Alvin L. Barry

Tenth President of the Missouri Synod: 1992-2001

Born: 4 August 1931, Woodbine, Iowa
Died: 23 March 2001, Orlando, Florida

Alvin Barry attended Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, finished his studies through the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Thiensville, in 1956, and was ordained the same year. He later received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.

On August 24, 1952 Barry married Jean Heim.

Barry first accepted a call to Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1960 he moved to Claremont, Minnesota, to serve at St. John and Peace Lutheran Churches. Two years later, he was called to Trinity Lutheran Church, Trimont, Minnesota, where he served until 1967.

In 1967 Barry became the Mission and Stewardship Executive for the Iowa District West. In 1975 he became the executive secretary for the Synod’s Board for Missions and joined the Armed Forces Commission. From 1977 to 1982, Barry was the Missions, Stewardship, and Social Ministry Executive for the Iowa District East. He became the district president in 1982. Barry was elected president of the LCMS in 1992 and re-elected in 1995 and 1998. He died in office on 23 March 2001 and was succeeded by Dr. Robert T. Kuhn, first vice-president of the synod, who served until the end of Barry’s third term on 31 August 2001.

Barry is the author of The Master’s Prayer : Devotional meditations on the Lord’s Prayer (1994), The Unchanging Feast: The Nature and Basis of Lutheran Worship (1995), What Does This Mean? Catechesis in the Lutheran Congregation (1996) and numerous pamphlets in a What About? series. The contents of the web site that contained his writings and statements while he was in office is in the process of being transferred to this site as an archive of his publications.

Barry is buried in Woodbine Cemetery, Woodbine, IA, along with his wife, Jean Heim Barry.

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