Keeping in Touch




November 29, 1915 – October 29, 2018


The Rev. George Lewis Garver, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant on October 29, 2018 at the age of 102 while under hospice care. Pastor Garver, born in York, PA, was a 1940 graduate of Gettysburg College followed by a Master of Divinity degree from Gettysburg Seminary in 1943.  


Last May 19th, he celebrated his 75th anniversary of ordination. Ordained by the Illinois Synod, he began his ministry of Word and Sacrament at Gladstone Park Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL, followed by serving at Ascension Lutheran Church in Pontiac, MI.  In March 1956, he accepted a call back where he grew up and where his parents were still living, as the pastor of Temple in Pennsauken.  In 1964, while serving as pastor at Temple, he presided at the wedding of Ernest Evans (Chubby Checker) and Catharina (Rina) Lodders.  Pastor Garver remained at Temple until 1965, followed then by serving at St. Luke in Willingboro. In December 1968, George left parish ministry and worked as a career counselor in Philadelphia. In  1975, he was called to serve as a Lutheran Church in America (LCA) staff member for the Division for Professional Leadership, where he remained until his retirement in January 1981.


Pastor Garver is survived by his wife Betty and children Dori Barnett, Georgeanne Fischer, Donna Henry, Philip Garver, and Paul Garver, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Messages of sympathy can be sent to: Betty Garver, 6501 17th Avenue West, Apt. W405, Bradenton, FL  34209

100th Birthday celebration, December 10, 2015, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Holmes Beach, FL

From left: Rina and Ernest “Chubby Checker” Evans, Pastor George and Betty Garver


July 10, 1948 – March 24, 2018 

The Rev. Thomas M. O'Brien, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant after being hospitalized while on vacation in Las Vegas, NV.  Pastor O'Brien was born in Trenton and earned Associate Degrees in Science from Trenton Technical Institute and Mercer County Community College, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree from The College of New Jersey. After a 31-year career with Public Service Electric and Gas, he graduated from LTSP as a TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministry) candidate in 2005. Before ordination, he was a counselor at Amity House Catholic Charities, vicar at St. Timothy, Aston, PA, and Our Savior, Haddonfield. Tom was ordained on March 11, 2006 after accepting a call as pastor of Good Samaritan Lutheran Church, in Lanham, MD.  The congregation of Grace, Freehold, extended a call to Tom and he transferred to the New Jersey Synod. He walked with the congregation of Grace through their closing in April 2016.  He sought retirement status in 2017, yet continued to serve congregations in our Synod through supply preaching and other pastoral service at Bridge of Peace and Christus in Camden; Hope, Freehold; King of Kings, Middletown; Holy Trinity, Burlington, and most recently as Vice Pastor of Holy Spirit, Manahawkin. In a note he shared, "I praise God each day for another day in order to do his work."  He is survived by his wife of almost 47 years Dolores, their sons Mark and Thomas and grandson Thomas. 


March 17, 1933 – February 25, 2018

The Rev. Richard Trudo, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant while under doctor’s care in Cumberland Center, Maine.  Pastor Trudo, born in Waterloo, IA, was a 1955 graduate of St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN. He graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and was ordained into Word and Sacrament Ministry on May 25, 1958 after accepting a call as assistant pastor of Salem Lutheran Church, Catonsville, MD, followed by All Saints in Baltimore. He then served as pastor of congregations in New York (Reformation, Brooklyn, St. John, Brooklyn, and Messiah, Brooklyn) and Pennsylvania (Trinity, Donora, St. Paul, Vandergrift, Trinity, Philadelphia), before retiring in 2001.  In 2002,  Richard transferred to the New Jersey Synod and was an active choir member of St. Stephen, Woodbury. He was predeceased by his wife Carmella in 2009 and in 2015 relocated to Cumberland Center, ME, to be closed to family.


December 10, 1947 – January 16, 2018

The Rev. Albert H. Heusmann, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant while under hospice care.  Pastor Heusmann was a graduate of Concordia College, Bronxville, and Wagner College, Staten Island, NY; Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, and received his PhD from Drew University, Madison. On May 23, 1976, he was ordained into Word and Sacrament Ministry, after accepting a call to serve as pastor of St. John Lutheran in Rutherford. In 1984, he transferred to the Upper Susquehanna Synod to serve as pastor Sharon Lutheran Church in Selinsgrove, PA. The congregation of Zion, Saddle River called Albert as their pastor in 1998, where he served until a medical disability caused by Post-Polio Syndrome required that he seek On Leave From Call followed by retirement status.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years Judith (Traub). 



March 24, 1931 – September 13, 2017

The Rev. Thomas J. Weber, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant while under hospice care. Pastor Weber, born in York, PA, was a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA. On May 23, 1956, Tom was ordained after accepting a call to serve as pastor of The Lower Frankford Lutheran Parish, Plainfield, PA, followed by serving at First Lutheran Church in Carlisle, PA.  Moving from parish ministry to serving the wider church, the Baltimore Lutheran Urban Church Planning, a pilot project of three Lutheran Church bodies, called Pastor Weber to serve as the first Executive Director (1962 – 1967.) He then served as Regional Secretary for the Board of American Missions (LCA) followed by service in the Division of Mission in North America (LCA) as deployed staff for the New Jersey Synod.  The Executive Board of the New Jersey Synod (LCA) extended a call to Tom to serve as an Assistant to the President and Assistant to the Bishop. With the formation of the ELCA, the New Jersey Synod Council extended a call to Pastor Weber to continue as an Assistant to the Bishop, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1996. In his letter announcing his retirement, Pastor Weber wrote: “I thank God for all of you and the way in which your faithfulness in Christ has encouraged and strengthened me in my own faithfulness. There is an undeniable depth and richness that is self-evident among the people of God in this Synod. As we go forth in mission we do it with the sure and certain assurance of God’s uplifting presence.” Even in retirement, Tom continued to serve as an interim pastor in local congregations.  He is survived by his wife of 62 years Jeanne; their children James (Jean), John, Joel, and Jennifer, grandchildren and great children. 


March 10, 1943 – August 13, 2017

The Rev. Dr. Murdoch MacPherson, Pastor, Faith, New Providence, entered the Church Triumphant on Sunday, August 13, 2017, while hospitalized at Morristown Medical Center.  Pastor MacPherson, born in New York City, NY, was a graduate of Rutgers University (College of South Jersey), Camden and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (ULS), Philadelphia, PA.  On May 20, 1970, he was ordained in Ocean City, NJ, and called as pastor of Grace, Trenton. A two-point parish partnership with Grace and St. Bartholomew, Trenton, began in 1973, where Mac served both congregations. In 1976, the congregation of Trinity, Dover, extended a call as pastor and he served there until October of 1982. For just under 35 years, Pastor MacPherson served the family of Faith, New Providence.  In 2015, Mac retired as Chair and member of the Candidacy Committee serving more than 30 years  and wrote in his final report to the Synod Assembly, “ . . .  Because of the time and commitment of the folks who share our Candidacy ministry, there are more servants, better prepared, drawing on the resources of the past and moving to the challenge of the future, so that God’s people can live their Baptismal ministry and continue to share the gifts and hope of the Easter message that is ours.”

He is survived by his wife Carolyn and sons Murdoch “Mac” (Jen) and Stephen (Megan), daughter Deborah, and grandchildren Wesley, Andrew and Wyatt.  


July 3, 1918 – August 7, 2017

The Rev. Dr. Glenn H. Rudisill, Retired, entered the Church Triumphant on August 7, 2017 at the age of 99 and while under hospice care.  Pastor Rudisill, born in Sound Beach, CT, was a 1939 graduate of Gettysburg College followed by a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) from Union Theological Seminary, NY, as well as an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Gettysburg College in 1980.  Seventy-five years ago, June 3, 1942, he was ordained by the New York Synod and began his ministry of Word and Sacrament at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Bronx, NY.  In March 1948, he accepted a call as pastor of Our Redeemer, Dumont, where he remained until his retirement October 1, 1985.  During his years in ministry, eleven young people entered the ordained ministry.

Throughout his ministry Dr. Rudisill was active in the life of the greater church, serving as a member of our Synod’s Executive Board, Parish Education, Stewardship, and Strategy Committees. He began serving as Synod Secretary in 1970 and served in that capacity for seventeen years. In his final report to the New Jersey Synod of the Lutheran Church in America Closing Convention in May 1987, Secretary Rudisill wrote: “.  .  . Never in my wildest dreams did I think back in May of 1970, that I would be sending to the LCA office in New York the closing report for the New Jersey Synod (LCA). Merger was only a dream back then. It is with real joy that I thank God for giving me a part in these important days for our Church.”  He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years Harlene (Lynn) in January 1995. Dr. Rudisill is survived by their daughters Cheryl (The Rev. Dr. Richard Little) and Dawn (The Rev. Dr. Fred Robinson), brother The Rev. Dr. Alvin Rudisill, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  

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