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West Akers Lutheran Church welcomes new pastor

West Akers Lutheran Church in Prairie Farm welcomes Rev. Mark Woeltge as the Pastor of the congregation. Pastor Woeltge is serving the congregation in a half-time position, leading worship, offering pastoral care and reaching out to the community. Pastor Woeltge comes to West Akers after serving six years at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Taylors Falls, Minnesota and eight years at The Lutheran Church of Concord in Rochester, New York.

First known as Vestre Akers Norwegian Lutheran Church, West Akers Lutheran Church was formally organized on April 4, 1905. Like many country congregations established during the turn of the century, there was need for spiritual comfort and guidance within the local community. The closest church at the time was Akers Church eight miles away in Prairie Farm. During the “horse and buggy” days, eight miles was a considerable inconvenience, especially considering the young people had to walk to and from the church while receiving their religious instructions. With donated land, supplies and labor, the newly formed West Akers Lutheran Church had itself a building, a cemetery and a worshipping congregation.

The community of faith at West Akers Lutheran Church has been ministering to its surrounding community and the world for going on 100 years. They are now eager to introduce to the community Pastor Woeltge as together they explore how God is calling them to gather all people into the saving faith in Jesus Christ, to grow in faith, understanding and love and to go into the world to serve and care and share the Good News.

Pastor Woeltge brings to the community a wealth ofexperience: he earned a Bachelor ofArts in Art History with an emphasis on Italian from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, a Masters of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota as well as being one thesis shy of a Doctor of Ministry from Luther Seminary. In his fourteen years of ministry, Pastor Woeltge has served on several Boards and is currently the President of the Board of Directors at Luther Point Bible Camp in Grantsburg, Wisconsin. As an avid Harley Davidson rider, he had the privilege of ministering among the motorcycle clubs in Upstate New York, including an annual Bike Blessing with the Hells Angels. Pastor Woeltge is also an established Gospel and Comedy Magician and often performs for various organizations and functions.

Pastor Woeltge and his wife, Carmen currently reside in Lindstrom, Minnesota along with their two children, Ashlyn (7th grade) and Garin (3rd grade). The congregation will formally introduce Pastor Woeltge on Sunday, January 19 at 2:30 in the afternoon when Pastor Woeltge will offer a Gospel Magic Show for the community. So come on out for an afternoon of fun, laughter and refreshments and say “Hello” to Pastor Mark!

West Akers Lutheran Church is located at El795 1440th Avenue, Prairie Farm, WI 54762. The church’s phone number is (715) 455-1034.