Larson and family answer call from Texas churchPublished 11:22am Thursday, June 20, 2013
Caleb Larson is still young, still learning, and taking all the Lord is willing to give him.
A recent graduate of the Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, Larson accepted his first position as the head of a church congregation. The Fergus Falls native will follow his calling and travel 1,200 miles south to Buda, Texas, which is a few miles outside of Austin.
“For the first time in quite a while I don’t have school work and the divided time that comes with it,” Larson said. “There’s one less thing between school, work and ministry, so my wife and I can pour ourselves into this church.”
A graduate of Fergus Falls High School, Larson received a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Minnesota. An avid writer, scholar and actor, he never expected to enter the ministry, but his time attending Good Shepherd Lutheran Church growing up helped him make the decision.
“I came to the realization one Sunday morning that I actually like going to church, that there was no place I would rather be,” Larson said with a laugh.
He and his wife, Sarah, who is expecting their second child, and two-year-old daughter, Kaylen, will leave for Texas July 1. Larson, who has spent time as a pastor at Stevanger Lutheran Church, in rural Fergus Falls, will speak at the June 30 worship service, his last day.
With the departure day fast approaching, the family is dealing with mixed feelings.
“It wouldn’t be right to say we’re not nervous, but the excitement outweighs the nervousness,” Larson said. “We’ll miss family, certainly, friends and a lot of the ministry opportunities in the community.”
Larson said he hopes to bring an energetic approach to the new position. Not only will he put his three years of seminary to good use, but his past in writing, theater and teaching as well.
“My role, mainly because of my interests, has been of a teacher and a mediator,” Larson said. “We want to help create a culture and community that wants to learn about God and experience what his word says about Him.”
Larson also wants to bring a creative energy to his new leadership role. He said that was one quality his new church home was looking for when they offered him the job.
“I hope I bring excitement, enthusiasm, energy and instruction,” he said. “A lot of the time it’s the people in the pews that do a lot of the ministry work a pastor in the pulpit can’t.”
As he walked the grounds of the seminary, Larson said it won’t be easy leaving the town where he was raised. He and his wife, however, will take all they’ve learned from the community with them.
“The gratitude I have, not only to the people at Stevanger, but the seminary and the community. I think it’s been a gift to have grown up in a place where people are so gracious,” Larson said. “Some people said ‘Why Fergus if there are seminaries everywhere?’ But I think I’m all the more blessed because of it.”