I remember well the first time I met Paull Spring. It was in a meeting in a Gullixson Hall classroom at Luther Seminary that would lead to the beginning of CORE. Paull walked into the room (in clerics, of course, whenever he was doing church business) with a leader of Word Alone … that was an amazing sight and combination to be sure. But the cause of Lutheran Orthodoxy and faithfulness brought such together. And many more of us with them, too.
Paull Spring represented some of the best of eastern Lutheranism, a pastor and bishop and leader from years of ministry. He brought those gifts to the diversity of faithful Lutherans all over the country as we began to form Lutheran CORE.
Those were amazing days, as we came together around the challenge to affect the slippery slope of the ELCA’s theological and spiritual descent. Paull Spring was articulate and theologically able. He spoke with both authority and passion……and a deep love and concern for the Church.
We didn’t always agree, but we had huge respect and mutual patience to get the best from each other, not just me but everyone else with Paull Spring. It was a fruitful partnership and collaboration. Our work brought us to Synod and Churchwide Assemblies, to gatherings all over the country. Who could forget the hundreds who came to Fishers, Indiana after the ELCA vote of 2009? Paull was a giant at that meeting and others to come.
Our CORE work eventually came to the reality of forming the NALC, which was launched at a yearly CORE Convocation in Columbus, Ohio. Paull Spring was chosen as the NALC’s first bishop. He knew how to do that already.
Since those times Paull Spring led faithfully and has been succeeded now twice. Yet he has remained a valued leader and respected confidant to many in this new “retirement.”
Paull Spring’s wisdom lives on even as we grieve his passing. Eternity will tell the rest of Bishop Paull Spring’s story. We will enjoy hearing then what now only God knows and Paull sees more fully.
“Oh God, the generations rise and pass away before You. You are the strength of the weary; You are the rest of the blessed dead. We rejoice in the company of All Your Saints” including now Bishop Paull Spring.
Blessed be his memory and legacy to us all.