Honoring Distinguished Alumni
(left to right: Bishop Gregory Pile, John Hagedorn, David Roper)
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg honored three of its graduates, the Rev. David Roper, Bishop Gregory Pile, and the Rev. Dr. John Hagedorn in its annual banquet here Tuesday evening, April 29th.
The awards are determined by the Seminary’s Alumni Association, usually honoring one pastor, one alumnus/a in specialized ministry or service, and one for distinguished lifetime service.
Honored for pastoral ministry was the Rev. David L. Roper, graduate in 1975 having served as pastor at Ebenezer Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Tripoli; Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kutztown; and Bern Evangelical Lutheran Church, Leesport, all in Pennsylvania. He was ordained by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod in October 1975. He has served the Alumni Association on the Loyalty Committee and as past President. Bern Ev. Lutheran Church Council President, Timothy Moyer wrote “Throughout his ministry at Bern, I have had the pleasure to get to know him and admire his commitment not only to our congregation, but also to the worldwide church and Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.”
Bishop Gregory Pile serves the Allegheny Synod of the ELCA and is the longest sitting Bishop in the Mid-Atlantic region. Receiving the award for specialized ministry, Bishop Pile received his B.A. from Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, and his M.Div. from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1975. He was ordained by the Lutheran Church in America’s Central Penn. Synod in June 1975. He served as pastor at New Centerville Lutheran Parish, Rockwood, St. David’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Davidsville both in Pennsylvania before being elected Bishop of the Allegheny Synod, ELCA in 1993. He has served as the Advisory Bishop of the ELCA Church Council, chaired of the Pennsylvania Lutheran Network. Pennsylvania colleague, Bishop Ralph E. Jones, describes Pile as “a strong and caring presence among pastors, congregations, institutions, and bishop colleagues.
A seminary graduate in 1965, the Rev. Dr. B. John Hagedorn received recognition for lifetime of service to the church. He went on to complete a Ph.D. from Boston University Graduate School in 1972 following ordination in 1969. Hagedorn served as Associate Pastor at St. Mark Lutheran Church, Hanover, PA; Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Lutheran Social Services-South Region, York, PA; Pastoral Psychotherapist, Clinical Director, Supervisor and Faculty at Pastoral Counseling and Consultation Centers of Greater Washington, Washington, D.C.; Executive Director at Pastoral Counseling and Care Ministries, Columbia, MD; Dean of Students, Director of Marriage and Family Therapy Residency, Director of the Pastoral Care Studies Program at Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute, New York, NY among other positions. Fellow alumnus Ray Blanset described Hagedorn as having “touched the lives of countless numbers of persons for good. His life is a faithful witness to the good news, the gospel.”