By Way of Introduction

The word “Lutheran” seems to be a key to who I am.  Both of my dad’s parents came from Germany and mother’s parents came from Norway.  (It was a mixed marriage.)  I was born at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines in 1944.  My baptism was delayed until Dad could get leave as a sailor in World War II.  They tell me that I struggled so in the arms of my Godfather during my baptism that he almost dropped me.  I have been struggling in the arms of God ever since, and God hasn’t dropped me yet.

I grew up in the Swedish Lutheran congregation, the same one as my mother.  Mom’s parents didn’t drive and the Swedish Lutheran Church was a couple of miles closer than the Norwegian Lutheran Church.  I attended the same grade school as my mother.  Miss Peterson, the principal, was also my Sunday School Superintendent.  Saturday was the only day that I was not under the watchful eye of Miss Peterson.

At about age 10, I felt that I was being called into the ministry.  My grandmother liked the idea.  My mother said, “I think you would really be a good lawyer.”  I didn’t tell a lot of people about my intention of being a pastor.  Those I did tell would always say, “Oh, I want to be there and see that.”  But they never did come.

I attended Grand View College (now University): a good Lutheran school.  It was a two-year college at that time, so I transferred to Drake University, also in Des Moines, for my next two years.  I lived at home during my college years to “sponge” off my parents as long as I could, knowing I would be going on to seminary.

My first year of seminary was at Augustana Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois.  That seminary merged with several others and became the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  Even though they had moved to Chicago, I was able to find them and continue my seminary career.

My intern year was spent at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Aurora, Illinois.  Donna was the organist at Redeemer.  During a trip to Des Moines with Donna at Christmas we became engaged.  When my intern supervisor found out whom I was engaged to, he said, “Oh hell, I can always get another intern, but organists are hard to find.”  I told him that I knew that.  Back to Chicago for a final year of seminary.  Everyone wanted to meet Donna, to see who had the courage to marry me.

My first call was to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bettendorf, Iowa.  We were there for nine years and the birth of our first child Tobi (the mother of our five grandchildren).  We then moved to St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Urbandale a suburb of Des Moines.   We were at St. Stephen for 26 years and three more children: Trent, Ian, and Annika.

I retired in 2006.  Donna informed me that I wasn’t doing retirement very well, so I started to do interims.  The last five years I have served at St. Paul Lutheran Church, in Martensdale, Iowa.  It is a very part-time position which I share with another pastor.  This leaves me enough time to begin working at Calvary.

Donna will continue teaching math at Grand View University for another school year.  After that, it is our intention to move into our cabin on Portage Lake.  We are looking forward to getting to know the good Lutherans of Calvary and sharing ministry with you.
Pastor Ron Mohr