A Missouri Synod Lutheran official is being asked to lead what is intended to be the most intensive and far-reaching evangelistic effort ever attempted in North America.
He is the Reverend Dr. Theodore A. Raedeke of St. Louis, who has been secretary of evangelism for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Members of the Key 73 Central Committee chose Raedeke in a unanimous standing vote during a St. Louis meeting December 7.
Key 73 is the name given to the varied, year-long evangelistic project planned for 1973 all across the United States and Canada. Most of America’s leading denominations are officially represented in preparational meetings.
“We feel that a coordinated, concerted focus on evangelism is long overdue and that the right time has come,” Raedeke said. “A climate for evangelism has been established. People are becoming more and more concerned.”
As executive director of Key 73 Raedeke will head a newly established national office in St. Louis. He is to assume the new job as soon as he can work out a transition from his duties with the Missouri Synod.
The Key 73 idea grew out of a series of consultations inspired by an editorial in the June 9, 1967, issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. The “key” comes from the locale of the first consultations—a motel on the Virginia end of the Key Bridge across the Potomac River from Washington, D. C. (the bridge was named after Francis Scott Key, author of the “Star-Spangled Banner”; he was a devout evangelical who had an important role in the spread of the Sunday-school movement during the nineteenth century).
Raedeke said that “under God Key 73 could be the greatest thing that has happened to our churches in this generation. Our goal is to confront people more fully and forcefully with the ...1
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