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New pastor called to Clarkston



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Rev. Kendall Schaeffer, in the pulpit at St. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Independence Township. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
February 17, 2010 - The Rev. Kendall L. Schaeffer, new pastor of St. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, is in it for the long haul.

"My long-term focus is to retire from here, in about 15 years," said Schaeffer, 53.

He grew up in Mt. Pleasant, and graduated in 1989 from Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne.

He was raised in the Lutheran faith, but didn't resolve to become a minister right away. He first studied oceanography at Central Michigan University.

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"At Central, I sang with the New Song Folk group all over the state – I was up front with my faith and presented it in a positive and comfortable way," he said. "People told me they thought I should go into the ministry."

He served as pastor in Lansing for about six years, Iowa for five years, and a church near Benton Harbor for 10 years.

He was called to serve as pastor of St. Trinity in Independence Township this past October, and was installed on Dec. 13, well into the Christmas season.

"It was a busy first few weeks," he said. "It went wonderfully well."

He and his wife, Karen, live in Waterford Township. They have four children, Rachel, who lives in Minnesota with her husband, Ryan; Joel, who lives in Indiana with wife Katreena and their son Brayden; Jason, serving as a nuclear mechanic in the Navy and married to Katie, with children Samantha and Lily; and Jeremy, a student at Lake Michigan Community College, playing basketball and studying to be a sports agent.

He is working with church members on vision and goals for the congregation and community.

"I'm still getting my feet wet," Schaeffer said. "I need to get to know the congregation before I can know the community – I'm here to build up the body of Christ internally and externally, and bring healing to people."

Community involvement by the congregation is key, he said.

"We're exploring things," he said. "I'd like to see St. Trinity as a training center – there are lots of different ways to train."

A church member also has a 70-foot-tall hot air balloon they can use for evangelizing and outreach, he said.

For more information, call the church, 7925 Sashabaw Road, just north of Clarkston Road, at 248-625-4644.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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