degree.

On July 6, 1947, Pastor Gullerud was ordained into the holy ministry and installed as pastor at the dual parish of East and West Paint Creek Lutheran congregations (of the Norwegian Synod) at Waterville, Iowa. He also raised sheep on fifteen acres of pastureland, which was part of the congregation’s compensation for his pastoral work. It was during this time that he was joined in holy matrimony with Eleanore Odegard, whom he’d known from childhood. They were married at Fairview Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, on September 15th, 1948. Their marriage would span sixty-seven years, and the Lord would bless their union with five daughters and one son.

In the Fall of 1951, Pastor Gullerud accepted the call to serve Pinehurst Lutheran Church (ELS) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He sold his sheep to finance the move. In 1958, in faithfulness to the Word of God, he and members of his congregation left the fellowship of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod for confessional reasons. Messiah Lutheran Church was organized, and would become a charter member of the Church of the Lutheran Confession. During his time in Eau Claire, Pastor Gullerud was instrumental in the finding and purchase of the O. H. Ingram estate, soon to become the campus of Immanuel Lutheran High School, College and Seminary. He also served on Board of Regents for the new school.

Pastor Gullerud later served parishes in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas; Los Angeles, California; Portland, Oregon; Ketchikan, Alaska; Jacksonville, Florida; and Dallas, Texas. In retirement he served for many years as assistant pastor at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Spokane Valley, Washington. During this time he enjoyed camping at Lake Diamond, woodworking in his shop, golfing and fishing. He kept abreast of synodical events even in retirement, and often served as a delegate to CLC Conventions.

Pastor Gullerud was peacefully led by his Lord into the realms of eternal glory early Friday morning, December 18th, 2015, at the age of ninety-five. He was preceded in death by his brother Carl Monrad Gullerud; and sisters Adele Pfeiffer, Dagny Gullerud and Lois Jordahl. He is survived by his wife Eleanore, daughters Elizabeth Bear, Randi Pomerantz, Joan Gullerud, Rachel Jackson and Heidi Libby, and son Peter Gullerud.

A memorial service for Pastor Arvid Gullerud was held on March 18th at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Spokane, Rev. Robert List officiating. In the words of the inspired writer: “Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” ‘ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them’” (Revelation 14:13).

Robert List is the former pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, and was a colleague and close friend of Arvid Gullerud. Pastor List and his wife live in Spokane Valley, Washington.