Memorial services scheduled for James Kenneth Echols, Gordon J. Straw January 12, 2019

Memorial services have been scheduled at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), for James Kenneth Echols, 67, former president of the seminary, who died December 22, and Associate Professor Gordon J. Straw, 59, who died January 5.

Gordon Straw's memorial service will be Saturday, February 9, at 3 p.m., in LSTC's Augustana Chapel, with visitation two hours prior, and a reception following.

On Wednesday, February 13, at 11:15 a.m. a memorial service will celebrate the life of James Echols. It will also be held in Augustana Chapel, and be followed by lunch in the seminary’s First Floor West.

Echols was LSTC's fifth president and the first African Descent president of a North American Lutheran seminary. His vision for theological education opened new directions at LSTC. He is survived by his wife, Donna Skinner Echols, and daughters Jennifer and Courtney.

Straw served as the Cornelsen Chair for Spiritual Formation and Coordinator of Candidacy. He began at LSTC July 1, 2017, in what he called his "dream job." He is survived by his wife, Evelyn Soto Straw, and their daughter Amanda.


Cheryl Hoth
Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs

Patti DeBias
Assistant to the President

Erik Christensen
Pastor to the Community and Director of Worship

Jan Boden
Communications Manager

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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