It’s terrific to be at Peace….and also to return to my hometown! I grew up in west Bloomington, went to Bloomington schools—Ridgeview, Penn, and Lincoln. I attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and, following graduation, entered Luther Northwestern Seminary.
Following graduation from seminary in 1984, I accepted a call to serve as Associate Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, Long Lake and was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1984. Following eight years at Trinity, I served as an interim pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Woodlake in Richfield, and Nokomis Heights, south Minneapolis. In 1997, I was called to be the Senior Pastor of Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church. I also accepted responsibilities in churchwide leadership. I especially enjoyed serving on the Evangelism Task Force of the ELCA in 2001-2002.
Much to my surprise, I received a call in 2003 from the Division for Global Missions asking us to serve on behalf of the Church in Egypt. For the next two years, I served as Senior Pastor of St. Andrew’s United Church in downtown Cairo. The congregation is a Christian witness in a predominately Muslim country and provides congregational life and schooling for Sudanese refugees escaping civil war in their home country. This was followed by an invitation to assist with ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Jerusalem.
Upon returning to the United States, I served as Interim Senior Pastor with at Peace, then Faith-Lilac Way, Robbinsdale, and Our Saviour’s in Minneapolis before returning to Peace. Throughout these varied places my convictions of the centrality of Jesus Christ, the unique life-giving ways of the Church, and the Church’s ministry in the world for the sake of the world that God loves has only increased.
When I am not engaged in the life of the church, I enjoy running, tennis, and reading. We like to travel to visit family and new places.
My chief joy in life, however, is in spending time with my wife, Marcie. We live in southeast Minneapolis in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. She underwrites long-term care insurance at Univita Corporation. We have four children. Brittany and her husband, Jeff, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and are raising six children; Julia, Sam, Jack, Aidan, Ryleigh and Holden. Melissa and her husband, Aaron, live in south Minneapolis with their children; Jens, Per, and Inga. Sons Tim is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science and John lives in Maple Grove and manages a warehouse there.
It is a privilege to serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this congregation!
Pastor Mark Nelson’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.