Rev. Dr. Dan Mattson
After graduating from Concordia Sr. College in Ft. Wayne, 1964, and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1968, I went on to graduate school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where I completed my PhD in Near East Studies (Ancient Near Eastern History and Literature Related to the Old Testament) in 1983. I served as pastor of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, the oldest congregation of the Michigan District of the LCMS. I left St. Thomas in 1974, being called as director of the Church Study Center of the Evangelical Church in Eritrea. One mission call led to another: the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, 1978-82; and The Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, 1984-90, teaching in Lutheran seminaries and pastoral training programs for African students.
In 1991, I was called to St. Louis to serve in the administration of LCMS World Mission, starting with responsibility for theological education programs in mission lands and serving as associate executive director before retirement in 2010. In my work at LCMS World Mission, I worked with five synodical presidents and met Lutheran bishops and church presidents and seminary faculties all over the world.
In retirement since 2010, Concordia Seminary has provided continuing opportunities to serve. I served as the Interim Director of Library Services (2011-13); taught the missionary anthropology course at the seminary on several occasions; co-directed the MissionShift program; and currently serve as academic staff assistant to the committee revising Concordia Seminary’s Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) program for new immigrants wishing to become pastors in the LCMS.
I have served on the board of directors of LBW since 2014.
What I love about this ministry is that LBW serves people who are Blind or Visually Impaired, a part of the world’s population where only a small percentage are Christians, and an even smaller percentage are members of Christian congregations. For the most part, it is not because people who are Blind or Visually Impaired are hostile to the Gospel, but because so few people in the sighted community are sensitive to their spiritual needs. Someone must pay attention to the needs and resources of such communities, and work with them to call all into our Father’s kingdom, and I believe LBW does this. May God bless LBW and all who work to make disciples among these special people, which ties in with my favorite Scripture verse- Matthew 28:19-20.