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The Hickory Declaration

regarding the Apostolic and Catholic Faith, the Model of Creation, and the ELCA Sexuality Study

Out of a sense of deep compassion for those who struggle with homosexual orientation, and desiring for them the fullness of life in Christ, and in the communion of the Body of Christ:

We declare that the apostolic and catholic faith revealed in Holy Scripture teaches and affirms, in both Old and New Testaments, the model of creation as male and female [1]; and,

We declare, that the Lutheran Confessions also teach the model of creation as male and female [2]; and,

We declare, that the Constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commits "this church" to Scripture as the Word of God "the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and  life."  [3], and to the Lutheran Confessions as "a true witness to the Gospel", and "valid inter-pretations of the faith of the Church" [4] and to an understanding of the "Nature of the Church" as being, "in length… in the historic continuity of the communion of saints" [Chapter 3.02], i.e., one with the Church of all times and all places, faithful to the faith and practice of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church; and,

We declare, that the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church has -in all times and all places -affirmed the model of creation as male and female, and has upheld the sexual ethic of faithfulness within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage [5]; and therefore,

We declare, that the doctrine of the model of creation as male and female is subsumed within the "Confession of Faith,"[Chapter 2, Constitution of the ELCA], and therefore not dependent upon "study" or subject to vote; and further,

We declare, that the sexual ethic of fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage is faithful to the faith and practice of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and is subsumed within the "Nature of the Church", [Chapter 3, Constitution of the ELCA], and is therefore also not dependent upon "study" or subject to vote.

Clergy Subscribers

(To ad your name send an email to Rev. Paul V. Abbe at PrAbbe@aol.com; Include your name, address and (email address for confirmation purposes)

Rev. Dr. Carl Fisher, Bishop Emeritus, Lutheran Church of Malaysia & Singapore, Charlotte, NC

Rev. Dr. Michael McDaniel, Bishop Emeritus, North Carolina Synod, Hickory, NC

Rev. George Paul Mocko, Bishop Emeritus, Delaware-Maryland Synod,

Rev. Ken Sauer, Bishop Emeritus, Southern Ohio Synod,

Rev. Dr. Christopher Hershman, Pastor, St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown, PA, (President of Evangelical Lutheran Confessing Fellowship, Editor, Kairos News; also Licensed Psychologist)

Rev. Dr. J. Larry Yoder, Director, Center for Theology, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC

Rev. Dr. Paul Hinlicky, Professor, Roanoke College, Roanoke,VA

Rev. Dr. Carl Heinrich A. Schmutzler, Pastor & Pfarrer, Old Zion Lutheran Church Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA

Rev. Dr. Ronald C Yergey, Pastor, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Allentown PA

Rev. Dr. Robert D. Kitchen, Pastor, United Lutheran Church, Lock Haven, PA

Rev. Dr. Michael Tavella, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Abington, PA

Rev. Dr. Loyd Ginn, Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Faith, NC, (NC Synod Candidacy Committee)

Rev. Dr. K. Robert Schmitt

Rev. Dr. Clyde J. Christmas, Exec. Director, Lutheran Retirement Ministries, Burlington, NC

Rev. Dr. Gil Gilbert, Pastor, Hosanna! Lutheran Church, Charlotte, NC

Rev. Dr. Marcus Hovis, Pastor, New Hope Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, NC

Rev. Mark A. Fischer, Pastor, Saron and Berea Lutheran Churches, Youngsville, PA, (Asst. to the Bishop, Northwestern Penn. Synod)

Rev. Russell E. Saltzman, Pastor, Ruskin Heights Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Missouri, (Editor, Forum Letter)

Rev. Frederick J. Schumacher, Pastor, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, White Plains, NY, (Exec. Director, American Lutheran Publicity Bureau; Editor, For All the Saints)

Rev. Richard Niebanck, (retired), Delhi, NY

Rev. Andrew Weisner, Campus Pastor, Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC, (NC Synod Campus Ministry Committee)

Rev. George Simmons, Pastor, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Andrews, NC, (NC Synod Council)

Rev. Elizabeth Toler, Pastor, Bethel Lutheran Church, Lincolnton, NC, (NC Synod Consultation Committee, Dean, Southwestern Conference)

Rev. William S. Ketchie, Pastor, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC, (NC Synod Stewardship Committee)

Rev. Thomas Corbell, Pastor, St. John's Lutheran Church, Statesville, NC

Rev. Louis R. Fawcett, III, Pastor, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC

Rev. Rammy Lybrand, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Gastonia, NC

Rev. David Huddle, Pastor, Becks Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lexington, NC

Rev. Woodrow Frick, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC

Rev. James Dougherty, Interim Pastor, Advent Lutheran, Spindale, NC

Rev. Richard Boger, Pastor, Saint Michael Lutheran Church, High Point, NC (Director Saint Thomas Net Ministry)

Rev. C. Jason Sigmon, Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hickory, NC

Rev. Robert F. Mitschke, Pastor, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Richfield, NC

Rev. James Zimmerman, Pastor, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Conover, NC

Rev. Ronald W. Fink, Pastor, St. John's Lutheran Church, Cherryville, NC.

Rev. Carl M. Haynes, Pastor, Christiana Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC

Rev. Floyd Bost, Pastor, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Gold Hill, NC

Rev. David Mielke, Pastor, St. John's Lutheran Church, Lenoir, NC

Rev. John E. Priest, Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Delhi, NY

Rev. Beth Schlegel, Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, York, PA

Rev. Paul V. Abbe, Assoc. Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC

Rev.'s Richard and Ruth Ballard, Pastors, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Millersburg, PA 17061

Rev. James F. Peters, Pastor, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Racine, WI

Rev. Paul Lundmark, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Hockessin, DE

Rev. J. Thomas Shelley, Pastor, Zion (Shaffer's) United Lutheran Church, Seven Valleys, PA

Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, Pastor, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Peoria, IL

Rev. Henry Pawluck, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, CT

Rev. James Culver, Pastor, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Stendal, IN

Rev. Cathy Ammlung, Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Sykesville,MD

Rev. Steve Shipman, Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Watsontown, PA

Rev. John P. Kline, Pastor, St. John Slovak Lutheran Church, Nanticoke, PA

Rev. George Weinman, Pastor, Roseville Lutheran Church, Roseville, MN 55113

Rev. Allan Oman, Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Monticello, IL

Rev. Kristian T. Baudler, Pastor, St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Bay Shore, Bay Shore, NY

Rev. Edward C. Schmidt, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Runnemede, NJ

Rev. David Lund, Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Redmond, WA

Rev. Richard Melheim, Founder, "FaithInkubators", Stillwater, MN

Rev. Walter R. Riedel, STM, Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ft. Myers, FL

The Rev. Paul Buzzard, Pastor, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Friedensburg, PA

Rev. Frederick G. Keller, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Franklin, PA

Rev. John A. Wood, Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Venus, PA

Rev. John Thompson, Pastor, Bethel Lutheran Church, Danville, IL

Rev. Timothy P. Anderson, Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Roanoke, Virginia 24016

Rev. Carl Buettemeier, Pastor, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, White Bear Lake, MN

Rev. Gary Hatcher, Pastor, St. Peter Lutheran Church, Greene, IA

Rev. Paul Owens, Senior Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Alpena, MI

Rev.  Kurt Jensen, Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran, Alpena, MI

Rev. Howard Stewart, Pastor, Detroit Lakes, MN

Rev. Edward A. Livingstone, Louden, TN

Rev. Dr. Paul Braafaldt, (retired), Seattle, WA

Dr. Wolf D. Knappe, (retired), Elmhurst, IL

Rev. Carl Werner (retired), Bethlehem, Pa

Rev. Donald R. Poole, Jr (retired), Horse Shoe, NC

Rev. Donald R. Olsen, St. Cloud, MN

Rev. Norman P. Olsen, Starbuck, MN

Rev. Jack Smith (retired), Cherryville, NC

Rev.Glenn Reichey, Salisbury , NC

Rev. William T. Walton, (retired), St. Paul's Lutheran, Millersburg, PA

Rev. Richard L. Carlson Miesel, STS, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Oxford, Connecticut.

Rev.. Keith H. Eslinger, STS, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Camp Hill, PA

Rev. J. Lawrence Barksdale, Pastor, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Columbus, GA

Rev. Michael Edwards-Ronning, Pastor, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Willingboro, NJ

Rev. Ralph A. Boyer IV, Pastor, Christ Hamilton United Lutheran Church, Stroudsburg, PA

Rev. Roy A. Harrisville III, Ph.D., Executive Director, Solid Rock Lutherans, Inc., St. Paul, MN

Rev. Randy Freund, Faith Lutheran Church, Hutchinson MN

Rev. Norman L. Freund, Fremont, Ne

Rev. Timothy P. Larson, Calvary Lutheran Church, Willmar, MN

Rev. Paul Gausmann, Pastor Saint Paul Lutheran Church, West Manchester Township PA

Rev. James T. Lehmann, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Thomasboro, Illinois

Rev. Marshall E. Hahn, Pastor, Marion & Norway Lutheran Churches, St. Olaf, Iowa

Pastor Tony A. Metze, Sumter, S.C.

Rev. Eric Burtness, Senior Pastor, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Beaverton, Oregon

Rev. Gerald D. Cantrell, Retired, Lexington, Ky

Rev. Dennis J. Lauritsen, Pastor, Sts. Peter and Paul Lutheran Church, Slovak Zion Synod, Riverside, Illinois.

Rev. Erma Seaton Wolf, Associate Pastor, Brandon-Split Rock Lutheran Parish, Brandon South Dakota

Rev. Dr. Mark A. Graham, Senior Pastor, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Roanoke, Virginia

The Rev. William F. Kirsh-Carr, Interim Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Sterling Heights, Michigan

Rev. Gib Botten, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Dodge City, KS

Rev. Michael McCarthy, Dean, Mid-Arkansas Conference of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod, pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Rev. Charles B. Carlson (Chuck), Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Sacramento, Ca.

Rev. Dr. Jeff Romer, serving under I/K Synod call to specialized ministry at LFSK, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Rev. Bradley F. Larson, Pastor, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Nassau, MN (SW MN Synod)

Rev. Dr. Brian Hughes, Lead Pastor, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Columbia, MD (former assistant to the bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod)

Rev. David W. Brobston, Pastor, St. James Lutheran Church, Jackson, Michigan

The Rev. Donald D. Rieder, (retired) St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church (interim pastor) Savannah, GA

Rev. Michael J. Huntley, Pastor, The Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Morristown, TN

Rev. Heidi R. Kvanli, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD

Rev. Lon Kvanli, East Side Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls SD

Rev. Morton P. Talbot, retired ELCA pastor, Henderson, Nevada.

Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten, Sun City West, Arizona

Rev. Bruce Lundberg, Pastor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Auburn, California

Rev. Lynn A. DeYoung, Pastor, New Life Lutheran Church, Helena, Montana

Rev. Frederik V. Jensen, Pastor (Visitation), Bethel Lutheran Church, Willmar, Minnesota

Rev. Eric Jonas Swensson, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, New Rochelle, NY

Rev. N. Dean Haferman, Grace Ev. Lutheran Church, West Carrollton, Ohio

The Rev. Allen R. Riethmiller, Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, West Newton, Pa.

Congregations who have Subscribed - Updated 2/4/04

Congregation Council, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC, (Mr. Tim Deal, President)

Congregation Council and Congregation, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Alpena, MI

Congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Thomasboro, IL,

Lay Subscribers - Updated (6-14-2004)

Mrs. Marjorie McDaniel, Hickory, NC

Mrs. Marie Abbe, Grace Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC

Mrs. Jane Livingstone, Louden, TN

Mrs. Verda Stewart, Detroit Lakes, MN

Mr. Joseph Mornier, Zion Lutheran Church, Hickory, NC

Mr. & Mrs. Bill Ghent, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Whiteville, NC

Mr. John Marks, Ebenezer Lutheran Church, China Grove, NC

Mr. & Mrs. Gorden Koehler, Grace Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC

Mr. & Mrs. Tom Hemma, Grace Lutheran Church, Raleigh, NC

Mr. Ryan Schwartz, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, McLean, VA

John M. Hudson, St. Philip Evangelical Lutheran Church, Roanoke, VA

Mike Bennett, St. James Lutheran, Lake Forest, IL

Susan Tolton, Holy Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Abington, PA

Kurt Weinelt, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, San Antonio, TX

Patricia R. Weinelt, San Antonio, TX

Fuad & Kathy Rihani, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Alexandria, VA

Dr. and Mrs. M. Roy Schwarz, Irvington, NY

Dann Keiser, Faith Lutheran Church, Otterbein, IN

Don and Mable Plueger, Augusta, GA

Carl and Beverly Weis, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Augusta, GA

Elizabeth Guertin, Roseville, MN

Ronald M. Jensen, Ph.D., Villa Park, IL

Daniel C. Ottmers, San Antonio, TX

Ron & Margery Jaschob

Vicki Hollmig, St. Paul Lutheran Church, New Braunfels, TX

Ralph Martin, St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church, Brenham, TX

Dennis Durand, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN

Ramona Olsen, Starbuck,Mn

Donald and Rosalie Rosholt

Paul Haffly, Mableton, GA

Paul L. Conrad, Christ The King Lutheran Church of Mankato, MN

Marsha Hantge, Hutchinson MN

Gary Nuss, Seminarian, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg

Boni Schanil, Faith Lutheran Church, Hutchinson MN

Jerry L. Shinn, member, Lakeside Lutheran VA. Synod

Corrye M. Hatchell, Lakeside Lutheran Church, Littleton, NC.

John A Pless - Conover NC

Betty T Pless - Conover NC

Jeff and Jenny Houser, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, Hickory, NC

Margaret Rasmussen, Lombard, IL 60148

Gail M Brown, Salem Lutheran Church, Ironwood, MI 49938

Kenneth and Margaurite Wiele, Ironwood, MI 49938

Linda & Earl Kothman, Salem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN

Marlene & John Sargent. Salem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN

Wendy and Greg Norman, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud, MN

Linnea M. Werner, Member of Grace Lutheran Church, Gwinn, MI

Linda M. Haynes, Salisbury, NC 28147

Glenn Wall and Sue Wall, Christiana Lutheran Church, Salisbury, NC 28146

and then, there was this one:

Dear Pr. Abbe,

Being on Dr. Hershman's Kairos News Service mailing list, I have received the copy of The North Carolina Declaration.

It seems to me it puts the finger on the heart of the matter, namely, that the historic understanding of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions on human sexuality totally nullifies the attempts of the ELCA leadership to open the sexual floodgates to homosexuals.

It is my hope and prayer your Declaration will undercut this unscriptural, unconfessional attempt to subvert the historic Christian teaching on human sexuality. Dr. Hershman indicated it was possible for interested persons to sign the Declaration. I am living and working in Prague, Czech Republic.Would that create a problem?

"Rejoicing in hope,"

John Novotney

(For identification only: I am English language editor for the Czech Academy of Sciences.)


[1] "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." [Gen 1:27]; "He answered, 'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" ' "[Matt. 19:4,5]

[2] "God created man as male and female according to Gen. 1:27" [Augsburg Confession XXIII, 5], "Gen. 1:28 teaches that men were created to be fruitful and that one sex should have a proper desire for the other... this love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance" [Apology of the Augsburg Confession XXIII, 7]; and affirm that no human power can alter a divine ordinance, "For God's ordinance and Word cannot be changed or altered by human beings" [Large Catechism, Baptism, 60]

[3] "This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life."[Chapter 2.03](emphasis added)

[4] "This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel... This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord... as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church" [Chapter 2.05, Chapter 2.06]

[5] "If a church were to let itself be pushed to the point where it ceased to treat homosexual activity as a departure from the biblical norm, and recognized homosexual unions as a personal partnership of love equivalent to marriage, such a church would stand no longer on biblical ground, but against the unequivocal witness of Scripture. A church that took this step would cease to be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic."

Wolfhart Pannenberg, Zeitwende, Jan. '94 (Translation by Rev. Leonard R. Klein, Lutheran Forum, Feb, '96)