Trinity Lutheran Church installs Pastor Keller

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Pastor Brent Keller has assumed pastoral duties at Trinity Lutheran Church in Guttenberg and St. Paul Lutheran Church in McGregor. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

On Feb. 13, Pastor Brent Keller was installed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Guttenberg, with five Iowa District East pastors presiding. He will be serving Trinity Lutheran Church in Guttenberg and St. Paul Lutheran Church, McGregor. He served Peace Lutheran Church, in Alcester, S.D., prior to his installment. 

Pastor Keller will reside in the church parsonage with his wife, Hannelore, and daughters, Evangeline and Annalise. 

"When my wife and I visited Guttenberg we instantly knew this quaint, picturesque community was a place we could call home," he shared. 

Pastor Keller grew up in Sanger, Texas – a rural area approximately one hour north of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. He graduated from the University of North Texas in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he graduated in 2018 with a Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry and installed as pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, Alcester, S.D., on July 29, 2018.

Call to ministry

Pastor Keller was encouraged to become a minister in his youth. "When I was younger I had a couple of people tell me I should be a preacher," he remembered.  "In college I was involved in leading the youth group and began directing my studies toward youth ministry – as much as I could with the major I was in."

At that time, the youth minister was still unsure of his life calling. "I told them I would volunteer my time and money, but was not interested in pursuing a career," said Keller. 

He began working as a fire investigator and natural disasters property adjuster. "I was raised in the Church of Christ, but became a Lutheran at that time," he noted. "I worked closely with people that had their lives turned upside down by unfortunate circumstances. I could see the physical hurt but also a spiritual hurt. Because of the nature of my job I was not able to address their spiritual needs."

Hannelore was among one of the first people Pastor Keller met when he arrived at seminary. "Hannelore has a Master’s Degree in Deaconess Studies," he explained. “Her training prepares her to work alongside the pastor in mercy work, such as caring for shut-ins or those hurting in the congregation. She is a trained deaconess but at this time has not been called to serve as one. She is caring for our children now, and I feel very blessed to be able to provide for my family, so she doesn't have to work outside the home." 

Pastor Keller gained knowledge and experience while serving at Peace Lutheran. "We were in a town of 800. It was a great community and congregation. The call to serve in Guttenberg came out of the blue," he commented. "We felt it was for the benefit of our former congregation and our family to relocate. Meeting the members of this congregation, we knew this is where we are supposed to be.  We are hoping for a long and fruitful ministry here and in McGregor and are hoping to reach out into the surrounding area." 

Pastor Keller enjoys reading, discussing theology and current events, music, various sports, and time with his wife and children. "I am an avid baseball fan, so I am excited to be so close to the 'Field of Dreams' in Dyersville," he said with a smile. "I can't wait until spring to have my family visit from Texas. I look forward to sharing our experience of living in Guttenberg along the shores of the Mississippi River and taking them to see the iconic ballfield." 

Although the Kellers were sad to leave Peace Lutheran, they are excited to begin serving "God’s saints" at St. Paul and Trinity as well as the towns of Guttenberg, McGregor, and the surrounding area.

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