Pastor Lou Dunkle: A man of faith in God, Jesus, heaven and good will

A Cherry Hill resident, Pastor Dunkle has had a profound impact on the local community.


Special to the Sun

“I believe in a God who is omnipotent, and omni-patient with what his creatures have done with his creation,” said Pastor Lou Dunkle with enthusiastic resolve. “There are many theories on creation but I think there must be a mind greater than any other that could put this world of humans, animals, vegetables and minerals together, as well as a complete solar system.

“I believe in the resurrection. For me, what David and Jesus said millennia ago are foundations of my faith. David wrote in Psalms: ‘We walk through the valley of the shadow of death to live in the house of the Lord forever.’ Jesus said to the repented thief on the cross: ‘Today you shall be with me in paradise.’”

For retired (but still very active) Lou Dunkle, these are guidelines for his very rich life and the message of faith he has imparted to many hundreds for decades. Lou, 75, a Cherry Hill resident and a member of the 65 Club for several years, was pastor at Haddonfield’s Lutheran Church of our Savior from 1986–2005.

Pastor Lou believes that most human beings lead extraordinary lives with good deeds toward their fellow man, but there are exceptions (e.g., Stalin and Hitler, who each slaughtered millions). Lou’s thoughtful response: “Free will. God created us in his image, but not an identical image. We have the freedom to disobey. Some call it ‘sin,’ so there is potential for good and evil.”

Although a man of God, Lou also enjoys earthly pleasures — family, baseball and opportunities to preach on Sundays to Lutheran congregations across New Jersey.

A native of Gloucester City, Lou and his wife Carleen have been married for more than 52 years. They have three adult children and four grandchildren, and get to see them as frequently as possible.

Then there is baseball. Lou is an active baseball player. He hits, he runs, he fields (third base), and plays the game with similar seniors with a wild joy of youth.

“I love baseball,” Lou exclaimed with excitement, “and if I live to a 100, I will still be playing.”

Wife Carleen makes the claim that if Lou dies at 100, crossing second base, and heading for third on the way to a triple, he will surely ascend to baseball heaven, but only credited with a double!

Recently Lou participated in games in Arizona and Florida, including the “Roy Hobbs” world series in Fort Meyers, where he also visited with two of his three children who live in Florida.

Religion, family, baseball, the 65 Club, occasional golf, plus practicing take-offs and landings and flying imaginary trips via “Flight Simulator” on his computer keep Lou busy.

As for faith, in the now and hereafter, Pastor Lou offers this prescription: “Live life to the fullest each day, and after life on Earth is complete, look forward to the place with God that follows.”

If you are interested in joining the Haddonfield 65 Club, call Bill Brown at (856) 429–4368, or email him at for further information.