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The Life of a Great Bishop – A Commemoration of Dwight E. Loder

Nov 13, 2002 03:00 AM EST

The United Methodist Congregation commemorates the life of a great Bishop, Dwight E. Loder. Bishop Loder, 88, died Nov. 9 at his home in Worthington, Ohio, after a lengthy illness. He had been president of the denomination's Council of Bishops from 1974 to 1975. A funeral arrangement for Bishop Loder is for Nov. 15, at the Worthington United Methodist Church.

From 1955 to 1964, Loder served as the eighth president of Garrett Biblical Methodist-related divinity school in Evanston, Ill. He was elected bishop for the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary from 1976 until his retirement in 1984. Early in his ministry, Loder served churches in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He was the pastor at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church in Minneapolis when he was selected to head Garrett Seminary.

He was a General Conference and jurisdictional conference delegate in 1960 and 1964. He attended the World Methodist Convocation on Theological Education in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1961 and the World Methodist Conference in 1961, 1966, 1971 and 1976. In 1957, he participated in the North American Faith and Order Study Conference of the World Council of Churches.

While a bishop, he was president of the National Division of United Methodist Board of Missions from 1968 to 1972. He also served the whole church through membership on the United Methodist Commission on Chaplains and Related Ministries, the Commission to Study Episcopacy and District Superintendency, and the Commission to Study the Ministry in the 1970s. He was president of the United Methodist General Council on Ministries from 1980 to 1983.

Loder was president of the North American Section of the World Methodist Council from 1977 to 1980 and served on the presidium of the council for six years afterward. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the HonorableOrder of Jerusalem of the World Methodist Council in 2000.

While bishop of the Michigan Area, Loder served on the governor's Crime Commission and the governor's Ethical and Moral Panel during the 1960s. He was chairman of the Committee on Equal Opportunity in Detroit from 1969 to 1972. He also served as a trustee of several colleges and other institutions.

Loder received a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska in 1936 and completed a degree in sacred theology at Boston University in 1939, the year he was ordained. He studied law for a year at University of Nebraska with scholastic honors and later received several honorary doctorates.

Loder was born July 8, 1914, in Waverly, Neb. He married Mildred E. Shay of Stoneham, Mass., Sept. 17, 1939. She died Nov. 26, 1999. The couple's survivors include their three children: Ruth Ann Burnecke of Dallas; William Loder of Reston, Va.; and David Loder of Walnut Creek, Calif.; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

By Pauline J.
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