NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A minister who oversaw the integration of Lutheran churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama has died at the age of 92.
The Rev. Edgar Homrighausen was born on Long Island in 1924, grew up in New Jersey, and died Friday of natural causes, according to Schoen's Funeral Home in New Orleans.
Homrighausen was elected bishop of the Missouri Synod's Southern District in 1959 - and, at age 35, was the youngest man elected to that position. During his 10 years as bishop, black Lutheran churches in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana were integrated into the formerly all-white Southern District.
Homrighausen moved in 1959 from First English Lutheran Church in New Orleans to St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cullman, Alabama. He moved back to First English in 1965, retiring as bishop in 1969.
He then became administrator of a Lutheran retirement and nursing home in Miami, where he also began a chaplaincy program at Tropical Park Horse Race Track. He brought that program to the Fair Grounds Race Track when he moved back to New Orleans in 1973 as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, where he founded a drug counseling program for youth.
Although he retired in Louisiana in the 1990s, he created and was pastor to a church in Lacombe, and when he moved into an assisted living facility in suburban Slidell, he began a worship service there.
He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Homrighausen, their seven children, 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. His funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Schoen's Funeral Home on Canal Street, with visitation starting at 10 a.m.