The senior vice-president of the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil, the Rev. Homero Severo Pinto, who had been tipped as a future head of his denomination, has died at the age of 58 after contracting malaria in Africa. “We will miss him for his support, his friendship and his collegiality. Many people saw him as hope for the future of our church,” said the church’s president, the Rev. Walter Altmann in an April 28 statement issued by the Gustav-Adolf-Werk, a German-based association that offers support to Lutheran churches outside Germany. Pinto died on April 23 after contracting malaria while visiting Mozambique at the end of February. He had been taken into hospital on his return to Porto Alegre in southern Brazil where the Lutheran church has its national headquarters.In its statement, GAW said Pinto was considered a possible successor to Altmann as president of the church following elections scheduled for October.The Rev. Wilhelm Huffmeier, the president of GAW, which has worked with the Brazilian church for many years, sent his condolences to the church and to the pastor’s family. Pinto had been a student of Huffmeier’s at the Sao Leopoldo theological faculty in Brazil. Born in Sobradinho, 232 kilometres from Porto Alegre, Pinto became the first vice-president of the Lutheran church in 2002.