Pastor Dean, St. John’s courting ‘under-50’ crowd
By Suzanne Werre, BHG News Service
It’s December, and it wouldn’t be unheard of for people hearing “bright and shining” to think of a star over Bethlehem, but these days “bright and shining” can also be used to describe the new sign at the front of the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Underwood, inviting people to come to church, often with a clever Biblical reference or quip. The new sign is just one of the improvements the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Underwood has made, noted Pastor Dean Hartley (more commonly known as Pastor Dean), who is also pastor at St. John’s in McClusky and Trinity in rural Hazen/Pick City. New flooring and a new handicap accessible lift and ramp are also welcome new additions to the church. When Pastor Dean arrived 11-1/2 years ago with his wife, Sue, and young son, Ross, he took on the role of ministering to the flocks at St. John’s and Trinity. A couple years ago, St. John’s, McClusky, was added to his duties, which proved to be quite a time challenge. One of the St. John’s parishioners, Craig Pankow, has taken some of the burden off Pastor Dean’s shoulders, taking on the role of ministering to the McClusky and Trinity churches every other week, alternating with Pastor Dean.