Since the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA) was invited in December 2009 by its partner church, the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (LCSA), to become a member of the Lutheran Theological Seminary (LTS) in Tshwane, we have been actively involved both in the administration and funding of the LTS. Although the long term goal of the FELSISA has always been that its own students of theology should study at the LTS, this goal has (with the exception of attending a few classes) not been realised yet, since its students continue to make use of opportunities provided by partner churches abroad to study there, in particular at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule (LThH) in Oberursel, Germany. That being said, this has not diminished the FELSISA’s involvement at the LTS, which – at this stage – is largely seen as one of its mission projects to be actively supported in its endeavour to become an accredited institution not only for students of the LCSA and the FELSISA, but of students from Lutheran Churches throughout Africa that do not have an own seminary and cannot afford the tuition fees of tertiary education.
From 2009 to 2010 Dr. Dieter Reinstorf served on the LTS Board of Directors (BOD). After being elected Bishop of the FELSISA, Dr. Reinstorf was replaced on the BOD in 2011 by Pastor Matthias Albers, then pastor in Pretoria and since 2012 pastor in Panbult. Pastor Albers served on the BOD with distinction and commitment. At the end of 2017 Pastor Albers, who needed to make a return trip of 700km from Panbult to Pretoria to attend BOD meetings, indicated that he wished to step down should the FELSISA manage to find an able replacement for him.
Bishop Dr. Reinstorf approached Mr. Hugo Meyer (Pretoria) to serve on the BOD, based in particular on his management skills and his active involvement over many years in the local German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul’s Congregation in Arcadia, only two streets away from the LTS.
Mr. Hugo Meyer is a successful farmer near Skeerpoort outside of Pretoria, serving the pig and meat industries in various capacities. His management skills are unique. He regards not his farm, but rather his staff as his most important asset. In contrast to many other farmers in South Africa, he has managed to build his farming enterprise into a sizable business by transferring skills to his staff members. His leadership style is one of inclusion and empowering others, even if such a practice can lead to initial disappointments and mistakes being made. But the long term achievements always outweigh the short term successes.
Apart from running his business, Mr. Meyer also served on the St. Paul’s church council twice, from 1992 to 1997 and 2010 to 2014.
Mr. Meyer is a valuable asset on the BOD of the LTS. The FELSISA is most grateful that he accepted this position and is confident that his input and hard work will serve the LTS well.