Pastor Petrea’s tribute to Pastor Busch

We come now to a remembrance and thanksgiving for the life and witness of the Reverend Robert William Busch. His speech forever revealed that he was born and raised in Brooklyn.  His educational credits included Brooklyn Technical High School, the Cooper Union, and Wagner College in Staten Island.   He earned his Master of Divinity Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

After his first parish service in Tomaqua, Pennsylvania, he went on to serve congregations in Vinton, Virginia; and then Albany, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, and St. Albans in NewYork.  Upon retirement, he moved to North Carolina and became for eight years the pastor of this congregation.  His tenure here became the longest term of any pastor of St. Michael’s since its founding in 1964.

Upon learning of Pastor Busch’s death, several fellow-pastors sent notes of appreciation for his collegiality and for his contribution to the Tuesday morning study group that discussed the coming Sunday’s Scripture lessons. His biblical  scholarship and his breadth of knowledge were much appreciated.  Although he had three heart attacks in his last years, he remained vigorous, alert and always ready to have a pastoral conversation in person or on the phone.  With complete charity, we acknowledge his long phone conversations.

Upon learning of his death, someone left a phone message of appreciation for his scholarship not only of the Bible but world history and the culture of the biblical writings. The message included the marvelous statement of faith that ”heaven has claimed one of its  own.”

A local pastor who attended the Tuesday text studies said she appreciated his sense of humor, his theological insight and his kindness. Another caller remembered Pastor Busch as one of the most influential persons of her childhood .  She said, “I have carried his faith and respect thru all these years of my life.  His impact on  how he helped my life and his memory lives every day.”