Bachman, John (Walter) 1916-2003

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BACHMAN, John (Walter) 1916-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born May 30, 1916, in Youngstown, OH; died of acute leukemia and stroke July 7, 2003, in Minneapolis, MN. Minister, educator, and author. Bachman was a Lutheran minister and former president of Wartburg College who was an expert in communications and was also notable for establishing an important religious radio station in Africa. He earned his undergraduate degree from Capital University in 1937, where he was also a speech instructor from 1939 to 1940. Graduating from Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1940, he was ordained a minister the next year and served at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Warren, Ohio, during the early 1940s. In 1944 he returned to education as a broadcasting instructor at Capital University, followed by a position as a professor of radio and chair of his department at Baylor University. In the early 1950s he established the Radio Voice of the Gospel in Ethiopia, a radio station that survived until 1974, when Emperor Haile Selassie I was overthrown by communists. By then, however, Bachman was already back in the United States. From 1956 to 1964 he was a professor of practical theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and in 1964 he was hired as president of Wartburg College in Iowa. He was there for ten years before moving to Minneapolis to direct the Office of Communication and Mission Support of the American Lutheran Church, from which he retired in 1980. A strong believer in the importance of communicating the church's message to an increasingly sophisticated audience, Bachman was the author of several books about communications and the church, including The Church in the World of Radio-Television (1960), Faith that Makes a Difference, (1984), Media: Wasteland or Wonderland (1985), and Together in Hope: Fifty Years of Lutheran World Relief (1995).



Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), July 10, 2003, p. B6.


ELCA News Service, (July 14, 2003).

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Bachman, John (Walter) 1916-2003

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