Dr Elmore Leske
Elmore Leske was born in Rainbow, Victoria, on 4 April 1928. He was the son of Pastor G A Leske and Mrs Alma Leske, nee Tepper.
At the age of eleven, he began his secondary education at Concordia College, determined to begin the study of the many languages required for ministry in the Lutheran Church. Greek, Latin and German became his delight. He also excelled there in sports, where at one time or another, he captained the school teams in athletics, cricket, football, and tennis.
He entered the University of Adelaide at the age of 15, graduating early in 1947 with a BA. His seminary studies began the same year, but were interrupted by his appointment as a teacher at the college for the years 1948–49. He graduated from Concordia Seminary at the end of 1952, and was ordained in Rainbow in January of the next year.
After his ordination, he was called to serve Bethlehem congregation in Adelaide.
He married Pamela Wilksch in April 1953, and they were blessed with four children—a daughter, Judith, and three sons, Peter, Jonathan and Robin.
In 1957, he returned to Concordia College as a teacher, studying for his Diploma in Secondary Education in the evenings. From the beginning of 1960, he served as headmaster, remaining in the post for eight years.
In 1968, he accepted a call from the Lutheran Church in England to serve as praeceptor of Westfield House, Cambridge. He became a member of senior faculty in the school of divinity at the University of Cambridge, and also completed an MA in Divinity during this time.
Back in Adelaide, he was lecturer and vice-principal of the Lutheran Teachers College from 1977 to 1989. He was called to Luther Seminary as a lecturer in 1990.
At his retirement in 1996, it was written about him:
Dr Leske’s contribution to the life and work of Luther Campus has been immense. His classroom work has embraced everything from Greek and Latin, to Patristics and church history, as well as worship. In addition he has served as dean of chapel and musical director of the campus choir. All his work has been approached with gusto, passion and a commitment to excellence. The faculty of Concordia Seminary, St Louis, rightly recognised his contribution to theological education and his services as secretary for the church’s Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations by awarding him an honorary doctorate in 1993.
Since his retirement, he has continued to find pleasure and relaxation in gardening, and confesses to a certain fanaticism about growing orchids, ‘a hobby in which there is always God-created reward.’
ALC positions held
- Lecturer, Lutheran Teachers College, 1977–1989
- Vice-Principal, Lutheran Teachers College, 1977–1989
- Lecturer, Luther Seminary, 1990–1996
Qualifications in detail
- BA (University of Adelaide, 1947)
- DipEd(Sec) (University of Adelaide, 1960)
- MA(Div) (University of Cambridge, 1977)
- DD (Concordia Seminary, St Louis, 1994)
Papers and publications
Concordia 100 years, Murtoa-Adelaide: a history of Concordia College, Adelaide, Concordia College, Highgate SA.
Chi Rho Commentary, Commentary on the Pastoral Letters, Openbook, Adelaide SA.
‘1 Timothy 2:8–15: a paper presented to the Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations’, Lutheran Church of Australia, North Adelaide SA.
‘The mystery of Luther’s 95 Theses on indulgences’, Lutheran Theological Journal 20/2&3, 81–96.
‘Feasability study re establishing a Lutheran secondary school in the Barossa’, with T. T. Reuther, Lutheran Church of Australia, North Adelaide SA.
‘Montanism’, Lutheran Theological Journal 15/1&2, 79–85.
‘Some reflections, comments and suggestions on current trends in liturgy and worship’, Lutheran Theological Journal 12/1, 13–17.
‘Tertullian and Origen on the doctrine of the Trinity’, Lutheran Theological Journal 9/2, 42–53.