Robert Moore is a rostered pastor in the ELCA serving Global Missions in Leipzig and Wittenberg where he is director of the ELCA Wittenberg Center.
In the summer of 2017 the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD) reached out to the ELCA to collaborate on worship materials in German and English to assist congregations who wish to observe the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continues to be an important figure in Germany. In 1964 he preached in both West Berlin and East Berlin (Marienkirche) to enthusiastic crowds. His stance against oppression and his commitment to non-violent resistance deeply impressed the German leaders, especially in East Germany. King had been invited to preach by the famous Nazi resistance leader Heinrich Grüber who was Provost (superintendent) of the church district in East Berlin.
Germany also played a role in the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. who has born and named Michael King. During a visit to Germany the father, Michael King, had become deeply impressed by Martin Luther, the inspired and inspiring leader of the 16th Century Reformation. It was Luther’s understanding of freedom that motivated the father to change his name from Michael King, Sr. to Martin Luther King, Sr. At the same time he announced to his son that he also had a new name, Martin Luther King, Jr.
As director of the ELCA Wittenberg Center I set out to work with the Office of Worship (Kevin Strickland), and two theologians, Prof. Craig Nessan (Wartburg Seminary) and Dean Kathryn “Kit” Kleinhans (Trinity Seminary) to gather materials that could be posted on ELCA synodical and congregational websites. The Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations (Kathryn Lohre) has also worked with us in this project.
The materials are available at
A service is scheduled for April 23 in the Sophienkirche in Berlin. I will participate in that service.