The Rev. Lee A. Maxwell (1955-2014)

Started by Donald_Kirchner, December 10, 2014, 05:16:23 PM

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"Rev. Lee Allen Maxwell, 59, of Collinsville, Ill., passed away at 7:09 p.m. Friday, December 5, 2014, at Relais Bonne Eau Hospice Home, Edwardsville, Ill.

Pastor Maxwell was born in Minneapolis, Minn. January 12, 1955, to Gene and Melva Maxwell. He was reborn as a child of God in the waters of Holy Baptism on February 12, 1955, and on September 28, 1969, was confirmed in the Christian faith and fed the life-giving body and blood of Jesus.

Pastor Maxwell received his undergraduate education at Concordia College, St. Paul, Minnesota, followed by an M.A. in Classics at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). He continued with seminary education at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., and then with graduate studies, and receiving a Fullbright grant to study at the University of TĀbingen. He completed his doctorate (Th.D.) at Concordia Seminary in 1990.

Pastor Maxwell was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry on September 10, 1989. He served as pastor to Christ's holy people at Berea Lutheran Church, Riverview, Missouri (1989-99); and St. John Lutheran Church, Maryville, Illinois (1999-2014). Pastor Maxwell also served as mentor and shepherd to numerous field workers from Concordia Seminary, led seminary students and others on archaeological digs in Syria and the Middle East, and served as an adjunct faculty member at Concordia Seminary. In addition to a number of scholarly articles, Pastor Maxwell authored The Altar Guild Manual, published by Concordia Publishing House and used by thousands of congregations throughout the Missouri Synod.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gene, and is survived by his mother, Melva, and by his siblings, Lon (Colleen), Brian (Cheryl), and Laura.

Memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church. "

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I was one of those field workers from Concordia Seminary for whom Pastor Maxwell served as mentor and shepherd. I have and always will think of him as my pastor.

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abram's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
My Savior and my fount of grace,
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs


Prayers ascending for his family and loved ones...


From the upcoming funeral liturgy:

Lord Jesus Christ, great Shepherd of Your flock, it has pleased You to call Lee, a pastor to Your people, into Your glorious presence. We thank and praise You for all the blessings and mercy You have bestowed on Your departed servant, especially for the years You permitted him to be Your under shepherd. We praise You for having kept him faithful in the face of trials and difficulties, and having given success to the Word which he proclaimed, for having building Your temple in the hearts of many through his ministry, and for having given him a blessed death and reception into the kingdom of Your glory in heaven. Comfort all who mourn his departure, and help us gratefully remember all who have spoken the Word of God to us as we await our joyful reunion in heaven, where You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


For Pr. Kirchner and any others...

St. John's was packed. After the bell rang, Jon Vieker commenced "Wachet Auf" with Matt Janssen on the trumpet, then the Entrance Hymn: "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?" The clergy processed in, mostly vested and wearing red stoles. (Lee was vested in alb and red stole and had a crucifix and the icon of the resurrection in his coffin). There were many of them. I'm guessing about 20? Also the local ELCA pastor was in the congregation and I think the local UCC pastor as well. In place of the spoken Kyrie, the congregation sang Kyrie, God Father (well known at St. John's). The first reading was Romans 3 (the second half), then Cindi and I sang Haugen's setting of Psalm 23, then a reading from 1 Cor. 15. The three fold alleluia from DS 3 was sung and Cindi and I chanted the proper alleluia verse in between. The Gospel was Luke 2, Simeon. Creed. "Lord, Thee I Love" interpreted so powerfully by both Jon and Matt. On stanza three organ dropped out until "And then from death" and the congregation raised the roof. Sermon and then prayers. Jon had me chant the antiphon before the Nunc Dimittis to the same tone as the Nunc from DS 3 (which the congregation sang). The closing hymn was "Go, My Children." Fritz Baue was crucifier and when the coffin was placed in the hearse, Fritz went before and we walked, with the vested clergy leading the way the quarter mile into the cemetery (across the street from the church). Former District President Kollmann was in attendance, but current District President Scharr is in South Africa at present. In the balcony across from us one of Lee's young parishioners had tears streaming down his face. Lee's brothers and sister were present, but his mom (who suffers dementia) was not able to make it. Nancy stood in for her, she was such a true friend to him to the very end. I wish you could have been with us, Don. Several former fieldworkers were in attendance. Pax!

J. Thomas Shelley

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His servants"
Greek Orthodox Deacon - Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.


Thank you, Will. That post means so much to me. I did look at flights, but it couldn't work with my responsibilities.

How wonderful to read that he is vested. That's what he was and will be to so many; our pastor.

God bless you to you, Cindi, Jon and all the others who helped to proclaim the Gospel and the resurrection at Pastor's funeral.

BTW, the full obituary was in the Mpls Tribune.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs



I forgot to mention, there were folks there from the former Berea congregation too. I remember he asked me to preach there one feast of the Blessed Virgin (August 15), and I'd read this line in a book and it was my opening:

"The vicar celebrated easter much to his own enjoyment and with the toleration of his parishioners." So too today, Dr. Maxwell celebrates the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary much to his own enjoyment and I trust with YOUR toleration as well." It was a joyous Divine Service!


Will, this is an aside from all of the notes concerning Pr Maxwell... the quote you wrote ("The vicar celebrated easter much to his own enjoyment and with the toleration of his parishioners.")  I like to save quotes and I usually title them ... this one while very good resists a title, it will not tolerate one.   Harvey Mozolak
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

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