1958-1959 Rev. David Holm
1960-1961 Rev. Lowell Albee
1963-1964 Rev. Dr William van Horne Davies
1965-1968 Rev. Clarence T. Nelson
1969-1975 Rev. Ronald L. Swenson
1976-1982 Rev. Dr Wilbert J. Fields
1983-1986 Rev. L. Paul Bartling
1988-2003 Rev. Dr Stephen M. Larson
2003-2012 Rev. Lusmarina Campos Garcia
2012-2014 Rev. Dr Stephen M. Larson – Interim Pastor
[2014 – present time: Rev. Andrew (Andy) Willis]
Interview (March 2016) with Ron Swenson, pastor of our congregation from 1969 to 1975. More from Ron Swenson in the “Green Book” article.
Previous Pastor (1988-2003) and Interim Pastor 2012-2014
The Rev. Dr Stephen M Larson — Biographical Sketch
Pastor Larson is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has served in three countries – a rural two-point parish in Alberta (2 years) and an inter-Lutheran and ecumenical campus ministry at The University of Alberta in Canada (11 years); the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva’s English-speaking Congregation in Switzerland (15 years); and a large suburban congregation near Chicago in the USA (8 years)
He is a dual US and Canadian citizen who graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA (B.A. in History and English); Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (M.Div.); and St Stephen’s College in Edmonton, AB (D.Min. in Liturgy and Social Justice).
Pastor Larson has a long history of involvement with the Lutheran World Federation, World Student Christian Federation and World Council of Churches. He was a youth advisor to the LWF Fifth Assembly in Evian, France; delegate to the WSCF 26th Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; head steward at the LWF Seventh Assembly in Budapest; participant in the Living Letters visit to Indonesia and the women’s gathering in Harare for the WCC Ecumenical Decade Churches in Solidarity with Women.
During his Canadian years he was the Worship and Music Coordinator for the Western Canada Synod, a resource person at numerous inter-Lutheran worship and music conferences, coordinated the introduction of Lutheran Book of Worship in the four western provinces and was an adjunct professor of worship at St Stephen’s College. He has been a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy since 1985 and is co-author of Liturgy, Justice and the Reign of God: Integrating Vision and Practice. He has written for a variety of worship and preaching journals.
During his Swiss years he served as vice-president and president of the Association of International Churches in Europe and the Middle East. He led retreats for the International Protestant Church in Zurich, NATO chaplains in Lahr, Germany and ecumenical pastors in south India. With the encouragement of the ELCG outreach concern group he volunteered to write and record weekly reflections on Radio 74 in an attempt to provide an alternative theological perspective through that station. In 2000, St Stephen’s College in Edmonton awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity.
Stephen is married to Rebecca (Voigts) Larson, Deputy General Secretary of the ACT Alliance. They met as university students involved in the LWF World Encounter of Lutheran Youth (in Latin America where Rebecca was hosted by George and Emese Posfay in Caracas, Venezuela) and the LWF Fifth Assembly in Evian, France. (During that 1970 Assembly, they attended worship at the ELCG for the first time.) They have two daughters, Katie and Sarah, who were both confirmed at the ELCG. Katie is married to Lawrence Wiliford and is an associate professor of English at the University of Toronto in Canada; Sarah is married to Shane Moldenhauer and most recently served as Deputy Program Director for the International Rescue Committee in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. They now make their temporary home in Chicago with their infant son, Aaron, who was born on 30 December 2012 – Stephen and Rebecca’s first grandchild.
Previous Pastor (2003-2012)
Pastor Rev. Lusmarina Campos Garcia has returned to Brazil, with her husband Federico (Fico) Besnard, after serving our congregation for 9 years.
The Rev. Lusmarina Campos Garcia, pastor of the ELCG Pastor Lusmarina Campos Garcia was born in a small village in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil, called Tupi Paulista, but she lived most of her life in the city of Rio de Janeiro. She studied theology and law. The studies in law were a consequence of her compassion for those who have their basic rights denied daily, including the right of access to a fair justice system. The studies in theology were done as an answer to God’s call to the ministry. Although she is firmly committed to justice and peace, she realized that her vocation was not to be in the tribunals, but in the pulpits, altars and every place where the love of God could be announced and the integrity of creation called upon.
Pastor Lusmarina is an expert in worship and movement, and is considered one of the more creative people in that field. She has worked all over the world with many different ecumenical institutions and events. She produced a ballet called “Peace to the City” as a contribution to the Decade to Overcome Violence of the World Council of Churches.
Before coming to Geneva, Pastor Lusmarina served in two Lutheran parishes in Brazil – Resende and Rio de Janeiro. Pastor Lusmarina preaches and dances, serves communion and accompanies people with the strength of those who are moved by the Spirit.