Frank B. Lampe III, 72, St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor

November 23, 2003|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

The Rev. Frank B. Lampe III, former pastor of St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church in Baltimore who in recent years served as an interim pastor for many area congregations, died of cancer Nov. 16 at his Parkville home. He was 72.

Mr. Lampe was born in Baltimore and reared in Perry Hall, where in his youth he attended St. Michael Lutheran Church. He was a 1948 graduate of Kenwood High School.

"At the time he was finishing high school, there was a pastor at St. Michael's who encouraged him. It was during the summer between high school and college, when he was considering studying a number of things including engineering, that he felt a pull toward the seminary," said his wife of 24 years, the former Kate Jacobsen.

Mr. Lampe earned a bachelor's degree in 1952 in social service from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and a master's in divinity in 1956 from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, also in Columbus. He was ordained in 1956 at his boyhood church in Perry Hall.

Mr. Lampe also held a master's degree in sacred theology, which he earned in 1972 from New York Theological Seminary in New York City. He was also a 1977 graduate of the Institute of Real Estate Management in Chicago and was certified by the Interim Ministry Network in Baltimore. In 1987, he earned a certificate in nursing home administration from George Washington University.

He began his career in 1956 as the founding pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Vienna, Va., and remained there until 1960.

"It was a mission church that had been meeting in a restaurant. Between 1950 and 1960, Vienna grew from 2,000 to 10,000 people. And the church went from 46 to more than 200 members while he was there. Its growth had much to do with the expansion of the town," Mrs. Lampe said.

After leaving Vienna in 1960, Mr. Lampe moved to the Bronx, N.Y., where he was pastor of Kingsbridge Evangelical Lutheran Church for 15 years. From 1975 to 1977, he tried organizing an apartment house ministry in the Bronx, which did not develop.

Mr. Lampe moved to Baltimore in 1977 after being named pastor of St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church at Broadway and Fairmount Avenue, which was founded in 1867. He was the church's pastor at the time of its closing in 1985.

He worked as a part-time chaplain at the old Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital from 1986 until 1987.

In 1986, Mr. Lampe began a career as an interim minister, and during the intervening 17 years helped 21 area congregations prepare for new pastors. At his death, he had been the interim pastor for the past two years at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Dundalk.

"He'd get a profile to see what was going on, and then he'd help get the congregation to deal with what needed to be done. He was organized, saw problems and then solved them," Mrs. Lampe said.

"We're going to miss this man. He supported us and gave us the spiritual guidance that we needed to accept a new call. He helped us pull together," said William Welsh, a member of the church council at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.

Mr. Lampe was also an avid model train collector and liked traveling by train. This fall he fulfilled a lifetime dream of going by rail through the Canadian Rockies.

He was a member of the B&O Railroad Museum and the Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

His marriage to the former Janet Solms ended in divorce.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Deborah Cole of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Ruth McAuley of Staten Island, N.Y.; two stepsons, the Rev. Brian Caughlan of Maryville, Ill., and Bill Caughlan of Drexel Hill, Pa.; three stepdaughters, Samantha Caughlan of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., Janet Caughlan of Catonsville and Laura Caughlan of Phoenixville, Pa.; and nine grandchildren.

He was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter in Govans, where services were held Thursday.

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