As a boy, my family moved six different times because my father was frequently promoted and transferred by the old Burroughs Corporation. Family and faith became the hallmarks of my youth through all of these moves that ranged from Miami to Minneapolis. Following my graduation from Bentley High School in Livonia, MN, I attended a Bible college for one year in Minneapolis, MN. The next four years were spent at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, earning a B A degree with a major in English. Another five years were spent at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where I earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Theology degree. The focus of my Master’s thesis was on chemical dependencies and how they might be best treated in today’s society.
During my seminary years, I met my wife, Margaret, who was at the time a student at the University of Minnesota majoring in Elementary Education. Following a fairly brief courtship, we were married in her home church in Dunnell, MN, in December of 1968. Following ordination, I spent nine years serving a parish in Pontiac, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. It was not a large congregation, but I learned many important lessons about how best to do parish ministry there. Then, in 1980, I received a call to become a mission church developer for the former American Lutheran Church. The proposed site was Apple Valley, MN, one of a number of communities in northern Dakota County that were poised for major expansion and very rapid growth. In a matter of a few years, Dakota County swelled to well over 200,000 residents, which meant that congregational growth was certainly to be expected. Love, leadership, and location soon made a congregation of well over 9,000 members possible.
True to my formative years of faith and family, Margaret and I were blessed with three bright and healthy children who grew up, married and blessed us again with 12 beautiful grandchildren, the Dozen Cousins. My retirement years have thus far been filled with travel, family, friendships, writing, reading, walking, worship, grandchild care when needed, and more than a few afternoon naps.
About the Book
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