November 16, 2004

David L. Tiede, the longest-serving president at any Evangelical Lutheran Church in America seminary, says he will retire next June as the head of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. At that point Tiede will be 65, and will have completed 18 years as president and 34 years as a New Testament professor there. Luther Seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries. In 2002 he was president of the Association of Theological Schools.

Harold (Hal) W. Rast, a Lutheran minister who was founder of Trinity Press International and a publisher of Fortress Press and Judson Press, died October 13 at his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71. Rast was a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod pastor, professor and administrator in between earning advanced degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He left the LCMS in 1976 during that church’s divisions and eventually joined the Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Rast became well known in religious publishing after he was appointed head of Fortress Press in 1985, where he directed the publishing of noted books in theology and biblical studies. He established a similar repute as founding publisher of the Episcopal-related Trinity Press in 1989. He later headed Judson Press, the publishing arm of the American Baptist Churches.