First Lutheran installing new pastor

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 13, 2002

First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea will install a new pastor at both the 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. services Sunday.

The Rev. John Holt accepted the call and started at the church on Sept. 1.

Holt grew up on a farm near Ellsworth, Iowa, and graduated from high school in Jewell. He earned his degree in accounting from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I was a CPA for three years in the Twin Cities before I sensed the call to become a pastor,&uot; Holt said.

He received his master of divinity degree from Luther Seminar in St. Paul.

Holt’s first call was to parishes in Dwight and Mooreton, N.D. for seven years. He then served Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Jackson for 14 1/2 years before accepting the call to First Lutheran.

He accepted the call to First Lutheran because of the challenge involved.

&uot;First Lutheran has gone through a lot in the last few years,&uot; Holt said. &uot;I really liked our last church and the community, but I really felt the pull to come here.&uot;

The pastor said his goals for First Lutheran are to recruit additional leadership staff, enhance worship with a contemporary option, enhance the ministry to youth, to work well together, and to reach out to the community. The church currently has an interim associate pastor, Lyndy West.

He said he knows this is all possible because of the strengths already located within the church.

&uot;There is a marvelous tradition of music ministry here,&uot; Holt said. &uot;It’s a beautiful church with a gathering space that’s very welcoming.&uot;

Holt said there is also a large core group of people who are willing to serve.

&uot;There’s a lot of energy here,&uot; he added.

The church also has good leadership and staff. &uot;They’re fun,&uot; Holt said.

In addition, he can see by the building that First Lutheran has had some generous members.

&uot;There is a lot of talent and resources here. It’s pretty exciting,&uot; Holt added.

Holt and his wife, Joan, a retired teacher, have four children. Naomi is an eighth-grader at Southwest Middle School. Micah is a junior at Albert Lea High School. Nathan is a freshman at Luther College, and Bethany is a junior at Concordia College in Moorhead.