19-year Society resident talks past and present

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Roger Fjeld
Roger Fjeld

Roger Fjeld would gladly sit and talk history with you. After all, it’s what he’s spent most of his 88 years thinking about and studying.

Roger is an Iowa farm kid, a 1959 graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, and the holder of both a master’s degree in Reformation and Renaissance history and a doctorate in American intellectual history from the University of Colorado Boulder.

He’s a former faculty member and president of Wartburg, as well, serving in the latter role from 1983 to 1999—a time of great change for Lutheranism at large in the United States.

In fact, while president of the seminary, Roger was an observer at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) Constituting Convention in 1987, where three separate church bodies merged to become the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. Despite the shrinking number of Lutheran seminaries nationwide during this period, Wartburg, with Roger at the helm, remained as one of seven institutions producing pastors for the ELCA.

When he retired in 1999, Roger and his wife, Marilyn, moved from Dubuque to their vacation condo in Estes Park, CO. Not long after the move, their future home—Good Samaritan Society—began to establish roots in the community.

A deeper connection

As a reverend and church historian, it would make sense for Roger to take some interest in the story of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society and its founder, Reverend August “Dad” Hoeger. But for several reasons, Roger’s interest goes beyond key dates and names.