Sept. 25, 2006

New Lamson pastor to be installed

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

The Rev. Mike Newsom of Cokato has become the new pastor at Lamson Evangelical Free Church in rural Dassel Sept. 1.

“Pastor Mike,” as he is more commonly called, will be installed Sunday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m.

Newsom’s goal for the church is to help its members know what God wants for them. That knowledge can only come from digging into the Bible, so Newsom wants Lamson to be a “Bible believing, Bible preaching church,” he said.

“I want to get people to be deep in their faith,” Newsom said.

Everyone has a God-shaped hole in his heart, said Newsom, who is originally from Wisconsin Dells. Newsom said he always knew before he was saved 32 years ago that something big was missing from his life. He also suspected he had a gift for teaching, Newsom said.

Newsom remembers a conversation he had with his mother over coffee one day, back when he worked in retail marketing.

“I feel like I should be teaching, but I don’t have anything to teach,” he told her.

Later, Newsom moved from Milwaukee, where he worked in a large department store, to Minneapolis where he worked for an advertising agency. “That was when the Lord changed me,” he said.

Newsom became a “church planter” through the Jesus People Church in Minneapolis, and founded the Blessed Hope Church in Howard Lake. He was pastor there for 16 years.

Newsom also worked at Clinic Cab then, and later NCE, a security systems company. It became difficult to work two vocations at the same time, seven days a week. He cut back to part time ministry, teaching Sunday School, substituting for the Rev. Ralph Erickson in the pulpit, and leading youth group at Lamson, where the family became members.

Newsom’s wife, Penny, works at the Village Ranch of Cokato. His son, Joe, 22, lives in Minneapolis where he manages an apartment building. He also does home repair and is planning a mission trip to Nicaragua in January.

Newsom’s daughter, Caroline, is at the University of Minnesota, where she is studying to be a musical playwright. She will graduate in December.

Newsom enjoys home repair, he said, and has been doing it as a sideline job for the past couple years. He also uses his home repair skills and creativity to design and build sets for his daughter’s musical and play productions.

Newsom has been a member at Lamson for the past seven years. The “evangelical” in the church’s name means “good news” or Bible-based church, he said. Lamson is called a “free” church because it was originally Swedish. In Sweden, the term “free” differentiates the church from state-controlled churches, Newsom explained.

Newsom will be a full-time pastor again because Erickson, the former pastor, went to Louisiana with Touch Global, to minister to Hurricane Katrina victims.

Newsom’s focus for the congregation, which consists of diverse people with diverse needs, he said, is a Christ-centered message.

“Satisfaction can only be found in Christ,” he said.

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