While in seminary, the Rev. Reed Pedersen was sometimes referred to as a “pipeliner,” and said the name was a result of his entering seminary right after graduating from college.

While in seminary, the Rev. Reed Pedersen was sometimes referred to as a “pipeliner,” and said the name was a result of his entering seminary right after graduating from college.

The nickname is appropriate as Rev. Pedersen also accepted a call to serve as pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover shortly after graduating from seminary in May of this year.

Once his decision about ministry was made, the pastor was not sidetracked, although it wasn’t until the end of his junior year in college that he thought about ministry.

“I was going to be an astronaut just like my dad’s second cousin, Peggy Whitson,” he said. “Then I had my sights on music. After an amazing experience singing in the House Band at the 2012 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) National Youth Gathering I felt I had only one path left on my life’s journey and that path was to be a Lutheran pastor.”

Church has always been a staple in his life, and he said, “My mom and dad made sure that I and my three older siblings were at church every Sunday. I grew up in Jefferson, Iowa, and we went to a Lutheran church in town.”

His parents have been mentors in Rev. Pedersen’s faith journey, as well as his home church pastor, the Rev. Dave Simonson, who served as pastor at his home church through his childhood and young adult life.

He also named his grandfather, Wayne Harmening, as one of his mentors. “He is a true man of faith who paid for me to go to seminary. He said he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his money than to help his grandson become a minister.”

When asked about his call to serve at Augustana Lutheran Church, Rev. Pedersen shared a formal answer and said, “I am called to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to administer the Holy Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper,” and he then added what he refers to as an “informal answer,” and said, “I have been called to be the faith leader of Augustana Lutheran Church. his means that I worship, visit the homebound congregants, ingratiate myself into the community, and serve the wider community to which ALC serves.

“While it has only been a little under a month, I find the most rewarding thing about ministry is sharing Christ’s love with the congregants of ALC and with those that may not be members,” he said.

His goal is “to love and serve the people of ALC and the surrounding community,” he said. “This love I share is not my own but the love of Christ first shown to the world. The service I seek to serve the community because of what Christ has done for me.”

The pastor is married to Megan Joy Nuehring Pedersen. He graduated from Jefferson-Scranton High School; earned a bachelor of arts degree in music with a minor in physics from Wartburg College. He received a master of divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary. He is authorized by the Northern Illinois Synod to preside over Sacraments at the Andover church and will be ordained Oct. 28 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mendota.