February 13, 2014

Schmidt to lead local Lutherans

By Jerry W. Kram

It has been a tumultuous year for the Bethel Lutheran Church in New Town with the tragic loss of beloved congregation members and the retirement of Pastor Grant Patterson. But a new era for the faith community and its sister church Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which sits a couple of miles off of North Dakota Highway 8, will begin this Sunday as Robert Schmidt will be officially installed as the pastor of the two congregations.

The Installation Service will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church, 224 Eagle Drive, New Town at 10 a.m. A potluck luncheon will follow in the Martha Johnson Memorial Social Hall.

Schmidt was born in St. Louis but grew up in the western Colorado towns of Ouray and Montrose. He went to Wartburg Seminary and then became pastor of a Lutheran/Presbyterian congregation in Grafton, West Virginia. There he met his wife Laura. They have a 12 years old son, Levi.

"I like ministries that are different and a challenge," Schmidt said. "New Town wasn’t really on the radar. In our system we have a bishop and I talked to the bishop and he already had me in mind for New Town. He said I have a really different call for you and I think it is going to fit like a glove because you are a different kind of pastor. It went a lot quicker than the normal call would go."

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