MORRIS – Grace Lutheran Church welcomed a new pastor last month, and members of the congregation have been thrilled to have him.
“We were lucky to get someone like Craig to work here,” church trustee Bob Tinsdall said.
Craig Benson, an Air Force veteran-turned pastor, began Aug. 1.
Benson was active duty for eight years in the Air Force and now serves as a lieutenant colonel in the reserves. He currently goes to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, for a few weeks a year to serve his committment. There, he serves as a chaplin where he enjoys working with military members and family. After a 34-year career, he will be retiring from the military in December.
In his teenage years, he wanted to strengthen his relationship and fellowship with young adults. He ended up attending North Western Bible College and Free Lutheran Bible School after high school.
Eventually, he became a deacon at a church. He helped lead service and, when the pastor was gone, he would preach.
He attended several colleges including Moorhead State University and Free Lutheran Seminary in Minnesota. While in college, he claimed Colossians 2:8 as his life verse.
It explains how one should live according to Christ rather than being held captive by earthly thinking.
Prior to coming to Morris, Benson and his wife, Deb, resided in South Dakota. There, he worked for two churches, but really wanted to fellowship with just one.
He sensed a desire for change, and so he prayed to The Lord for guidance. He ended up putting his name on an available call list when he was approached by Grace Lutheran Church in April.
Since coming to Morris, he is most excited for meeting people, pastors and businesses in the community.
He’s also planning on attending local events.
He enjoys the relational dynamics of Grace Lutheran Church and plans to continue on that path. He has started an adult Bible class, as well as a confirmation class. He hopes to get involved with youth activities by encouraging them.
Benson has four grown children who live across the country. He also has two grandchildren.
The church is located a 10025
N. Route 47, Morris. Sunday worship is at 9:30 a.m. and classes are at 10:30 a.m.