Emgarten celebrates 20 years in ministry
By Suzanne Werre
Turtle Lake’s Pastor Randy Emgarten doesn’t like to say he’s been ministering to the folks in and around Turtle Lake and Mercer for the past 20 years. He says it’s been 20 years of ministering together.
“I couldn’t have done it without everybody -- the members of the churches keeping things going,” said Emgarten, who just celebrated 20 years with rural Turtle Lake’s St. Olaf and Mercer’s Our Savior’s Lutheran Churches.
The joint-parish churches of St. Olaf and Our Savior’s were Emgarten’s first placements, and after 20 years, he thinks they’re still an excellent fit.
“It’s been challenging,” he said. “I was placed here by the bishop because he wanted to see how I would do with no secretary and no support staff. I came here not realizing that the churches did not have secretaries or an office manager to keep the offices going.”
He quickly learned that if there was office work that was going to need to be done, he was going to have to do it. He also takes care of the lawns at the churches as well as the parsonage just across the road from St. Olaf, and takes care of the weekly cleaning of the churches as well.
While he has definitely been at the two churches long enough to have decided it was time to put his name on the call list to go elsewhere, which is common in the ministry, he has opted not to.