Summary: Pastor Dan Walters was installed as Good Shepherd’s Associate Pastor on January 15, 2017.
Favorite Bible Passage: “I’ve always loved Psalm 118:17: I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. There’s a lot in this verse that clicks with my life. I get to be confident that death is not the end, but through Jesus I will live forever in heaven! Not only that, but as a pastor I get to spend my life proclaiming what the Lord has done for us in Christ. This verse says it all!”
Factors that led Pastor Dan to accept the call to GS: “I feel that Good Shepherd allowed me a place where I can put my gifts to use. I love preaching and getting to use an outreach mindset in a congregation that values Christian education, and I’m excited that Good Shepherd is a place where this can happen! I’m also excited about getting in on the ”ground floor“ of a new pastoral team here. I look forward to getting the ”lead pastor“ position filled and moving forward with ministry!”
Pastor Dan’s philosophy: “While I am a pastor, I’m also a human being. That’s pretty important, because it means I’m as flawed as anyone else! I’m trying to live out my faith and do my ministry here to the best of my abilities, but I don’t want to give the impression that I’m somehow ”above“ the members here at Good Shepherd. I strive to be down to earth and approachable in everything. I am not normally high-strung or worried about getting my way in everything. I think this is the best way to work side-by-side with others in accomplishing God’s work here!”
Hometown: Bloomington, MN – “Maybe you’ve heard of it? Home of the Mall of America! As you can tell, the Twin Cities is comfortable to me since I grew up here. I’m passionate about reaching out to Minnesotans here at Good Shepherd!”
Education: Pastor Dan attended grade school at Bloomington Lutheran School and high school at St. Croix Lutheran. For college, he was in the pastoral ministry program at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. He then attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, graduating in 2006.
Experience: During his education, Dan served as a vicar (pastoral intern) for a year at Christ Our Rock Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN. Then, during his last year of seminary, he served worked part time in preaching and outreach at Divinity-Divine Charity Lutheran Church of Whitefish Bay, WI.
He then served as pastor for 5 years at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Springville, NY. This was a relatively small congregation to the south of Buffalo. His three youngest children were born during this time-period. The Walters enjoyed being able to easily visit Niagara Falls during this time. And yes, it snowed a lot.
After that, he served as pastor for 5 years at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Two Rivers, WI. This is a church similar in size to Good Shepherd that also has a grade school. The Walters family were blessed to be with the teachers and friends at St. John’s for those years! They enjoyed living alongside one of the two rivers in town!
Home Life: Pastor Dan married Elizabeth (nee Birkholz) in December of 2001. They have been blessed with 5 daughters. Evjen (pronounced EV-yen), Delia (pronounced DEAL-ya), Soleil (pronounced So-LAY), Tamasyn (pronounced TAM-a-sin), and Antje (pronounced ONT-ya). The children all attend Good Shepherd School.
Elizabeth is trained as a professional counselor, and is looking into getting into that field at some point. For now, though, she is blessed to be able to stay at home with her family!
The Walters family resides in Lakeville with their two dogs, Fred and Mabel. All are enjoying getting used to their new community. The kids love knowing that their grandparents are relatively close. Pastor is hoping that he will be able to see a Twins game or two in the Spring and Summer!