LESTER PRAIRIE, MN St. Peter Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie welcomed new pastor Joshua Arndt and his family to its congregation July 8.
The church found itself without a leader when its previous pastor was called away to serve at another church in Morristown.
Fresh out of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, 26-year-old Arndt was the next on-call candidate for pastor of the church.
He and his wife, Ivy, and 9-month-old daughter, Anastasia, were glad to accept the opportunity.
Originally from a small farm south of Mankato, Arndt attended Bethany College with the intent to become a teacher but his plans were not set in stone.
“Hearing God’s word, day in, day out, allowed the Holy Ghost to work in me . . . probably my sophomore year of college, is when I started thinking . . . ‘I can teach everyone from the youngest of kids all the way through people who are dying about Jesus. Not just math or reading, which is important, but about the most important,’” Arndt said.
He spent the next four years in seminary; and was the first in his immediate family to become a pastor.
“Preaching the Word of God and sharing Jesus with this congregation is definitely number-one,” Arndt said, describing what he is most excited about in his new ministry.
He is also looking forward to settling down and being active in the community.
Arndt is legally blind but he doesn’t let that stop him from engaging with others. He uses a special computer that magnetizes text to write his sermons, and a small machine called a Tactile during church that translates the sermons into Braille.
When he’s not writing sermons or spending time in the community, Arndt and his family enjoy many outdoor activities.
If he could say one thing to his new congregation, it would be: “I pray that the Lord keeps his Word present in this congregation and works through me as a pastor to proclaim Christ to them, and also works in and through them to love me, to support me, and one another, because as the church, we are the body of Christ, and it’s togetherness, really, centered in Christ . . . and I’m very happy to be here, very thankful for their welcoming, and excited to get to know them, to love them, to be with them, throughout life’s journey.”