The following press release was first published by the ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod.
The Reverend Rudolph P.F. Ressmeyer, D.D., of Oviedo,Florida passed away on October 6, 2017 of natural causes at the age of 93.
Dr. Ressmeyer was elected Bishop of the East Coast Synod of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) from 1976 until the AELC merged in 1988 with the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
He served as AELC Bishop’s Assistant for Liaison with the Commission for the New Lutheran Church from 1983-1987. Prior to 1976, he served for nine years as President of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. During those years, his office was located in New York City, and he also served as chairman of the Board of Concordia College in Bronxville, NY; member of the Board of Public Relations of the LCMS and chaired the Committee on Public Relations of the Lutheran Council in the USA; and President of the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. He was honored by Wagner College with the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1976.
Ressmeyer, the son and grandson of Lutheran pastors, grew up in Baltimore, MD, attended Baltimore City College (High School), Concordia College in Bronxville, NY, and graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO in 1947. He served as assistant professor at Concordia Academy in Portland, OR; as founding pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Spokane, WA; and assistant pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD. He was pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Seaford on Long Island, NY from 1954 to 1966 and was one of the founders of Long Island Lutheran High School in Brookville, NY. He later served as its Executive Director.
He was a grandson of Franz Pieper, professor and president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. His father was pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore, MD and also served for six years as president of the Southeastern District of the LCMS.
Dr. Ressmeyer and Virginia Werberig united in marriage in 1949 and had five children. His wife, Virginia, predeceased him in 2008, his daughter Faith, in 2015. He is survived by their four children: Judith Hinsch of Plainview, NY; Marcia Sink of Manchester, NH; Paul of Marshall, NC; and Timothy of Chicago, IL, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He is also survived by Lenore Wittrock of Somers, NY, whom he married in 2010.
A memorial service of Praise and Thanksgiving with the Holy Eucharist will be held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at The Hahn Center of Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School located at 131 Brookville Road, Brookville, NY. Additionally, a Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will be held at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Bronx on Saturday, November 25, at 11:00 am. The church is located at 4360 Reverend Theodore Wittrock Crossing between Boyd and Barnes Avenue, The Bronx, NY.
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