Pastor Duane Pederson
The Rev. Dr. Duane C. Pederson began as the interim pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church in April of 2014, and he became the settled pastor of the congregation in November of 2015.
Born in Kalispell, Montana, Pastor Pederson grew up on a farm and ranch, an upbringing that significantly shaped his values, work ethic, and zest for life. He attended Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, where he majored in English and Religion. He graduated from Luther Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1981 and was ordained the same year. While serving Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman, MT (1981-1985), he received a Master of Education degree in Counseling from Montana State University. He served Edison Park Lutheran Church in Chicago from 1985-1994 and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at McCormick Theological Seminary in 1991. Pastor Pederson served First Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, WI from 1994-2007 and in 2007 was elected bishop of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin of the ELCA for a six year term. During 2013-2014, he served as interim pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Since 2017, Pastor Pederson has been appointed Visiting Professor at Yale Divinity School and is a member of the Lutheran Studies Committee of YDS.
As an ELCA bishop, Pastor Pederson related to over 300 clergy and lay rostered leaders, 200+ congregations, specialized ministries, ELCA churchwide ministries, the Conference of Bishops, Region V of the ELCA, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the Lutheran church in southern Brazil and Malawi, Africa, and ELCA colleges and seminaries. He was a member of the Board of Regents at Augsburg College, the Board of Directors for Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, the bishop advisor to the Portico Benefits Board of the ELCA, a director of Mayo Clinic Health System–Eau Claire. As bishop, Pastor Pederson was the chief executive officer of the synod, presided at Synod Assemblies, and represented the synod in ecumenical and inter-faith endeavors.
During his ministerial career, Pastor Pederson has been involved in many community-oriented initiatives and groups to strengthen neighborhoods and better the lives of others: disaster relief work in North Dakota and Nicaragua, battered women's networks, PTSD therapy with Vietnam Veterans, Hmong and Somali refugee settlement, regional food bank volunteer and board chair, homeless shelter, Kiwanis, inmate counseling at state prison, state and national advocacy for the poor in Madison (WI) and Washington DC, communications instructor at technical college, and capital appeal work with hospitals, hunger organizations, libraries, and churches.
Pastor Pederson is married to Charlene and has two sons, two step-children, and five grandchildren. His hobbies and interests include theater, genealogy research, visiting wineries, movies, Lincoln biographies, bicycling, reading fiction, early Montana history, travel, and bacon.