Stuhlberg the New Lutheran Superintendent on the Volga

Oleg Stuhlberg: One Superintendent More With a Russian Pass


M o s c o w – In a festive service on 17 September in Alt-Sarepta near Volgograd, Dietrich Hallmann was thanked for his nearly six years as Regional Superintendent (Propst) for the region “Lower and Middle Volga” and wished well on his way into German retirement. In his laudatio, ELKER-Bishop Dietrich Hallmann (Moscow) praised Superintendent Hallmann’s achievements in the further training of pastors and church workers. Hallmann had also done much to promote the partner relationship between the Volga region and the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg and its Berlin Missions Society (Berliner Missionswerk). In the name of Archbishop Edmund Ratz (St. Petersburg), the Moscow bishop awarded the outgoing superintendent with the ELCROS golden medal.


Unexpected for most, Bishop Springer used the same occasion to install the Russian-German Oleg Stuhlberg as the new Superintendent. Stuhlberg, who grew up in Tajikistan and is only 34 years old, was called into pastoral service by Superintendent Hallmann five years ago and has served as his mentor ever since. Stuhlberg spent his vicariate in Perm. Bishop Springer was assisted by Pastor Andrei Bobylyov (Volgograd) and Preacher Georgii Ohlenberg (Volgograd) in installing Stuhlberg. The outgoing superintendent placed the Superintendent’s Cross on his successor.


Bishop Springer drew one conclusion from the day’s events: “One superintendent more with a Russian pass. That is one step more towards the independence of the Evangelical Lutheran Church – European Russia.” Now nine of ELCER’s 12 superintendents are Russian citizens.


Superintendent Hallmann (Cottbus) as well as Pastor Angelika Döpmann (Berlin) were sent by the Berlin Missions Society. After serving congregations in Samara and Volgograd, Rev. Döpmann will now be responsible for the district’s educational program. Stress is to be placed on the further training of active laypersons. Andrei Bobylyov, who is responsible for ELKER’s humanitarian programs, insisted: “The congregations could accomplish many things by themselves if they had proper training.”


Presently, the ELCER-Bishop is on the road more than a little. In Volvograd he was also involved in the dedication of a German memorial cemetery. On September 24 he installed Markus Laidig of Stuttgart as pastor of the congregation in Samara/Volga. Laidig was sent by the Evangelical church of Württemberg. He will install Angelika Döpmann as Pastor of the Volvograd congegation on October 1. He will later instate David Rerich als Pastor of the congregation in Jaroslavl.


ELCER consists of 170 congregations and groups, making it the largest provincial church belonging to the St. Petersburg-based ELCROS, the “Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia”.


Dr. William Yoder

Moscow, September 27, 2006                                


A press release of the “Evangelical-Lutheran Church - European Russia” (ELCER). Press release Nr. 10, 432 words.