Pastor Herman Otten in a “Farewell Address” he presented to a voters meeting at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, July 15, 2012, announced that he would be leaving Trinity after 55 years as pastor on Easter 2013.
He said he wants to give Trinity time to call a new pastor. Few congregations have kept their same pastor for so many years.
Otten, however, will not be retiring from the ministry. He will continue serving as editor of Christian News, now in its 50th year with issue No. 2,326, until a new editor takes over.
Otten said once he no longer has weekly pastoral duties he plans to travel promoting the need for a realignment in Christendom and a 21st Century Reformation as the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation approaches on Oct. 31, 2017.
He has been working on a book tentatively titled “Why a Realignment and 21st Century Reformation Today?” He says this book will be somewhat like his popular “Baal or God” published in 1965. It was enthusiastically promoted by Bible-believing Christian in many denominations in the United States and other nations.
When Lutheran News became Christian News in 1968 its masthead was written by Dr. Kurt Marquart, who long promoted a 20th Century Reformation and Formula of Concord. Marquart escaped from the communists when they took over his native Estonia. Marquart and Otten were roommates at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
Otten refers to Marquart as “The International Luther.” After interviewing Marquart, Dean Clarence Marion, a member of the Notre Dame University School of Law, commented on Dec. 3, 1967: “My friends, in my 13 years at this microphone, I have never heard a more precise and learned analysis of the conflict now raging between communism and organized religion, namely the churches of denominations.”
When Christian News began with a new masthead written by Marquart, the Rev. Wayne Saffen of the University of Chicago, a liberal theologian, wrote in The Lutheran Campus Pastor that “Christian News has widened its strategy from dividing or conquering the Missouri Synod and the Lutherans to dividing or conquering the visible churches of Christ on Earth. Its own realignment of Christendom calls for division between ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives.’”
The cover of Otten’s “Farewell Address” has a photo of the 40-foot 21st Century Reformation Cross at Camp Trinity dedicated to the memory of Kurt Marquart “The International Luther.” It will be seen by thousands of youth and adults who regularly come to the camp which Otten and his wife began 40 years ago.
Otten says that the book will show that theological liberalism, universalism, evolution and higher criticism of the Bible has taken over all the major protestant denominations, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.