Immanuel Lutheran Church of Cass Lake recently welcomed a new pastor, Allan Wierschke.
As part of a dual parish program, Wierschke comes to the church as a pastor from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Blackduck where he's served since 1999.
"It's a great opportunity to be serve both communities," he said.
Growing up north of Badger, Wierschke originally aimed his career toward natural resources. He obtained a degree in wildlife management from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities although he started the program at Bemidji State University.
After his education, however, Wierschke turned his attention to theology, another life-long love.
"I was always very interested in both," he said, "But after my experiences with the church programs at the U of M, I knew what I wanted to do with my life."
Wierschke then moved to Fort Wayne, IN where he pursued a degree at Concordia Theological Studies.
He worked in churches in Warren and Radium before settling in Blackduck where he and his wife now work.
Wierschke's wife, Leah, also served the church community as she taught in Lutheran schools and continues to play the organ for their congregation.
Immanual Lutheran called upon Wierschke to re-establish the dual parish between the Cass Lake and Blackduck congregations, a partnership which had been dormant for quite some time.
"It's truly wonderful to get to the know community of Cass Lake," said Wierschke.
Although he admits that the process is always one to work at, Wierschke said that he has continued to be warmly welcomed by the local people.
One project Wierschke is overseeing is a focus on developing stronger outreach programs to the area youth.
With the combined efforts of sister churches in Bemidji, Bagley and Lake George, Wierschke feels that the process will be rewarding.
"We are looking forward to being actively involved in the community and working with the youth here in Cass Lake," he said.
Wierschke's official installation will be held at the church Oct. 25 starting at 4 p.m. The event will be facilitated by association district president Rev. Donald Fondow.
Wierschke splits his time between the two congregations, setting aside specific days for Cass Lake.
"I'm just trying to be a faithful pastor by preaching, teaching and serving the people," he said.