Our week of learning more about church workers in our District for “Tomorrow’s Teachers & Preachers” wraps up with a feature on pastors. These shepherds of our congregations work hard to bring us Word and Sacrament ministry.
Today, read about Rev. Sam Powell. This native of Missouri attended Concordia, Nebraska and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis before being called to Trinity in Jefferson City where he serves as senior pastor and as a chaplain to the Jefferson City Fire Department.
Here is his story:
“The call to ministry came along late for me. I absolutely did not want to be in full time church work. My mom and grandma were active church members, therefore I was an active church member. They served, and their expectation was that I served also. In high school, I was an usher and served on the altar guild at my church. During that time, I also served on the Missouri District’s Lutheran Youth Fellowship Board, led by Roger Mailand, also a mentor for me. I was also serving as a counselor at Heit’s Point. All of a sudden, I was surrounded by church workers: my peers on the youth board and fellow counselors at Heit’s Point were going into church work. I also had wonderful members of St. Paul’s, like Robert Denker, who encouraged me towards considering a church work career.
When I finally realized that maybe I should go into church work, I thought it was as a teacher. I was at Seward for about a year and a half, and had served as president of the student youth committee for worship when I finally realized that I wanted to be a pastor. I ended up finishing my education degree, and did student teaching in Baltimore, Maryland before attending the Seminary. Teaching is still one of my favorite parts of being a pastor.
I have been blessed to have many church workers make a positive impact on my life. Starting with my home pastor, Rev. Peter Kurowski who was my pastor from fourth grade through seminary graduation. He greatly encouraged my love of service and love of theology. There were many other individuals along the way from Roger Mailand to Marilyn Haldiman and Ron Wheeler to Seminary professors like Dr. Thomas Egger and my fieldwork supervisor, Rev. William Weedon who showed a picture of the Church and a love of the liturgy. I am forever grateful to these people who were so deeply devoted in their faith, and helped shape my future as a pastor.”