The Rev. J. Leon Haines, 80, Lutheran church official

August 20, 1998|By Leena Krishnaswamy | Leena Krishnaswamy,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Rev. J. Leon Haines, a prominent figure in the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, died Saturday in an automobile accident in Reisterstown. The Lutherville resident was 80.

Mr. Haines had devoted more than a half-century to the ministry, and been on the Maryland Synod staff since 1957. He retired in 1985 as assistant to the bishop, but remained a consultant on congregational constitutions to what became after a merger the Delaware-Maryland Synod.

"He was deeply loved by the people of the Maryland Synod," said the Rev. Andrea Hagen, who worked closely with Mr. Haines and is now an assistant to the bishop. "The dedicated service he gave to Christ and the church was an inspiration to all around him."

A Pennsylvania native, Mr. Haines graduated from Susquehanna University in 1940 and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1944. He was ordained that year by the Central Pennsylvania Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America.

He served as a pastor in Pennsylvania until 1947, and in Maryland as pastor of churches in the Hampstead Lutheran Parish from 1947 to 1953, and at Augsburg Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Baltimore until 1957.

That year, Mr. Haines became director of missions, stewardship and evangelism for the Maryland Synod. In 1963, he was appointed assistant to the synod president, then served as the bishop's secretary, statistician and archivist from 1968 to 1981.

He was a past president of the Alumni Association of the Lutheran Theological Seminary College, and represented it as a member of the seminary's board of directors. He was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree by Gettysburg College in 1971.

Mr. Haines represented the synod at national conferences and conventions, and chaired many committees of the Maryland Council of Churches and Baltimore Urban Church Planning. He was listed in the 1964 edition of "Who's Who in the East."

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8601 Valleyfield Road, Lutherville.

Mr. Haines is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Angeline Feeser; a son, J. William Haines of Reisterstown; two brothers, Everett Haines of Lewistown, Pa., and Robert Haines of Pampa, Texas; three sisters, Mildred Krick of Highspire, Pa., Ruth Haines of Lewistown and Evalyn Lewis of Indiana, Pa.; and a granddaughter.

Memorial donations may be made to the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pa. 17325.

Pub Date: 8/20/98

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