Anel G. Fjellman Papers

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ELCA 2.3.6

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Anel G. Fjellman Papers



4 boxes

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Contains documents pertaining to the life of A.G. “Gib” Fjellman. Included in the collection are correspondence, congregational information, letters of call, sermons, and news articles.

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Biographical Note

The Reverend Dr. Anel Gilbert “Gib” Fjellman was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on April 27, 1917, the third of four children of Swedish immigrants, Anders Gustaf and Huldah Cornelia Fjellman. His father died in late 1918, so that Gib and his siblings were raised as a single parent family. Baptized and confirmed at Saron Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, he attended Augustana College from 1938 until 1942. He graduated from Augustana Lutheran Seminary in 1945.

On December 28, 1943, he married Lorine Cecelia Hoeger. Gib and his younger brother were ordained on June 10, 1945, with sixty other young seminarians at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline, Illinois. The class text was II Timothy 1:7 “God did not give us the spirit of timidity but of power and of love and of self control.” Later that month, Gib and Ceil moved west to Sun Valley, CA where Gib had been called to serve a mission parish (St. Michael’s) which met – first in their home, then later in a tent, then in a new church building. Daughter Ruth came into Gib and Ceil’s life during their time in Sun Valley. Gib worked ecumenically with clergy from Baptist, Methodist and Four Square Gospel traditions in order to reach the unchurched.

The family left California in 1952 when Gib accepted a call as second pastor to Lutheran church of the Good shepherd Duluth, Minnesota. Son Jon came into the Fjellman family in early 1953. Gib’s gifts for mission and evangelism work were put to good use, when three years later he was called back to the West coast as Regional Directory of American Missions for the Augustana Lutheran Church. He traveled much during this time, assisting pastors who were beginning new congregations, selecting sites and developing budgets in all of California and Arizona. Ultimately he became responsible also for the same work in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Upon the Lutheran merger in 1962 that resulted in the Lutheran Church in America, Gib was elected President of the LCA’s Pacific Northwest Synod. In the autumn of 1962 the family moved to their home in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. Gib and Ceil have been members of Magnolia Lutheran Church since that time. Gib’s years as Synod President (after 1980, and Synod Bishop) saw many changes in both the church and the region. Gib traveled much around the five-state synod, keeping in regular touch with the pastors under his charge. He was truly a pastor’s pastor.

The years that followed his retirement in 1983 were years of continued service to both the Lutheran and the ecumenical communities. Among his activities included service as Chairman of the LCA’s Division of Professional Leadership, ELCA World Mission Interpreter (together with Ceil), Director of Continuing Education at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, and ELCA Appeals Committee. He was called to serve as interim president of several church institutions, including Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota, Lutheran Bible Institute tin Issaquah, WA and Trinity Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. With a group colleagues he organized the Pacific Northwest Lutheran History Days that have been held twice annually since 1992. His humor and sense of good order were treasured at the weekly pastors’ periscope study group at St John Lutheran Church, Seattle.

He died on Thursday morning, January 20, and Swedish Hospital, Seattle, of complications from pneumonia. Gib is survived by his loving wife Ceil, daughter Ruth, son Joh (wife Teri) and grandchildren Keely, Kaurie and Kelsey; his sister Burnice; and his brother, Dr. Carl Fjellman (wife Caroline).

(from Memorial bulletin)

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