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New Director for Evangelical Mission brings unique gifts

November 11, 2013 09:31 AM
Pr. Lamont Anthony Wells

By Sarah Gioe


Bishop Rimbo and the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit of the ELCA are pleased to announce that Pastor Lamont Anthony Wells has been called as the Director for Evangelical Mission for the Metropolitan New York Synod. He begins on January 2.


Born and raised in Philadelphia in the Baptist church, Pr. Wells attended Morehouse College in Atlanta and proceeded to stay in Georgia for over two decades. His work as a state grants administrator required him to collaborate with non-profit organizations and religious communities, and led him to meet a future mentor, the late ELCA Pastor Arthur Lewis. Though he was already ordained in the Baptist tradition, Pr. Lewis encouraged Pr. Wells to go to seminary. "I took classes in Lutheranism in North America and Lutheran Confessions and thought, 'This is what I believe!'" says Pr. Wells. He learned that his childhood pastor, who studied at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, had really taught him Lutheran theology in the Baptist church. Pr. Wells earned his Master of Divinity at the Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.


Pr. Wells then served as the Lutheran campus pastor of Atlanta University Center, a consortium of six historically black colleges and universities, and later as senior pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church. An only child, a call in 2008 to Reformation Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, one of the largest African-American congregations in the ELCA, allowed him to return home and be closer to his family. Pr. Wells also served as a conference dean in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, assisting with candidacy, the mobility process, and the renewal and redevelopment of several urban congregations.


A relationship with former MNYS Pastor James Thomas caused Pr. Wells to become familiar with the Metro New York Synod over the years. "There has been a longing, a connection, a pull, that I had to New York," says Pr. Wells of considering a new call. "A lot of my classmates from college are some of New York's elite pastors. We've all made connections throughout the years. I'm joining the ranks to do some great work."


As Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM), Pr. Wells will be responsible for stewardship and evangelical mission in our synod, including partnership grants, congregational renewal and redevelopment, and new starts. His strong gifts of administration and his multicultural connections open up fertile opportunities for ecumenical work. His sense of mission to stewardship will enable people to invest and participate in the kingdom of God.


"I want to be a true synod—I want to lift that up. That's key: to connect racial diversity with religious spirituality, mix it together, and show the great conglomerate of the true church," says Pr. Wells. "I think it's a good time to be the DEM."


"We are pleased to welcome Pastor Wells to our synod," said Bishop Rimbo. "His gifts for ministry and his life experience will help equip us for the mission of God here!"





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