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New pastor at Prince of Peace

Van Dellen (click for larger version)
March 21, 2012 - Groveland Twp.- Pastor Jim Van Dellen saw average church attendance more than double during his ministry in Lake Orion.

Now, he hopes to see similar results at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 270 Grange Hall Road, where he is the new pastor.

"I know the congregation has plateaued and I was hoping the Lord might use me to help them grow a bit so they can have their own full-time pastor down the road," said Van Dellen. "I hope to reach out to the community and meet some needs and help people to know the Lord. Hopefully the congregation will benefit with growth."

Van Dellen attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Ill. from 1966 to 1970 and he served as minister at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cass City for 10 years. In 1980, he became the pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lake Orion and served there for 30 years. During that time, average church attendance increased from 150 to 350 parishioners per week and several new ministries were begun, including the opening of Good Shepherd Lutheran School in 2000. Van Dellen retired from full-time ministry in 2010.

His part-time position at Prince of Peace began a few weeks ago after Deacon Mike Sternemann stepped down after three years. Van Dellen has preached the last two Sundays and will preach again tomorrow, March 25.

"I want to get to know the people and know the strengths of the members and congregation and see what God has in mind for them and me," he said.

Van Dellen and his wife, Judy, have been married for 46 years. They reside in Orion Township and have six children and 11 grandchildren.

Van Dellen will be formally installed as minister April 1. Galen Walther of the Michigan District Office of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod will be the guest minister that Sunday. Worship services begin at 10:30 a.m.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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