New CLC Missionary to India

The LORD answered our prayers for a new foreign missionary to India when He called and led Pastor Ed Starkey to accept this calling in the Gospel ministry. Pastor Starkey, who is replacing Pastor David Koenig in India, will be working side by side with Pastor Matthew Ude.

While Pastor Koenig is retiring from his full-time work as missionary to India, he will continue to serve on a part- time basis as our visiting missionary to Myanmar. He also stands ready to serve in other foreign fields at the direction of the Board of Missions. In order to help with the orientation of our new foreign missionary Pastor Koenig will stay on in India for a brief time. We thank the Lord for Pastor Koenig’s many years of faithful and fruitful service in the full-time work as our foreign missionary, first in Africa and then in India.

In order to learn more about our new foreign missionary Pastor Starkey has provided the following brief biographical sketch of himself and his family:

“Janice and I have been married 34 years. Our daughter Melissa lives in the Twin Cities where she works with young children. Our son Kaiser and his new wife Kaitlyn were married in July. Their home is at Fort Bragg, NC where he is stationed with the 82nd Airborne Infantry.

“Both Janice and I grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. I was baptized and confirmed in the American Lutheran Church. Janice’s large family was Roman Catholic. It is true that former Catholics make good Lutherans when they learn, the just shall live by faith. Before coming to the CLC, we be- longed to Lutheran churches in the ELCA, LCMS, and the CLBA. Though all confess to follow God’s Word, we have seen the differences regarding Scripture.

“After we were married in 1979, playing and coaching minor league hockey took us several places before returning to Iowa. In 1998 (at 42) I entered the Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, MN. My first ministry was with the Lutheran Brethren, Broen Home. I later served churches in Deer River, and Grand Rapids, MN.

“Members and colleagues of the CLBA were wonderful to us. However, when the Church of the Lutheran Brethren employed the services of a Church Growth consultant, I began to have questions. About this same time CLC member Brian Stearns called introducing himself and the confessional teaching of the CLC.

“Searching Scripture, sermons, and papers was followed by more personal visits, phone conversations, and email correspondence. Many other CLC members, teachers, professors, and pastors all helped. Kaiser was enrolled at ILC in the fall of 2005. After formally breaking fellowship with the CLBA, my call was terminated.

“We moved to Eau Claire, and lived at Birch Hall on the ILC campus while auditing seminary classes during a two year colloquy. Instruction with pastors led to membership at Messiah. The Christian fellowship led to friendships, and work in Eau Claire for both of us. We continue to thank the Lord for the many Christians whose witness for the Savior has helped us to better know and trust in His forgiveness.

“Since 2007, I have served St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iron River, (Stambaugh), MI. Having never been overseas, my missionary experience is limited to the community and at the local care centers. Still somewhat new to the CLC, there is much for us to learn about the work outside of the U.S.

“This summer our congregation went through a sermon series on the Book of Acts. Each week we were: TRAVELING THROUGH THE BOOK OF ACTS. We had just begun, and the Lord’s words you shall be witnesses to Me…to the ends of the earth, led me to accept His call to witness in South India. We look forward to working together with fellow foreign missionaries and everyone from the CLC who is witnessing for Jesus at home and abroad.

“We thank the Lord for your prayer and encouragement. We know we can’t do this—but He can. Therefore we pray for trust in Him for all our care, direction, and the results of His Word as we enter this new area of His service.”