Rt. Reverend Dr. Bishop Thomas Laiser of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) North Central Diocese died of cancer on February 7 this year at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC).
The late Bishop Laiser who, apart from his spiritual leadership, is remembered for championing people's welfare and playing a key role in establishing various health and educational facilities in the North Central Diocese.
Dr. Thomas Olmorijoi Laiser was born at Ketumbeine, Monduli District in Arusha Region, on 10th March 1945 and attended Monduli Middle School from 1952 to 1960. He studied at Oldonyo Sambu Seminary between 1965 and 1967 before joining Makumira Lutheran Theological College for a Certificate in Theology from 1968 to 1972.
He was ordained as Pastor at Longido Lutheran Parish on 4th January, 1973 and became Parish Pastor from 1973 to 1976. His first post was Olokii Lutheran Parish. He served as District Pastor between 1977 and 1978 when he was elected Assistant to the President of Synod, a position he held until 1980.
Bishop Laiser obtained his Masters of Theology Degree (STM) at Wartburg Seminary in the United States of America where he studied between 1982 and 1984. From 1980 until 1987 Laiser was installed as President of the Synod in Arusha Region where he served until 4th January, 1987 when he was consecrated and installed first Bishop of the Diocese in Arusha Region later to be known as the North Central Diocese.
He leaves behind a widow, Mary Laiser who together were blessed with five children (one of whom is deceased).