GENESEO -- It's hard for the Rev. Stephen Mueller to believe he's still getting paid for doing something he loves and enjoys.|
Rev. Mueller recently was called to become the new pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church, succeeding the Rev. Dr. John Wohlrabe, who retired in June.
"Looking back over my life, before I was a pastor, I can see some instances where God worked through situations and people to lead me into the ministry," Rev. Mueller said. "Truly, though, it was solely the word of God that guided me into the pastoral office.
''Graduating from seminary does not make one a pastor, but a congregation extending a seminary graduate a divine call to serve as their pastor makes one a pastor. God, the Holy Spirit working through the congregation, determines the best candidate for the current time in that church and blesses the pastor and the people through that process and for years to follow.''
Rev. Mueller was 6 years-old when his father, the Rev. John Mueller, accepted a call to serve at Good Shepherd Lutheran, Caseville, Ill.
The nearest Lutheran high school -- Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw, Mich,. -- was an hour and a half away, Rev. Stephen Mueller said.
For three years, his parents made sure his sisters and he attended the school and ''attended as many high-school sporting events as they could, even if that meant getting home at 11:30 p.m. and waking up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready for school."
Rev. Mueller was a senior at Valley Lutheran when his dad was called to serve as a staff pastor there.
His father played a big influence toward his goal of becoming a pastor, "although he and my mother never pushed me toward that end,'' Rev. Mueller said.
''They exemplified unending love for us as a family in numerous ways, especially to me after I totaled three of our family cars within about a year's time, forgiving me every time and showing concern and love that I and my sisters, who were passengers, were unhurt, because a car can be replaced but humans cannot."
Being a pastor involves "administering the means of God's grace to the people at Concordia in Sunday morning worship services,'' he said. ''Teaching Bible classes and Sunday school, attending various church meetings, caring for those entrusted to me at Concordia in numerous ways, reaching out to the community and sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus.
''I enjoy being in the church, receiving what Christ Jesus has done for the world -- God's world, the hymns, the liturgy, the celebration of the Lord's supper and baptisms never cease to remind me daily of the great things God has done in my life, in the lives of those I serve and for the whole world,'' he said.
''I think God has granted me a heart to love and serve the people in the church where I am at, and I pray I can continue to relate to all of the Lord's people that I serve as the person that God made me, as long as He allows me to,'' he said. "When I began serving as a pastor, and to this day, it's still hard for me to believe I am actually getting paid for doing something I love and enjoy."
The Rev. Stephen Mueller
Birth date: July 21, 1982.
Hometown: Saginaw, Mich.
Family: Wife, Marifaith I. Mueller; son, August Mueller, 8-months.
Education: Valley Lutheran High School, Saginaw, Mich.; Bachelor's degree, 2004, Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Master of Divinity degree, 2008, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; ordained, Aug. 3, 2008, St. James Lutheran Church, Quincy.
Experience: Assistant pastor for about four years, St. James Lutheran Church, Quincy, before coming to Geneseo.
Favorite Scripture: "My confirmation verse: Isaiah 40:30-31."
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: "Jesus, of course!"
Peak experience: "Receiving forgiveness through Christ Jesus; every Easter; wedding day and day of son's birth."
Pit experience: "Experiencing the guilt and pain of my own sin; crashing cars in high school.''
Hobbies and activities: "Playing baseball and other sports; watching baseball, football and other sports; spending time with family and friends; being active in the community; getting to know and relating to people, and I enjoy teaching Bible classes."
One thing I feel strongly about: "The correct application of God's Law and God's Gospel to our lives on this earth."
I wish I knew how to: "Complete my preparations for Sunday services before Friday."
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