Rev. John Moldstad, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), was suddenly and unexpectedly called to his heavenly home last Friday from an apparent heart attack.
President Moldstad was my classmate and friend, and he has been the president of our sister synod throughout my time as WELS synod president. John was one of the most self-effacing and humble men I have ever known. He loved to tell jokes, often making himself the object of his humor. More important, President Moldstad was a strong defender and promoter of confessional Lutheranism and the teachings of the Scriptures. All who knew him would agree that he was a man with a pastor’s heart.
Our entire synod extends condolences to his wife, Joslyn; to the Moldstad family; and to our brothers and sisters in the ELS. But even in a time of painful loss, we join with them in praising our gracious God for taking another faithful believer to his Savior’s side, where he now knows the perfect joy and peace that Christ won for us and all believers.
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder
Rev. John Moldstad obituary
Rev. John Arthur Moldstad Jr., 66, of Madison Lake, Minn., was called to his heavenly home unexpectedly on Fri., Jan. 29, 2021. He died with the sure hope of eternal life through his Savior Jesus Christ, who promised, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies” (John 11:25).
He was born April 6, 1954, in Bagley, Minn., to Rev. John, Sr. and Gudrun (Madson) Moldstad. He was baptized the same day by his father in the hospital and was confirmed at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minn.
He studied at Bethany Lutheran High School in Mankato for one year before transferring to Martin Luther Academy in New Ulm, Minn., where he met his future wife, Joslyn Marie Wiechmann. John went on to study at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato; Northwestern College in Watertown, Wis.; and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in Mankato. He later completed a Master of Sacred Theology at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis.
John married his high school sweetheart, Joslyn, on July 30, 1977. Their union was blessed with 7 children and 14 grandchildren. He and Joslyn recently moved to their new home on Lake Washington, where they planned to retire. They enjoyed many wonderful memories with their children and grandchildren at the lake.
John was a third generation pastor, serving first as vicar at Bethany Lutheran Church in Princeton, Minn., and then as pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and Faith Lutheran Church in Oregon, Wis. In 1994 he was called to serve as New Testament professor at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. In 2002 he was called to serve as the president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a role in which he served until his death. It was his fervent desire that all come to know their Savior Jesus Christ that through Him they may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
John was preceded in death by his mother, Gudrun, and three infant siblings. He is survived by his wife, Joslyn; his father, John Sr. (June); his brother, Rev. Donald (Gina); his sister, Lois Fick (Paul); his children, Rachel Renee, John Andrew (Amanda), Rev. Matthew James (Joni), Michael John (Annie), Andrea Elizabeth Hopkins (Kyle), Joshua Ryan (Rachel), and Brittany Rachelle Cordes (Tony); and 14 grandchildren, with 2 more on the way.
John was an active member of Peace Lutheran Church in North Mankato, where a funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Sat., Feb. 6, 2021. The committal will immediately follow at Norseland Lutheran Cemetery in St. Peter, Minn. Visitations will be held at Peace Lutheran Church on Fri., Feb. 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Sat., Feb. 6, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The service will be livestreamed and can be viewed at www.peacemankato.com