About Me: I did not grow up in a Christian home; we went to church periodically. In high school a classmate witnessed to me, but I rejected what I heard. When I was in college however, a football player came and spoke to the track team. He said that he wanted to introduce us to his best friend. He told us that Jesus Christ had come to earth fully God yet still man and that He had died on a cross and was resurrected on the third day. If we wanted a relationship with God and the forgiveness of our sins, all we needed to do was pray a simple prayer. He led us in a salvation prayer. While he prayed out loud I prayed quietly to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He did not know I had prayed. Unfortunately, after that I got involved in the fraternity scene. God had his hand on me though; I ended up back in my home town after graduation, and got involved in a local Baptist church, and was baptized. The pastor encouraged me to go to seminary. In seminary, I met my wife and received a call to plant a church. We chose to be part of an established church first, since I was so new in my faith. While in Algona, IA, I was also asked by the District Executive Minister if I saw myself as a church planter. I said someday. He wanted my wife and I to go through an assessment center. We were favorably assessed and through a number of God circumstances, we came to Grafton to plant a church. We started with three, me, my wife and my daughter, but nearly 20 years later, Cedar Creek has continued to grow. Because of divorce, I was asked step down from being the pastor of the church I had started. I found a job as hospice chaplain then came to ND to start another new church. After months of struggle is became clear a new church would not happen. By God’s grace I was able to interview with your search team and will be starting as your interim pastor on Easter Sunday.
I am recently engaged and will be married soon to Angelina. I have three children: Sara, my step-daughter who has two children Lexi and Kaylea, She and her husband and kids live in the Denver area. My son lives in Tulsa and has a son Richard (Bubba). And my daughter and her husband Taylor and Mark live in St. Paul.
I am a slow learner (LOL) I have spent 24 years in school earning my bachelors In Natural Science from University of North Dakota, I have my Masters of Divinity from Sioux Falls Seminary and my Doctor of Ministry from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul (but all this education and $4.00 will still only get you a good cup of coffee).
My Life motto came from my grandmother who gave me a Finnish word when I was a child: SISU meaning strength determination, forging forward even when exhausted. I have adapted into spiritual concept. Trust God, He is the God of the impossible, in weakness He is strong.
In My Spare Time: I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, she is by far my favorite distraction. I still enjoy playing hockey, riding bike, reading, going out to eat, and traveling.
My favorite Bible verse: Zech 4:6 “Not by might nor by power but my Spirit,'” says the Lord
My Favorite Song: I enjoy contemporary Christian music
My Favorite Book: The Bible
My Favorite Team: the Green Bay Packers
My Favorite Food: I like most every kind of food