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Leading Grace in Lutheranism’s 500th year


As a reverend in the Lutheran church for 21 years, A. David Anglada has been a hospice chaplain, a multicultural leadership director and an assistant to several bishops. His newest title is pastor to the Grace Lutheran Church and school on Hempstead Avenue in Malverne.

Though his installation ceremony takes place in September, Anglada, 60, has started working at Grace, becoming familiar with its operations and getting acquainted with the church’s congregation of 140 families – 70 percent are Malverne residents. “I see my role as providing a spiritual presence for children, family members and parishioners,” said Anglada, the only clergy working full time at the church.

Fluent in both Spanish and English, Anglada was born and raised in Manhattan by his parents — natives of Puerto Rico. The couple moved to Harlem where his father opened two barbershops.

Anglada comes to Grace Lutheran as Lutheranism celebrates its 500th anniversary on Oct. 31. Legend has it that on that date in 1517, Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic monk, posted his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany. The document, which historians see as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, focused on two main beliefs: that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans reach salvation through their faith, not by their deeds.

During the last Sunday in October, Grace Lutheran will acknowledge the Reformation’s major anniversary with programs for adults and children. Details of those ceremonies are still in the planning stages.

The Grace Lutheran School, which is connected to the church through a corridor, is attended by children from more than 250 families residing in Malverne, West Hempstead and the surrounding communities. The school offers classes from pre-k through sixth grade and is attended by more than 300 children.

Prior to Grace Lutheran, Anglada worked full time at the Lutheran Church of the Epiphany in Hempstead. He was also a hospice chaplain for the Visiting Nurse Services of New York in the neighborhoods that were part of his youth: Harlem, East Harlem and Washington Heights.

Anglada also worked for the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Tampa as director of evangelical outreach, and also was an assistant to the bishop in the metropolitan New York synod for seven years. There are 55 synods or dioceses in the ELCA and New York is its largest.