Six Australian Lutheran College (ALC) graduates have joined the ranks of General Ministry Pastors of the Lutheran Church of Australia this week.
Roland Adams, Philip Bentley, Chris Johnson, Stephen Noblett and Joseph Theodorsen were ordained by LCA Bishop John Henderson at Concordia College chapel, Highgate South Australia, on Sunday 6 December. Bishop Henderson also confirmed James Luk’s transition, after further study and formation, from serving as a Specific Ministry Pastor to becoming a General Ministry Pastor.
They will take up their first assignments in 2021.
Roland Adams, who grew up in the suburbs of Perth, worshipped at St Luke’s Lutheran Church at Parkwood, in Western Australia. He held several jobs – from loading trucks to washing ships – before beginning his studies at ALC in 2015. Pastor Roland did his vicarage at Calvary Morphett Vale in Adelaide’s southern suburbs with Pastor Mike Pietsch and has been assigned to St Johns Trinity Renmark and Holy Cross Paringa, in South Australia’s Riverland.
Originally from Nottingham, England, Dr Philip Bentley spent 20 years as a design and technology teacher. After coming to Australia 20 years ago, he became a licensed lay minister with the Anglican Church of Australia in Far North Queensland. After moving to Mount Isa, he and wife Narelle joined St Paul’s Lutheran Church. He spent three and a half years as an assistant to Pastor Lauri Iso-Aho and was licensed for Word and Sacrament Ministry. Initially attending ALC in 2016, Pastor Philip returned for further pastoral ministry studies and will begin his ordained ministry at Greenock Parish in South Australia.
Christopher Johnson was born and raised in Walla Walla in Washington State in the United States and first travelled to Australia in 2006. His quest to discover how he ‘fit into God’s mission’ saw him take on a range of jobs in various countries – from picking fruit to supervising mechanics working on headers, and from the ski fields to a tea shop. He did his vicarage at Glenelg in suburban Adelaide, with Pastor Tim Ebbs. Pastor Chris and wife Melissa have a young daughter, Phoebe, and his first parish will be Nazareth Woolloongabba in Brisbane.
Stephen Noblett was born in Adelaide and baptised at St John’s Unley, where he remained a member until he transferred to Calvary Glandore in suburban Adelaide in 1999. Before his time at ALC, he worked in the financial planning industry. In 2015 Stephen felt God’s call to ordained ministry and began studies at ALC in 2016. Pastor Stephen did his vicarage at Concordia Loxton in the South Australian Riverland with Pastor Darrin Kohrt and has been assigned to Southern Flinders Parish in SA.
Joseph Theodorsen was born and raised in Geraldton in Western Australia, being baptised and confirmed at Hope Lutheran Community Church there. A music leader and a lay worship leader at Geraldton, he worked in a range of roles in WA. He originally pursued ordination as a Specific Ministry Pastor but ultimately understood God’s call towards general pastoral ministry. He did his vicarage at St Mark’s Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills with Pastor Ben Pfeiffer. Pastor Joseph is married to Maricel and they have three children, Aaron, Elijah and Abigail. He has been assigned to Top End Lutheran Parish in the Northern Territory.
Pastor James Luk was born in South Sudan and was baptised in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Sudan. He was ordained into the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan in 1999. After coming to Australia in 2005, he joined the LCA the following year. He was received as a Specific Ministry Pastor in the LCA in 2015, to serve the Sudanese people at Frankston in Victoria. He began studies at ALC in 2018 for the general ministry program. Pastor James is married to Sarah and they have seven children and four grandchildren. His first parish as a General Ministry Pastor will be Bethlehem Morley in Western Australia.
Bishop John Henderson preached at the ordination service on the text 2 Peter 3:8–15a, encouraging the ordinands as they prepared to enter the public ministry. ‘You are sent into this little corner of God’s creation, to serve in this church we call the LCA/NZ, to prepare yourselves and the people of God to wait and to live for the coming of the Lord’, he said. ‘The path you have chosen, to which God and the church have called you, is no glory road. Your glory is in Christ, our centre, our grounding, our reason for being and our eternal hope. Give and receive comfort as you serve within the church. And be confident, for God has called you, and your labour in the Lord will not be in vain.’