By Elizabeth Sias
Members of Siloa Lutheran Church have a new pastor, but it’s a face they’ve seen before.
Pastor Del Schnaidt became permanent pastor of Siloa Lutheran Church on Sept. 7, but he had been periodically filling in during the former pastor’s absence.
“I have really fallen in love with these people,” he said. “People are good every place, but they’re so caring. They’re into outreach, helping people in hunger settings and a number of different areas. That’s always a positive sign with a congregation — ‘what’s happening beyond yourself?’ — and they do marvelous things beyond themselves.”
Originally from North Dakota, Schnaidt completed his undergraduate work in Iowa before returning to his native state to teach in Bismarck for a number of years.
He now lives in Coon Rapids with his wife and has two grown sons. Their daughter passed away in 2004.
He calls himself a four-career person, pastoring being his fourth vocation. After teaching, he opened a confectionery and food imports business on $25, and after seven years, the business grew to $1 million in sales.
Schnaidt then directed outdoor ministry before attending Luther Seminary, where he received a Master’s degree in theology.
He was interested in pastoring since he was a teenager, but each time he tried to fulfill that desire, it was as if doors closed, so he went into education. He said he believes it happened for a reason, and his experience up to this point was helpful in getting to where he is today.
“I have lots of interests, so moving from one vocation to another is very easy for me, and I’ve enjoyed them all,” Schnaidt said.
He has pastored several churches around the Twin Cities, from Christ Lutheran in Blaine to Westwood Lutheran in St. Louis Park.
Siloa Lutheran Church’s former pastor left about a year ago. Prior to becoming the church’s permanent pastor, Schnaidt periodically filled in during the former and interim pastor’s absence. When the church began searching for a new permanent pastor, Schnaidt interviewed and accepted the position.
He calls himself a student of the Bible, and feels comfortable with its lessons during his sermons, which he describes as the peak of the worship service when he lets the lesson unfold and come full circle.
Schnaidt has some goals in mind for the church, but said he’d like to start with getting to know the people and how the congregation operates before he makes suggestions.
He enjoys teaching from the Bible, worship and participating in council activities, but when asked what he enjoys most about being a pastor, Schnaidt doesn’t hesitate.
“The people,” he said. “Of course they’re always a mix, and that’s just who we human beings are, but there’s always a core and cluster of people who just strike one as amazing. They’re just amazing, and so gifted in their own things that they can do and be, and it’s just fun to watch and be a part of. There isn’t anything they can’t do.”
Siloa Lutheran Church holds worship service at 10 a.m. Sundays. For more information, visit www.siloalutheranchurch.org.