The Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, a United Methodist widely considered among the most influential observers of U.S. church culture in the 20th century, died March 18 at 91. Schaller studied at the University of Wisconsin and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American history, a master’s degree in the new field of city and urban planning, and a master’s degree in political science. In 1957 he earned a divinity degree “with distinction” from the school now known as Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, while serving as the student pastor of a rural three-point charge in The Methodist Church. During the 1950s, Schaller worked and published as a city planner in Madison, Wisconsin, and between 1964 and 2005 published 55 books with Abingdon Press. “Lyle Schaller worked with a gentle spirit and strong dedication to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ life changing for many,” Neil Alexander, president and publisher of Abingdon Press, said. “He believed in the potential of congregations large and small to make a big difference in the world.” Read remembrance from Ministry Matters and Abingdon Press' news release.