Bio: Zimmerman, Dan – 25 Years at Loyal Lutheran (2023)

Transcriber: Stan

Surnames: Zimmerman

----Source: TRG (Abbotsford, Clark Co., Wis.) 01 Feb 2023

If you ask Rev. Dan Zimmerman about his time at Trinity Lutheran Church in Loyal, he’d be the first to tell you that it feels like it hasn’t been that long. But for the past 25 years, Zimmerman has led the congregation of Trinity Lutheran through its times of joy, as well as its tribulations, forming a special bond with the community of Loyal.

While it is not entirely uncommon for pastors to stay at one parish for so long, Zimmerman said it is more common for pastors to live more nomadically, moving from one place to another about every 10 years. But at Trinity Lutheran, he and his family found something special, and have been there ever since.

“You stop and think, ‘Well, OK, we’ve been here for 25 years, we’ve found something we like here,’” he said. “It’s been a good place to raise our sons. They have had opportunities here in a small school that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Before coming to Loyal, Zimmerman had served at Bethany Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids following his ordination in 1990. After spending his first eight years there, he and his wife, Peggy, began looking for a new congregation at a parish more suited to their circumstances and the direction they wanted to go in life.

“There were a lot of things,” he said, reflecting on his family’s decision to come to Loyal. “It was the kind of congregation I was looking for. I had been in another, smaller church before I came here. I could have gone on to a larger church where I would have been a part of a staff, but I wanted to be my own individual. That made this (parish) attractive. They made us feel really comfortable here. My wife was also a nurse at the hospital in Marshfield, so settling here would have allowed her to keep her job. All these things just checked out for us.”

Zimmerman was installed as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church on Jan. 18, 1998. Since then, he has worked with the congregation at the parish to spread the message of God.

“In a lot of ways, the message is pretty simple,” he said. “God loves everybody. We need to hear about it and that is the message we do together. I’m not the only one who spreads the message, I do it publicly and the congregation does it as a whole.”

As part of his role as pastor, Zimmerman said he has taken part in many milestones in the lives of his congregation. From baptisms to marriages, he has seen many joyous moments in his 25 years at Trinity Lutheran. It is those relationships and connections between himself and the congregation, he said, that makes his role all the more special.

“The thing that I enjoy the most is the relationships you form with the people,” he said. “You get to know the people well, and it has been a joy and a privilege for my wife and I. You are a part of the important events in their lives, when their kids are born, grow up, are confirmed and married. I have had weddings already for kids that I have baptized.”

But with every joyful moment, there comes times of sorrow. In his time as pastor, Zimmerman has seen his fair share of those moments as well. And while they may be some of the most difficult parts of life, he said there is a special privilege to being a part of them.

“Then I am there in their tough times too,” he said. “To be a part of that is a privilege in a lot of ways. There have been some tough times for the congregation. We have experienced some big loss. We have been through all sorts of things together.”

Reflecting on the past 25 years as a whole, Zimmerman said it has been a wonderful experience. The connection he and his family have shared with the parishioners at Trinity Lutheran has been something that has benefitted everyone, as together they have grown up, faced life’s struggles and learned from one another.

“The congregation has been very supportive of me and my family,” he said. “It has become home for us and it fit us good. It is kind of amazing; when we first came here, our youngest wasn’t even born yet and now he’s about to graduate from college. The parishioners were able to see them all grow up and that was a real blessing for everyone. I can’t say that in any point in my 25 years here that I thought it was time to go. They have been a good fit for us; I feel like it hasn’t been 25 years.”




© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel