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Pastor marks 50 years in ministry

WARREN — The Rev. Eugene Koene, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, is observing his 50th anniversary of ordination with a service at 10 a.m. Oct. 31.

Koene, a Sheboygan, Wisconsin, native, began his preparation for the ministry at the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis where he received his Master of Divinity in 1971.

He served a parish internship at St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Bronx from 1969 to 1970.

Koene was ordained on July 18, 1971, at his home church, Trinity Lutheran, Wilson Township, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Following ordination, he served as pastor at Holy Comforter Lutheran Church in St. Louis from 1971 to 1979.

He married Stella Brown, a Lutheran deaconess and native of New Orleans, and they had two sons.

Keone served at churches in Toledo and in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2000, Koene took a leave from parish ministry and gained temporary employment with a housing ministry and parish liaison with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

In 2002, he took a position as chaplain of Seafarers International House in New York City, which is a haven for seafarers and international tourists, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

During this time, he took steps toward a transition from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Upon being accepted to that body in 2006, he accepted a call to St. Thomas Lutheran Church, a multiethnic congregation in the Bronx. He remained there until it closed in 2012.

In 2013, Koene accepted a call to a team ministry with Hope Lutheran Parish, a coalition of four churches in Trumbull County, including Emmanuel Lutheran.

When the coalition dissolved, Koene remained with two of the churches, Messiah-Newton Falls and St. Mark-Warren until 2018 when he accepted a call to Emmanuel Lutheran in Warren. He was installed in June 2019.

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