Rev. Dr. Nelson Unwene, LHF Translator, Called Home to Heaven March 22, 2024

The Lutheran Church of Nigeria lost a stalwart professor of the faith and the LHF lost one of its premiere translators when Rev. Dr. Nelson Unwene was called to glory on Feb. 24. “May Dr. Unwene rest in the Lord’s peace,” said Rev. Dr. Matthew Heise, executive director of the Lutheran Heritage Foundation. “His work will live on in teaching the Church!”

At the time of his death, Rev. Unwene had finished translating the Formula of Concord into the Efik language, which will be published by LHF by mid-2024.

“The news of our brother, Dr. Nelson Unwene, passing away truly gives pause to the shortness of our days and certainly delivers a blow to the concerted efforts he made to keep the message of the Scriptures and confessions on a straight course in Nigeria,” said Rev. Robert Rahn, founder of LHF who first started working with Rev. Unwene in the early 2000s. “Loyalty to the doctrine of the church was beginning to erode in certain parts of the church, and his principled Lutheran theology was being upheld and espoused through his teaching at the seminary. Dr. Unwene made many sacrifices in order to maintain his role in getting the Lutheran basic theological books into the hands of people. He also found a way to have his family involved in the LHF mission so that they had a road to maintain their course of life. His work will be remembered as a great labor of love and deep sacrifice for the church and LHF. His home became a great center for Lutheranism as he toiled so diligently and thoroughly for the survival of Lutheranism in his country. He was a true man of God, whose life was poured out in service to his Lord and Savior.

“The statement ‘he will be missed,’ is spoken with deep sadness and in love for the family he leaves behind,” Rev. Rahn concluded.

“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!  Yes, says the Spirit, let them rest from their hard work, for what they have done accompanies them.” 

Revelation 14:13

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