Church: Neillsville - Calvary Lutheran (New Pastor - 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Anderson, Kaufmann, Kohnert

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/09/2015

Calvary Lutheran Church (New Pastor - June 2015)

Calvary Lutheran Welcomes Pastor Chad to Faith Community

Pastor Chad Anderson and his wife, Courtney, pose with their four children (l-r) Daniel, 10, John 7, Sella, 9, and Paul (“Augie”), 2. The Andersons moved to Neillsville June 4, with Pastor Chad beginning his duties at Calvary Lutheran Church in Neillsville June 8. (Contributed photo)

By Todd Schmidt

Neillsville’s population just increased by six, with the recent addition of pastor Chad Anderson and his family.

The Andersons moved to Neillsville June 4, as Pastor Chad, 39, accepted the call to become the new minister at Calvary Lutheran Church. He officially began his pastoral duties June 8, was installed June 14 and delivered his first sermon June 21.

He said his family felt at home in Neillsville right away.

“The first day here we met some very friendly people who weren’t even members of the church,” Pastor Chad said. “We were welcomed at a restaurant and we met some great folds at a garage, as our vehicle broke down. We also got to know the staff and the doctors very well at Memorial Medical Center, because we had two sick children.”

Pastor Chad grew up in the Mondovi area, where his mother still resides, about 60 miles from Neillsville. His wife, Courtney, hails from the Twin Cities. They have four energetic children, Daniel, 10, Sella, 9, John, 7, and Paul (Augie”) 2. The household includes three dogs and one cat.

Pastor Chad reports that Daniel likes soccer, hunting, fishing, reading and video games. Sella enjoys softball, basketball, hunting, fishing, reading, sewing and knitting. John is into football, baseball, hunting, fishing, super heroes and video games. Augie likes Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Frozen and meeting older church ladies.

Dad enjoys hunting (particularly archery), fishing, tree planting and food plot work, reading (mainly theology and conservation material), and rooting for the Packers, Badgers and Brewers.

The Andersons are enthusiastic community people. Their move into the adjacent parsonage went fine.

“This is a nice neighborhood, with lots of kids and dogs,” Pastor Chad said. “We enrolled the kids in summer school, tee-ball and swimming lessons. It is important for them to make some friends right away.”

John was immediately impressed. His favorite color is red, and he was overjoyed to discover the school color and his tee-ball uniform are both red.

Pastor Chad sat in his study last Wednesday amidst many unpacked boxes to undergo his first newspaper interview. He cordially shared his faith journey and his enthusiasm for the pastoral fit in Neillsville.

After graduating from Mondovi High School, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from UJW-Stout in 1999. He worked for Marten Transport in Mondovi as a fleet manager/coordinator for the next seven years. He then decided to enter the seminary.

“I felt for a long time like I was being called into the ministry,” he said. “I actually fought it for a few years. Maybe it was the fear of change.”

Om 2006, he enrolled at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He received his master of divinity degree in 2010. He then served an internship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire.

“During my internship in Eau Claire I realized this was my definite calling,” he said. “It was a mixture of peace and excitement.”

Pastor Chad’s first call was to serve the Porterfield/Beaver American Lutheran Churches in the Northern Great Lakes Synod. He was pastor there for four years before accepting the call to Calvary Lutheran. He and his family resided in Crivitz.

The two congregations he served were small rural churches. One located 10 miles north of Marinette, with the other situated two miles north of Coleman.

“We had some people driving 45 miles from the north to come to church,” he said. “Many of the people were older and retired. This congregation has a nice blend of older folks and younger working people.”

Pastor Chad began the application process in the fall of 2014. He received an interview with Calvary’s Call Committee in March 2015.

“I really felt called that night,” he said. “It was a good connection with the Call Committee. It was hard to leave people I had grown to love in Marinette County, but meeting people here made the transition much easier. One of the toughest things about being a pastor is leaving a congregation. One of the most rewarding things is meeting new people in a different setting.”

Reverend Greg Kaufmann, assistant to the bishop of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin out of Chetek, presided over pastor Chad’s installation ceremony at Calvary Lutheran. Attendance swelled that day, with about 30 extra people attending from Mondovi, Crivitz, Waupaca and the Twin Cities.

During his first sermon at Calvary Lutheran, Pastor Chad talked about being a member of a faith community and what it means to be part of the body of Christ in Neillsville and beyond.

“God’s word brings us closer to wholeness,” he said. “There is more in this world that unites us than divides us. We must concentrate on those things. We are sent out to worship and love others. It is exciting to be part of a large community, sharing the love and grace of Christ.”

Pastor Chad said faith starts with young people. He added that getting parents and their kids excited about church life is paramount. He said the noise made by kids in church is a sign that God is among us.

“Growing that seed is important,” he said. “We need to find ways for parents and others to connect with young people. I hope to start cottage group meeting, where we can sit down and talk about hopes, dreams, struggles and the faith community. I can talk to and listen to everybody. I find talking about regular things opens the door to other things.”

Pastor Chad likes to speak to others about what he struggles with; calling it touching lives through real life experiences. He hopes people connect the Sunday worship experience with live the rest of the week.

He is relying heavily on office administrator Becky Kohnert to connect the dots. The church office is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until noon. Contact can be made by calling 715-743-2225 or by email,

The Sunday church service is at 9 a.m. Sunday school starts again in September.

Kohnert said later this summer, six youth are attending the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit. She and Pastor Chad are working full speed ahead on preparations for hosting Vacation Bible School July 20-23 in conjunction with the Neillsville united Church of Christ.

The program called “Everest” delves into conquering life’s challenges with God’s mighty power. Sessions for youth, pre-K through grade 5 will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Also on the schedule are the weekly ‘Early Risers’ sessions at Hardee’s (6:45 a.m.), and the WELCA Bible Study, at the church the second Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m.

Pastor Chad looks forward to continuing Calvary’s relationship with the Neillsville Ministerial Alliance. He and Courtney expect to build community relationships by supporting businesses in town and participating in school activities with their children.



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