Mission Province in Sweden’s first bishop enters into glory

by | Mar 13, 2024

Bishop Arne Olsson.

SWEDEN – The Mission Province (Missionsprovinsen i Sverige – MP) in Sweden is mourning the death of their first bishop, Arne Olsson, who entered into glory on March 12, 2024. He was 93 years old.

Bishop Olsson was first ordained in 1962 and served much of his ministry as a pastor in the Church of Sweden (SK). He was consecrated as the Mission Province’s first bishop on February 5, 2005 by Bishop Walter Obare of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya. In response, the Church of Sweden disqualified him from further service in the SK. The Mission Province was initially founded as a confessional movement within the Church of Sweden, serving as a refuge for pastoral candidates who continued to uphold the authority of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

Bishop Olsson led the Mission Province from 2005-2010, overseeing the expansion of its work in Sweden as well as into Finland. He completed his service on March 27, 2010, when he consecrated Bishop Roland Gustafsson as his successor.

Bishop Arne Olsson at his consecration in 2005.

Asked once what he considered the Mission Province’s most important issue, Bishop Olsson said simply: “That Jesus Christ is proclaimed to the people of Sweden. There are so many who do not get to hear about Jesus.”

“We remember with gratitude his devoted service during a very important part of the history of the Mission Province,” said current MP Bishop Bengt Ådahl. “His motto ‘To obey God more than men’ testifies to the loyalty and love for the Lord that drove him.”

Bishop Ådahl has invited church members to remember Bishop Olsson’s wife, children, and their families in prayer at this time of grief.

“We thank the Lord for Bishop Arne and shine peace on his memory,” he concluded. “May he rest in peace and rise in glory!”


By Mathew Block

Mathew Block is Communications Manager for the International Lutheran Council. He is also editor of The Canadian Lutheran magazine, and formerly served as Communications Manager for Lutheran Church–Canada.

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