Matthew Harrison (cleric)

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The Reverend
Matthew C. Harrison
Church Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Elected July 13, 2010
Installed September 11, 2010
Predecessor Gerald B. Kieschnick
Ordination 1991
Personal details
Born (1962-03-14) March 14, 1962 (age 55)
Sioux City, Iowa
Spouse Kathy Harrison ('nee Schimm)
Children Two sons
Previous post Executive Director, LCMS World Relief/Human Care
Alma mater Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (M.S.T., 1991), (M.Div., 1989)
Morningside College, Sioux City (1984)

Matthew Carl Harrison (born March 14, 1962 in Sioux City, Iowa) is the 13th and current President of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. He was elected to the presidency on July 13, 2010 at its 64th regular convention held in Houston, Texas. Rev. Harrison officially took office on September 1, 2010, and was formally installed in a service on September 11, 2010 at Concordia Seminary St. Louis.[1] He was elected by a 54 - 45% margin on the first ballot.[2] On July 6, 2013, the LCMS announced his election to a second three-year term following a first ballot victory in the church body's first online presidential election.[3] On June 15, 2016, the LCMS announced he had been elected to a third three-year term, having received 56.96 percent of the vote on the first ballot.[4]

Harrison previously served as the Executive Director of the Department of LCMS World Relief and Human Care, and as founding president of the LCMS Housing Corporation (also known as Lutheran Housing Support).

Early years[edit]

Matthew Harrison was born in Sioux City, Iowa on March 14, 1962. He was baptized at Bethel Lutheran Church in Lawton, Iowa. He grew up in Sioux City, where his family belonged to Redeemer Lutheran Church. He graduated from Sioux City East High School in 1980 and Morningside College in 1987.[5] Harrison attended seminary at Concordia Theological Seminary at which he earned a Master of Divinity and, in 1991, a Master of Sacred Theology degree.[5] In 2011, he received honorary doctorates from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Concordia University Ann Arbor in Michigan.[6]


Matthew Harrison's first parish was at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Westgate, Iowa, where he served from 1991 to 1995.[5][6]

Harrison served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church of Fort Wayne, Indiana from 1995 to 2001.[6] During his ministry at Zion, the urban decay around the church moved him to join with St. Peter Catholic Church and community leaders to revitalize the Hanna-Creighton neighborhood. This joint effort recruited investors to clear many dilapidated homes, restore others and build new ones in that ten block area. The effort was a success and led to the construction of a new branch of the Allen County Public Library and an office for the Fort Wayne Urban League in the neighborhood. This initiative continues in the City of Fort Wayne's Renaissance Pointe project.[7][8]

In his role as head of LCMS World Relief beginning in 2001, Harrison made several trips to work with those in need in among the slums of Kibera, Kenya and in other East African countries. He worked in Asia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and in Louisiana in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. He also spent several months in early 2010 coordinating LCMS aid in Haiti following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

On February 16, 2012, Harrison testified in front of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in opposition to contraceptive mandates imposed upon parachurch organizations by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[9]


As author[edit]

As translator and editor[edit]

  • Gerhard, Johann. Meditations on Divine Mercy: A Classic Treasury of Devotional Prayers. Saint Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 2003.
  • Löhe, Wilhelm, Holger Sonntag, Adriane Dorr, and Philip Hendrickson. Löhe on Mercy: Six Chapters for Everyone, the Seventh for the Servants of Mercy, 1858-1860. [Mercy insights series]. St. Louis: Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, World Relief and Human Care, 2006.
  • Sasse, Hermann. Christ and His Church: Essays by Hermann Sasse. With Ronald R. Feuerhahn and Paul T. McCain. Office of the President of the LCMS, 1997.
  • Sasse, Hermann, Letters to Lutheran Pastors. Ed. With Charles Evanson, W. Gawrisch, Ralph Gehrke, Fred Kramer, Rachel Mumme, Norman Nagel, Paul Peters, Peter Petzling, E. Reim, J. Michael Reu, David P. Scaer, Charles Schaum, Andrew Smith, Holgar Sonntag, Paul Strawn, W. Wegner, trans. 3 vols. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2013-15.
  • Sasse, Hermann. The Lonely Way: Selected Essays and Letters. With Ronald R. Feuerhahn, eds. and trans. 2 vols. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 2001.
  • Sasse, Hermann. Union and Confession. With Ronald R. Feuerhahn and Paul T. McCain. Office of the President of the LCMS, 1997.
  • Walther, C.F.W., Friedrich Wyneken, H. C. Schwan, Franz Pieper, Friedrich Pfotenhauer, W. Sihler, and Theodor Julius Brohm. At Home in the House of My Fathers: Presidential Sermons, Essays, Letters, and Addresses from the Missouri Synod's Great Era of Unity and Growth. [Fort Wayne, IN]: Lutheran Legacy, 2009.
  • Women Pastors?: The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective: a Collection of Essays. With John T. Pless, eds. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 2009.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Election Results". The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Archived from the original on April 20, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Harrison elected to second term as LCMS president". Reporter Online. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. July 6, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Harrison re-elected to third term as LCMS president". Reporter Online. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. July 15, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Sioux City native new LCMS president". Sioux City Journal. July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c "Presidential Bios - Matthew C. Harrison" (PDF). The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ Rodriguez, Rosa Salter (July 15, 2010). "New Lutheran synod boss is ex-city pastor Helped to revamp Hanna-Creighton, led Zion Lutheran". Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. 
  8. ^ Leininger, Kevin (July 14, 2010). "Ex-city pastor new leader of Missouri Synod Lutherans". Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 26, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ "LCMS responds to birth control mandate". Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by
Gerald B. Kieschnick
President of the
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod