Serving God, Changing Lives

Letter from Michael Rinehard, bishop

Dear Colleagues,   In the hope of the resurrection, we grieve the death of The Rev. Philip L. Wahlberg, Jr. who passed Sunday, May 9, 2021, at age 97.   The Rev. Philip L. Wahlberg is survived by his wife of seventy-four years, Rachel Conrad Wahlberg, son Judge David Wahlberg, son Dr. Chris Wahlberg (Karin), daughter Pauli Gonsoulin RN (Mark), daughter Sharon Wahlberg, sister Marie Kleckley, sister Martha Eastwood (Bob), sister-in-law Kay Conrad plus six grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.   In 1959, Phil was elected President (Bishop) of the Texas-Louisiana Synod of the United Lutheran Church of America and moved to Austin, the site of the synod offices. After a 1962 merger of two branches of the Lutheran church, he became the Bishop of the Lutheran Church of America for Texas and Louisiana. Under his leadership, 63 new congregations were established. He was most happy being the “pastor to the pastors.” In addition to his regional responsibilities, Bishop Wahlberg served on numerous national and international boards and committees.   The family request that any remembrances be made in contributions to Lutheran World Relief. Soli deo Gloria. “To God alone be the Glory.”   A private burial service with the family will be held Saturday, May 15, 2021. Bishop Sue Briner of the Southwestern Texas Synod, where Rev. Wahlberg was rostered, will preside. A public service of celebration of his life will be later this summer.   Please hold the Wahlberg family in prayer as they give thanks for Philip’s life and ministry.   “For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14 Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine…   In Christ, 
Michael Rinehart, bishop Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod 12941 I-45 North Freeway #210 Houston, Texas 77060-1243 Phone: 281.873.5665 Email:


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